Frank Turner walked into Daddy Kool Records on Wednesday and immediately felt the pull of Florida death metal.
“I’m more of a metalhead than people think," the British folk-punk singer-songwriter said. “I noticed some Cannibal Corpse records that I’m going to go and have a look at here in a bit. Obituary are a Florida band as well, right? I love Obituary. Somebody told me once there’s no actual lyrics on the first two Obituary records, and they wrote them afterward and put them on the sleeve — in the studio, he was just doing noises.”
Turner loves rock 'n' roll lore like that, which is part of the reason he loves record stores — there’s a real sense there of discovery, of illumination, of digging up music he didn’t know existed.
That’s how he ended up at Daddy Kool on Wednesday afternoon, hours before his nearly sold-out concert at the Palladium. On his current tour — which features two sets, one solo and another with a full acoustic band — Turner is visiting record shops across the country, filming video clips for a project promoting Record Store Day next April.
At Daddy Kool, Turner browsed the local bins and signed a few of his own records. He rarely buys vinyl at these visits, because he long ago realized he’d have no easy way to get it home.
“I’m not so much of a collector that I’ve got white whales or anything, and I do, particularly on the road, listen to Spotify a fair bit,” he said. “I don’t cart a record player around on tour with me. That would be ridiculous. But every day, the great thing about record stores versus digital consumption is the find. I found an Against Me! reissue that I didn’t know existed the day before yesterday. I found a Van Pelt live record that I didn’t know had been pressed on vinyl. That was pretty cool.”
Turner always hits up the punk section, but he’s also into vintage country, like George Jones, which he said is harder to come by in the United Kingdom.
“I certainly knew an awful lot more about alt-country before I knew anything about real country,” he said. “There’s some really amazing, heartfelt music out there, and beautiful melodic music.”
Turner, 37, has achieved modest mainstream success in the United States, particularly for the singles Recovery and The Way I Tend to Be from his 2013 album Tape Deck Heart. But even in Europe, where he headlines arenas, he’s still able to walk into record shops without being harassed.
“Even in the U.K., what I do exists on a slightly overgrown cult level,” he said. “Even in the industry, there are days where we’ll be loading into an arena or rehearsal room and they’re like, who the f--- is this? I kind of like that. It’s liberating in its way. I don’t want to be a celebrity. I hate that f---ing word. It’s not what I want to do.”
Daddy Kool wasn’t Turner’s only St. Pete stop on Wednesday. Earlier in the day, he visited the rock school NoiseMakers Inc., chatting with students about songwriting.
“I love doing stuff like that,” he said. “And I was pleasantly surprised. You never quite know with these things, but apparently they had a songwriting class to prepare and get some questions together, and a lot of kids asked me some really smart questions about songwriting. On the list of possible ways to spend my day, that’s quite high for me.”
FRANK TURNER AND THE SLEEPING SOULS
Kayleigh Goldsworthy opens. $38 and up. 7 p.m. Wednesday. 253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 822-3590. mypalladium.org.