Hey, King Tuff made a new record!
His last record, Was Dead, came out in 2008, but was actually recorded in 2003. King Tuff has been the sleeper hit of pop music for this past decade until about a year or two ago when people finally learned what's up and are all now in love with this guy and his music. He's kind of a band-a-holic; he was in the folk group Feathers, is still in Witch with J. Mascis, and is also in Happy Birthday. Then he does this King Tuff thing, which is his home recording project.
King Tuff's records feel big to me, like listening to T-Rex. They sound a little like T-Rex, when Kyle "King Tuff" Thomas sings in a soft, slithery tone, but they feel like T-Rex more than they sound like T-Rex. King Tuff's songs have a big and shiny feeling, like listening to Metal Guru. Musically, it reminds me of the Rolling Stones, Nobunny, and some other similar poppy rock 'n' roll that makes you feel good.
We're in an interesting age because there are a lot of good records coming out that feel like they're from the past without feeling like they're made by nostalgia hounds, self-consciously aping an era of music they weren't alive during. I guess I would call this music "timeless." King Tuff, Hunx, Nobunny, and a lot of the stuff that Burger Records is putting out just feels so timeless to me and cool without being affected.
King Tuff's sophomore release is amazing and won't disappoint the people who loved his last King Tuff record. There are large pop numbers with awesome loud drums, soft pretty ones, and then the amazingly rockin' "Bad Thing," which is giving me chills when Kyle yells the chorus.
Anyway, Kyle just released a new music video for "Bad Thing" and this is it!
I asked Kyle if he'd tell me stuff and he said yes.
When did you write Bad Thing and what were you thinking about at the time?
Last winter, before I left Vermont. I was going through a rough time and pretty much just felt like a piece of shit. It's a song that really truly came from that place when you feel so sick and disgusted with yourself and you just wanna hide in a cave.
I know that feeling too. Do you think it's harder or easier to make things when you're feeling awful?
Waaaaaaaay easier. If you can channel those feelings into something creative, it usually pays off.
Tell me about making this video. Whose idea was it for the haunted wax museum?
The idea was the directors, my good friend Cali Dewitt. It was a blast to make; just got a bunch of friends—mostly from Crazy Band—together and we filmed it in a day. The location was my other mysterious friend's compound and, oddly, it was already perfectly decorated to fit the idea. There were, like, candelabras everywhere and shit. Ruthie plays the cyclops cave woman, which is weird 'cause I have a tattoo of that, total coincidence. Everyone was wicked high and we even had a snack table like at a real video shoot.
Oh yeah, how do you spell the name of the girl who did that tattoo? I think I misspelled it before.
How are things going lately? Are you blowing up?
I've been waiting nearly a year to put this record out and the wait is finally over. Excited to get back on the road. Gonna try and have a BBQ and go swimming everyday of tour this summer. Am I blowing up? You tell me. Actually, I mean "Fuck yes, I'm blowing up."
I'm psyched that you're taking Habibi on tour. I think they're the greatest.
They rilly rock.
Is this the first King Tuff video?
Yep, first vid. I wanna make a bunch. Maybe I'll even go back and make some for my old songs. It would be cool to do vids for some songs off Was Dead.
Can I make a King Tuff video?
If you have a good idea then yes, of course! Most video treatments I receive are the worst shit ever, and I have faith you'd come up with something cool. Got any ideas?
I've got a ton! Let's continue this discussion off the record. Good luck on tour!
The author (R) and his subject (L)
You can buy King Tuff's new self-titled album or stream it for free legally here at Sub Pop's page.
Also, read an interview VICE did with King Tuff did last year.
King Tuff - 2012 Tour Dates
May 31 - Visalia, CA - Cellar Door
Jun. 01 - Oakland, CA - New Parish
Jun. 09 - Brooklyn, NY - 285 Kent*
Jun. 10 - New Haven, CT - Intercambrio*
Jun. 12 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda's*
Jun. 13 - Baltimore, MD - Golden West Cafe*
Jun. 14 - Hoboken, NJ - Maxwells*#
Jun. 15 - Burlington, VT - Signal Kitchen*
Jun. 17 - Easthampton, MA - Flywheel*
Jul. 05 - Long Beach, CA - Alex's Bar
Jul. 06 - Tucson, AZ - Plush*
Jul. 07 - Las Cruces, NM - Train Yard
Jul. 09 - Austin, TX - Red 7 (Patio)#
Jul. 10 - Dallas, TX - City Tavern#
Jul. 11 - Little Rock, AR - Sticky Fingerz#
Jul. 12 - Nashville, TN - Stone Fox#
Jul. 13 - Bloomington, IN - Russian Recording#
Jul. 14 - Cleveland, OH - Now That's Class^
Jul. 17 - Minneapolis, MN - Triple Rock Social Club**
Jul. 21 - Vancouver, BC - Biltmore Cabaret**
Jul. 22 - Seattle, WA - Capitol Hill Block Party**
Jul. 23 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir**
Jul. 25 - Sacramento, CA - Harlow's**
Jul. 26 - San Francisco, CA - Bottom of the Hill**
Jul. 27 - Los Angeles, CA - The Echo**
Jul. 28 - San Diego, CA - Soda Bar**
Aug. 25 - St. Louis, MO - LouFest
#w/ Natural Child
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