King Tuff Interview

King Tuff 4 (2012)

Charles Brownstein chats with King Tuff aka Kyle Thomas about life as King, living in California, listening to Elton John and making 3D movies.

Photo by Jeffrey Sauger

NT: You moved in the last couple of years to California from Vermont. Quite a big move, not only geographically, but culturally as well.

KT: California is the land of dreams, it’s a really cool place. I haven’t really written that since I moved out there, but it’s a pretty inspirational place. The weather is nice as well. I’m in Vermont now for a couple of weeks, It’s pretty cold right now. I kind of forgot about that.

NT: Your latest album has more of a 60s pop and glam sound to it, did working with Bobby Harlow have a big influence on the direction of the album?

KT: I got into a flurry of writing before I met Bobby. I had written the whole album before we hit the studio. He actually picked different songs that I wanted to have on the album. It really wasn’t a question of being influenced by any sound. Bobby put his touch on different tracks and they really turned out great. I’m really happy with them.

NT: The track ‘Swamp Of Love’ is a real throwback. It seems to have a bit of an Elton John sound to it, are you a fan?

KT: I have recently gotten into Elton John a little bit. People say that it reminds them of ‘Yellow Brick Road’ a bit, I’ve never heard that track. It’s one of the few songs that I wrote in California. A place where I was staying had a piano, so I used it to write the tune.

NT: The video for ‘Keep On Moving’ is quite enjoyable. Were you involved with the production?

KT: I made it with a bunch of goofy friends, lol. My friend Calle directed it, he made ‘Bad Thing’ as well. It was really fun to make. The only problem was, it was supposed to be in 3d, but for some reason ended up in split screen. It really bummed me out, it was cool, but wasn’t meant to be that way. We did get it out in 3d in the end. People seem to like it and dig the track as well. So the fact that people enjoy them both, make me quite happy.

NT: Your in the band ‘Witch’ with J Mascis as well. Have you guys been writing anything lately?

KT: We all live in different places and travel quite a bit. I hope we do something in the future, I really enjoy playing with him, it’s really chill. There’s no pressure at all involving that band. I have written some demos, we just haven’t had the chance to get together. If you like Witch, I’m really digging this band ‘Uncle Acid’, you should check them out.

NT: Your album knocked out the mighty Jack White’s ‘Blunderbust’ on the Billboard charts, were you excited about that? That’s quite an accomplishment.

KT: I really don’t pay any attention to those type of charts, I can honestly say, I wasn’t aware. As long as people are listening and paying attention to the music, I’m happy. It’s not a competition to me, I really want everyone to do well and be happy.

NT: Which albums are you down with these days?

KT: Green Day – Dookie
The Beatles – Rubber Soul
Uncle Acid – Blood Lust
Apples In Stereo – Fun Trick Noisemaker