You Feel Me?
Episode 4: King Tuff
Kyle Thomas walks into a room hiding behind baggy clothes, sunglasses, and a baseball cap that are all slightly too bright or cool to actually go unnoticed. The fit is a far cry from the zig zagged Beetlejuice-esque suit he wears on stage, accessorized with a bold bolo tie and cuban link adorned with charms that Mr. T would likely compliment. But still, for those that attempt to separate Kyle from his nom de plum King Tuff, you can rest assured the baggy jacket being Big Bird yellow screams “look at me” as much as the suit. King Tuff isn’t so much of an alter ego as it is Kyle with the amps cranked to 11.
Raised in Brattleboro, Vermont with nothing much else to do, Thomas became a guitar aficionado. A true shredder with licks cosigned by even the crunchiest of distortion virtuosos like J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr. Kyle admits his dad’s record collection had a huge influence on him as a kid, but it may have been his stint at a thrift store that had the biggest impact on his style. He learned about life from the all-woman staff and developed his unique look in a treasure trove of vintage clothes.
Tuff’s new record, The Other, is a major sonic shift from his previous works. The album casts a broad net of influence and a more expansive sonic range than his previous records. It’s contemplative, funky, somber, and danceable from one track to the next. Hear us talk about creating The Other and a ton of other topics while Tuff wound down his latest tour.
3:30 Tuff talks early musical influences
10:25 Tuff talks about his musical projects before King Tuff and playing with J Mascis
17:29 Tuff talks about touring with Matt & Kim and gaining a larger following
20:48 Tuff talks about recording with the now popular Tascam 388 tape recorder
24:00 Tuff talks about his mystical signing with the Sub Pop record label
26:55 Tuff talks about early touring days and partying
28:00 Tuff talks living in Laurel Canyon at a place Father John Misty stayed at
32:00 Tuff talks about creating his new album The Other
41:00 Credits and headphone discount code