Posts Tagged ‘King Tuff’

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Following up his series of drive-in live show performances in Anaheim earlier this month, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness has returned with new single “Get On My Wave.”

The tune first debuted at one of McMahon’s live drive-in shows in Orange County. McMahon later tweeted that the tune would be available today.

In his online comments about “Get On My Wave,” McMahon says, “I wrote and produced ‘Get On My Wave’ with Kyle “King Tuff” Thomas the day we met last summer.” McMahon tweets “It’s about love, alienation and how in a world where things can look perfect on the surface, there are currents running beneath and tides which push and pull at the shore.” The track is romantic and reminiscent of McMahon’s former projects, Jack’s Mannequin and Something Corporate.

What really stands out about “Get On My Wave” is the driving acoustic guitar and shaker. The piano takes on more of an accent to McMahon’s voice, following the melody line in the chorus and shining through at the beginning of the bridge.

I wrote and produced “Get On My Wave” with Kyle “King Tuff” Thomas the day we met last summer. I’ve struggled with releasing the song during the pandemic because it felt too happy; detached from the tumult of our current world. Lately it’s been making more sense to me. It’s a song about love and alienation and how in a world where things can look perfect on the surface there are always currents running beneath and tides which push and pull at the shore. It’s about finding your people and acknowledging your relationship with those forces outside of your control and saying, “let’s ride this out together.”

As to whether the single will be featured on a new full-length or EP, only time will tell. His last full-length, “Upside Down Flowers” was in 2018.

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Here we have a brand new track from the one and only King Tuff! He also has a little something to say about it:

“I’m Free” is a song I wrote a few years back which first appeared on Ty Segall’s album Freedom’s Goblin. Ty had asked me to write a song for him to record and I had this little demo laying around which I gave to him. I never really thought about it much after that but recently I was asked if I would ever release my own version of the song… so here it is! My favorite time to write songs has always been in the middle of the night. The world slows down and the little nocturnal critters start hooting, howling, buzzing, bubbling… there’s just different ideas that float around that you can’t catch during the day. This is a small song about that. The crickets and raindrops you hear towards the end of the song were recorded one night in June in Vermont outside of a witches hut.”

“I’m Free” – Release Day: February 20th, 2020

Kyle Thomas’s King Tuff project hasn’t put out an album in four years, but now with “The Other”, he roars back with a riff-based sound that is decidedly his own. Thomas has brought friends like Ty Segall on the drums, Jenny Lewis (!!!) on guest vocals and Mikal Cronin on sax. Listen to the Lewis-featured “Thru the Cracks” and look forward to an album filled with wicked arrangements from Tuff.

When asked to describe the title track from his new record, Kyle Thomas—aka King Tuff—takes a deep breath. “It’s a song about hitting rock bottom,” he says. “I didn’t even know what I wanted to do anymore, but I still had this urge, like there was this possibility of something else I could be doing… and then I just followed that possibility. To me, that’s what songwriting, and art in general, is about. You’re chasing something. ‘The Other’ is basically where songs come from. It’s the hidden world. It’s the invisible hand that guides you whenever you make something. It’s the thing I had to rediscover to bring me back to making music again in a way that felt true and good.”

After years of non-stop touring, culminating in a particularly arduous stint in support of 2014’s Black Moon Spell, Thomas found himself back in Los Angeles experiencing the flipside of the ultimate rock and roll cliche. “I had literally been on tour for years,” recalls Thomas. “It was exhausting, physically and mentally. I’m essentially playing this character of King Tuff, this crazy party monster, and I don’t even drink or do drugs. It had become a weird persona, which people seemed to want from me, but it was no longer me. I just felt like it had gotten away from me.”

The ten tracks that make up The Other represent a kind of psychic evolution for King Tuff. No less hooky than previous records, the new songs ditch the goofy rock-and-roll bacchanalia narratives of earlier records in favor of expansive arrangements, a diversity of instrumentation, and lyrics that straddle the fence between painful ruminations and a childlike, creative energy untarnished by cynicism. The soulful and cosmic new direction is apparent from the album’s first moments: introduced by the gentle ringing of a chime, acoustic guitar, and warm organ tones, “The Other” is a narrative of redemption born of creativity. As Thomas sings about being stuck in traffic, directionless, with no particular reason to be alive, he hears the call of “the other,” a kind of siren song that, instead of leading towards destruction, draws the narrator towards a creative rebirth. Elsewhere, tracks like “Thru the Cracks” and “Psycho Star” balance psychedelia with day-glo pop hooks. “The universe is probably an illusion, but isn’t it so beautifully bizarre?” he asks on “Psycho Star” providing one of the record’s central tenets. At a time when everything in the world feels so deeply spoiled and the concept of making meaning out of the void seems both pointless and impossible, why not try?

Thomas self-produced the record, as he did his 2007 debut, Was Dead, but on a far grander scale. He recorded it at The Pine Room, the home studio Thomas built to work on the record, and playing every instrument aside from drums and saxophone. He pulled Shawn Everett (War On Drugs, Alabama Shakes) in to assist with the mixing process.

While it would be easy to think of The Other as a kind of reinvention for King Tuff, Thomas views the entire experience of the record as a kind of reset that’s not totally removed from what he’s done in the past. “I can’t help but sound like me,” he says. “It’s just that this time I let the songs lead me where they wanted to go, instead of trying to push them into a certain zone. King Tuff was always just supposed to be me. When I started doing this as a teenager, it was whatever I wanted it to be. King Tuff was never supposed to be just one thing. It was supposed to be everything.”

King Tuff, photo by Olivia Bee

King Tuff’s forthcoming album The Other is little less than a month away, but the one-time garage rocker’s wild, starry-eyed new sound has been the cornerstone of the record’s pre-release singles, from the thoughtful title track to the rambunctious “Psycho Star” to the funk-laden “Raindrop Blue”. New track “Thru the Cracks” gazes upward into the ephemeral, the song serving as a tribute of sorts to an old friend King Tuff’s Kyle Thomas lost to suicide.

Jenny Lewis lends her honeyed contralto to the track, as does Springtime Carnivore’s Greta Morgan, while Ty Segall drummer Charles Moothart offers the rhythm some shambling rhythm.

The Other‘ (Release Day: April 13, 2018)

“About two years ago I lost a good friend to suicide,” Thomas says in a press statement. “He loved the Beatles, Nirvana, Burroughs, bumming smokes, stealing his parents records and selling em to me… he was a complex character, a sweetheart with poor social skills, a musical genius with no outlet. He was pretty damn misunderstood in this world and struggled for a long, long time.

“I had this song laying around for 7 years or so, but sadly it wasn’t until he was gone that it came into focus and I realized what it was all about. It’s one of my favorites I’ve ever written, and one of the truest. And it all comes back again to this thing, the Other. Maybe death is just a passageway to something else. Maybe in death we finally, once and for all, join the Other. I dunno, but I think Jeremiah is probably hanging out on the metaphysical stoop right now with none other than the Other itself.

From the Album “WAS DEAD” King Tuff is performing at LEVITATION VANCOUVER presented by BURGER RECORDS He’ll be rockin’ and rollin’ with Dead Ghosts, Amen Dunes, Cosmonauts, L.A. WITCH, White Poppy AND MORE,  King Tuff’s songwriting was stretching far beyond the thrill of the immediate dance-floor reflex and now revealed a songwriter with a keen eye inside everyone. that was the stuff that i was interested in.  we’ve created something here. King Tuff should not be inspected or even listened to with critical ears. cut your ears off. rock and roll is meant to be blasted into your cells, penetrated, and absorbed. it’s a visceral experience. seek solace in solitude when you’re dead. if you aren’t able to recognize the genius in this epic album, then you’re already dead.


In August 2013, Ty Segall and King Tuff both performed at the Pickathon festival in Oregon. Songs from their sets are now being released on a split 12″, Live at Pickathon, Vol. 2, which comes out May 5th via Easy Sound. (Vol. 1 features Diarrhea Planet and Those Darlins and is out on Record Store Day.  

Segall’s side features tracks from Sleeper and Melted. King Tuff’s features tracks from Was Dead and King Tuff. Check out the tracklist below.

watch live footage from of Ty Segall doing “Crazy” at the fest. another track featured on the EP

Side A – Ty Segall Sleeper Band:

01 Sleeper
02 The Keepers
03 Crazy
04 The Man Man
05 Queen Lullabye
06 Girlfriend

Side B – King Tuff:

01 Anthem > Keep On Movin’
02 Dancing On You
03 Stranger
04 She’s On Fire

KING TUFF – ” Danger In the Dark “

Posted: December 20, 2014 in MUSIC
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Just put up a free single which I worked on with Harry Fraud (Rick Ross) last month. It was written for a commercial about gold teeth and pirate life, so naturally I said “hell yes”.

KING TUFF – ” Black Moon Spell “

Posted: December 20, 2014 in MUSIC
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The inimitable King Tuff, or Tuffy to his mates, certainly managed to turn a few heads with this, his fourth album and second on Sub Pop Records. this is an amazing video, The “Black Moon Spell” likes to dance in slithering circles around your skull. Look at it revolving like a wicked little layer cake on your drooling tongue. My best advice would be to kiss it, make hot love to it, get dizzy with it. The “Black Moon Spell” is a very good lover.

King Tuff performs a track from their album Black Moon Spell on the Conan O’Brien Show .In case you missed it we stopped by Conan to play “Eyes of the Muse”. Then we went to his holiday party and ate all the food. Thanks Conan, but I am excited to announce that the band and I are headed out in 2015 with my friend Father John Misty.

King Tuff, and the album: “Black Moon Spell” available on Sub Pop Records. Kyle Thomas, aka King Tuff, subscribes to a simple philosophy while recording: “Make something you can listen to over and over again,” he said, before rocking Fernwood in 2012. “It’s got to be exciting the whole time, like a little adventure or a little journey from each song to the next.” King Tuff’s self-titled rager was one of my favorites of 2012, and this follow-up delivers just as lavishly, with fiery guitar-centric bliss