King Tuff: The ANTENNA Q+A
Jack White has moved out of the garage, but this year has seen a healthy amount of disjointed, scuzzy, glammy basement rock to fill the void, from Black Bananas' Electric Brick Wall to Ty Segall's recent Manipulator. King Tuff's sprawling, immediate, and ridiculously fun third album, Black Moon Spell, is the latest entry into this field. The man known legally as Kyle Thomas recently gave a sort of disclaimer for the LP, noting that it may cause "euphoria, demented visions, wet dreams, bouts of backwards laughter, and dazed confusion resulting in primordial dancing." We asked him which part of the album, specifically, is most likely to cause wet dreams, and he informed us that it's "probably somewhere between 'Rainbows Run' and 'Headbanger' cuz those two songs are 69ing in the track sequence."
Black Moon Spell is exactly the type of manic rock album that can be described so ludicrously and yet so accurately. It was allegedly recorded during haunted studio sessions, made by a guy who assured us that the above Marshall stacks-as-nightstands photo depicts his actual bedroom setup, with devil's-horn-worthy lyrics like "Then you went south of heaven and my love went to 11 when you bang your little head." But there's no irony or camp here, because the songs don't need that added layer to protect them. They cover the entire spectrum of the golden age of FM rock in some 40 minutes, without ever feeling hokey or devolving into retro fetishization.
We could've asked King Tuff how he pulled this off, but let's be honest, nobody likes hearing about, or talking about, "the process." So instead, ahead of the September 23 release of Black Moon Spell, we subjected Kyle to the ANTENNA Q+A. Head below to get his thoughts on showers, death, and Disney princesses.
1. What was your favorite childhood cartoon and why?
I liked Thundercats. One time me and my brother were pretending we were Thundercats and I kicked his tooth out. I had the sword and I felt its power.
2. Are you pro or anti Subway meatball subs?
I like pretty much every meatball sub I've ever kissed.
3. When is the last time you Googled yourself, and why?
Well I'm in Google Hell now that reviews of my album are starting to come out. I can't help but read them and they usually make me feel weird even if they're super positive. I don't believe in writing about music.
4. What do you think happens when you die?
I think our souls are restored to their proper habitat.
5. Favorite Disney princess?
6. Kobe or LeBron?
7. Favorite TV show currently?
8. What's your shower routine?
I fucking love hot showers, I think it's man's greatest invention. My girlfriend is obsessed with this company Lush and I secretly steal all of her shampoo and conditioner.
9. Tell us about your biggest heartbreak.
They've all been pretty terrible. But they're great for songwriting.
10. What's your stance on groupies?
I like weirdos better.