Rollo & Grady Interview :: King Tuff

Rollo & Grady Interview :: King Tuff

Last year I rediscovered the 2008 King Tuff album Was Dead and it became my favorite album of the year, listening to it everyday for a four-month stretch. Also a member of the bands Witch, Feathers and Happy Birthday, Vermont-native Kyle Thomas continues to deliver quality material with the highly anticipated release of his upcoming self-titled album, out on May 29th via Sub Pop Records. I had the pleasure of chatting with Kyle Thomas about moving to Los Angeles, living in a cave and the proliferation of donut shops around the city.

Rollo & Grady Interview :: King Tuff

R&G: You moved to Los Angeles last year. What led up to the move from Vermont to here?

Kyle: I was in Vermont my whole life, and, while it’s one of my favorite places ever, there’s not too much going on there. It’s a great place to work on your craft, but as far as getting yourself out into the world, it’s not easy to do it there. LA just called to me. I have a group of friends here that’s kind of like my second family. I’d never felt the urge to move anywhere until I had come out here a few times and it just made sense to me.

R&G: Besides the weather, what are your favorite things about Los Angeles?

Kyle: I actually like driving everywhere. I like to be by myself a lot of the time, and it’s easy to do that here. It’s so spread out that it’s not like you see people everyday. It feels very big. It’s kind of the other end of the spectrum coming from a small town.

R&G: Did the change from Vermont to Los Angeles provide any musical inspiration toward shaping the new album?

Kyle: For sure. When I first got here, I was subletting in Laurel Canyon, which was incredible, and I wrote some really good songs up there. That’s a strange place over there; there’s something going on – I don’t know what it is – but something weird is happening over there.

R&G: What street did you live on?

Kyle: It was off of Lookout Mountain.

R&G: You know what’s crazy about that area is that it’s so beautiful and then a quarter mile down the road is a hellish part of Sunset Boulevard.

Kyle: Yeah. It’s like night and day – the difference. I kept saying it’s like the Vermont of LA.

Rollo & Grady Interview :: King Tuff

R&G: Where are you living now?

Kyle: I live in Echo Park now, in a cave.

R&G: What do you mean by a “cave”?

Kyle: I live in a cave. I don’t know how else to describe it.

R&G: Does your cave have electricity?

Kyle: Yeah, and checkerboard floors.

R&G: Do you have any musician friends that you hang out with out here?

Rollo & Grady Interview :: King Tuff

Kyle: There’s a lot of them. Well, I have a bunch of friends in crazy bands, who are my really close friends. The dudes from Entrance [Band]. Tim from White Fence – I’ve hung out with him a few times. He’s super cool. Devendra Banhart I know from a long time ago. I don’t know. It seems like every day I see somebody and I’m like, “Oh my God. You live here?” I see random people I know that I don’t even realize live here and it’s always like, “Oh, there’s another person.”

R&G: With CD revenues tanking do you license your music for television, film, or commercials?

Kyle: I’m totally open to doing that. Yeah, it’s definitely one of the only ways to make money as a musician anymore.

R&G: Have you had any placements?

Kyle: There was a Witch song in True Blood.

R&G: Hopefully you’ll lands some placements with the new album.

Kyle: Maybe I can get onto a Dunkin’ Donuts commercial or something. I would be into that shit.

Rollo & Grady Interview :: King Tuff

R&G: You never know, they might barter to give you free Donuts for life.

Kyle: [Laughs] That wouldn’t be good.

R&G: You know what’s a trip in this town? For a healthy town, there’s a donut store on every corner.

Kyle: [Laughs] I don’t understand why everyone is eating donuts here. I don’t really see people eating donuts, but there are so many fucking donut stores.

R&G: That’s just tripped me out. How do they afford to pay for that real estate? How many donuts do you need to sell to pay rent in a nice neighborhood? It might be a front.

Kyle: It really doesn’t make sense, but at the same time, it makes delicious sense.

Rollo & Grady Interview :: King Tuff

Pre-order King Tuff’s forthcoming self-titled album by clicking here.

King Tuff – Kind of Guy
King Tuff – So Desperate
King Tuff – Evergreen
Happy Birthday – Girls FM