An Interview with King Tuff

Rock and roll and the occult go hand in hand together, so it’s no wonder that King Tuff‘s music is imbued with a certain air of mystery and danger. On 2014’s Black Moon Spell, King Tuff brought some serious arcane firepower to their mix of saccharine garage pop and hard rock riffage especially on the title track. They totally slayed Lee’s Palace during Canadian Music Week and luckily the stars aligned and we touched base with King Tuff to talk about the latest album, the supernatural and what Nachos to eat in Toronto.

What’s your first musical memory?

I remember watching a lot of early MTV videos, the Grateful Dead’s “Touch of Grey”, I remember thinking that the skeletons were real, and I didn’t know how they did that.

Just glancing at some of your songs, “Screaming Skull” “Black Moon Spell” “Magic Mirror” there’s a lot of otherworldly imagery in these songs, what draws you to the supernatural?

 The mystery of it the idea that these things could exist, or we don’t know if they exist I’ve always been drawn tot hat kind of thing

 Also H.P. Lovecraft’s The Whisperer in Darkness takes place in your hometown Brattleboro, Vermont so there seems to be a connection there.

Yeah the whole northeast New England has that creepy haunted feeling to it. Sure yeah that’s ingrained in me I think.


King Tuff Band Photo

King Tuff Band Photo


Speaking of Brattleboro, Reading the SPIN oral history of ‘Was Dead” you get the impression your parents totally support you

 Oh yeah, they’re my biggest fans, they come to all the shows when they can, you know they’re rockers, I got pretty lucky in the parent category.

So on your new album Black Moon Spell was more of a collaborative effort compared to your previous albums, how do you compare the two experiences?

 Just a different thing, I’m glad I did it that way, I don’t know if I like it, but I’m glad I tried it. It’s a little bit harder for me to work that way.

 Was there a real life inspiration behind “Headbanger”?

 Yeah, sure ya know, falling in love with metal head girls, pretty self-explanatory.

 Do you feel recording in LA made an impact on the album?

Yeah I think so, I think environment definitely has influence, it’s more of a rock album, and LA has the whole Rock history thing going for it.

What kinds of ingredients go into your witches brew?

 Coffee and Urine mostly, maybe some clam juice.



You mentioned in a previous interview with J Mascis that food is often your downfall on tour, what was the best thing you ate in Toronto?

Toronto, let me think about this. I gotta remember what I had in Toronto, I can remember some really terrible things I ate in Toronto, I had a really awful burger there. What’s the place with the nachos?

 Sneaky Dee’s?

Yup, I had some of those nachos there.

Just catching your show at CMW I noticed there’s a lot of great flair on your guitar and jacket, what makes these things something you want to put there?

I’m like a bluejay I just like shiny things; I make my nest out of them. A Toronto Blue Jay.

Last Question then. What’s in the works, what’s next for King Tuff?

Retreating, not gonna talk to anyone for a long time, let myself become a butterfly.

That’s all I’ve got right now, thanks for your time.

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