Becoming King Tuff: See Kyle Thomas Trace His Path to Indie-Rock Glory

Tuff talks crystals, pickles and more in our new mini-doc

When Rolling Stone premiered a track off King Tuff's latest LP, Black Moon Spell, last fall, the band's mastermind Kyle Thomas sent over a suggested blurb. Calling his track "another instant classic," he described himself as "the mischievous gnome child of rock & roll." So when we put Thomas in front of our cameras to recount his life in music, we weren't surprised the footage included a few hilarious stories about crystals and pickles. 

"You do anything long enough and somebody will end up paying attention to it," Thomas tells us with a laugh. King Tuff — a moniker he accidentally gave himself when he was 17 — grew up in Vermont and says he started playing drums "because I wanted to smash things." But when his dad got him a guitar, he immediately picked up songwriting (first track: "Pickle Boy"). 

His first-ever tour was equally colorful: "We just went across country and didn't have any shows booked," he admits. "You end up sleeping in a field somewhere and the farmer comes out and starts knocking on your tour. . ." 

Hitting the road with brand-new tracks from Black Moon Spell has been challenging in its own way. "We hadn't played in like a year or so and I was out of breath by like, the first song and I was like oh shit," he laughs. "But I got my breath back."