King Tuff

Was Dead (Burger Records)

Contact Jacob Daneman about King Tuff

It’s always seemed as though Was Dead kinda came outta nowhere. Even for me, I don’t remember writing the songs and I barely remember recording them. I do know that they came from the purest part of my heart and they were made with a mischievous little smile on my face.


I think it was 2006.  I recorded mostly late at night, in a giant dirty ballroom called Vegetable Street, in my hometown of Brattleboro, Vermont. My days were filled with endless cups of Mocha Joe’s coffee, black, sitting on the stoop with my friends, and spazzing out on my guitar. Looking down at the streets of Brattleboro below and out at Mount Wantastiquet and beyond. I didn’t have a cell phone or a computer and the only way to find me was either to call my mom, Lil’ Smashy, who was probably already too busy cooking me something really delicious, or spot me in the corner of the coffee shop spying on people and drawing them in my sketchbook. They were very chill times.


I wanted Was Dead to be a pure Vermont Rock and Roll record, fueled by extra sharp Cabot cheddar cheese and hot, grade-A fancy maple syrup poured over crisp white snow and served with a pickle and a cider donut. You sit down on the shitty concrete in the parking lot and you slurp it all up. I had already made a few King Tuff albums in the early 2000’s and had laid the project to rest around 2003. But something told me to resurrect King Tuff, hence the title Was Dead.


This album changed my life in so many ways, as it slowly trickled out into the world. I never expected anyone to hear it, let alone connect with it. I never would have left Vermont, never met the boys at Burger Records or any of the other insane, beautiful, cartoonish characters that now populate my life in the best way. It’s an expression of my infinitely teenage heart and soul, and I’m really proud of it. So here it is again, thanks to Burger Records. These songs belong to the Strutters and the Stutterers, the Headbangers and the Stoop Hangers, the Ruthies and the Gold Toothies, and of course, the A-N-I-M-A-L-S…


Was Dead is reanimated on April 30th, 2013 via Burger Records.




“The moment I first heard Was Dead I knew that this album would be with me for the rest of my life. The decaying neon of Times Square in ’77, infinite lines of powder off of a lime green and pink album sleeve. Meeting a stone fox and realizing that I just wasn’t that kind of guy. Slithering doubled vocals that creep into your mind like a crystal splinter. King Tuff was dead and I guess I kind of was too.” – Gap Dream


“King Tuff is one of the most bad-ass guys I know, I once saw him take out his contact lenses after holding a handful of Sour Patch Kids.” – Matt, Matt & Kim


“Thee rock & roll record of our degeneration of outsiders, freaks & radical weirdos – it’s the beat to which we all can bang our heads to the heavens in unison, dancing & having endless fucking fun!!”– Mr. Burger Records


“I’ve been a fan of Was Dead for so long that I almost forgot I produced the second record, which is amazing.”- Bobby Harlow, The Go


“I’m trying to sift through the cobwebs of my brain. How long ago was that? I just remember that when KT recorded anything I was afraid to bother him cause he would “growl” at me. Sometime I would slip notes under the door in hopes he would see them. Since he recorded so late at night, the music would find its way into my dreams and for months it would be like background music in all my dreams, whether he was recording or not. Made for some interesting dreams.”- Lil’ Smashy


“His goddamn mean green Chevrolet sat motionless in my goddamn driveway for years, growing a jungle of mold and acting as a home for the spiders, squirrels, and gnomes.” – Old Man Tuffy


“Get Heavy, Get Weird.” –Dan Wars

“ARE YOU KIDDING ME you don’t even remember when rock music was this free of irony and indie-industrial-complex annoyingness, so full of the thaw of springtime and the thrill of a new guitar sound.  Wake up on a Wednesday, pour a cup of coffee and make macaroni glue-on collages in the sunshine on a linoleum floor, this is IT. King Tuff, PLEASE DON’T DIE”- Merrill Garbus, tUnE-yArDs


“Call me if you need more dope ass quotes.”-Ruthie


“I forgot to think about something.” –Ruthie


“A wild and unpredictable energy filled the air. There was a quarter pipe next door with a giant purple cyclops. There was a bathroom that looked like the inside of a stomach. There was a futuristic watermelon hallway.
I had let a friend of mine crash on the couch in Vegetable Street after a two-day long acid binge. KT came in shortly after and started recording. He blasted out the guitar and vocal tracks for “Freak When I’m Dead” at full volume. My friend lay completely unconscious and oblivious to the historic commotion being created a few feet away. KT made an unholy racket for a little while longer and unplugged a few cords…”BZZZT” The sudden silence caused my friend to sit bolt upright on the couch with a frightened and confused look on his face. ” What the?! What’s going on?!” – Big Luke Thomas


“From where did you spring forth? Mighty and fearless King Tuff? From whence did you fearlessly materialize? From a transcendental quince seed perchance? You are correct to think I take no precautions when diving into your lazerbeam! You are correct to think I await, heart agape, in hope of being pounced on by your ferocious and yet tender animal! You are not wrong to think I am forever drowning in an ocean of urine but unable to piss until your Sun Medallion allows me safe passage, you are the panacea, the tincture, the elixir of perpetual virility, Venus and Adonis, ever tumescent, ever engaged and de-calcified, ever snorkeling in the waters of Just Strut, ever enveloped in Was Dead.” – Devendra Banhart


“Me make Rock Roll!” –King Tuff