It’s no secret that we’re fans of Tobacco and Black Moth Super Rainbow. Following the trajectory of Tom Fec’s creative endeavors has been an exercise in watching an artist create and evolve on his own terms. His video edits for BMSR and Tobacco, the creative direction of the live performances and a relentless experimentation with his production methods have made his work resonate with more and more people.
We recently had a chance to catch up with Tom (Tobacco) in the wake of the release of his Anticon release “Maniac Meat.”
How did Tobacco become your primary project? Is BMSR over?
Really it just became the main and only thing i’m working on. Whatever i’m working on at the time is my primary project. The whole idea behind bmsr and being in a band had me burned out. Especially after eating us, it seemed like I had let it get too far and kind of lost the ability or motivation to rope it back in. The tobacco stuff is just really fun to work on and show live. With all that being said, i don’t think bmsr is over, but it was definitely overdue for a long break.
Maniac Meat is a departure from your work with BMSR. What was the turning point for you?
I wrote bmsr songs knowing that people would hear them and building my own expectations on top of them. I didn’t want to do anything too stupid or really embrace some of the more off-putting urges that I wanna explore in music sometimes. The breaking point for me was being on tour for eating us and realizing I was playing music that I couldn’t stand. Don’t get me wrong, I’m the only one to blame for that, but sometimes I get something in my head and just have to see it through to see if it works, whether it’s right or not. And sometimes it takes a minute for me to realize that the little awkwardness I’m feeling might be part of something bigger.
Maniac Meat especially was about wanting to get back to when it was 100% about entertaining myself, like in high school when I knew no one gave a shit about what i was doing. It wasn’t even meant to be an album released to the public. It was my jogging soundtrack.
Beck makes an appearance on this record. What’s the story behind that?
Shaun at Anticon knew Brian Lebarton, who’s beck’s music director. They got to talking and brian mentioned they listened to fucked up friends, and right then i happened to be finishing up this jogging soundtrack that was becoming a real album. So the stars aligned.
Fucked Up Friends 2, the video companion to the record, was an amazing collection of videos you put together. Are there plans to do the same thing for Maniac Meat?
Probably not. It seems like a lot of people are on to the idea of splicing 80s/90s footage to music now, so there’s no real need for me to do it anymore. Maybe something more grand in the future, but i don’t know what that is yet.
On the topic of the visuals you use, what’s the inspiration behind your aesthetic?
Pretty much just pure gross entertainment. I like stuff that looks like it was made for what i’m doing and maybe reminds people how fucked up shit was when they didn’t realize it.
What are your touring plans with the new record?
I’ll go out for all of september on the east coast, and then keep on throughout the u.s. and hopefully europe through next year.
(Yes, I am aware there is only 6 questions.)