Tobacco (musician)

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Background information
Birth nameThomas J. Fec
Also known asTOBACCO
BornFebruary 6, 1980 (age 44) Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Origin Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Years active1996–present
Member of

Thomas Fec (born February 6, 1980), better known by his stage name Tobacco (stylized in all caps), is an American electronic musician. He is the frontman of the psychedelic rock band Black Moth Super Rainbow, in addition to working as a solo artist. [1] As of late 2018, he has teamed up with rapper Aesop Rock to become the music duo Malibu Ken, releasing their self-titled debut album in January 2019.



He grew up in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, and graduated from Hampton High School in 1998 along with bandmate Seth Ciotti[ citation needed ]. In a 2009 interview with Skyscraper Magazine , Tobacco said that his name derived from "a character that freaked me out as a kid, the Tobacco Man," referring to the character from the film Redneck Zombies . [2] In a 2016 interview with Song Exploder podcast, Tobacco discloses that he doesn't know "any instruments," but that he became enamored with a four-track recorder that his parents gave him while he was in high school. [3]

Tobacco released his first solo album, Fucked Up Friends , on Anticon on October 14, 2008. [4] It was recorded using entirely analog equipment. [5] Rolling Stone said of the album, "one of the year's best stoner-rock records – only it's powered by synths, hip-hop beats and vocoders instead of guitars." [6] Exclaim! called it "worthy of obsessive listening." [7] The album featured a guest appearance from Aesop Rock. [8] A DVD of the album had been released more than a year prior, on September 3, 2007, by The 70's Gymnastics Recording Company. [9]

In February 2010, an e-mail sent out to the Black Moth Super Rainbow/Tobacco e-mail list announced a new CD by Tobacco entitled Maniac Meat that would feature Beck on two tracks titled "Fresh Hex" and "Grape Aerosmith." Tobacco revealed that in making the album, the two exchanged parts for songs via e-mail, and that they had never actually met in person. On March 30, 2010, the website Pitchfork Media released the first song from Maniac Meat titled "Sweatmother". [10] The album came out on May 25 on Anticon.

LA UTI was released on November 9, 2010, on Anticon as a companion piece to Maniac Meat. The EP features underground rappers such as Doseone, Rob Sonic, Serengeti among others. [11] [12] Tobacco produced the track "Glass Coffins" from Antipop Consortium rapper Beans' solo album End It All in 2011. [13] In February 2012 it was announced that Tobacco and Zackey Force Funk were teaming up to release an album under the band name Demon Queen. The album, Exorcise Tape , was released March 8, 2013 on Rad Cult. [14]

Several of Tobacco's songs are featured in the HBO series Silicon Valley, including "Stretch Your Face", which serves as the show's theme song. In 2017, Tobacco toured with Nine Inch Nails and would have opened for them on their September US tour. [15] He would later collaborate with Trent Reznor on the song "Babysitter" from Tobacco's 2020 album Hot Wet and Sassy. In January 2021, Tobacco announced his upcoming album Fucked Up Friends 3 for release some time in the year, alongside a lead single called "This Man". [16]


In an interview with Kotori Magazine in September 2008, Tobacco explained the difference between Black Moth Super Rainbow and Tobacco: "Mostly everything I've done with BMSR is made to be pop. And alot[ sic ] of people say BMSR is bordering on hip-hop beats. So with Tobacco, I wanted to embrace my beats and get darker and sleeker with it all. I want to make you feel paranoid in a good way. There’s something seriously fucked about workout tapes from the mid 80s, and just about everything obscure on beta tape. They make me feel awful, but really good and curious at the same time. With this Tobacco stuff, I’m trying to translate that feeling." [17]

Tobacco told Song Exploder that he wants his drum beats to sound "as real as possible," so he does not use quantization to perfect the timing. He speaks against music that is too "clean" or "clinical," and notes that his album "Sweatbox Dynasty" features many sounds recorded on the first take. [3]

Tobacco's live shows mainly consist of him and BMSR bandmate The Seven Fields of Aphelion, and an unnamed person from Portland, Oregon [ citation needed ], playing along with video projections from Fucked Up Friends and Fucked Up Friends 2.



EPs and singles






Music videos

YearAlbumTitleDirectorOther featured artist
2010Maniac MeatGrape AerosmithAllen Cordell Beck
MotorlickerTV Carnage
2014Ultima II MassageStreaker Eric Wareheim Notrabel
2016Sweatbox DynastyDimensional HumAbraham Dubin
2018Malibu KenAcid KingRob ShawAesop Rock
Corn Maze
2020Hot, Wet & SassyBabysitterTobacco Trent Reznor
2022Squids and AngelsThe Black AlbumJoe Cappa
2023Sweatbox DynastyHuman Omn/c

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<i>Malibu Ken</i> (album) 2019 studio album by Malibu Ken

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  1. James Christopher Monger, Tobacco, biography at (mirror of Allmusic).
  2. Interview by Toby Rogers, Skyscraper Magazine, Issue 30, Spring 2009
  3. 1 2 Interview with Song Exploder. Song Exploder , August 25, 2016.
  4. Review of Fucked Up Friends. Pitchfork Media
  5. Matthew Blackwell, Review of Fucked Up Friends. Prefix Magazine
  6. Kevin O'Donnell, Review of Fucked Up Friends. Rolling Stone , December 11, 2008, p. 98.
  7. Josiah Hughes, Review of Fucked Up Friends. Exclaim! , October 2008.
  8. Review of Fucked Up Friends. Alternative Press , November, 2008, p. 164.
  9. "Hawker Boat"/"Hairy Candy". Pitchfork Media , August 8, 2007.
  10. Pitchfork Media
  11. Fitzmaurice, Larry (November 17, 2010). "Tobacco: LA UTI EP". Pitchfork Media.
  12. Martins, Chris (November 30, 2010). "Tobacco: LA UTI". The A.V. Club .
  13. Walby, Sam (February 28, 2011). "Beans – End It All". Drowned in Sound . Archived from the original on March 3, 2011. Retrieved July 11, 2012.
  14. Conaton, Chris (October 15, 2013). "Demon Queen: Exorcise Tape". PopMatters .
  15. "Live – nine inch nails". nine inch nails. Retrieved June 7, 2018.
  16. 1 2 Helman, Peter (January 20, 2021). "Tobacco – "This Man"". Stereogum . Retrieved January 23, 2021. Fucked Up Friends 3 is out sometime this year on Rad Cult.
  17. "Tobacco: 'I Feel Really Normal Most Days. Kotori Magazine interview with Tobacco, September 26, 2008