By: Killian A. Blount
Tough Break Kid is the alias of Chicago musician Anthony Mariotto. His new track, Wait, is based around a sample of Betty Write’s, “I’m Gettin’ Tired Baby” twisted, cut up, and layered over a bed of hip hop percussion creating a sound which is reminiscent of Ta-Ku and Yann Tiersen, in equal measure.
Look for the Tough Break Kid Split LP release in late summer and check out more tracks here. Here’s 5 questions with Tough Break Kid along with the exclusive Ray John premiere of ‘Wait’.
1. Where does your name come from?
I’m always telling people “tough break kid” when something happened to them couldn’t change.
Your tire blew? Tough break kid. You were ditched? Tough break kid. You have a problem no one can help you with? tough break kid. Pick yourself up and move on. let it go.
It’s kind of turned into an idea of always keeping that childhood spark alive and never letting life beat it out of you. Keep evolving and growing and changing all while moving forward.
2. How did you get into music?
My pops picked me up a guitar and I fell in love. I never took formal lessons but I just kind of started playing and then I started writing and playing in bands. I picked up some drum sticks and played drums in multiple bands (I’m actually working on some material with a new band now). Then I moved to the city picked up a keyboard and a a couple music programs and discovered I could put all of my this stuff that I’d learned together, more or less on my own, and still play other music with others.
3. What other things do you do aside from produce music?
I work in film and television as an audio mixer. It lets me travel a lot and meet new interesting people all the time. I really draw inspiration from that. My third passion is cooking for people. I think there’s a strong relationship between cooking food and writing music.
4. Who are three artists who’ve influenced you and why/how?
Roger Waters has always been a huge influence on me. His compositions just ooze emotion. The Wall is one of my all time favorite records and I was lucky enough to hear him play it at Wrigley Field a couple years ago. It was incredible.
Toro Y Moi’s work has recently found its way into my ears. His style isvso original as far as his layering and mixing style. I do a ton of over night driving and it’s been my go to for that because I find it so interesting.
The 50 cent bin at my local record shop has influenced me big time in the last couple years. Every week or so I go in and grab a few randoms that look interesting to me, go home, and blindly spin them and see what strikes me. I love the weathered feel, each pop is moment in history and each old record could’ve been something a person loved dearly. It’s a low risk high reward investment. I’ve found most of the samples for “Cut Up” this way including “Wait”, which I discovered on ’72 atlantic soul compilation.
I’m going to add a fourth, the greatest artist of all: Mother Nature.
5. Best breakfast food and beer combination?
I’m going to have to go with New Glarus’s Black Top Black IPA with a chorizo, mushroom, onion, garlic,spinach skillet. Eggs sunny side up with some Louisiana hot sauce.