NYC-based Tony Quattro—one of the newest names on the imprint of Brooklyn-based rabble rousers known as Trouble & Bass—carries on the tradition of raw and in-your-face East Coast house music of the mid-to-late 90s. Remember those classic cuts by Todd Terry, Armand Van Helden, and Kenny Dope that mixed hard house and tribal with pure Big Apple attitude? Well, a tongue-in-cheek update of that banging-yet-classic vibe is what you can expect from Tony's new EP, Mr. Tough Guy, which comes out Tuesday, April 8 on T&B.
We've got the premiere of "The Sound," featuring vocal chops from our favorite "Jersey Club Kween" Uniique on da track. Plus here's an interview with ya boy Tone, who has also released on Main Course, Party Guy, and Top Billin. Aiiight?!
How did you get your name?
A really good family friend who is no longer with us… before I was born he used to joke saying that people would call me Tony Quattro because I'm a fourth (my dad is Anthony III). Nobody ended up calling me that growing up, but I came back to it when I needed an alias for my music.
What did the first ever track you made sound like and what was it inspiredby?
It sounded like a bad remix of "Rock to The Rhythm" by Lexicon, and was inspired by being broke and clueless the first summer I lived in NYC.
Who is your best friend that also does music and what are they like?
None of my best friends from growing up are pursuing music as a vocation now, so I'mma shout out my boy Poolboy92 who I met a couple years ago. The kid's from another universe really—he lives and plays by his own rules and is always inspired. Highly recommend checking him out if you haven't already.
What's the best environment to hear your music (real or imagined)?
Right now in New York City.
When and why did you live in London and how did it affect your sound?
I lived in London from ages 12-17. My dad had the opportunity to transfer there for work so we decided to do it. I didn't listen to dance music when I got there, but by the time I moved back to the States my favorite song was T2's "Heartbroken."
What is your favorite sound (or sounds) right now?
This track called "No Se Lo Que Dice" by Chito Rock.
Name three non-musical inspirations.
Harlem, kung-fu, and good hair.
What is your favorite kind of pizza and where is it from?
All my life I've been a pepperoni guy— I would throw in the occasional vegetable for the laugh—but for the past few years I've been doing straight plain. Favorite spot currently is a spot right by me in Harlem called Vittorios.
Who was your teen crush?
Only crush that comes to mind is a late-teen crush… and still a crush to date. Rashida Jones.
What is the most perfect song you've ever heard and why?
Hard to say one really. I personally think Led Zeppelin was as close to perfect as you can get in music.
What do you listen to when you want to #turndown?
D'Angelo (who is also perfect).
Tell me about one musical turning point for you.
Late last year I stopped playing the drums to focus solely on DJing and more importantly producing. It was tough for me because I've been playing drums all my life, and I had to break up with my band. Sounds pretty emo, but having to sacrifice something you love is always a drag.
Who is one up-and-coming artist you think we should look out for?
Sona Vabos, who is on Southern Fried and Main Course.
Why is your new EP called Mr. Tough Guy?
Bunch of silly reasons I won't get into but basically because I think it suits the overall vibe and attitude of the three tracks pretty well.
What movie or TV character do you most relate to and why?
Joe Pesci in everything.