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Sultan Records

Ok! So it looks as though the next few moths will be pretty awesome… I’ll list tour dates up until March, for now, but April will hopefully see me playing Berlin, Hamburg and then Scandinavia (I hope), then May a short KKBBQ run ending with some solo dates in the US (god, I hope Alaska works out).
In the meantime, these are the upcoming dates. If anything else gets added, even DJ shit, I’ll start posting.
If you are a book/promoter and wanna get me in the UK, Ireland, Scandinavia or elsewhere, write me.

Mark Sultan/BBQ:

JANUARY
23 – Strasbourg, FR: Mudd Club
24 – Valence, FR: Mistral Palace
25 – Bourges, FR: Beau Bar
27 – Toulouse, FR: Dispensary
29 – Zurich, SW: Bar 3000
30 – Geneva, SW: Bibarium
31 – Martigny, SW: Caves du Manoir

FEBRUARY
1 – Nimes, FR: Bada Bing
4 – Barcelona, SP: Milagrossa
5 – Zaragoza, SP: Lata de Bombillas
6 – Valencia, SP: La Llimera TBC
7 – Madrid, SP: Marvavillas
8 – San Sebastien, SP: Lurrazpiko @ Bukowski
11 – Pamplona, SP: Nebula
12 – La Rochelle, FR: Barbarella
14 – Perpignan, FR: UBU
15 – Marseilles, FR: Machine a Coudre
16 – St Etienne, FR: Thunderbird
18 – Brussels, BE: Madame Moustache
19 – Paris, Fr: Mechanique Ondulatoire
21 – Lille, FR: El Diablo
22 – Amsterdam, NL: Winter Sleaze @ Shell Toren
25 – Cologne, DE: Sonic Ballroom
26 – Munster, DE: Gleis 22
27 – Frankfurt, DE: Dreikonigskeller
28 – Antwerp, BE: Falk

MARCH
1 – Karlsruhe, DE: Alte Hackerei TBC
20 – Quebec City, QC: Cercle
21 – Montreal, QC: Divan Orange
22 – Toronto, ON: Silver Dollar
26 – Winnipeg, MN: Windsor Hotel
27 – Edmonton, AB: Wunderbar
28 – Calgary, AB: Broken City
29 – Vancouver, BC: Electric Owl

The King Khan & BBQ Show

JANUARY
11 – Berlin, DE: Bassy

Speaking of KKBBQ, fans of said band may be excited to hear that we will be recording a new album this month. We already have made up most of the songs and will be finishing the songlist this week. Titles and lyrics are retarded, music is rock’n’roll the way you like it.
We promise NO GRUNGE.
In solo news, In The Red just gave the go-ahead to a new 4-song EP that should be out sometime soon. It’s stuff I had recorded the music for in 2011, but added the vox in 2013 (I kinda forgot about the songs, actually). But they’re cool.
I also recorded some stuff with the Mojomatics guys in Italy. One song for now, but should be doing more soon.
And my band here in Berlin may even play a show, who knows. For fans of Texas psych and moody garage.
So ya, I’ll let you know if there are any DJ gigs or added shows. If not, I’ll start announcing April onwards very soon.
Thanks!
MARK

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I know I always say this, but holy shit it has been long since I updated this thing! A lot has happened since the last one, so let’s get to it…

So Khan and I went to Asia and played. Highlights included amazing soul food, drinking cobra blood, meeting great folks and seeing incredible things. Aside from some booking issues (the booking agency duped us hard), the trip was an absolute pleasure, and it was to some extent a way to mend mental wounds there from the last trip.
We then played in Australia. Great, great time. It’s always a blast playing out there. People were excited, as were we. We saw a lot of old friends and made new ones. Went to Perth, even! After all of that, I soldiered on for some solo gigs in OZ and got to go to New Zealand! NZ is as beautiful as they say, and the people are fantastic! The few shows I had were affected by a crazy, ‘rare’ storm (my luck is the best), but even still, I had a great time!
I really wanted to go into detail about cities and shows and people, but quite honestly, at this point, the memory of the tour also dredges up our anger over having not been paid at all by the booking agency).
Annnyyywwwaaayyyyssszz…

Things have been busy, since. I played a bunch of other shows in Italy. So much fun!! Finally got to go to Sicily, too. I played a couple shows in Poland and in Prague. I plan on doing more shows in the east next year. Really cool folks. Beautiful there, too. And Poland has fantastic vodka!

What else… Some songs I recorded in 2011 were supposed to see the light of day, but things changed. Four songs from the same sessions where I recorded ‘Oh! Summertime’. Maybe next year…

Oh! So I also moved to Berlin, where I had lived a bit years ago. And in living here, I hooked up with some old friends and we started a band. My intention was to start a band in which I just play drums. Write some songs, too. I was hoping to play stuff more 60s-style. The last time I did anything like that was years ago in a band I had called ‘Les Sexareenos’, and I miss it. So this new band, we wrote a bunch of songs. It sounds like Index/Human Expression/Seeds stuff. And at first I was really excited. But now I feel as though the world doesn’t need another ‘psych’ band. Even though ‘psych’ today is mostly bullshit, to me. Stuff that sounds like Britpop/Brian Jonestown – not psych. Stuff that is grunge – not psych. I even heard some new ‘psych’ hipster dude who sounds like fucking Spin Doctors – NOT FUCKING PSYCH. Is it because it may sound like some shit-ass Phish-style jamband shit?? I guess I just don’t get it, as I didn’t get when ‘rock’n’roll’ or ‘garage’ or ‘surf rock’ were catch-alls. Shove your delay pedals up your ass. I am willing to stop this new band just so my intentions are not misunderstood or cheapened. But I think you guys would have enjoyed it.

This year also saw a new album from my band with Bloodshot Bill, ‘The Ding-Dongs’, on Norton. It’s our second, and I am really happy with it! Real rock’n’roll. 16 songs. All originals. The problem is Norton doesn’t publicize, so I hope some folks find it and enjoy it. I don’t like wasting ideas and songs. It’s not like I want to sell millions, but it’s depressing when these albums just die. My goal is always to turn on a few folks to this kind of stuff in the hopes they check out everything that influenced me or my bands, so they can rejuvenate the music’s spirits. So find the damn thing! Download it!

http://exclaim.ca/News/mark_sultan_bloodshot_bill_team_up_for_new_ding-dongs_album

I think that sums up 2013 ok. I mean, ya, there were a few other shows here and there. Ah! I played at Barreiro Rocks fest in Portugal and that was a gooood time.
Khan and I started working on a new ‘King Khan & BBQ’ album. Or will it be Jumbo Lions? In any case, I’m here right now at his place and we’re about to write some more songs. I hope the album comes out next fall. We are planning on doing a 4-5 week North American tour, possibly in a package with old pals and some surprises. So keep an eye out!
Oh ya! LaLa Brooks covered one of our songs:

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/la-la-brooks-vows-whats-mine-is-yours-song-premiere-20131010

2014 also sees me doing another solo tour in Europe, this time everywhere but Italy. And then some Canadian shows in March. I planned on doing some UK shows, but I think now that it really is impossible. I hope to hit more cities in the east, go to Greece, back to Italy… who knows. I’ll go anywhere. Just write me. And look for KKBBQ doing some things here and there, too.
Ah! Big news for me! In 2014, sometime, In The Red will rerelease my ‘lost album’, $. The album had originally come out in 2010, but was impossible to find and treated like shit. At the time, clueless ‘afficiandos’ reviewed it and didn’t like it at all. But now that ‘psych’ is the big thing, and well-respected sites and tastemakers drool over it (while only really knowing such dreck as ‘Sgt Poopers’), maybe they will pretend to ‘get it’ this time around. The reissue will actually focus more on the fucked-up songs and there will be take changes and stuff. Artwork by Gary Panter! I’m stoked!

I guess that is about it for now. As soon as I get any new dates, I will totally post em. I hope to see you all at the shows. I am really good now. So check me out on tour. I have shed much of my negativity and it has made a big difference. You can focus now on my soul and not the chip on my shoulder (although it was salt n vinegar and very delicious).
Have a very Merry Christmas or whatever other nonsense you celebrate, and I hope your 2014 is really happy. Love yourself and your peoples. Success and hugs for all.
xo
MARK

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Not much to say here, but that these are the (I think) FINAL dates for The King Khan & BBQ Show’s upcoming tour in the SE Asia/Australia area. Following these shows will be Mark Sultan as BBQ playing New Zealand, and a select few Oz and Asia (perhaps) dates, to boot. Those dates will be posted later! Thanks!!

1st June – Bangkok, Thailand – Cosmic Club
2nd June – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – The Wknd
4th June – Osaka, Japan – Shinsaibashi Conpass
5th June – Tokyo, Japan – Shibuya O-Nest
6th June – Hong Kong – Hidden Agenda
7th June – Yogyakarta, Indonesia – Yes No Klub
9th June – Jakarta, Indonesia – SUPERBADD @ Secret Agents
11th June – Melbourne, Australia – The Tote
12th June – Melbourne, Australia – The Tote
13th June – Sydney, Australia – GoodGod Small Club
13th June – Sydney, Australia -shhhhhhh
14th June – Perth, Australia – Deville’s
15th June – Adelaide, Australia – Nexus

 

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YAAAAA

Well, I have to say… THAT was a fun tour! I am talking, of course, about that King Khan & BBQ Show tour we just completed. Everyone was singing along and excited. Shows were mainly soldout. There were some knobs who caused trouble, etc, and we DID get ripped off in our hometown (should never have expected less), but overall, we are really happy. I am not 100% sure if we will remain named ‘The King Khan & BBQ Show’, as there are way too many people who can’t check stuff online, are easily confused, or have ADD, but we will be recording again. As for touring, we’ll be in Australia and Asia starting the end of May – I will post dates when they become CERTAIN, but shit looks good! As for myself, HOZAC just put out my split with Black Lips. Go find it. The label-made cover seems to be a fuck you to both bands. I think I am also finally gonna finish a bunch of songs I started recording in late 2011. Look for that. Also, look for a new Ding-Dongs LP and some 45s. REALLY good stuff. Solo, I will be on tour in New Zealand after the KKBBQ dates, and off to India to record. I now live in Berlin. See you there!
MARK

 

PHOTO BY – Pooneh Ghana

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BIP BOP BIP!

It’s so nice to be home, in Montreal!

Well, that was a fun tour. It was long, too! But it was cool, I that I was able to drive around a lot of the continent with my gf, who has only seen select parts of this wonderful wasteland. I wanna thank everyone who came out to support me and who enjoyed the shows, etc… Out of the shitload of shows that I had managed to play, I only got dicked around once or twice. I think people find that route easy when someone is booking themselves and being ‘DIY’ – sometimes promoters think they won’t incur the same wrath they would if they had fucked with a booking agent. Problem is that I know a lot of people, and love revenge. I tried Las Vegas, even after everyone told me not to, and got kicked in the cunt. New York was a mess. Both times I tried, something happened, the second time I was just deemed ‘uncool’ or whatever, and that’s fine. But ya, the US, for all of its social woes, is an impressive – and often beautiful – country to drive through. I’ve done it a million times, but when you are with people who haven’t seen it (like most things), you develop a newfound appreciation for it.

Alas, I will be paring my one-man band shows down in the future, as I will be mostly chilling out, doing other bands, and being in Europe. Again, thanks to those who ‘get it’, and still a big ‘suck it’ to those who only like my music when it’s in another context.

I gotta say, speaking of other contexts, it was an absolute pleasure playing some US shows with my best pal King Khan. Given all the crap that was said between us, about us, and TO us, finally getting to play a little tour in the US, hanging out, revisiting hijinks etc… was a blast. Thanks to everyone who came out to those shows, and thanks to everyone who allowed my own dates to be shuffled to accommodate these ones. Class.

It was cool to play the Midwest. People were appreciative and really made us feel welcome. I was so stoked that my new car, my Subaru Outback (Cruncher), was so able to make the whole trek, with only a couple of oil changes. Count me as a big fan. But ya, me and Khan have fully rediscovered our love for the music we make, and even if I am invisible in this band no matter what I do, I love playing in it and love the energy we can create. And it seems to make people happy. Well, maybe they will be happier to know that it seems we will be back in the US in April. As well as visiting Australia and Asia, possibly in the summer. With a few European shows thrown in for good measure. Stoked! I think we’ll also be recording a bit, too.

This is all barring end times.

xoxo

MARK

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RIP – CHOMPMASTER 2012-2012

And so, a true champion, my 1999 Suzuki wagon, Chompmaster, was passed along to another family this past week. What a great dude. Be well.

But there is some better news – there always is. I just got back from a really cool trip to Europe, via Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean. I gotta say, I had been pretty hesitant about the trip, in general. I had started thinking of booking the European leg MONTHS prior, but then had seemingly forgotten or lost interest. So the few dates I had booked, I cancelled, and then kinda lazily booked some other shit ‘in case’. Not many shows, but the shows I did manage to get on my own and thru Kamal and Jonk were pretty fun. I don’t attract people in droves, but generally people are very happy and enthusiastic, now. They are open to my ‘performance’, and mostly ‘get’ where I am coming from. The reactions, sometimes, were really cool – I felt almost like an ‘artist’ (for good or bad), like the music was being heard. I had a good time. What made it all the more entertaining was that the only car I was able to rent (automatic transmission) to drive myself on tour was a 2012/13 BMW sportscar thingy; I’d roll into town and have people rolling their eyes at Mark Sultan ‘the diva asshole’ (as I am known to some) being a Bobo cunt… Best car I have ever driven!

I’m excited to go back in the spring to do a bigger tour and have even more good times.

CLICK ON THE ABOVE PHOTO!!!!

The trip also marked a spiritual reconnect with my brother King Khan and his wonderful family. My woman and I stayed for almost two weeks, and it was really nice to be back. And then we practiced and made some new songs. It felt like 2003 all over again. Real inspiring and electric. And then ‘The King Khan & BBQ Show’ played in Berlin at Festsaal. It was a great show! We played a million songs and the energy in the room was crackling. The show was almost like a little test – could we tour again? Can we record? Stand each other? YES. And I am proud to announce that we, in fact, will be playing a string of super last-minute US shows in late November/early December (dates are below). Let me clarify – some dates are begrudgingly gonna be done thru sponsors. This was not my idea or something I am comfortable with, but this is a democracy, and I understand these shows are being done last-minute for reasons more important than my usual holier-than-thou bullshit could sway. Beside that, I can honestly say that the energy is very much like what we could achieve at our peak a few years back, cuz we love each other and are excited about the music again. So tell your friends. We are one of the greatest rock’n’roll bands of this century. True story.

Back to my trip to Reunion: what a great experience. So, Reunion is an island off of Madagascar owned by France. It’s Dodo lived on neighbouring Mauritius, apparently, which I had no idea about, even though my tour shirts had a Dodo on them (?!). It’s tropical, has shark attacks on its beautiful beaches, has a giant volcano or two (one of which I climbed), cool waterfalls, great food, Creole folks (I played a school to some pretty unimpressed teens, but probably made at least one kid think for a sec, which was awesome), and the usual white folks listening to Bob Marley and playing hacky sack. It was great! Lagoons, whales, great food… Ok, the shows were kinda weird, but the experience was something I will always remember. Thanks Olivier and your wonderful family! People always tell me how ‘lucky’ I am, that I can travel all of the time, and live how I want. My usual response is that I work(ed) hard for the meagre ‘career’ I have, that I sacrificed a lot to aggressively pursue the thing I loved, that anyone can do what they want. But ya, sometimes I do agree: I am pretty lucky.

Thanks to everyone for their continued support.
Here are the upcoming Tour Dates!

OCTOBER
26th – Providence, RI – Dusk
27th – Manhattan, NYC – Boat Show
30th – Durham, NC – Motorco
31st – Asheville, NC – The Get Down

 

NOVEMBER
1st – Atlanta, GA – Star Bar
3rd – New Orleans, LA – Siberia
5th – Austin, TX – Beerland
8th – Las Vegas, NV – Beauty Bar
9th – Desert Hot Springs, CA – Dillon’s Roadhouse
10th – Los Angeles, CA – Blue Star
12th – Monterey, CA – Golden State Theatre
13th – San Francisco, CA – The Knockout
16th – Seattle, WA – Rendezvous
17th – Vancouver, BC – Astoria
19th – Calgary, AB – The Commonwealth
20th – Edmonton, AB – Wunderbar
22nd – Winnipeg, MN – Windsor Hotel
23rd – Fargo, ND – The Aquarium
24th – St Paul, MN – Turf Club **
26th – Chicago, IL – Empty Bottle **
28th – Omaha, NE – The Slowdown **
29th – Iowa City, IA – The Mill **
30th – St Louis, MO – Off Broadway **

 

DECEMBER
1st – Bloomington, IN – Russian Recording**
3rd – Nashville, TN – Exit/In**
4th – Columbus, OH – Ace Of Cups**
5th – Ann Arbor, MI – Blind Pig**
7th – Brooklyn, NY – Union Pool
8th – Boston, MA – Starlab
15th – Montreal, QC – Casa del Popolo

 

** as ‘The King Khan & BBQ Show’


 

Yes, I am touring again. This time, I am excited to be crossing a lot of the continent to show folks that I have hit my stride! I AM pretty good at what I do, now, and will not be making oompah beats, shouting monotone into a 50′s replica mic while wearing a mask – i will be performing MUSIC and ‘art’! Like a band! Real, assorted rock’n'roll jams, real songs, non-stop, chaotic, stream-of-consciousness soul. Come join me. If you don’t like it or if it bores you, np, there’s always the bar to chat at – just give it a chance. But if you slip into the ether with me, I promise an experience, as well as my heart. Deal? Deal.
I carry the antibody, it just isn’t televised.

This past summer was a busy time for Mark Sultan. After playing the beachtowns of Reunion Island, off of Madagascar, climbing volcanoes and headbutting marine life, he toured Europe and blew a couple of minds. Considered be some as one of the best one-man bands in the world by some, he further separated himself from the pack at these recent shows. An upcoming US tour sees him guesting at Carnegie Hall and playing on the Hudson River in the same night, then crossing the continent like a maniac. One of the finest voices in many years, with an endless thread of musical gems. Do not miss out.

‘The War On Rock N Roll’ Is Available Through In The Red Records
Or As A Free Download At:
http://www.mediafire.com/?ig369z6yv31qja3

 

…a criminally underappreciated garage rock cult hero who puts on a one-man-band live show so sincerely passionate that he makes most primitive rock ’n’ roll revivalists look like cynical imposters….anyone who believes in him needs to pick up this one-take improvised stream-of-consciousness limited-edition live album…deranged but brilliant
NOW Toronto

 

Listen to exclusive track, ‘Oh, Summertime’, on RollingStone.com
http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/mark-sultan-oh-summertime-20120524

 

There are no gimmicks, and his heart is on the line. This really is art and it may be respectable, but it’s got the sexual primitivism of old rock’n'roll without sacrificing heart, earworms or intensity. Not only does he sound like a whole band, but his disregard for conventional time signatures, uniformity and concert structure, makes the show all the more special, as does his disembodied and soulful vocals. An absolute must.
We Crime, Belgium

…wildly prolific…what differentiates his stuff is his genuine sense of tune-craft….
LA Weekly

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29th – Saint Paul, La Réunion – La Cerise
30th – Saint Leu, La Réunion – Le Nez Rouge
31st – 3 Bassins, La Réunion – Camion Bar

1st – Saint Denis, La Réunion – Les Pot’irons
5th – RENNES, FR – Chez Miche Hell (Ex La Paillotte)
6th – NANTES, FR – Stakhanov
7th – BORDEAUX, FR – Café Pompier
8th – PARIS, FR – Espace B
12th – BRUSSELS, BE – Madame Moustache
14th – MUNSTER, DE – Gleis 22
15th – MIDDELBURG, NL – Kaffee t’ Hof
16th – TILBURG, NL – Incubate Festival
21st – MALMO, SE – Debaser
22nd – GOTHENBURG – Henriksberg, Showdown
27th – BERLIN, DE – Festsaal Kreuzberg*

* as ‘The King Khan & BBQ Show’

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http://i2.listal.com/image/1374411/936full-scanners-screenshot.jpg

IT’S NEVER TOO LATE to write something about my recent tours… They were awesome, for the most part! I really feel I have turned a corner. From the looks of things, the people who come to the shows now are enthusiastic and happy about the music, open to the experience, for good or bad. They appreciate it, and genuinely aren’t trying to be ‘cool’. Some folks don’t enjoy it, sometimes, but a lot do, asking for hugs and throwing flowers. Smiling, making out… Dude from ‘Outer Minds’ threw a beer can at me in Chicago, but they’re ‘big time’, so I should be honoured. Great show, tho. Thanks to Billiams for setting me up with overnight parking and plowing me with libations. I think the only bummer was in Memphis. Nothing will change if people wanna cannibalize fellow musicians, and only share similarly shitty promoter experiences in private. Anyway, I’m over it. It’s still an awesome city. But ya, super happy about how 99% of places were happy to welcome me. It felt good. It also made me happy to be in those places, a few of which I had never been to, or hadn’t been to in a while. They were a pleasure to play. I have to apologize for both St. Paul and Omaha. I started the last mini-tour having not fully gotten over a throat infection from the previous tour, so by the time I hit St. Paul, my voice was shot. I tried very hard to get through it as best I could, but it certainly wasn’t 100%, so I hope you guys allow me back one day to play at my best. And because of all of this, I ended up having to sacrifice Omaha to make sure I could finish out the rest of the dates. Sorry. I’ll gladly come back if anyone cares to have me. There were a few lessons I hard-headedly learned. One MAJOR one was (I can’t believe I hadn’t learned this one yet): do not drive yourself and play. On top of the obvious fatigue issues, goddamn is being sober a drag on tour!! It actually, sadly, impeded me, sometimes, from playing as hard as I wanted to. So places like Columbus: I’ll be back, drunk with a vengeance. But at least I had my tour manager, Jo Murray, along for the ride. Totally helped my sanity. Thanks. I also got to go to Montreal and play my first solo show there for 5 years or something. While, disappointingly, some of the friends I expected to see didn’t show up (my show was the sacrificial lamb to some, being sandwiched between a Reigning Sound and Sexareenos show, before and after, and also, perhaps, just not as ‘cool’ without Khan, to some), the place was full and people were bursting with love. A few folks were blown away, because they had envisioned something lesser. I felt fantastic afterwards and partied old-Montreal style with people I love. The Sexareenos show was fun, too, but we went on way too late for where the venue was located. The trip to Montreal was also for me to make a decision once and for all. So, ya, moving back to my homeland. Very excited! I talked to Khan yesterday, and we’re both really stoked for these two Canadian dates in 2 weeks. They are gonna be over-the-top and fun. I think the familial hatred we had between us has long since dissipated, luckily. Blood-bonds of surrealist chaos are hard to break. We may do a show in Berlin in September, too, IF I make it out to Europe to do my mini-tour there, including Reunion Island off of Madagascar. And I am working on Oz/NZ/Asia for the fall. These dates will be up soon.

Here’s a link on Rollingstone.com to a new song I did a month or so back, part of a new bunch that I have to finish… It’s called ‘Oh, Summertime‘:

In the meantime, here’s what’s coming up – not tons, but I need time to record a new album and start on my novel.

MARK SULTAN/BBQ:

Friday, July 6th : Moncton, NB – The Manhattan
Saturday, July 7th : Halifax, NS – Michael’s
Friday, August 17th : San Diego, CA – Radfest!

DJING!!!

Friday, August 10th : Manhattan, NYC – Home Sweet Home w/Jonathan Toubin!
Saturday, August 18th : San Diego, CA – Radfest! Pool Party!

THE KING KHAN & BBQ SHOW:

Friday, July 13th : Toronto, ON – Lee’s Palace
Saturday, July 14th : Vancouver, BC – The Biltmore (early show)

LES SEXAREENOS:

Friday, August 24th : Montreal, QC – Olympic Stadium (!?)

THE DING-DONGS

Saturday, August 25th : TBC*

* I still haven’t asked the other guys. I just wanna do a show. :p

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DATES:

Mark Sultan/BBQ

May 23rd: Detroit, MI – PJ’s Lager House
May 24th: Chicago, IL – Empty Bottle
May 25th: Milwaukee, WI – Cactus Club
May 26th: Minneapolis, MN – Turf Club
May 28th: Omaha, NE – Slowdown
May 29th: Oklahoma City, OK – Blue Note
May 31st: Dallas, TX – City Tavern
June 1st: Austin, TX – Scoot-Inn (Chaos In Tejas)
June 2nd: Houston, TX – Continental Club
June 4th: Memphis, TN – Hi-Tone
June 5th: Nashville, TN – Zombie Shop
June 7th: Cincinnati, OH – Motr
June 8th: Columbus, OH – Ace Of Cups
June 9th: Cleveland, OH – Beachland Ballroom
June 15th: Montreal, QC – Sala Rosa (Suoni Del Popolo)
July 6th: Moncton, NB – The Manhattan
July 7th: Halifax, NS – Michael’s Bar

Les Sexareenos

June 16th: Montreal, QC – Il Motore (Suoni Del Popolo)

The King Khan & BBQ Show

July 13th: Toronto, ON – Lee’s Palace
July 14th: Vancouver, BC – Biltmore

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Long time no speak!
I just got back home to Toronto, where apartments changed while I was away… Brand new place! Pretty sweet! Loved ones and friends helped make it possible, and I am very much appreciative.

But ya, I was on tour in the US. The tour was supposed to coincide with the release of my ‘War On Rock n Roll’ LP, but due to problems at the plant (and my luck), shit was delayed. In any case, it was cool and fun (mostly) to play some places I had never been, AND the LP is finally out now! There were good times and bad. You may have noticed I took down my Facebook page. It was a longtime coming. The last straw was a post-Puerto Rico teenage gossip/bullshit blowout, started by angry hipsters, confused and ill-informed people who weren’t even at the show, and boy-band ‘fans’ – it felt like I had Britney Spears crazies on my back. People have asked what had happened in Puerto Rico. Let me explain…

I started this little journey in Florida. The shows were fun, but small. I think people have expectations sometimes that these shows will be massive, due especially to the fact that I was in ‘The King Khan & BBQ Show’ and due to Khan’s popularity. Well, that all sounds reasonable, until you realize that most people don’t care about music, so much as image and ‘cool’, etc… Khan and I will always be brothers, and in fact are playing 2 Canadian dates together in July (Toronto & Vancouver), but I will be the first to admit that his persona is far more entertaining and accessible than mine will ever be. Dude worked his ass off to solidify his persona as ‘iconic’ as you can get in the ‘garage rock’ world. The Shrines most certainly paid their dues to get where they are, and are a super-top-notch band. They are awesome. Put them together, and you have something amazing.

King Khan & The Shrines always did very well in Europe, but had never done that well in the USA, having never been, nor having anything released there. This is where I enter. I was going by the monicker of ‘BBQ’ for a few years, having released an album in Germany and also one on ‘Bomp! Records’, before releasing anything with Khan. The ‘BBQ’ name was why the band was ‘The King Khan & BBQ Show’ and not ‘King Khan & The BBQ Show’ – plain as day on ANY release, but most folks who do the hyping in this world don’t pay attention to detail or reality, or even buy music.

So, originally, we were two guys in a band, Khan being the extroverted entertainer, and I, taking on the role of the grumpy introvert. Our goal was always to exaggerate our inherent personalities to maximize the yin-yang of it all, and make something magickal. What happened was that most people were taken aback by Khan’s antics (which were awesome, admittedly), and invisibility set in for me – which was ok, at the time, as I tried focusing more on the songwriting side, and singing my ass off. I am the kind of person who can only be himself – it’s to my detriment. So ya, I figured the songs i wrote and sang would be ‘my’ star, and it seemed as though the music held some importance while we were playing, as people sang along, etc… But as the band ‘grew’, and as more folks came to shows, it became more and more obvious that people were either there to be ‘seen’ or to play dress-up for a night – the music was secondary, at best. I am unsure as to whether or not people actually care about this music, these songs, or need to have the music presented in another context to enjoy it – tho it’s the exact same music in any situation. Like the Pepsi challenge. But more embarrassing.

I just did an interview today, and people still mention The King Khan & BBQ Show. Fair enough, and I am good with talking about the band I was in and wrote and performed great songs with. I know that I don’t have the ‘cache’ on my own, but listen to the music before you cast your apathy, and realize that in the same way you mention me in association with KKBBQ, I continue to write and sing from the same place that brought you a lot of that stuff (which you supposedly ‘love’). And that’s what it’s all about, not the band so much, but my connection with a band I am VERY proud to have played in, but that most people reference not even knowing much about it, cuz they feel they have to.

In fact, most folks don’t even know I was in that band or that I made this same music before it, or if they DO know, seem to think I was ‘The BBQ Show’ – like Khan’s ‘other’ back-up band, like I didn’t write or sing a bunch of stuff. It was frustrating at times, but never soul-crushing. We helped open the floodgates for The Shrines stranglehold on the US, sometimes as festivals, magazines, etc couldn’t differentiate between KKBBQ and the Shrines, as they just saw the King Khan name and didn’t actually care about or listened to the music. They just followed the trail of hype. A good example was the Pitchfork festival using a song I had wrote and sang in the King Khan & BBQ Show (‘I’ll Never Belong’), as a King Khan & The Shrines song on their Pitchfork Festival promo CD. Nice! Particularly awesome since they always slag my shit. That all being said, I have been privvy to both sides of things in my life, having played big fests, and even sucking at the corporate tit. I just didn’t enjoy it. In a perfect world, everybody would be so lucky as to see a band as great as King Khan & The Shrines because of what they are.

I am unsure of what exactly Vice or anyone else did to cloud the differences of the two bands, but I have a feeling a lot of what our band did and achieved was absorbed as passes for The Shrines move (to the gain of bigger entities) into the imagination of the North American hype-o-sphere – and, again, this is not to take away from what KK & The Shrines are as an awesome, powerhouse band. They deserve respect and success. I just think my own contribution in MY band was used as some fuel – a push – for this other juggernaut. Conversely, people later came to a KKBBQ show and were pissed at me cuz I wasn’t the Shrines (learn how to read or know what you like)! This is what media does. It champions someone or something and created a mythos built on some truth/some bullshit. It asks the tastemakers and youth markets what they want, and gussies it all up to make more money for whomever.

I am temporarily stuck as the footnote to the story (but I do believe when the hipster dust settles, years from now, the important MUSIC will be eternal, and I do think some of my stuff IS important enough to live on), which is ok. I never foresaw my ‘career’ as ever catering to massive crowds. ‘Garage rock’ has always been small-scale music to me, and is on one level a reason I always come back to it. I try to be as honest as possible. Capturing the imagination of a trust-fund asshole and his slumming peers for a year or two, while I act like a clown for their private party is NOT what I ever wanted to be doing. I don’t need the approval of magazines and blogs and their dangerous tunnelvision. And I am OKAY WITH THIS. I have chosen (but also have been relegated, to an extent) to walk the smaller path.

So Florida was weird, but fun. I hit Miami and played a discotheque, and had sound issues. I dunno… I let the hatred get the better of me and really put on a bad performance, which was abusive and subpar. I, unfortunately, lose control, sometimes, and am ‘unprofessional’ and ruinous, mean and disrespectful. And then I am disappointed in myself… Conversely, I can be very charming, generous, funny and kind. I can play an awesome, glowing and inspiring show. This happens more often than not, but negativity makes good chit-chat and can be used as fodder to tighten sheep/mob allegiance, so you won’t hear of it. At this point on tour, I also had a lot of personal shit going down, which was seeping into my musical being. And that sucks and is my fault.

Next day, I flew out to San Juan, and was SUPER stoked. I was hoping this would cleanse my brain. I also had such a great time last time I was there; met great folks, ate well, saw so many amazing things… So I got there, and everything was cool. One thing was that my Florida driver came along cuz he wanted to, and even tho he said he would be invisible, wasn’t, and added stress, and in the end, the dude said a lot of weird shit about me/to me, even though I never said I was a travel-agent or babysitter. No hard feelings, though.

My show was bumped from the Saturday to the Sunday, and I had only heard of this a week before (or less), and that kind of bummed me out, cuz I could have played a Saturday show in Florida or something. But I was assured it was for the best, cuz there was a very popular Salsa show happening on Saturday. My friends got me in, and yes, the show was fantastic! But it was also 25$, and I really didn’t see any people there who would be at one of my shows. I thought maybe it was cuz one of the promoters just wanted to go. Fair enough, but the assumption left a bad taste in my mouth the next day (Sunday), when the show, which was supposed to start at 6pm, only started closer to 9 or 10.

The bar I played was really nice and the owner-guy was, also. But I was slipping into darkness as I saw Los Vigilantes play (who were really great) with no real working mics, etc… I knew what was coming… As I set up, they informed me that the soundman had taken off and they would have to do something. My usual set up of splitting between bass and guitar amp would have to be nixed, as I borrowed a small guitar amp. Already my sound was thinning out. And then the broken vocal micstands. Not enough mics for equipent. Then the feedback, and smiles from the promoters etc… What you have to understand is that I have been in that situation a billion times, and that the idea of ‘this is punk!’ doesn’t escape me, but it DOESN’T MAKE IT OK. I am in Puerto Rico. I flew out to play, and am fighting sound, which although beneficial to a ‘punk band’, doesn’t work for mine. I rely on my voice and melody to carry stuff, for example. And again, I have been down this road a million times. Just not into it.

So we all start trying to figure out stuff and I hear someone laugh, and perhaps wrongly, think it’s directed at me. This causes me to start being really surly. I dunno if it’s the thought of being alone, so far away from home or what, but I start saying dumb shit like ‘Go fuck a turtle’ and the inane ‘I’ll eat the shit off of your Grandma’s cunt’. What does it mean? Your guess is as good as mine. What I will say is that it was rude and stupid of me. BUT I played a seemingly intense and GREAT show, aside from calling dudes ‘cunts’ etc… I was enraged, but a lot of what I was doing was your boring, run-of-the-mill, punk baiting. The reaction from these white-belt ‘punks’ who were so ‘punk’ about my ‘punk’ sound issues was very surprising – they seemed betrayed or something. Afterwards, I got into some verbal shit, unfairly, with the seriously awesome Carlos (Davila 666) and his beautiful girl, Minina. I decided (as did they), that it was best I leave – I got the boot. So I then said ‘fuck it’, and decided to leave the island, altogether, bummed and upset at myself. I left the next day. I remain very sorry for a lot of my behaviour.

Next thing I know, I am on Facebook, and I started getting a bunch of angry messages, at first from local, thin-skinned hipsters, then Davila 666 members and their little fanclub of ‘cool’ knobs. Listen to me very closely: I will fully admit that I said a lot of terrible things at the show. Sure. BUT what kind of GARBAGE were these fucking fake-ass, hipster, corporate-cock-sucking, trend-hopping cunts in Davila 666 saying and spreading? That all of my bullshit was a PERSONAL ATTACK on Puerto Rico, that I am racist (!!), etc… Absolutely wrong, dangerous and irresponsible. One of the cunts even Facebooked me death-threats (not the only one) and talked shit about my Mom, Canada, called me a ‘white bitch’ and ‘gringo’ racist (?!?!?). This ‘punk’ band, that fucking relies on hipster-assed ‘gringos’ to listen to their fake-assed prefab music, is calling me out??? When I was right there, alone, and he didn’t say shit to my face? Add onto that ANOTHER member of this flavor-of-the-week, meat-grinder-of-popular-and-obvious-modern-influence-into-pap, BULLSHIT band, who had told me the night before he didn’t even listen to or LIKE ‘garage rock’, telling me how they (Davila 666) had been making this music as long as I have, telling me I am bitter cuz I live under Khan’s shadow, that all I do is rip off 60’s R&B stuff, that I am delusional, that they have soooo many friends, etc…

Let me address this all, right now: I am only bitter that these shit-ass bands are able to exist and defecate all over a scene people like myself, my friends, my heroes, my peers and even my enemies built up and/or celebrated, with love. That you think having tons of friends means anything to you says it all: who gives a fuck??? You suck cocks so you can step stones. ‘Success’ to these kinds of bands is all about some delusional notion of ‘fame’ (albeit, SO FUCKING SMALL SCALE), making fast friends, sponsors, money, doing drugs (woooowwwwwww, mannnn), and all of the other bullshit accoutrements associated with fucking mainstream idealism which many in this fucking scene have been fighting against for years – striving to ‘make it’ is fucking SHIT. Case fucking closed. I don’t live in shadows, cuz I don’t fucking worry about popularity and friends and obsess over media coverage and clothes and bullshit. I have faith in my MUSIC. I am NOT a politician. I am a musician. Your band name… You fucking covered ‘Hangin On The Telephone’!!! ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS???

When a kid discovers music that affects his or her heart in 20 years from now, it may not be mine, but it certainly won’t be the aural Rubik’s Cube that these bands are. Fucking PUTRID, trendy bullshit. And you seriously think you have paid dues, done this as long as I? Really?! I have DESTROYED myself for this music for YEARS, because I NEED to, to SURVIVE, to keep a semblance of sanity. Not to wear white fucking sunglasses. You think all I do is 60’s R&B ripoffs? I have released so much stuff, touching upon so much shit that I love… I can’t even begin to entertain the fucking gall of that statement. So these ‘punks’ threaten me. They disrespected me and my family. Why? Cuz I was rude at a show.

Fuck all of these ‘bands’. Seriously. When you decide to make a gothic swing/ska dubstep album, I will STILL be RIGHT HERE, sleeping on floors and playing my heart out to a rock’n’roll beat. All of you who are playing to ‘make it’, to mirror the mainstream: enjoy your slumming, but do NOT fuck with me. You may not even realize how much I affected and influenced your own music (seriously, you may wanna actually take a listen to my catalog, or listen to stuff, in general, more than 3 years old), cuz your information was disseminated in the same way your band’s name and music is: stupidly, ruthlessly and wrongly, immediacy being the name of the game. You will soon find something else, running with daddy’s money onto the next thing, glowsticks in hand. I sometimes almost regret being a dick at shows or to certain people – it isn’t fair or right of me. But then I realize most of the people and acts people like are smiling on the outside and shaking and lubing your hand, while stabbing at your very soul.
You wanna let this continue or can we stop it all NOW?

Let me be very clear about my thoughts on Puerto Rico: I wanted to go back because I thought it was beautiful and urban-idyllic. That folks were really very nice and hospitable. That the culture is amazing. AND I STILL DO, regardless of the whiny bullshit, the threats, the ‘punk attitude’, I have to endure. My name is Marco Antonio Pepe. I am from Montreal, Canada. The same lexicon of racism you throw me into as a ‘gringo’ is wrong, and ultimately racist on its own. I am a rock’n’roller. I am a punk rocker. I am a hobo. An explorer. An asshole at times, but I am a real person.

So here I am… I go on tour again in a week. I am very excited to play newer places, meet new folks, turn some people on, anger some, but ultimately to play my music, for good or bad. I will let my music do the talking. If you like it, cool. If not, no problem. I realize that you can read this, call me a bitter fuck, or even an elitist myself. I would argue that. Bitter? Nah, maybe a few years ago, but I am happy man now, having walked thru a tunnel. Just disappointed. I’m all for progress and change, but I need to believe in things. Elitist? No way. Show me a kid who just discovered Black Lips or Sonics or whatever, and I am stoked. Cuz at that nascent stage, the kid is being genuine. And can flip that interest into something that transcends the moment. That kid could be the next Eddie Cochran. Who knows? And I would be sooo happy to have the luck of my music meaning something to that one kid. Maybe a few of my songs will be comped as obscurities and cherished by someone as I did many of my own inspirations. That would mean the world.

Do you know who started the whole myth that only hipsters call other folks hipsters? Hipsters. Actual hipsters. Or those memes making fun of folks who liked stuff ‘before it was cool’? Hipsters, or people who never had the nerve to like something without peer approval. Because, like it or not, when something is sullied, it starts sucking. Have you ever heard someone say ‘I was IPod DJing before it was cool’? No. Cuz it isn’t cool. And these dudes have to make fun of people they shit upon to excuse themselves. I have worn the same clothes for 17 years and burned many a bridge to be writing this today. I was never ‘cool’, nor were a lot of my friends or one-hit heroes I grew up listening to. And that is totally cool by me. I don’t have a fan club on my side, nor conglomerates holding my hand, nor a throng of popular scenesters backing me up. I do most everything myself. For love and necessity.
You have my word that I will try my best.
This is officially my War On Rock n Roll.

-Mark

DATES:

Mark Sultan/BBQ
May 23rd: Detroit, MI – PJ’s Lager House
May 24th: Chicago, IL – Empty Bottle
May 25th: Milwaukee, WI – Cactus Club
May 26th: Minneapolis, MN – Turf Club
May 28th: Omaha, NE – Slowdown
May 29th: Oklahoma City, OK – Blue Note
May 31st: Dallas, TX – City Tavern
June 1st: Austin, TX – Scoot-Inn (Chaos In Tejas)
June 2nd: Houston, TX – Continental Club
June 4th: Memphis, TN – Hi-Tone
June 5th: Nashville, TN – Zombie Shop
June 7th: Cincinnati, OH – Motr
June 8th: Columbus, OH – Ace Of Cups
June 9th: Cleveland, OH – Beachland Ballroom
June 15th: Montreal, QC – Sala Rosa (Suoni Del Popolo)
July 6th: Moncton, NB – The Manhattan
July 7th: Halifax, NS – Michael’s Bar

Les Sexareenos
June 16th: Montreal, QC – Il Motore (Suoni Del Popolo)

The King Khan & BBQ Show
July 13th: Toronto, ON – Lee’s Palace
July 14th: Vancouver, BC – Biltmore

EUROPEAN DATES for AUGUST/SEPTEMBER coming SOON

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