King Khan & the Shrines Have Answers
"The record was released in Europe and sold as an import in North America," explains front-man and namesake King Khan. "It got loads of great reviews all over. I think it is the best record we have done so far and I am glad to bring it on home, finally."
"We're super happy with what happened last year with Supreme Genius," says East German-born trumpet player Simon Wojan, who is also well chuffed with the band's upcoming North American tour this spring. "There are not a lot of German bands, especially rock bands, that get to tour [in North America] and we're pretty happy that we're able to do this."
Montreal-born Khan now calls Berlin home, Wojan lives in Cologne and the rest of the band are scattered throughout France and Germany. The geographical divide makes practicing a complicated feat at best; the band generally get together the day before a tour to regroup and manage to squeeze in most of their rehearsals while on the road. But as anyone who has ever witnessed King Khan & the Shrines in concert can attest, you certainly wouldn't know it to hear them.
The North American version of What Is?! will include a bonus mockumentary, which was actually created as a final project for film school.
"It is a short faux documentary film made by Miriam Glaser," says Khan. "She was a big fan of the band and asked to make a film about us. I did not know if it was going to be good, so I asked to be killed in the beginning and resurrected at the end so that I would not have a major role in it."
Spoiler alert! "Khan dies onstage and goes to some kind of purgatory," says Wojan. "With a kind of voodoo, he talks to us with his mind. We revive him, but we make a little mistake and he comes back as a Bavarian folk musician. He's totally cheesy and really awkward and we decide not to play with him anymore. That's the basic idea. I'm not sure how they edited it. I haven't seen it yet."
While the Shrines' sound is heavily influenced by '60s garage/soul/psych/freakbeat, Khan insists that his musical revivalism is merely an amusing departure from a life that is downright gosh-darned ordinary. "I make sure that even the change in my pocket is pre-1969. That's how strong my love is," he jokes. "Actually, besides my refusal to own a cell phone and my love of postcards, I am a pretty modern guy. I wear Oakley wraparounds and ride a Segway all day. At night, I like to slip into a mankini and play with my Wii... euh, I just puked in my mouth a little bit."
FeaturesFeb 05, 2015
Viet CongShadow of Winter
"I hope that people who liked that shit mix of songs will like this new record." You could say Matt Flegel is a little biased towards his ne...
FeaturesFeb 04, 2015
Dan ManganNo More Mr. Nice Guy (Oh Who Are We Kidding?)
"Part of the 'Dan Mangan' thing is being this super, super nice guy," reflects the man in question. "It's not that I'm no longer nice, but I...
FeaturesNov 05, 2014
Jessie WareThe Storyteller
In September, Jessie Ware had the opportunity to do what every Kate Bush fan had been waiting more than three decades for: to witness the le...
FeaturesNov 04, 2014
Hey Rosetta!Their Aim Is True
An album is a lot like an arrow. You can spend years designing, crafting and perfecting it, but, at some point, you're going to have to let ...