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."
FeaturesSep 02, 2015
FIDLARFast, Cheap and Back In Control
Beer. Cigarettes. Weed. Speed. Meth. Heroin. "Eight-balls of blow." Crack. These were just some of the substances Zac Carper mentioned on FI...
FeaturesAug 26, 2015
Beach HouseAll Natural
When Beach House announced their fifth album, Depression Cherry, back in May, Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand described it — in their...
FeaturesAug 21, 2015
Fred PennerAll My Children
It's been a good while since Fred Penner was on television, but these days, he's having a bit of a moment. He plays festivals regularly; he'...
FeaturesAug 20, 2015
The Exclaim! QuestionnaireCarly Rae Jepsen
Carly Rae Jepsen could have been a one-hit wonder. When the British Columbian singer/songwriter released a single titled "Call Me Maybe" ...
FeaturesAug 19, 2015
Coeur de pirateMap of the Heart
"All my fears and anxieties and all that crap that humans go through — I didn't face them because I was so busy putting my energy into...
FeaturesAug 10, 2015
Steam Whistle Unsigned presents Exclaim!'s Time Festival Preview
Steam Whistle Unsigned — the Canada-wide concert series promoting up-and-coming artists from across our nation — will return lat...
FeaturesJul 29, 2015
Titus AndronicusAmbition In Five Acts
Since Patrick Stickles rose up with fists held high in July 2005 as frontman for Titus Andronicus, he and the band have done nothing half-as...
FeaturesJul 06, 2015
BullyYouth and the Old School
Ask any musician who grew up listening to Nirvana, the Breeders or PJ Harvey what studio they'd love to record their debut album in, and cha...