An Interview with King Khan, the Beetlejuice of Rock 'n' Roll
  • THURSDAY, JULY 19, 2012

  • Posted by: Andrew Gruttadaro

If you know who King Khan is, it's for one of two reasons: either a familiarity with his soul-punk rock fusion music, or because he put his butt in Lindsay Lohan's face. Actually, both reasons are important in understanding his chaotic genius -- whether it's been with The Spaceshits, BBQ Show, the Shrines, or the Almighty Defenders, King Khan has been one part punk rock, one part soul, and one part hilarious antics. And next week, the anarchic version of James Brown will be visiting a place that really seems like it should be a second home: Asbury Lanes in Asbury Park, New Jersey. To prepare you for it, we talked to the man himself about upcoming the show, his most recent music video, and trying to find the holiest of holes.



First off, have your daughters started to learn about your persona?

They know papa can do lots of different things, from showing his butt to royalty to being Laurie Anderson's favorite rapper. I am the Beetlejuice of rock 'n' roll!

The video for "Bite My Tongue" is hilarious -- what was your inspiration for it?

Well, I went to Bethlehem and made a very amazing spiritual pilgrimmage to the holiest of holes... I even touched the stone of the cross and absolved my sins, bringing me even closer to being the next Lucifer. Actually, forget that.

How'd you come up with the Jesus character?

I think Jesus is as cool as Batman so I wanted to put it all into perspective. We filmed it on Easter and made it as blasphemous as we could because I guess subconsciously I knew that I would be getting all my sins absolved a few weeks later. It's good to have friends in high places.

"Bite My Tongue" seems to be a bit of a departure from the soul-heavy Supreme Genius and Supernatural, are The Shrines headed in a different direction?

Where there is desperation and fury there will always be different directions. You can't take the sould out of us. It would be like skinning us alive and making us walk in a desert. Our departures from one direction will only put us on a holier path. The sound we make is to inspire and to heal -- Crazy Horse had to walk alone and starve to discover he was Crazy Horse. We are on an eternal quest which sometimes ends up being very internal. Sound is infinite and so are we!

Is "Bite My Tongue" part of an upcoming album?

Our new album has taken three years to finish. Even genius gets constipated sometimes.

You work endlessly with a ton of different players -- why do you think you spread yourself so thin?

Because ADD is not a problem, it is simply a closer connection to diety. It's all a part of a healthier diet for my mind, body and soul -- when was the last time you saw such a fat man spread himself so thin!

Are there any other collaborations we can look forward to?

Rummelsnuff, Bela B, and I have a new German electropunk incarnation. I just produced the new Mary Ocher album which is pure genius and will bend both spoons and minds. The Tandoori Knights have done a new single for Norton Records disguised as the Bollywood Argyles. My daughters and I make music which will be released by Hunx on his new label. The new Shrines album will be done by the end of this year and will probably hit the black market sometime early next year. And Sean Spits, Jeff Clarke, and I have evolved our country album into other genres -- now we have started making hip-hop. I am very prepared for the apocalypse, bring it on!

Who do you most want to work with next?

Barack Obama, Traci Lords, and Ryan Gosling.

Going to a King Khan show, there are definitely expectations. Over the years, how have you managed to continue to meet them?

"Unscrew the locks from the doors! Unscrew the doors themselves from their jambs!" That is my philosophy -- both William Shatner and William Blake said that!

What would you say your on-stage relationship with the audience is?

110% African radio.

This is going to be your first time playing at Asbury Lanes -- what is it going to mean to you?

I will write a song for this bowling alley that will make even Bruce Springsteen cry. Asbury Park will be the new Rockaway Beach after I am done with it!


King Khan and The Shrines will play only five shows in the US, including the rare stop in New Jersey at Asbury Lanes on July 24th. For tickets and more information, check out the Facebook event.


Check out some footage of King Khan and The Shrines doing their thing at McCarren Park.









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