Q&A: King Khan On His Favorite Superhero, Taking A Trip To Bethlehem, And His "Volatile Volcano Of Love"

King Khan—he of the Shrines, the King Khan & BBQ Show, the Black Jaspers, the... oh, you get the idea—is back, but then he never really leaves. This native Canadian, now living in Berlin between endless globe-hopping and side projects, is a busy man. He's in the Big Apple this week with his soul/garage revue, The Shrines, and it's been a few months since he graced one of our stages with his oft-bedazzled miniskirted keister. But you let two weeks pass, and this guy might have another tall tale or two to tell you if you ask. So we did.

This is a five-day east coast tour, two years in the making. Explain.

Even geniuses suffer from constipation.

The Shrines employ anywhere from five to upwards of 23 people onstage at any given gig. But who actually shows up for a Shrines rehearsal? And what kind of space do y'all rehearse in?

We rehearse in dream... I have synthesized a frequency that we play as we sleep which brings us together in dream. It was inspired by Quintron's singing house. He is our Dream Captain.

The rest of the Shrines are from Europe, right? What is it about Euro musicians always having much more respect than us yanks for the vintage music us yanks came up with in the first place?

Well, it took the Rolling Stones invading America to help the originators of roc and roll to get their dues. I like to think I spearheaded something similar, teaching America about soul from a bunch of foreigners. But then again, everyone in America is technically a foreigner. I wish I could have a band of only first-nation folks and play something like the 13th Floor Elevators.

In the Shrines' new video, for "Bite My Tongue," you fly around as a superhero (albeit one whose primary superpower is spreading hot sauce on a hot dog, though I guess flying is a pretty good superpower too). Who was your favorite superhero as a kid? And what is your favorite superhero movie, besides Toxic Avenger, of course.

King Khan & The Shrines, "Bite My Tongue"

Well, I think Jesus is a great superhero, but my fave is Spider-Man. I worshipped the TV episodes from 1967. I used to watch them everyday at lunch time at home, while my grandma made me grilled cheese sandwiches.

My great grandfather is an amazing superhero. He was a postman who killed over 400 snakes with his bare hands. He saved many villagers from deadly snakes.

Whoa. Respect. That's a hell of a song, "Bite My Tongue," by the way. I could see a Burt Bacharach-style sway-pop album in the not-too-distant future for yooz guys...

Thanks. I planned on doing a crooner record with Sean Spit. We have a very successful comedy duo called "The Entertainers." Our first gigs were in Jerusalem. We put the holy back in shit!

Location Info


Bowery Ballroom

6 Delancey St., New York, NY

Category: Music

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