With a four-to-the-floor pulse, skronky guitars and passionate howls, King Khan and his partner-in-crime Mark Sultan have constructed a legacy of garage rock 'n' soul. "This band's sole purpose is to keep real rock'n'roll alive - to make sure primitivism and sexuality and soul are still making folks drink, fight and fuck," says Sultan, a.k.a. BBQ. With two decades of playing history, it's somewhat appropriate then that the high-running emotions and energy of their music resulted in an acrimonious split between the two in 2010.
A few years of solo projects from both followed, but the mad chemistry of the King Khan & BBQ Show came calling. Says Sultan, "[Our relationship is] almost like a McDLT. There's a definite yin/yang thing going on with us in our songwriting, personality and performance." To that end, the estranged duo put aside any differences and reunited for a new album this year. The catalyst? An enigmatic object known only as "the Jar of Hatred".
"The Jar Of Hatred was a way for us to symbolically cleanse ourselves of the shit that led to us breaking up . It is said to contain the actual fight and bad energy. We wanted to get that out of our proximity." The Jar was cast off into the abyss known as eBay, firstly to remove the ill will once and for all but also as "a way to give fans a way to get a bunch of 'free' passes and to meet us and hang. We thought it would be fun." Mojo-free and re-invigorated, Khan and Sultan have embarked on a North American tour, with Sultan promising the duo at their very best. "I don't know why being elderly has pushed us further into adolescence, but it has," he adds, "We're gonna make you wet."
The King Khan & BBQ Show plays Lee's Palace in Toronto tonight.
Phil Witmer makes music and writes in Toronto. Follow him on Twitter.