King Khan and the Shrines have been stunning audiences for nearly two decades with their unique mix of pure old school R&B mixed with a heavy dose of pure psychedelic majesty and unhinged, wild, frantic rock n’ roll. Imagine, if you will, a screamin’ Bollywood Wilson Pickett hanging out in Andy Warhol’s factory dropping LSD in his eyes and wearing a shiny golden cape that wraps around the world, or simply picture the love child of Anubis and Kali drinking milk straight from Ganesha’s trunk. King Khan & The Shrines is more than just psychedelic soul band they are a legendary cult musical phenomenon with more than 15 years of international touring, four studio records and a fan base of fervent punk rockers, soul music lovers, free jazz tea heads and garage rock officianados.
King Khan, the spiritual guru and front man, cobbled together a fierce line-up of musicians in between reading his own self-made Tarot cards (WHO DOES THAT?) and raising a family. What he first created in 1999 is still one of the most entertaining groups the world has seen and heard since the days of Ike & Tina. He isn’t known as the “Indian James Brown” for nothing! The line-up of the Shrines includes Chicago-born, Ron Streeter (veteran percussionist for Curtis Mayfield, Stevie Wonder), a horn section consisting of trumpeter Simon Wojan (from Cloudland Canyon), tenor sax man Ben Ra (Germany’s John Coltrane), and french baritone saxophonist Big Fred Brissaud. The rhythm section of the Sensational Shrines has been called a German/French version of the Freak Brothers – Till “Mr. Speedfinger” Timm on guitar, organist Fredovitch from Bordeaux, Big Baby Jeans Riddiman on bass and the most stoic drummer in show business, John Boy Adonis.
Their first album Three Hairs & You’re Mine was produced by Liam Watson, recorded in the legendary Toe Rag Studios in London and released in 2002. A second full-length, Mr. Supernatural, followed in 2004. King Khan & The Shrines soon became an all-star international movement. Hundreds of gigs followed all across Europe, Australia and North America. They headlined Toronto’s NXNE festival 2006 playing three nights in a row and had Dave Davies, trombone player of the Sun Ra Arkestra join their brass section.
In 2007, King Khan made the soundtrack and film score for “Schwarze Schafe”, a German film directed by Oliver Rihs.
King Khan then released What Is?!, receiving critical acclaim from all over the world. It landed at #33 on Pitchfork’s Top Albums of 2007, while their track “Welfare Bread” landed at #66 on Pitchfork’s Top 100 Songs of 2007.
Their greatest hits, aptly titled “The Supreme Genius of King Khan & The Shrines”‘ came out in 2008 on Vice Records and for the first time their music was widely available in the U.S.
King Khan & The Shrines have played at several notable festivals including ATP, Coachella, Sasquatch, Pitchfork, South By Southwest and Sudoste. King Khan was even invited to play guitar for Wu Tang Clan’s GZA, where he received his wu-name from him, “Lord Khan”.
King Khan was invited by Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson to perform with his other project with Mark Sultan in the “King Khan & BBQ Show” at the Sydney Opera House as a part of the Vivid festival in 2010.
The music of King Khan and the Shrines has been heard in many popular American TV programs (NBC’s Chuck, HBO’s Entourage, HBO’s Eastbound & Down which was supervised by Wayne Kramer of the MC5). Khan also recently provided an original film score for Miron Zownir’s film “Back To Nothing” starring Meret Becker, Birol Unel and Milton Welsh.
In 2014 King Khan was asked by John B. Smith (founding member and leader of The Invaders) to provide the soundtrack for a documentary film about the Memphis black power group. The Invaders soundtrack will be released in four singles; two on Khan’s own label imprint called “Khannibalism”, one on Merge Records and one featuring the artwork of Shepard Fairley on Obey Records all of which will be available in the summer of 2016.
During the time Khan was working on this film soundtrack he had a vision to create a deck of tarot cards that celebrates black power. He recruited Belfast artist Michael Eaton (Game of Thrones) and together they created the Black Power Tarot deck, under the supervision of surrealistic film maker Alejandro Jodorowsky thus fulfilling Khan’s long time dream of becoming one of Jodo’s “spiritual warriors”.
In 2015 King Khan co-produced an album along side Hal Willner and James Grauerholz of William S. Burroughs reading “the unspeakable parts” of his infamous book “Naked Lunch”. Khan and Bill Frisell among other Naked City musicians provided the music to accompany the twenty year old recitations. The album entitled “Let Me Hang You” will be released on Khannibalism later this year.
King Khan and the Shrines are currently on tour in Europe in March and will touring all over the United States this summer in June where they will headline along side The Mummies and Real Kids at the next Burger Boogaloo hosted by John Waters and Tracy Lords.
Idle No More (Merge Records, 2013)
“Bite My Tongue” digital single (King Khan Music, 2012)
“Bite My Tongue” 7” vinyl with Mikal Cronin (Bruise Cruise, 2012)
The Supreme Genius of King Khan & The Shrines (Vice, 2008)
What Is?! (Vice, Hazelwood, 2007)
Billiards at Niney Thirty with The Dirtbombs (Sounds of Subterrania, 2004)
Mr. Supernatural (Hazelwood, 2004)
Smash Hits (Vicious Circle, 2003)
“One U Luv” b/w “I See The Light” 7” vinyl (Sounds of Subterrannia, 2002)
Three Hairs & You’re Mine (Voodoo Rhythm, 2001)
Spread Your Love Like Peanut Butter (Sounds of Subterrania, 2000)
“Torture” b/w “Shivers Down My Spine” 7” vinyl (Kunte Kinte, 2000)
Compilations & Soundtracks
Voodoo Rhythm Records’ Records to Ruin Any Party Vol. 1 (Voodoo Rhythm, 2011)
Chiko Film Soundtrack (Corazon Int’l, 2009)
Showroom Rebels (Hazelwood, 2007)
Schwarze Schafe Film Soundtrack (Normal, 2007)
Live Vol. 2 at Subsonic (Lola/Speed, 2005)
VR Home of Primitive Rock ‘n’ Roll (Voodoo Rhythm, 2003)
Motormania 2000 (Sounds of Subterrania, 2000)
Simon Wojan: firstname.lastname@example.org