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Hail Sultan 

Mark Sultan’s live show is a sacrifice to the energy of real rock ’n’ roll. Come worship at the altar.

click to enlarge Soar on Sultan's angelic voice this Saturday.
  • Soar on Sultan's angelic voice this Saturday.

Mark Sultan knows that it's better to give than to receive. Especially when it comes to pure, unadulterated rock 'n' roll energy. Not that Mark Sultan has ever been anything but open. Followers of his online presence know that when it comes to sharing things that don't always paint garage rock's polarizing one-man band/angelic crooner in the most flattering light, Sultan won't shy away. And it's paid off in devoted fans.

"I'm really stoked that I have rounded a corner, and now have people who come to the shows for the music. No hipsters, no real posturing. Some curious people, and then just a bunch of people who wanna dance or feel, or be engrossed. People have been hugging me a lot. It's hard to explain, but I am trying to give my soul up. I feel someone has to sacrifice themselves to the energy of real rock 'n' roll, its ghosts need to know we care."

After a well-publicized break up of his longtime band, The King Khan & BBQ Show, Mark Sultan continued to tour solo. And touring proved cathartic. "I love making music. I love being able to be free. I love travelling, meeting people, partying. I love seeing that one kid's face as he or she gets something from it. I love seeing people kiss and dance. I love living according to my rules. I never will be successful on that prefab Pitchfork level, or any form of monetary level. But I have been allowed to live how I want and see the world, while creating things without censorship."

His latest album, The War on Rock'N'Roll (Click to download)is very much a snapshot of his current state. Raw and immediate, the hour-long-with-no-pauses album, recorded in one take in Sao Paulo, Brazil, ebbs and flows like Sultan's live sets.

"I will always be an underdog, no matter what I do musically. I don't even think I saw reviews of this album, as my honesty has cost me 'media points'. But here's the thing---that recording? It's me. It is no bullshit. I didn't gloss it over in the least. I make rock 'n' roll music from my heart. If I could do anything, it's to possibly just let people know that it is absolutely OK to shrug off everything and create from the absolute you. To play rock 'n' roll from your gut and not worry about what the popular kids are gonna think."

Sultan is a deep well of genuine love of rock 'n' roll and its power. Take it or leave it.

"I never made a conscious effort to be 'open', it's just kind of how I am. To notice what I do as being anomalous is sad. A lot of people in 'garage rock' make music for the same reasons these fucking major label cunts do, but hide behind some 'punk' flag made of used toilet paper. I do believe in my own punk ethos, and more importantly, I believe in myself. I believe rock 'n' roll is a transcendent medium for spiritual and animalistic, magical and inter-dimensional power. I believe there is no particular reason for this music to be used as a vessel for corporate sales, personal careerism or plasticity. I may be wrong in all of this, but if you hear me and agree, we can tap into something wondrous and real."

If that's you, this Saturday's show at Michael's should be a pilgrimage.

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Vol 24, No 27
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