King Khan: "Somehow I Guess Lou Reed Was My Evil Mother"
"Me and Mark got into a big fight after one of our shows, and the organizers had kicked me out of the festival," Khan says. "I was in a really fucked-up state and then Laurie Anderson saw me the next day and told me I could go anywhere I wanted and they'd take me there. So they were like my babysitters and it was really surreal."
Khan says he encountered Reed again later, in London. "A lot of people talk about how he was grumpy, but to me he was really nice and down to Earth."
After the fallout with Sultan, Khan was playing in Korea, where he says he had a meltdown, cut off all his hair and went to live in a monastery for a while. The first song he wrote after all that was "Darkness," a warped dirge in which he collected all the negative feelings circling his friends' deaths. The catharsis was his breakthrough and Khan began working on a full album, intending for The Shrines to get back into the world.
"For me, the ultimate way of sharing music is on stage. It's intended to be like a ritual. That's the way that we've progressed," Khan says. "We've never really used marketing or that kind of manipulation to acquire an audience. I find they're really true and they really think of the band as some well-kept secret they have in their heart and there's this allegiance they have and they come out to experience a kind of salvation in a way. It's a labor of love for all 10 of us to get in a van and trudge around the world.
"People appreciate that and feel warmth. That's ultimately what I've always wanted to achieve with music. For me the highest compliment is a kid saying they've been smiling for two months after one of our shows because they keep thinking back to that night."
King Khan & The Shrines are scheduled to perform Wednesday, November 13, at Crescent Ballroom.
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