12 Songs, 39 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Few artists have what it takes to release two albums within the same month (let alone year), but then, not many artists fly in the face of convention and mix a half-dozen loosely related genres on one record. Welcome to Mark Sultan’s world (where his motto might be “Because he can!”). The Canadian rocker is a true iconoclast: doing things his way, and with passion. (A recent blog missive by Sultan is a plea to save rock ’n’ roll: “Wrap rock ’n’ roll up in the stink of sincerity so the tastemakers and the vampires cannot enjoy it!”) Known mostly for his work with King Khan using the nickname BBQ, Sultan is currently forsaking true band collaboration for solo work. For both Whatever I Want and Whenever I Want, he invited friends from bands like The Black Lips and The Spits to join in. A surprise appearance by a banjo on Whenever is one thing that distinguishes the two releases; the other is the bizarre eight-minute jazz jam that ends this collection, “For Those Who Don’t Exist.” Both records have strong garage rockers, faithful doo-wop pop tunes, and impressive vocal performances by Sultan, who continues to amaze and delight fellow rock ’n’ roll fans.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Few artists have what it takes to release two albums within the same month (let alone year), but then, not many artists fly in the face of convention and mix a half-dozen loosely related genres on one record. Welcome to Mark Sultan’s world (where his motto might be “Because he can!”). The Canadian rocker is a true iconoclast: doing things his way, and with passion. (A recent blog missive by Sultan is a plea to save rock ’n’ roll: “Wrap rock ’n’ roll up in the stink of sincerity so the tastemakers and the vampires cannot enjoy it!”) Known mostly for his work with King Khan using the nickname BBQ, Sultan is currently forsaking true band collaboration for solo work. For both Whatever I Want and Whenever I Want, he invited friends from bands like The Black Lips and The Spits to join in. A surprise appearance by a banjo on Whenever is one thing that distinguishes the two releases; the other is the bizarre eight-minute jazz jam that ends this collection, “For Those Who Don’t Exist.” Both records have strong garage rockers, faithful doo-wop pop tunes, and impressive vocal performances by Sultan, who continues to amaze and delight fellow rock ’n’ roll fans.

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2:56
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4:38
1:13
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8:10

About Mark Sultan

Mark Sultan has become one of the leading figures on the Canadian garage punk scene, cranking out high-test rock & roll with a handful of memorable bands as well as making a name for himself as a solo act. Hailing from Montreal, Sultan was a preteen metal fan with a taste for Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden before he was introduced to hardcore punk at the age of 12, and moved on to raw '60s sounds and garage punk when he was 16. Sultan first began playing out when he signed on as drummer for a band called Powersquat, but his reputation really took off when he helped form the Spaceshits in 1995, moving from the drum kit to the lead vocal mike. The Spaceshits were infamous in Canada for their raucous, over the top live shows that sometimes turned violent, leading to them being banned from many clubs, and they released their first 7" EP, "I'm Dead," in 1996. In 1997 they dropped their first full-length album, Winter Dance Party, through the celebrated American indie label Sympathy for the Record Industry, and they recorded two more LPs before the band called it quits in 1999.

In 2000, Sultan (who sometimes billed himself as "Mark Spaceshit" or "Bridge Mixture") launched a new band with several other former Spaceshits, Les Sexareenos, a less aggressive but more raucous act whose first album, Les Live! In the Bed, came out that same year. Sultan, who played drums and sang in Les Sexareenos, also formed his own indie label, Sultan Records, which distributed records by like-minded Canadian acts such as the Deadly Snakes, the Scat Rag Boosters, the Daylight Lovers, and others. By 2003, Les Sexareenos had run their course, and Sultan began performing as a one-man band, handling guitar, drums, and vocals at once and calling the new project BBQ; BBQ's self-titled debut album was released through Alien Snatch Records in 2003. The year 2005 proved to be very busy for Sultan; the legendary underground label Bomp Records issued his second BBQ LP, Tie Your Noose, while another Sultan project, the Mind Controls (with Mark on guitar and vocals), released their debut single, and Sultan and former Spaceshits bassist King Khan began touring as a double act and released The King Khan & BBQ Show.

A second King Khan & BBQ Show album came out in 2006, and in 2007 Sultan released his first album under his own name, The Sultanic Verses, followed by more touring, both alone and with King Khan. Two years later, Sultan along with members of the Black Lips and the King Khan & BBQ Show joined forces to form Almighty Defenders, a gospel-tinged garage rock supergroup. On the solo front, 2010's $ explored Sultan's noisier, more stretched-out musical side, continuing the following year with Whatever I Want and Whenever I Want (and Whatever, Whenever, a selection of tracks from both) as Sultan eschewed his one-man recording style for a full band, featuring musicians such as Dan Kroha (the Gories), Bradford Cox (Deerhunter), and Erin Wood (the Spits). Sultan returned to his original one-man-band style, as well as his old handle, on the 2017 album BBQ - Mark Sultan. ~ Mark Deming

  • ORIGIN
    Montreal, Canada
  • GENRE
    Alternative
  • BORN
    November 14, 1973

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