Singer/songwriter/producer King Khan has shared a new track called “Never Hold On,” which appears on the soundtrack to the film The Invaders (all of which was composed by Khan). This track is available online and in stores today via his label Khannibalism (that he recently co-founded in cooperation with Ernest Jenning Record Co.), on a 7″ backed by “A Tree Not A Leaf Am I.” Another 7″, “America Goddamn” b/w “Muletrain Says,” is also available today via Khannibalism/OBEY/Ernest Jenning.
“For this single from The Invaders soundtrack, I got to assemble my dream band including, Pamelia Stickney, Theremin virtuoso, Toby Dammit (Swans, Stooges) on drums, gas cans and all sorts of percusssion, the one woman orchestra known as Gillian Rivers, my 12 year old daughter Bella,” Khan said of the track. “‘Never Hold On’ appears in the film during MLK’s funeral and I tried to capture the intensity of what it must have been like on that day, it might be the best song I ever recorded. ‘A Tree Not A Leaf Am I’ was a song I co-wrote with Adan Jodorowsky.”
Street artist and OBEY founder Shepard Fairey, who designed the artwork for the “America Goddamn” b/w “Muletrain Says” 7″, said “I’m a big fan of King Khan’s garage funk; it’s trippy, rockin’, and completely infectious. King Khan and I talked about collaborating and ‘America Goddamn’ was the perfect song for us to join forces on because it’s humorous and cathartic but also poignant in its critique of America moving forward not backward. When art, music, and social commentary come together it’s the most potent combination possible so I’m excited and honored to put that creative gumbo on the plates of the unsuspecting.”
“When I found out that John B. Smith, the founding member and leader of the Invaders, asked the director of the film, Prichard Smith, for me to do the soundtrack, I was floored,” Khan said. “Here is a man whose militant black power group impressed MLK so much that he had personal meetings with him about how to get the militant civil rights groups into the poor people’s campaign!”
Khan continued, “This was just the beginning… John B. adopted Prichard and I into his family and treated us like sons. Making the soundtrack for this film felt like a call to arms, especially considering what is going on now involving the police and race relations all over the U.S. The fact that it has taken so long for The Invaders tale to be told just goes to show you how the powers that be are as evil and crooked as 50 years ago. The struggle is the same and so I chose message music as my weapon, may it soothe your ears as much as light a fire under the collective ass that is pulling the strings.”
The Invaders details the story of a Memphis-based “intellectual street gang” by that name who had their roots in the Southern Christian reformist scene but were tired of the passivity of nonviolence. They conducted the last meeting with Dr. Martin Luther King before his assassination at the Lorraine Hotel, and yet their story is mostly unknown. This film, with a soundtrack composed entirely by King Khan, aims to rectify that.
Expect more releases from Khannibalism in the coming months, including “Let Me Hang You,” a very special piece featuring contributions from Bill Frissell with unheard readings from the classic novel Naked Lunch by its author, the late William S. Burroughs himself.