Mark Sultan Must Kill Rock ‘N Roll

18 10 2011

Mark Sultan is on a death mission. He wants to kill Rock “n” Roll. The very thing the man loves with all his might, Sultan must kill the music of the masses to save it from all that is cool. Mark wrote up this Declaration of War check it out below:

“For a few years now, I have come to a conclusion regarding the music that I have loved forever: Rock N Roll MUST be destroyed. Killed, in order to preserve it and its spirit. I can’t be the only one who has thought this. Or that there was no need for a Gremlins 3-D.

Maybe now is the perfect time, given that anarchy is being co-opted for a surrealist ad-campaign. Maybe it’ll make more sense. Maybe the idea is now as trendy as the entity I am trying to repossess ownership from. Maybe I am a liar, a foolish punk rocker. Maybe my bitching is trendier than everything.
There is an alternate history being written of the music I love, written and left for dead at the hands of culture ghouls. For the last few years, I have watched and, at times, indulged. And had a lot of fun. Years from now, there will be another batch of kids revisiting rock’n’roll, starting bands according to the information that they have gleaned from the past. The artifact for them to touch and understand, for them to learn from, is a forgery. It is an impudent and unrepentant alternate history. Its allure has skewed the music’s innocence. Motivations have changed, confusing the music’s soul. That, in turn, has trickled down to some people who start bands. This alternate history wears like an ill-fitting shirt on the music’s eternal being, the tastemakers using prefab iconography for their own gain, and the inherent naiveté of the music itself and its players as their pop-culture ammunition. This artifact has and will be captured on high-end film, big tours, magazines, etc…. The hierarchy is in place with the competitive nature of sports and square lifestyles reigning over fun, integrity, sigils and community. In the end, it is the same machinery used in mainstream music that I stupidly thought most of us were against, maaaaan. And if you are not part of this private club? No crazy booking agents, shows, festivals, labels, magazines, TV, films…. Banished to invisibility by the ‘popular kids’. Fuck that jock shit. But I’m not saying I would want this music to stay small, like the guy who was into Band X before they got big, but rather to get it back to the ‘mainstream’ consciousness because of its merits and quality and rightful place in the hearts of everyone. Some bands have achieved this.

A lot of bands don’t know or have forgotten how things always were. When bands rode horses miles and miles into 3 feet of snow to play some crummy town for a pack of Popeye cigs and a California Raisins backpack at the mercy of a telegram. This is a small subgenre of music. Has been for years. And has always lived on. But if the vampires suck every last drop of life from the real thing in front of our eyes, this will never come back to life. It will be remembered as just another stupid trend, like skoth or skwing. Can we afford to have the anonymous bands, promoters, clubs… who are held upon the shoulders of the spirits ignored as the other history that time forgets? The history that actually sits upon a very real timeline, where thoughts, vision, sounds and fuckery have been passed along with care for years? Sincere rockabilly fans and 60’s garage purists haven’t blinked an eye, and continue to protect rock’n’roll by innocently using the untouchable camouflage of the ‘uncool’.

That being said, I am not defending expensive costumes, Sonics covers, wrestling masks, one-man bands, ‘trash’, zombies, ‘voodoo’, hipster stereotypes from any genre/music ‘lifestyle’, Del Taco, the desperate dressing by-the-numbers ‘cool’ to fit in, or shtick over songs. Do everything you can with soul. Wrap rock’n’roll up in the stink of sincerity so the tastemakers and the vampires cannot enjoy it. Confuse them. Shroud the music and disguise it. Smuggle it with love and knowledge, inside your body, mind and damaged colon. But how long can this method last, without condescension and irony tearing out the floorboards like cops?

I believe that the only way to protect its soul is to destroy it, in the hopes that the future generations will wash it off and resurrect/resuscitate it, relisten/revisit and let it flourish again. Destroy it before they destroy its soul for good, while we just watch, defeated, from our imaginary, elitist towers. This is my contribution. Like this planet, I believe rock’n’roll needs to die to live. This is my only protest. Fuck money, fuck politics, fuck the world. This is me, destroying the music I love and the life I live on my own terms. Can you hear its soul beating somewhere within? If not, good. My name is Marco Antonio Pepe and I am a liar.

Read this however you wish: a complaint from a bitter old rocker, a manifesto, lies and trickery, boredom, parody…prententious ass-grabbery, self-imposed alienation, a regrettable joke, provocation, a naïve plea… Tear at this stupid diatribe with your genitalia. Tear it to shreds so that you understand it is bullshit, but not without thought. But

Listen to the music.
Sometimes I love you.

I need anyone listening to this ‘performance’ to know now that this is how I sound live. This is what you will hear at my one-man shows. This. And although it was recorded in improvisation, and this was the first time I attempted to use a floor tom, cymbal and delay pedal, I LIKE this sound and will continue to do it, to your liking or chagrin. Folks know of my disdain for 95% of one-man bands, including my own at times. But I like what I am doing, now. I hope you do, too.”



Mark will be playing at The Bordello in Los Angeles on October 23rd and Alex’s Bar in Long Beach on October 24th. He has a new record out via In The Red Records, pick up Mark’s new album here



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