View Full Version : Kasim Interview

28 Feb 2007, 16:14
Bass player Kasim Sulton really gets around
Posted by the Asbury Park Press (http://www.app.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070227/LIFE06/70226029/1121/LIFE) on 02/27/07


Music always was a part of Kasim Sulton's life. As a child, Sulton's father occasionally played the guitar after dinner, strumming away songs such as "These Are a Few of My Favorite Things" from "The Sound of Music."

It wasn't obvious at the time, but all Sulton needed was a little inspiration and he
realized what his goal in life was.

"After seeing The Beatles on "Ed Sullivan' in 1964, I knew I wanted to become a musician and play in a band," Sulton says.

As his childhood on Staten Island unfolded, a musical revolution was taking place in the United States. Mainstream music was changing, and Sulton found himself captivated by the new sound. Musical tastes were rapidly evolving. The 1960s British Invasion was well under way.

"I grew up in a very interesting time, music-wise," Sulton says. "Elvis Presley was
losing popularity, and the British Invasion was just starting. I grew up listening to bands like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Jeff Beck, Cream, The Small Faces and a lot of blues and R&B."

In 1977, Sulton auditioned for the band Utopia, which was headed by the legendary Todd Rundgren, best known for such solo hits as "I Saw the Light" and "Hello It's Me." He got the job and stayed with the band until 1986, appearing on nine of its albums.

While touring with Rundgren and Utopia in 1977, musical opportunity once again knocked at his door.

"We were in between tours and records, and Todd was asked to produce a new artist," Sulton said. "They didn't have a bass player in their band, so I was asked to come in and record the album with them."

The artist turned out to be Meat Loaf. The album was "Bat Out of Hell."

It became an instant classic and has sold more than 14 million copies in America. Sulton found himself touring with Meat Loaf and later with Daryl Hall & John Oates. Sulton would return to the recording studio with Meat Loaf several times, including playing on "Bat Out of Hell II (Back Into Hell)."

It was during his days with Utopia that Sulton first became acquainted with the musical talents of The Cars.

"While I was touring with Utopia, we would always have bands open up for us," Sulton explains. "On more than one tour, The Cars were on the same bill as us when they were just starting out. They hadn't had any success yet. I thought they were a great new band, and I was very impressed with their songs."

Little did Sulton know that more than two decades later -- in 2006, to be exact -- he would join The New Cars, a revamped version of the original band that features Rundgren and drummer Prairie Prince, as well as original Cars members Elliot Easton on guitar and Greg Hawkes on keyboards.

Last year, The New Cars released its first album, "Its Alive!" The followed it with a
tour, during which Sulton found himself singing lead vocals on the song "Drive," the
original band's highest-charting pop hit in America. (Original Cars bassist Benjamin Orr sang the studio version.)

"It was a big thrill singing that song with the band," Sulton says. "I'm fortunate in
that I happen to have the right kind of voice to do justice to that particular song. It just so happens to be the kind of song that I'm good at doing. Of course, the fact that it was the biggest song the band had made it even more special."

After touring with The New Cars, one could expect Sulton would need a break, but that's not the case. He's preparing to go on tour with Meat Loaf, working on a solo CD and planning solo performances.

"I've just finished work on a new CD -- a compilation of all my previous work titled "All Sides,'" he says. "Most of my earlier work is rather hard to find, and I thought it was time to put a CD like this out. I'll be going out on the road with Meat Loaf next month for the better part of the year and hope to be able to squeeze in a few solo shows here and there."

When it comes to music, Sulton is a very busy man. But what does he do when he isn't touring?

"Let's see. I like to relax on my yacht, race around Manhattan in my Ferrari, date
supermodels and hang out with Paris and Nicole," Sulton jokes.

"Seriously, I lead a very normal life. I can be found most days fixing a broken cabinet or painting a bedroom. The life of a "rock star' off the road isn't much different from anyone else's."

He also has advice for aspiring bass players.

"Get a good education," Sulton says. "Stay in school. Never give up on a dream, but try and be realistic about it. Not everyone can have a career in music, and it's a very difficult life to say the least. Also, the music business has changed drastically since I started. More bands, more music, less record sales. All making for an extremely crowded playing field."

Saeko san
28 Feb 2007, 23:31
Thank you very much for posting about Kasim's interview;)