BLUE OYSTER CULT’S KASIM SULTON, BASS PLAYER EXTRAORDINAIRE, PLAYS THUNDER BY THE BAY
New Yorker Kasim Sulton is a bass player’s bass player. Starting out in the 70’s as part of the band Utopia and playing with a who’s who of rock musicians, he has been in the music business for over 40 years. Touring with Rock & Roll Hall of Famers like Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, Hall & Oates and Cheap Trick, he has also played on many studio albums over the years including the classic Meatloaf bazillion selling smash “Bat Out of Hell”.
Kas, as his friends call him, records his own solo music and still tours with Todd Rundgren when not on the road with Blue Oyster Cult whom he has been playing with since 2012. He is playing with Blue Oyster Cult at Thunder By The Bay and we were lucky to catch him for an interview! You can find all things Kasim at www.kasimsulton.com
Sarasota Post: Kas, how did it happen that you started playing with Blue Oyster Cult?
Kasim: I’ve known the guys in BOC for a very long time. We did a tour together in the late 70’s through Canada. Utopia and BOC. We became friends and kept in contact since then. When Rudy Sarzo was leaving the band to pursue other interests, Buck called and asked if I’d be interested in filling in while they found a permanent replacement…. obviously, I’ve become a permanent band member!
Sarasota Post: How are you able to work out tour schedules between BOC and playing with Todd?
Kasim: It’s not easy. There aren’t too many conflicts but they do arise every so often. BOC have been very understanding of my long involvement with Todd Rundgren and allow me to switch back and forth between bands.
Sarasota Post: In between all that, you have recorded a new album called “3”. Todd, Roger Powell, Willie Wilcox and Mark Rivera all play on this record. What was the inspiration for this record?
Kasim: My solo work is very important to me. It had been a number of years since my last solo record and I really wanted to put together a new collection of songs for my fans. I never really stopped writing and over the course of 3 years I discovered I had enough new material to cobble together a full record. I decided to do this one a little differently in terms of having other musicians perform on my material and made a bunch of calls to people I admire and wanted to work with. That helped in the process of getting it done because left to my own devices, I’d probably still be working on it! So having and additional 15 musicians on the record made me want to finish it quickly and release it.
Sarasota Post: In 2015, you and the legendary songwriter Paul Williams wrote the anthem for the Facing Addiction Rally at the Washington Monument to raise awareness of addiction. What was that experience like for you?
Kasim: I’m a person in long term recovery. Sober for 27 years. While I don’t normally ‘advertise’ that fact, I’m very proud of it. I had been working with the founders of Unite To Face Addiction and the opportunity came up to come up with a piece of music for them. Paul Williams was interested in working together with me on it and along with the website Hookist (Crowd participation in writing music with artists) we decided it would be a great way to include the community in raising awareness in what is a problem of epidemic proportions across this country. Paul and I have become close friends and I’m honored to have written a song with him.
Sarasota Post: The sold-out Rock Legends Cruise V is coming up in February from Ft. Lauderdale to Cozumel, are you playing with Todd on the cruise?
Kasim: Yes, I will be on that cruise. This makes 3 years in a row I’ll be doing the Rock Legends Cruise. I’m wondering if there’s frequent cruise miles to be had?