Kasim Sulton

by David A. Kulczyk
August 2001

bassist Kasim Sulton

bassist Kasim Sulton

Kasim Sulton has had quite a career.  He’s played bass with Todd Rundgren (both solo and with Utopia) for over a decade, recorded on Meatloaf’s “Bat Out of Hell” and on the critically acclaimed 1976 album release by Steve Hillage “L”, which is a favorite with English ravers 25 years after it’s release. A multi-instrumentalist, Sulton has also recorded or performed with The Tom Robinson Band, Rick Derringer, Frankie Eldorado, Shaun Cassidy, Joan Jett, Patti Smith, Akiko Yano, The Ricky Byrd Trio,  Blue Oyster Cult, Jackie DeShannon, Eileen Ivers, Celine Dion, The Indigo Girls, Steve Stevens, Mick Jagger, Jim Steinman and Daryl Hall and John Oates. To make a long discography short, Sulton has played on 102 albums. 

Kasim also has 3 Solo albums, “Kasim,” “The Bassment Tapes” and “Lights On” with Thommy Price. I interviewed Kasim on July 30th, 2001.

Maximum Ink: How did you start playing music?
Kasim Sulton: Staten Island, NY…. first band was Kastle. My fate was decided when I saw the Beatles on Ed Sullivan in 1964.

MI: Did you enjoy being a musician in the 70’s? 
KS: Had no choice.

MI: You’ve had a decades long musical relationship with Todd Rundgren, what was it like to tour and record with him? 
KS: It was an unbelievably amazing opportunity, that to this day I still thank my lucky stars that I was able to do that. Todd is brilliant. Being around him during that period of time taught me more about music than I ever could have learned from anyone else. Although my background is Middle Eastern in nature, I’m not as learned on Pyramid power as one might think.

MI: In 1983, my band and I gave you a tape of our synthesizer band, Dust Bunny. This was in Columbus Ohio. Do you still have the tape? 
KS: Do I still have a tape that was given to me 18 years ago? Sure I do. Let me peruse it again and I’ll get back to you on what I think.

MI: All of all your session work, what was the most artistically pleasing? What session was the most fun? 
KS: Ten years and ten albums with Utopia… I’d have to say those were among the highlights of my recording career to date.  That kind of thing can’t be taught.

MI: If you could be any member of Gilligan’s Island, who would you be and why?
KS: Mary Ann. Her innocence and unassuming character showed a perpensity for thoughtfulness, a deep spiritual belief that transcended the social mores of the time. Besides, she had a great ass.

Kasim Sulton will be performing an acoustic show at Ken’s Bar and Grill in Madison on August 12th at 8:30pm.

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