One of two side projects launched in 2000 by John Reis during a hiatus in activities with his main band Rocket From The Crypt, the Sultans embraced a more lo-fi garage rock format than the Hot Snakes (in which Reis reunited with former Drive Like Jehu partner Rick Froberg). Switching from his usual guitar to the bass and adopting the nickname ‘Slasher’, Reis was joined in the original line-up of the Sultans by Rocket From The Crypt guitarist Andy Stamets aka Black Flame and drummer Tony Di Prima. A self-titled EP and the album Ghost Ship were both released in 2000 on Reis’ Swami Records label. Despite a host of positive reviews the members’ commitments to other projects meant the second Sultans album did not arrive until 2004, with Reis’ younger brother Dean Reis aka Black Velvet on bass and John switching back to the guitar to replace the departed Stamets. With Rocket From The Crypt and the Hot Snakes both disbanding in 2005, Reis was able to devote himself full-time to the Sultans. They toured throughout 2006 with former Rocket From The Crypt and the Hot Snakes drummer Mario Rubalcaba replacing Di Prima, before disbanding at the start of the following year.