The band was founded in 1999 by then 22-year-old King Khan, formerly of Canadian garage rock outfits The Spaceshits (where he operated under the pseudonym Blacksnake) and Kukamongas. The band is noted for its impressive stage antics. Typically King Khan is scantily clad, and the overwhelming frontman. His performances feature cheerleader/go-go dancer Bamboorella and a mixture of instrumentation including, but not limited to: keyboard, baritone saxophone, guitar, bass, and drums.
Khan formerly played with fellow former Spaceshit member, Mark Sultan, in the King Khan & BBQ Show, a doo-wop and punk inspired two-man band and is currently with Sultan and the Black Lips in a garage gospel super-group called Almighty Defenders. Sultan mentioned in 2010 that he and the Shrines have "bandied about" recording and singing some songs together.