“Yeah, I’ve played a few times,” recalls Sean Lennon, of gigging in San Diego. Lennon, now touring behind his new album Midnight Sun, his newest collaboration with his girlfriend Charlotte Kemp Muhl under the name Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger, aka GOASTT, comes to the Casbah May 16.
- Friday, May 16, 2014, 8 p.m.
2501 Kettner Boulevard,
Ms. Muhl, who sings and plays a variety of instruments alongside Lennon’s same, had never even heard “Strawberry Fields Forever,” before meeting and dating the son of that song’s singer. When she finally did hear the Beatles cut, Lennon tells the Reader, “She said, ‘Now I know there’s a context for your talent. Before I just thought it came out of nowhere...’ That’s a fairly accurate quote.” Her parents were suspicious of him at first. “I think as soon as I cooked some decent meals, things started to get comfortable. Food is always a good beginning....”
Midnight Sun is a psychedelic undertaking, admits Lennon: “We have a Mellotron and a Chamberlin, as well as myriad other doodads: a glass harmonica, a calliope on ‘Don’t Look Back Orpheus’, lap steels, circuit-bent toys, tons of old synths, and we tend to bang on pots and pans and other stuff; I have a udu drum, some tabla. ‘Whatever it takes’ is my motto.
“My favorite records from my favorite bands,” he elaborates, “tend to be the ones which were labeled ‘psychedelic.’ Be it Pet Sounds or Revolver or Their Satanic Majesties Request. I like the albums that are like a musical movie, an audio wormhole that transports you to another dimension for awhile. It’s not so much that they are ‘psychedelic’ per se, but the fact that they are symphonic in scope and ambition. They’re just fun to listen to.”
The two always work on songs together. “The band is an extension of our relationship, the two of us. Some songs we begin by writing with a guitar in our bedroom; we demo then take them to the studio. Other songs we write while recording in the studio and edit together different jams. Other songs start as a song title or lyric, and we develop them from there. It depends on our mood and what’s inspiring us at any given moment.”
When asked, “What about Sean Lennon would surprise the person on the street the most?” he responds, “Most people are really surprised my name isn’t Julian. That’s really true.”