Len­non takes a psy­che­delic trip

The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger in T.O. this month

Midtown Post - - Music - by Ron John­son

Sean Len­non, 38, son of late, great Bea­tles mu­si­cian John Len­non, was dat­ing Char­lotte Kemp Muhl for a year be­fore learn­ing of her mu­si­cal tal­ents. Given Muhl is a stun­ning 26-year-old model and mu­si­cian, we can surely for­give the young squire his pre­oc­cu­pa­tion. But since the mu­si­cal in­cli­na­tions of Ms. Muhl came to pass, the two have been mak­ing beau­ti­ful mu­sic to­gether. Their band, the Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger (the GOASTT), plays in Toronto on June 3 for a show at the Hox­ton.

“It sort of started or­gan­i­cally, we’d been dat­ing a lit­tle while, but I didn’t re­al­ize she had al­ready been writ­ing songs,” says Len­non. “She played me a cou­ple, and they were re­ally bril­liant, and we were keen to try and write some­thing to­gether.”

The name GOASTT was plucked from the ti­tle of a play Kemp had writ­ten when she was eight years old.

“All the cool band names are taken so we needed to take some­thing weird, find some­thing new,” Len­non ex­plains. “We thought of it as a joke at first, but as the years pro­gressed, we took it more se­ri­ously and stuck with the weird band name.”

Orig­i­nally, the band was more of a folk duo, strum­ming their acous­tic in­stru­ments with reck­less aban­don in Muhl’s New York City apart­ment or at Len­non’s up­state stu­dio.

“I mean the sound has evolved quite a bit ac­tu­ally,” says Len­non. “We started off just writ­ing songs on acous­tic gui­tars in Char­lotte’s bed­room and tour­ing as an acous­tic band just the two of us.” The band just re­leased their lat­est al­bum, Mid­night

Sun, and al­though it’s the band’s third record­ing, Len­non de­scribes it as be­ing the first true GOASTT record, and it is a far cry from the acous­tic duo heard on the first two al­bums.

“It’s re­ally true, both of the first two records were al­most un­in­ten­tional, in­ci­den­tal,” says Len­non. “We wanted to do an elec­tric record, but we thought we should first in­tro­duce our­selves to the world as a folk duet.… Mid­night Sun is the first proper al­bum the way we en­vi­sioned the band to be.”

The al­bum wears its in­flu­ences proudly. It’s a nod to the Bri­tish psy­che­delic scene of the 1960s: bold and ex­plo­sive with lay­ers of sonic ad­ven­ture.

“I mean, even from the be­gin­ning, with the acous­tic ses­sions, we’ve re­ally been ob­sessed with the un­der­ground psy­che­delic scene of Lon­don in the ’60s, the UFO Club in Lon­don, the footage of my dad watch­ing Pink Floyd play­ing,” says Len­non.

“That pe­riod is some­thing Char­lotte and I are re­ally ob­sessed with. It’s our Sonny and Cher ver­sion of the psy­che­delic al­ter­na­tive un­der­ground scene of Lon­don.”

It’s no sur­prise the era holds an al­lure for Len­non, given his mu­si­cal her­itage. And not shy­ing away from that her­itage for the sake of just do­ing some­thing dif­fer­ent is re­fresh­ing.

“Ya, I can’t be pre­oc­cu­pied with, or wor­ried about pre-emp­tively an­tic­i­pat­ing. I’m cer­tainly try­ing not to think too much about that,” Len­non ex­plains. “I tend to be very my­opic and fo­cus on what’s in front of me in the mo­ment and just sort of work on mu­sic one step at a time. You just need to do what you feel.”

In ad­di­tion to GOASTT, Len­non has a num­ber of projects un­der his record la­bel Chimera Mu­sic, in­clud­ing his work with his mother, Yoko Ono.

“I feel very lucky to be able to be on good work­ing terms with Mom,” he says. “I think of it as a real bless­ing. I get to spend time with her and make mu­sic that will be here long af­ter we’re all gone. It feels like we’re do­ing some­thing with pur­pose and mean­ing.”

Char­lotte Kemp Muhl and Sean Len­non named their band the GOASTT af­ter a play by Muhl when she was eight

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.