Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger's Sean Lennon: "Once You Frack, You Can't Go Back."

Categories: Interviews

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Courtesy of Press Here Publicity

With the mind-expanding psychedelic rock outfit Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger, Sean Lennon (the 38-year-old son of John Lennon and Yoko Ono) and his girlfriend, model and artist Charlotte Kemp Muhl, have tripped into an enchanting realm. Since their first album, 2010's Acoustic Sessions, the duo have explored a space where songs are grand and boundaries are barely visible, if they're visible at all.

The couple's recently released LP, the otherworldly Midnight Sun, has prompted Lennon and Kemp Muhl to add three musicians to the group in order to hit the road and bring the new songs to colorful life. GOASTT will be at Dada Friday night, and DC9 at Night with Lennon about sonic films, frontal lobes and the harmful effects of fracking. (But not about his parents, because that's been played out.)

DC9 at Night: What is it about psychedelic music that appeals to you as an artist?

Lennon: When a lot of people think of psychedelic music, they think of albums like Revolver or Sgt. Pepper's or even Their Satanic Majesties Request. But for us, it's not about matching the sounds of those albums or adhering to a formula. We want to make a mind movie or a sonic film that has a narrative structure to it and a longer form with surprising turns. The idea is to take the listener on a journey that's worth the effort for everyone. We're not trying to sound retro, but we obviously use our favorite bands as references at times. Also, we like to make something that's going to entertain us at the moment we're creating it.

Many of the songs on Midnight Sun, especially "Great Expectations" seem like they would be tough to replicate in concert. Was the live show a consideration when you recorded the album?

We didn't think about how the songs would sound live when we were in the studio at all. We decided to cross that bridge when we came to it. It's funny that you mentioned "Great Expectations," because that's the one song off of the new album we haven't played even once on this tour [laughs]. We want to learn how to play it for a show, but we haven't realized that yet.

Having a backing band seems especially necessary then.

We're really lucky though, because Jared Samuel, our keyboard player, is great at creating different sounds, and so is our other guitar player, Robbie Mangano. They both have a lot of tricks up their sleeves. I often find that I end up preferring the live versions of our songs because as we tour, we develop them and figure them out in new ways. "Great Expectations" just happened in the studio in a spontaneous moment and we didn't think much about it, other than to record it.

Another song on the album that has some complexity is "Animal."

I love that song because it feels like a puzzle to me. There's a trick to it where there's an odd number of chords and I find that compelling.

That song also has some religiously charged but humorous lyrics. You sing about Jesus on grilled cheese sandwiches, and about praying for "Internet billionaires." What statement are you going for with this song?

I'm not against religion, because I think it serves a purpose in our society and it can be helpful to certain groups of people. But, for me, religion is mythology. It's not science, but more like a children's fairy tale than anything factual. So, people that find religious images on food items is really silly to me, but the song is really more about how absurd the world has become in many ways.

Do you feel there's a difference between religion and spirituality?

I do think we all have a spirit, and I think there's a lot more to life and human consciousness than science can explain. But I prefer looking to science for answers because it can be tested and vigorously logical. I think science and religion are trying to explain similar truths that are beyond our present understanding.

Then it's safe to say your practice of transcendental meditation isn't about a higher power?

Right. I don't think of TM as a religious practice, though I'm sure it can be for some. But for me, it's like a scientific method to calm my brain down and making my frontal lobe more active. It's an exercise, really. Its helps me to have about 10 percent more conscious thinking, which is good, because we make a lot of decisions in our subconscious that aren't always good, like the decision to smoke cigarettes or to eat bad foods.

Speaking of science, you've been a vocal opponent of hydraulic fracturing, which has become insanely big business here in North Texas over the past several years. What kind of change do you think you can help bring about in that realm?

It's not that I think that I, or any single group of people, can entirely stop fracking. Because of the momentum, money and power behind the fossil fuel industry, it's probably the most powerful institution on the planet. I do think we [Artists Against Fracking] can make more people aware of the damage fracking poses to our water supply, global warming and climate change. Methane is 100 times more powerful of a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide and most people don't realize how climate change will be triggered by a globalized fracking industry.

So it's your hope to help spread that awareness.

I do think if more people understand that, they'll be more hesitant to allow any fracking to happen on their property. Any water supply is irreversibly damaged once it's been contaminated by one of the hundreds of different fracking chemical cocktails. I mean, once you frack, you can't go back.

GOASTT performs with Broncho on Friday night at Dada in Dallas.
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6 comments
noodles112387
noodles112387

man  I love this is like fucking actually alternative dark rock like nirvana almost u knw he got inspiration from his dad and like alice in chains...im so infactuated with him now...its dark..psycadeic, very rock, his dad was murdered, hes a lennon and its good, hes one ill definitely follow cuz Ghost of a saber tooth is very deep and all the song are classic just like tame impalas innerspeaker.  sean lennon is dope..im buying this on iTunes and vinyl asap

noodles112387
noodles112387

what the fuck are you talking bout next to tame impala hes psycadelic royalty and he is the shit...it dark but could u imagin his fucking dad was murdered,..and it is inspired....he aint pink Floyd but Floyd aint no lenno

moreyn
moreyn

How about compiling LIVE Midnight Sun for us?  

Perhaps it could be put together AFTER tour and offered? 

Would adore hearing your favorite versions. 


Funny how people seem to want to label your sounds. 

I never once though OH this is acid rock or OH this is fusion. 

It it what it is and to me what that is is GOASTT.


Thank you for all that you do for our planet & its people.

Steeve
Steeve

What has this Fuck ever done besides falling out of John Lennon's wife?

Larry_Williams
Larry_Williams

I have always thought in the back of my mind
Cheese and onions
I have always thought that the world was unkind
Cheese and onions
Do I have to spell it out?
C H E E S E A N D O N I O N S, oh no

Man or machine
(Man or machine)
Keep yourself clean
(Keep yourself clean)
Or be a has been
(Ah, ah)
Like dinosaur, oh, oh, oh

Man of advise
(Man of advise)
For everything nice
(Everything nice)
You'd better think twice
(Ah, ah)
At least once more, oh, oh

Man or machine
(Man or machine)
Keep yourself clean
(Keep yourself clean)
Or be a has been
(Ah, ah)
Like dinosaur, oh, oh, oh

Man of advise
(Man of advise)
For everything nice
(Everything nice)
You'd better think twice
(Ah, ah)
At least once more, oh, oh

Man or machine
(Man or machine)
Keep yourself clean
(Keep yourself clean)
Or be a has been
(Ah, ah)
Like dinosaur, oh, oh, oh

Man of advise
For everything nice
You'd better think twice

moreyn
moreyn

@Steeve  

Jealous much? 

Doesn't look very good on you or for you either. 


~Peace & love

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