The GOASTT: TSOTA meets front man Sean Lennon & Charlotte Kemp Muhl
[Photo by Synaesthete]
The utterly charming front man Sean Lennon leads The GOASTT (Ghost of a Sabre-toothed Tiger). Alongside him proudly stands his ethereal girlfriend, the multitalented singer, model and musician Charlotte Kemp Muhl.
On Wednesday the 3rd September, The GOASTT descended upon the Brudenell Social Club in Leeds to play and promote their new debuted album Midnight Sun.
Although Lennon is notorious known for his lack of interest in doing press interviews, he quickly put aside his reservations and gladly welcomed me and my scribe backstage. This up-close and personal interview happened to be the first UK interview of the Midnight Sun tour.
Looking both incredibly chic and chilled out on the sofa of their dressing room, they laughably apologised that they were not presenting themselves more neatly. Lennon and Muhl were two delightful, laid back spirits who made us feel very at home.
[Sean Lennon – SL]
[Charlotte Kemp Muhl – CKM]
TSOTA: So, who are your favourite artists that inspire you both and your music?
Together: Dali, Gustav Klimt, Matisse, Da Vinci, Rembrandt, Michelangelo.
CKM: But they don’t directly inspire us.
SL: What do you mean? They definitely do! I copied all of Da Vinci’s work at school.
TSOTA: Did you go to Art School?
SL: No, high school. We did get nude girls, which for a High school was amazing. I was 16. We had to take psychological tests to make sure we weren’t all going to be weird and pervy.
TSOTA: What do you think of Damian Hirst, the British artist who grew up and studied here in Leeds?
SL: I met Damian Hirst and he seemed really nice so I don’t want to say what my art piece is about any more.
CKM: Sean had an idea for a piece, it’s a good idea.
TSOTA: Go on tell us what your piece is?
Timidly Sean tells us his idea for a piece relating to Hirst’s ‘the Physical Impossibility of Death’ which features a Shark in formaldehyde.
SL: I wanted to do a realistic bust of his head as if he had been hunted, with the inscription underneath reading ‘The Possibility of Death’. It could be really funny […] but when I met him I was really intimidated and he was so sweet and if I said anything I would just feel bad. Well I think he’s obviously a genius.
CKM: He is but he got way too obsessed with money and success.
SL: He is obviously a genius and he’s really good friends with a lot of my close friends so I can’t even come close to criticising him in a rude way. The only thing I would say is I think he’s more along the lines of being the Stephen Jobs of Art than he is the likes of Salvador Dali of Art.
CKM: Oh no […] Dali was only after fame and money.
SL: No, that’s not my point, a lot of his art will influence all artists for the rest of history unlike a shark in a hundred years.
Both talk about various different artists they like. Then Sean directly asks me if I’ve been to Milan and seen installations and exhibitions of different artists. I giggle, like most I haven’t been out of the UK to just visit galleries. Lennon somehow presents his world and his lifestyle like it is the most natural yet fascinating thing in the world.
Charlotte Kemp Muhl & Sean Lennon with TSOTA’s Holly Ridge
TSOTA: What was it like working with Beck and the Flaming Lips as you’ve just toured with them?
SL: We’ve toured with them more than any other people in the world probably. When I first toured with Beck I was about twenty and we’ve been touring with the Lips since we had The GOASTT. They are like the only band that we tour with.
CKM: We have a bro-mance with them.
SL: They’re like the only band that will put up with us.
TSOTA: What’s your favourite song from Midnight Sun, your new album?
SL: Like it’s hard to pick a favourite child, we work so much on them […] I like playing Too Deep.
CKM: I like playing the heavy ones live because when you’re live you wanna do something big.
TSOTA: Who came up with the concept for your music video for Animals and who inspires fashion choices?
SL: We’re really interested in this documentary called the phantom family so it’s from that.As a fashion guru I really like Aleister Crowley, he’s the only person to ever wear a pyramid on his head that I know of and it was the thirties so he was ahead of his time. It’s not like there were hippies around. Everyone was in a suit and he’s walking around with a gold pyramid on his head. He’s my fashion icon now.
CKM: I think Syd Barrett, T-REX, Bowie or Hendrix; it’s the way they dress
SL: Hendrix definitely. But I don’t want to be cliché, […] like […] Jesus, the Strawberry Fields video.
CKM: Yeah, we really like all of their military jackets.
SL: Have you seen Holy Mountain? You need to see Holy Mountain, my Dad co-produced it.
CKM: This was a total coincidence.
SL: Basically we use our videos to indulge our filmic fantasies […] we basically but things in that we like.
Photo by Synaesthete
TSOTA: Do you get nervous, and do you have any preshow routines you have to do?
SL: I have embarrassing ones, I urinate a lot. I have to pee like 15 times, it’s completely OCD.
CKM: Yeah we pee a lot before shows. He gets more nervous than I do now.
SL: I get so nervous and I don’t know why. I’m not nervous on stage it’s just walking up to it. I just get kind of antsy, I pace.
SL: I used to do meditation but then I used to fall asleep on stage. I hear a beer is good.
TSOTA: Got any favourites?
Both: Yeah, Guinness!
Filed under: Music