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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    An interview with Sean Lennon and Charlotte Kemp Muhl

    Sean Lennon and Charlotte Kemp Muhl perform at the Staller Center on Saturday Oct. 15. (Kenneth Ho / The Statesman)

    Elvira Spektor, A&E Editor got the exclusive interview with The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger members, Sean Lennon and Charlotte Kemp Muhl.


    Elvira Spektor (ES): Tell me about how you two met and decided to make music together. 

    Sean Lennon: We met in 2005 through Coachella [Music Festival]. I thought she was too young for me so we became friends first. Then we started falling in love… but it was a slow courtship. The music is nice for our relationship. It was just refreshing at first…now it’s a form of expression.

    ES: The “Los Angeles Times” said that your record draws from “classic, vintage folk and psychedelia.” How would you describe your sound? 

    Sean: We write music that we like. I’d say we’re a fusion of jazz and psychedelic rock.  We’re influenced by Celtic music.  

    ES: Charlotte, how would you describe your fashion taste? 

    Sean (jokingly): She looks like the Swamp Thing.

    Charlotte: I like Mormon fashion. I’m really into the Victorian look.  I like the trends of the 1800s. We really like Icelandic fashion.

    ES: Any advice for students who like to express themselves by trying to dress “differently?”

    Charlotte: Be different. Don’t be a sucker for brand names. Don’t be a billboard.

    ES: Sean, how do you feel that being the son of such international icons [John Lennon and Yoko Ono] has influenced your professional career in music? 

    Sean: We try not to use that too much.

    Charlotte: Maybe we should. We get some inspiration from the world of the 60s. We don’t really fit in at all.

    Sean: I’ve been a musician since I was seven. It comes naturally. A therapist would probably tell me I was trying to become closer to my dad…closer to the family business.

    ES: If you could be someone else for a day, who would you be? 

    Sean: Stephen Colbert.

    Charlotte: Tesla.

    Sean: Yeah, Tesla.

    ES:What message do you have for talented campus musicians who want a career in the music industry but don’t know how to get past that “basement band” state? 

    Charlotte: We don’t know the secret. We haven’t really broken through either… It’s like the whole industry collapsed. It’s the Wild Wild West for music right now.

    Sean: I’d say don’t play music to become famous. Do it for the love of the craft. Don’t move to LA or New York. Stay in your own local scene…

    Charlotte: …And think originally. Try to do live shows.

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