Sean Lennon


This interview originally appeared on Lost At E Minor in November 2006

What was the idea behind making a short film for each of the songs on Friendly Fire?

“I wanted to do something different than just make a commercial for myself. I wanted to make art. There’s no chance of me getting on MTV, so why cater to that if they aren’t going to invite me in. I wouldn’t say that I have more interest in film than music or any other art form, but it is a merging of film and music anyway. It is a combination of different mediums and that is attractive.”

You have both your parents listed under influences on your MYSPACE page, [as Mum, Dad]. It seems you aren’t worried about living under their enormous shadows.

“I’m not trying to move away from it, and I don’t see it as a shadow. I mean they are just my parents. I’m happy about that, and about the fact that they are artists and musicians. I suppose I see it differently. I’m just continuing on the family business.”

Did your mother encourage you to follow this career path?

“She encouraged me musically, but only as much as she encouraged me to, say, speak English. Watching her as a kid is how I learnt how to be a person. She taught me how to live. I just imitated my mum, and all the adults around me. It wasn’t just my mum. We had Andy Warhol and John Cage and adults like that around when I was growing up, and I was influenced by them.”

I know you must have been asked this a million times, but what is your favourite Beatles album?

“Ahh, I’m not into the favourites. It’s hard, especially with this, for me. It’s like picking your favourite ever movie. Maybe, Revolver. I don’t know. It’s hard. I think Revolver.

A lot of reviews of the record claim parts of Friendly Fire sound a lot like Revolver.

“I don’t think it sounds similar, but a lot of people do, and it’s a compliment. It just sounds like music. I’m influenced by everything that came beforehand, not just the Beatles.”

Well, to be honest, it sounds closer to Elliott Smith, who I understand was a rather big fan of your father.

“People are saying that it sounds like him too you know, which I’m happy about. When people compare it, they compare it to Elliott Smith, my dad and The Beatles.”

Friendly Fire is quite psychedelic in places. Was that an intentional thing or was it more ingrained due to your artistic upbringing?

“Well, I didn’t sit down and consciously make something like that. If you are thinking of psychedelic in terms of tripping on acid, that’s not what it’s about. But if you mean it in terms of making something beautiful then yes that was intentional.”

Were you formally trained in music?

“No, it was a very informal education [laughs]. I taught myself. My mother is classically trained and she was playing around me. So some of that must have sunken in.”

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