Sean Lennon admits that he was naïve about his family legacy when he began a career in music. He also admits that when he received bad reviews for his first solo record, deep down he agreed with them. Sean talks with Marc about how he grew into himself as an artist and musician, how “John and Yoko” as the world sees them are different from his dad and mom as he knows them, and how the trauma of losing his father at a young age left him with memories that will never go away. They also talk about his work with Les Claypool, scoring films, and producing for other artists, including his mom. This episode is sponsored by Google Fi, Ben & Jerry's, and Stan Lee's Alliances: A Trick of Light, an Audible Original.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Hey folks. Today's episode is sponsored by Google Fi Google, a phone plan by Google made with features that people like you and I actually want features like free coming three networks in one for better coverage: pay as you go data and the freedom to use any smart phone. You already have switching is as easy as downloading the app learn more at five dot: google dot com, that's f, DOT, Google, dot com, to Google FI a phone plan by Google. You got that alright, let's do the show all right. Let's do this! How are you what the fucker is, what the fuck buddies? What the fuck in EAST does what's happening? It's MARC Maron! It's me Mark Marin. Thank you what's going on before
they too carried away. Sean Lennon is here Sean Lennon, yeah, son of John and Yoko the the the sort of I of by no intention of themself, somewhat royalty, rock and roll royalty prince really and I'm sure that's not going to make him happy. But we had a lovely conversation and you'll hear that. Soon. I would like to say I hope everyone's all right here in in Manhattan apparently have to have the fucking island dark last night, and one of our screenings got canceled the early greening up at the landmark. Fifty seven got cancelled because I don't know, I think some kids stuck a fork and a plug You know up on the West side and just shut the half the city down a transformer went at either. You know I can trust my brain anymore around this stuff. I don't know what that means. You know
I did watch the entire season of stranger things. There could be there could be monsters involved. That's all I'm saying I haven't seen any That indicates that, but I am, everybody made it through all right. We did lose a screening. I apologize to the people that that went to that. There was nothing I could do. There was nothing any of us could do, there's no one we could call, and in an oddly it in this is hard for me to admit it didn't have anything to do with me and I did a did affected a good deal of Manhattan and I'm I I'm happy to say that I it didn't have anything do with me, but but even the fact that that you know it was on the second night of our premier weekend here in New York City at there was a time where something like that happen, and I'd be like this. This is you know. This is just just my luck. You know there are people stuck in elevators young people locked in things that you know it just it. The thousands of people were compromised. I I think most of them are okay.
The blackout went on a long time. I don't even know if it's fixed today, I'm recording this Sunday, but there was time where I'd be like this is a sign. This is a this probably happened because of me. This is pay back. This is karma for some past behavior for a vestige of shooting. As I looked up the word vestige before the show so I'll be using that today's today's word is vestige
noun a trace of something that is disappearing or no longer exists. He might might my past yeah here's the other definition, the smallest amount in parentheses, used to emphasize the absence of something and then in biology, a part or organ of an organism that has become reduced or function less in the course of evolution. That, of course, is happening to a good deal, people with their brains. So the movie- we did a lot of screens here and there's there's screenings coming up that one tell you about I'll, be in Chicago tonight Monday at a screening of sorted trust at the Music Box Theatre, I'm doing a q and a with Joe Swanberg after the movie, I've been doing these q maze in New York. What Lynn Shelton it's just going, be me and Joe Lynn's, going back to work in no loss Angeles, this Friday
by 19th. The movie opens at the Nuart Theatre in LOS Angelus opera, Plaza Cinemas in San Francisco Shattuck Cinemas in Berkeley E Street Cinema in Washington, Dc Tiff Bell Lightbox in Toronto, Kendall Square Cinema in Cambridge MA And the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville New wow this movies, really opening up in places we didn't know this was going to happen. You kind of hope it happens. I guess, but I didn't anticipate any of this at all. I didn't even think that when was going to be able to make a movie out of what we shot and not only did she make a movie, but people seem to like the movie and the press has been crazy. It's been crazy. It's been written up in in very big outlets that people think are credible. New Yorker
it is seen the New York Times that the all the ones we've done? A lot of talking on the radio press tour is crazy, but it's been fun, but the movies getting very well received. It's a very watchable funny movie, and this I'm not bull. You might kind of guy that really bullshit to my the kind of guy that even remembers to sell promote I like the movie and that people are enjoying it, it's very exciting to to kind of step into all these theaters and see via the laughter come from the the room like real after not the program laughter that happens after you watch a movie that took took
The money to make and the jokes are all worn out before they come out of the faces and kind of laughed because there's a rhythm to it- and you know you're supposed to laugh that kind of weird surface laugh that kinda hovers somewhere between. You know the brain in just above your heart, like it's sort of a over for a reflex check that seat that sounded kind of real. But it wasn't though, after that happens with this movie comes from a deep place. Could you can't control it funny? How many things we do on reflex patterns, people that stages. I don't know if that even fits, but they have established. It is the word of the day, well we're in the thick of summer folks, and you know what that means. It means this is prime ice cream season. Do not fear it. Folks in Brady said and I have a very long, a very close relationship with Ben and Jerry's. There's some in my freezer, right now, you know pint is a pint, but really we all know that a pint is one serving a pint. Is a perfect amount for one person
at one hundred in the morning, while you're watching Tv- and you really don't you really want to go to bed, but you know you a pint of Ben and Jerry's. They sent me some cherry Garcia. I like peanut butter CUP personally, because then you can dig for the chunks and when you get a big chunk of peanut butter CUP, you feel like you want to price and then eat it. And then you know, you say you get that smile on your face and then you have to go back to the freezer and get more generally the way to do it is when you get a pint of the flavor that you like, you should get a pint of vanilla, so you can cut it. You got to have the cut that I've I've. You stab. I've talked about this before you put a little bit of the flavor, you like cut it with the head of the no way and then just eat that, but then it's problematic, as you might be, you might go through two pints in a night I haven't done in awhile, but they sent me a pint of Ben and Jerry's, and here's what you do I'll tell you exactly how Ben and Jerry's ice cream. This is going to be the longest ad ever because I'm actually telling giving you instructions, I got home after doing some comedy. I said you know, I need some ice cream, so I put a little on a boy.
Oh and then you put the little in the ball. You put the ice cream back in the freezer. You eat some of the ice cream and then you realize, like oh man, it's not quite enough and then go back out. Just gonna have a couple more spoonfuls take a little bit more out of the two or three spoonfuls and then you go back. You sit down to eat that and then you're like man, I'm going to God Dam and then go back in your life just put a little more and then you look in the pine you realize like wow it most of it. There's only one slash three left and then, by the time you've gone back to the point like two or three times with the bowl. That's when you just take the pint you surrender and you just eat the whole pint and then after that, you like that was amazing and stop the feelings there stop them. There stop it. That was amazing and that's it go to bed and then see if you can get through the other feelings yourself to your favorite. Flavor anywhere ice cream is sold or find a new favorite at Ben Jerry's, dot com, that's, b e N, J E R, R y dot com not Ben and Jerry's or Ben,
Jerry, Gerrybenjerry DOT, com, okay, alright yeah that felt amazing to eat that and there's another plan home, I'm in New York and I'm thinking about it right now and I'm like I gotta get home, but I can just get Ben and Jerry's anywhere Lynn and I did Q an ace at several. We did like five of them. The first night we did at the ninety Second Street Y with my friend SAM website. It's great to see. Sam is nice converse asian, and then that might my family was supposed to come out. They were all planning to come to the show that would be a might. My father is Rosie my aunt Linda my uncle bill, my cousin LISA, my dad's cousin Jeff, my dad's cousin Norman Lisas, kid Nick and his girlfriend it was going be that many, but you know
see them that much so I thought well, that would be good and then the movie starts they're, not there and then we're in about about an hour into the movie, an entire parade of my family, just kind of models into the theater and walks by me and Lynn sitting at the back of the MIKE. Give me an hour in so I don't know what happened, but it didn't work out exactly right in that now that I'm going to another screen you today, because it's Sunday and there try sing again and I've already already gotten a text that there was a train problem. Family man it's great right, great good times, so that that screening. Because I SAM was there than that the following day, Bentsen Choir House, to why and never met him before we had a nice conversation about this southwestern Jews are not onstage offstage. He grew up in Phoenix. Were you know my brother lives in where my ex wife, one of them, is from that spent a lot of time in Phoenix, so that was exciting people or lack in asking fun questions, and then Tom, Scharpling and Brenda Mcdonald not
the other they moderated a couple of the to down, the IFC always good to see Brandon its interest, and Brendan moderates a thing with me because, honestly, nobody as we as well as Brenda Mcdonald, this guy at young. He has to listen to all the that. I'm saying right now twice a week on top of me talking to people he's Actually got pretty good boundaries, but you know he knows me awhile, so so that's always the exciting thing. I always learn something about me. I didn't know when Brendan talks to me in public- and you know it's one of those moments where it's like: oh okay, that's, okay, yeah! That is me you're, right, you're, right and now now everyone knows and Tom Shaw point of course is terrific and we had a great time with him and then the next night IRA Glass moderated. Do that was last night and we went out to me and win went out with with IRA for a little snack afterwards had a nice conversation, I don't think I've ever talked that long to IRA, glass and a non professional environment, and you know what he's a nice guy
a smart, nice, guy and apparently he's got a radio show or something on yeah gonna to check that out. This wife is american, is I think, but does so it's been good to receptions. Big good. We've had fun, you know and you're moving through the vestiges. Yah Lin has a past here as well in New York, so she got to show me the vestiges of her past in New York in the in the shape of buildings and the other things that used to be there. That's what you do when you leave lived in New York and it's all gotten away from here is like. Are they used to be a place here where people did bad things that I missed that when people did bad things it right here at this place, and I live right there right over the bad things happening? That's that's a memory of New York. If you live here in the eighties or nineties, back when I lived here. Some really horrible ship was going on over here, but you got to know them the people that were doing the horrible shit right so dimension, Sean Lee
this year. He is here and I'm gonna be out there. Okay, I'll talk to you about that experience in a minute, but support for the show is brought to you by the new audible original stand. We alliance is a trick of light in one of these final in most innovative works, the legend invites this, to unleash the power of their own imagination, to bring a new universe and cast of superheroes to life for to buy Yarra Shahidi from blackish and grown Ishan featuring a captivating introduction from Lee himself. This new superhero origin story takes on the ever blurring line between humanity and technology, while really digging into one of the center. Questions of our day. What is more, real, a world we are born into or one
create ourselves, both epic in intimate, fascinating and funny. This is essential. Stan Lee, listen free with a thirty day trial, just go to audible, dot com, Slash w t F for text, W T F, two five hundred five hundred: that's all double dot com, Slash W T, F or text, W T F, two: five hundred five hundred Stanley's alliances, a trick of light the power to change changes every thank yeah that sounds intense, so Sean Lennon came to my house and it was. It was kind of exciting. I don't you it's as as Duncan Jr owns a David Bowie son told me that this is a very small club of these children of particular mythic. Musical presence is that there is somewhat eternal. Am any aid to? I guess it's a matter of taste you I I it
if you're certain age or a certain person, you're meeting somebody related or the offspring of a beetle or David Bowie you know or or event Bob Dylan yeah there there's a few people that you know were you kind of like wow, that's wild! That's your dad whoa, but Sean Lennon. Put out a record. He put out many records, he's a talented musician And his most recent album s of reality by the Claypool and in delirium is available now, wherever you get music and he's on tour this summer, all across the country, you can go to theclaypoollennondelirium dot, com for tour dates and cities. Les Claypool, of course, from
prime, as in many other les Claypool Oriented projects, Les Claypool's, when those guys were it's sort of like he just keeps making stuff and it's it's usually kind of amazing and it's weird and its its own universe. I know I know I should interview escalate pool, but I really need this sort of swim through your jump into the rabbit hole of clay, fullness and and and figure that out before. I do that, but he is doing this. It's a fun record it. It actually is fun and funny and a little dark in for instrumentally satisfying. You can kind of feel a lot of different influences in there. But it's it's! It's a wild record, this record nine joy, the record and I listen to a lot of Julie, Julia now boy, that's the other one! That's Johns! I didn't talk to Julian. I talk to John about Julian, but I get my kids of John Lennon mixed up.
In a in very rare circumstances, but I just I just did it just to how often does that happen? I didn't mean Julian and Sean Lennon. How often you get to say that, but I talked to Sean. I listen to a lot of his music. I listen to a lot of Yoko's music because, as you know, I just watch that documentary called the above us only sky about the process of making. Imagine in that part of the the life there but yeah I was sort of like pleasantly surprised his job. You know, while because Sean it worked with Yoko and obvious with his mother, but it was a good conversation and I never know how delicate it is like it do we talk about your dad right at the gate yeah. I don't want to be disrespectful to your talent or or any of that. So how do you manage that? If you're not? no the guy, but we actually had a really really sweet conversation. We had things in common in terms of our brains and that there's a really interesting moments in this. This is me and Sean
running back at the garage, Only that I've even started calling myself a guitar player, because I just kinda, I don't know it just seemed It wasn't my identity, because I never sat and did too many scales and was never trying to anything right. I was always just trying make music. So yeah never got a les Paul and it did seem kind of like the Holy Grill but you're playing serious guitar. I mean you're playing, leads and you're doing the thing yeah I've been playing more leads in this band. I think mainly because Les Claypool sort of known as instrumentalist and write a sort of athletic player yeah, and I think it was more it's more expected, but at the same time, it's also that he sort of encouraged me yeah
to to solo more, which is been nice, because I've never really considered myself a guitar player per se. It's more of a song writer in my mind, and he was the one who is like nah man like you got some traps like. Why don't you play and I'm like really like you play with you know you play with everybody. Why do we judge ourselves? Jack is, if you really think about I am not even a professional musician, but I judge myself like you. Why do we think? What do we think being a guitar player is like virtuosity in a most of the lead you probably like they're just like I am either not yeah they're, not like virtuosity sure, and I mean It'S- it's almost like it's might be a kind of arrogance or something because you know what do you expect your well to be, like you know, right, we want being way mom, Steen yeah, exactly once that I can't even listen to that's like listening to math yeah, I've really good about him. You know
encouraging me to take more solos, and then you know it's funny. I mean not. Not not the lake bring this up in in in the ego kind of weird, but I on the cover of guitar, with him- and I was just like woah what's going on- I mean I just it definitely You are crazy. Yeah surprise me, because I just never expected that to happen again when I you know when I grew up. People that were on that it was exciting. It was like wow, but I also still don't fully accept that I can play guitar that well, and you know I think it's actually. You know the self critical part of your brain. It's like always. You know always critiquing every little thing right do or not do, and I think, to a large degree is that part of my brain is correct. I mean I, you know I am. I am sort of pose with the time and I'll try, but it there. You know I never put in hours to actually get the dexterity that someone like less has on the base. I think people. Imagine him as I did to live
maybe living in some wizard Castle you know in the woods and taking seems every day, but he's actually he it's really surreal an oddball in his art, but it is in private, he's responsible, dad he's running his wine biz Fishing yeah, he's fishing all the time and fixing his cars and he's a real like reliable dude, but it seems like I just guessed musically. He seems to be like he likes to get out there you know, I think, he's one of those people that is just sincerely unique in his approach. His instrument into songwriting and it's really rare. You know, I think a lot of people try to find. Originality, and maybe you can get there through, just Methodology of trial and error with him. I think he just has an innate perspective on music
It just comes naturally to him and he's one of the only players which is especially on days. If you hear about thirty, ends of him playing on anything and you kind of know. Our that's, let's play pool if you know, is going exactly especially base which is really hard to do on base because well you know it's just it's sort of a rhythm section instruments, so it takes a backseat often and he he treats the is the way you know lead guitarist, you know treat treat the yeah the lead guitar here and you know there and people who took bay before him, but he has. He has an oddball approach, it's fun too! is really face. Where now he's he's, Let's see one of the best players I've ever played with in it's just made me a much better musician having to keep up with them. The one thing I realized in just playing the the crappy way I play is that you know it's about you
being able to communicate with. However, you play like some of the most notorious players, distant relation guitar player magazine. It's not 'cause, they're virtuosos, it's just 'cause. They you can. You can feel them through how they play like you can identify Mikey just said about less, but that doesn't like Keith Richards is no genius, but he's Keith, Richards yeah right well of it. I mean that you know it's it's it's because it's a magical about my because I think I would consider him a genius if we're talking about rock and roll right good. Hardware is simple: it's not complicated! Yeah! You know it's like it's his own. He has figured out a way to be at one with that thing and express himself uniquely through it. And and it's not it's simple well yeah. I mean I agree with you and and and that's why I think it's interesting to me that tastes seems to be more important factor in making good music at least then skill, because said. There's all these people who have chops
out the window and, like you, don't music choirs music know. People like Lou Reed, who you know He wasn't an accomplished guitar player. Somehow he connects with music. So I think it's more about your feel than anything and also the working of the people you're playing with, and it's a beautiful thing about being a musician. Is that, like you got a few other people with you and the combination of them. Even when you're not feeling great, you know, maybe you think you're not playing up to where you need to be. Everybody works together. Right yeah, I mean I mean in the best case scenario there all that there are people who are just singular and want to do it alone. You know I mean not completely alone, but there are some Stevie wonder. Records are friends records right. They basically played my now yeah right, the vast majority of the yeah, I'm in sync,
ng drums and everything crazy yeah and those people manage to get this kind of jam going with themselves, it's their their multiplicity of musicians right, but for the most part I think, he's his collaborative, and I think that's what makes it so hard because these bands they find their chemistry in their success. I think there's also like a ninja and resentment that a lot of people have towards. Either because they rely on something that they can't quite quantify, but right can't do it on their own and they go, do their solo career right and and it doesn't work right as well, and I think that's therein lies the complexity of and then there's the expectation right, there's the expectation of them to deliver their sound or whatever they put out. Or by the label by the audience yeah and that's an interesting thing. For example, Mick Jagger Solo career like its famous that he
try to move on. I think it was in the eighties yeah and it was hard and- and it's it's hard to because on paper it would make sense, as you said like, if there's nothing Keith is playing, that is impossible to learn for the average guitar player so hard to wait like yeah can learn it yeah, but that was but, but if you do, you do imagine that at makes level he could get musicians that would you know fit the bill enough to make it compelling, but it didn't workout and that's it's really but the other side of that is when Keith did his solo. You're like these would be great stones, inversely yeah in the same way, but you know even like I just read this thing about Mccartney on tour, which was it an amazing observation. It was kind of haunting that, like he's doing, the stadium shows doing the bugle, songs, everyone and and and he said that they were there- he he actually accused the audience of being like a black hole, but it, but it seemed kind of really like when I read it, I'm like that's heavy, but what happened was. Is that he's point of
Enis and when he's doing Beatles songs, all the phones are up and then he does one of the new album all the phone stop yeah. So you just see this one thousand points. Right and then he does whatever the hell that song is when they all go. Blackness yeah. So funny how this cell phone has supplanted the lighter as well and also the experience of being there. I mean people are experiencing it in real time through their phone once removed it's very sad. It's really odd. So before we talk about specifically that there's a couple songs on the new album and one on the last one you do will last six that are that are dark in in in one one is, I think you know I wouldn't and and kind of haunting and sad the the Oxycontin girl out a song on that last yeah, but the one on this one about Parsons, that you know the the the Crowley item rocket scientist yeah. We used to hang out with Hubbard and his wife and that whole business
yeah as a subject matter. I'd like I want to discuss how that comes up sure the in it yeah, because so few people know that story. I think my to try to make a movie about what this person's first name is a John Roberts, Jack Pies, Jack, Parsons yeah. I I I someone gave me a book called sex and rockets. Yeah yeah was just it's a biography of Jack Paar's which I realize now is kind people in some bits. I don't think it's considered the official historic document I think, there's some subjective stuff in it I mean that's probably they have all biographies which another subject, of course, but it's rating- and you know, as you said he was- he was a J p L rocket scientist. In fact he founded JPL. Some people say that JPL's doesn't stand for jet propulsion labs, but Jack partisan line because he was sort of right and he's conjuring demons with L Ron
meanwhile here out, so he was also magic right exactly so he's in Ot, oh, which is the Alister Crawley right religion becomes a magister Templi, which apparently is the head of that. I guess brand and I think also L Ron had wanted to be in Ot owen- wasn't allowed in or something so. There was some kind of tension there, whereas Elron wound up may be sleeping with Jack's, wife or something like that, like the bay or it was a three seven or eight sex magic yeah rest is goats or something yeah yeah. And yes, I just I mean I love that story. The thing the delirium is that it's kind of a whimsical project more than anything I've ever done before right. So it's sort of given me permission to really have fun, with the lyrics, yeah and and even the music as well, but
more playful, so I'm always looking for fun stories to encapsulate, and you know it's. I really like looking for real life stories to to to write these kind of surreal. Carnivalesque saw is because you know it's a cliche, but life is definitely stranger than fiction, so you know this is a true story. It just seemed like the perfect fodder for you and we're delirium, yeah, yeah and there's a lot of examples like that. Like there's, a song called amethyst realm on the record that I wrote about this girl I'd read about in England who who claims to have cheat? on her fiance with a ghost yeah, and I think Beyonce walked in on them some and breaks up with him and renounces living men because she says in a phantom sexes how much better sure. So I thought that was just amazing, so I can add that into one waiting. Well, it's one!
your point of view on masturbation, if you're not using porn, aren't we all having phantom sex when we do that, yeah in like, if that's all it with that, but I think that you know, I think her claim is goes kind of its into testing and her name was actually amethyst realm, which was just like that sounds like a song title, it's trippy, but a lot of the subject matter is just kind of just me. Look at how weird the world can be. There's another song called Boris KO, which is about a real kid. In Russia who, through his mom sort of declared that he was from Mars, yeah then his mother and some people around and claim that he had magical powers, your psychic powers and that he could read it three months. Or something right, and my I'll take on it, was just after watching a couple of videos, His a doctor she
like she was in charge, and so I don't know if this is true, but my take was she put him up to it and the kids just looks kind of miserable, but is like regurgitating all the stuff he's been told to say yeah and it's sort of a scheme. You know it's, it's it's a con. Yes, the kinds of that song is about that, but there is that America is. Is such a a for tile landscape for that kind of, like you know, looking at things in in a secure ical, where looking at things that aren't satirical and realizing like what the like, they're, the easily charmed by force is like that's a fundamentally Americans, yeah yeah, I mean easily. Charmed is more of a less song, and so is the other one you mentioned, which was. I forget. The first thing I don't know yeah John Hunger. I think for less. That was just You know again yeah. It's pretty realist often mean. Obviously we have a major Z, Khan epidemic in this country, and I think, having kids made. Especially worried about that kids of college
The turn in that song, where you know the boyfriend turns her out and in the world. We live in to have to listen those lyrics and go like yep. Yeah, you know what exactly an he's We both of his kids are totally straight edged and really smart and cool, but I There was a moment where he just you know he he he always talks to me about how having kids is influenced his universe in that, if you're he he's, describes it as your universe goes from you being the sun and things orbit year to suddenly there's a son. That's your kid! In your One of the planets orbiting it like that's the same after make sure he's
yeah, exactly Xing planet. Yes, I think come near some of the songs or some of the narrative perspective are come from him. Just you know having kids and worry about that, and I, like I like this sort of both records kind of move through yeah. Eight. You have just straight up kind of like a like a lab like what kind of orchestrated psychedelic trips, but also there's kind of like some forty stuff in there and then there's some way exactly. He kind of thing like you kind of move through like him in you, but if you like, you can hear the influences in there. You know yeah well, I just feel lucky that I've managed to find myself in a project where we can just be that playful. Yeah. You know, and we've been given permission 'cause under the guise of Prague or Psych. We're allowed to just have
Can we get the permission? Anyways I mean like you can do whatever the fuck. You want sure sure not a high pressure situation. I guess that's always true myself, you records, but it's not like you're competing for billboard charts. Are you sure but I guess no, it's not so much that it's just it's just there's something about there's something about the call, the the character of this project. Where is it? Doesn't it doesn't odd, to have a five minute intro of noise and and and random jumble. Ing spoken word or something and no one blinks twice, whereas I think in other projects, if I did that, I think people be like what is the you know, there's just you know not get expectation kind of what well that's a question that like sort of going back now that, like I remember you, because I used to do comedy back in the day at the Boston Comedy Club, which used to be above the baguette in like the there, there was a period there where you're playing in their you
that was years ago Valley. I think it was before you even recorded, I think, was like some of the first outings, with whatever combo you'd put. Together at the time like I remember it was sort of thing like you know, like Sean Lennon's downstairs like what does he do yeah yeah. Well, it was weird for me at first, like I think I was incredibly naive and I had no idea how people or the world might might might might feel about me. I I just just because I was I was in a group of musicians in New York. We were all friends, there was the beastie boys and there was Then I joined called Cibo Matto and were you in your teens I joined your mind, I think, before I turn twenty and that's before your first record. My first record was twenty twenty one so it was right around that time, but it was weird because I just I saw
We took it for granted. You know we all played in each others, bands we hung out, we played shows and then so I want to do a solo record thinking. Oh it's just going to be like that, and it just was it. It was because of the legacy yeah there was an it's funny that I didn't anticipate that I mean I should have, but I really did Well I mean I met. I knew that there wasn't going to be exactly the same, but the degree to which the degree to which it kind of made me feel I guess invisible in a way 'cause. What I noticed is that a lot. People who don't know me because I've only grown up with immediate friend, and family and teachers and school. I wasn't exposed to the public per say, so I didn't realize the degree to which people would find it impossible to just sort of look at me, and several women opinion based on me and not project either how I'm not fulfilling or am fulfilling some ideas out about my dad or my parents right. It took me years to even understand that
insulated on purpose. Was that your mom's intent? Well? No, I don't mean I was insulated. I just simply mean I'd never been public. I had most people are worried about something that was demanding but yeah. I just had never had press or you know, media stuff. I mean a little bit, but it was shocking in a way, and it's taken me a lifetime to kind of completely internalize it and understand what it's all about. And now I don't really blame people 'cause. I understand it's like you know. If you have this person, that's team significant in your mind, even though you never knew them, but because of the like my it's it's it's unreasonable to expect them to see me and not be clouded by. You know the triggers of their ideas of this person. Bigger than yeah. I think anyone a yeah I mean- maybe not you but can imagine because, like I mean you know, I go through my life. I don't think about the Beatles every day you know, but but I will
The recent documentary that your your mama's the signed off on because he's a big part of it and it really re frame, sir, in the history of the Beatles that, above us only sky right. I just watch it. You know in Paul rises on Africa watch that and I was like I I found myself going like my god. So much would you John and just talking you know like in, like I, I became like crazy in a in a at this moment or MIKE, I did not realize how much how important that guy was in my brain right, Anne Thank you for most people that grew up with that. Specially that generation I mean it's, it's like bigger than life yeah. He has got to deal with that. You are here yet when you decided to do music, you can really was it's. Have a family business sing. Or do you didn't really anticipate that you would be up against it? Well, like there's two things I would want to say to that is what's interesting. I find is that as big as the significance
with the Beatles or my dad might be to the biggest fan right. I think what people underestimate is like that still doesn't compare, How important a father is to it to a child right. So, however, anyone frames it to me and often you know it's, it's almost weekly someone will say you have no idea right. How important your dad was to me and you know, I'm not Michael understanding on my thanks, but there's also this part of me that feels like you actually have no idea right. Well, maybe you You would have an idea if you just imagine how important your parents were to you right and that's a big deal. You know, so I feel like my can ship to my dad. Sometimes I feel like it's hijacked or something in that in that it's people don't even seem to consider it, but that's very interesting because, like you know, when you know, when tragedy came, You know you were so young, but you know you're dealing with the absence of of a father and they're they're, dealing with the absence of a almost a myth.
Logical being right and not to be. You know not to be critical, but it's jet like for the most part. As real as their feel things our right. It's a dream. As dream's, what I'm talking about is a physical person who you know taught me how to cut my food at dinner. Which actually leads to the other question you had, which is you know when I started music did? Was I doing it for you know because it was a family thing honestly, I kind of feel like, A bit of an impostor and I've been talking about this with guitar, like I don't consider myself, guitar player whatever, but compare so, all my professional musician friends, my introduction to music wasn't now rule in the way that it was for most of the meaning. A lot of them were the musician in their school or right, or they just had a Prada
talent or they got a scholarship because they were just so good at piano. Those are the people you know not just people like. I want to get chicks and play guitar. Well, no, I think all of us are motive Do you want to get checks it out. I've been at least boys but or some boys, but but what I mean is like. I was never like this prodigy, where where's teachers we're, like my god, you've got an ear like we've got to send you to Juliet. So I never had that sort of natural path. Music. For me, it really was what you mentioned. The absence of my father was there was this huge void in my life, I associated him with music, and so I just played music because it was sort of it was the only way, kind of try to fill that void because, as I played music as I learned the Beatles songs and learn to play guitar it just made me feel like I was, can
dean to hammer right. I'm not literally spending time with him, but but as close as I could, you know sure rendered to that kind of a connection with him, because his music was an extension of him. So me playing music was really. It came from childhood. Basically, it wasn't because, like I'm yeah, I've got this There was always a better musician in my school I mean there's always people with perfect pitch or whatever, who go to Juilliard and become legit musicians. I always had a certain of talent, but it was never a prodigal, I wouldn't sure so yeah for me why it's kind of on it when I'm looking back at my life, it's interesting because
came to music more out of a kind of as a kite as a kind of instinct to try to heal hello. Yes, how the trauma as opposed to you, know, because I was good at it or something. How old were you when you die was five and you? How do you have an intact memories, at him alive. Well, that's the other interesting thing. I don't know if there's any legit neuroscience around PTSD and memory. But for me the years leading up to my dad's death via. I have more memories that I think I should really yeah I'll. Quite a bit and I've I've checked them as well 'cause. You know like that, the name of this doll that I had or yeah this person that worked for my. Dance in Japan. When I was only three or four like I remember things, yeah and I know memory is unreal.
Level and every time you remember you're, not remembering the moment right now in the memory and the right change it so, but I I I think something about the trauma that really kind of made those memories indelible you know my teen years. My memories like- yeah, not so good, so there's something about the trauma that really woke me up an yeah I'll, never forget it. I mean it's not fun to talk about, but I have a lot of memories of you know I mean you might know, but there was there were crowds of people in Central PA sheriff, is right outside of our apartment, and you know it definitely There's a rude awakening. Suddenly I didn't really know even what the Beatles were and then suddenly there were like one thousand people outside church singing these songs, twenty four hours for months and for years. Actually they would come back
on my dad's birthday and- and it was it was very surreal because your mother, very musical, as well, despite what people might think. Thank you for saying that. I appreciated that. I agree to she, she M I mean and the reality is she's. She taught me more music than my dad did, simply because she was around sure she was making records and that's how I learned to to mix the record. What a compressor was with this kind of my did what he Q was. I learned it all from my mom being in the studio, yeah. Well E, F, N, n n. I I just like I was curious to know.
You know, as you got older and got more interested in music and and started to have this experience, what your father's work and then here with your mother, actively working that you know what how did your mother compensate for, for you know John being gone in your memory like he'll, either emotionally or or is it in that role of of being a single parent. Well, you know it. I wouldn't want to necessarily speak for her, as I was very young, but I am I'm not I'm not sure exactly how to answer that question, because I've never quite thought about it. That way, yeah, but I would say The item. I would say that my mom's parenting was unconventional in that she She didn't want to repeat what I think she would consider the mistakes of her parents right or her parents generation ha, and I think my father had felt that way too yeah for the for the time that he was raising me
and I guess most parents feel that way. You you're trying to be an improvement on what you had yeah, of course, and I I think there are incremental improvements, so I think what distinguished my mom's parenting was that she didn't want to control me in the way she they tried to control her via and so she was very respectful of me from an early age and kind of treated me as a sovereign individual. So in a way. I guess that's what a lot of maybe hippie generation parents did. They said they sort of went for a kind of mutual respect, friendship, kind of thing which which was really radical? I guess in right in comparison to the generation before who kind of treated kids as slaves, and but looking out. For you know your best interest and and and trying to in view you with a sense of of moral in you know decency.
Sure, yeah yeah I mean I wasn't raised with any particular religion, but my mother definitely has a very. She has a very specific moral compass. And yeah. I think part of that morality was to respect individuals and their their autonomy. Sure and kids as well I mean. She would always say that to me that she disliked that kids were condescending to one she was growing up the out of their their desires and wants were sort of overlooked. It seems that, like a lot of the source of a lot of her creativity is, is child like and informed by you know, trauma and, and your grown up feet.
Yeah well, she she came from a very conservative family in Japan, yeah and you know it's interesting how life works, but I think a lot of the the the the restricted you know life she had in terms of you know this social, mores and and and behavior yeah. That works. Active her. I think kind of made her the radical artist that she was. You know missing. My grand father told her that when she was starting to play classical piano that women can't be pianist or successful, penises- and you know That'S- she always talked about that. She always talks about that that story as if it was the thing that gave her the impetus in the
Eiji did to become who she is yeah she was like. Are you yeah exactly, I think that's a lot of people's impetus, yeah, exactly dear dad, yeah exactly I mean it's it. Well, it's interesting because I mean I just find the relationship between true fuller trauma or difficulty in life and and and sort of successful outcomes in terms of the characters of the people go through it. It's sort of a paradox, isn't it I mean life is very odd. In that way, what I mean is like you can't you, obviously some of the most interesting people tend to have had a lot of difficulty at some point sure it's sort of the way that you learn about the most profound things in life, and you can't really get there and less you kind of have some I guess have to navigate offering or some
sure, which I just find that to be so interesting? It seems like a paradox, but you know often when people get even diagnosed with some illness or something they always say like. And now I'm awake like now. I understand I understand myself for right. I appreciate takes that. He had there something. Well you get. I should be out that reality will move towards as secure a wife is they can have that. You know something that that what might seem to guarantee them a certain sense of safety, whether it's institutional or job or all that other stuff, and then they kind of like just lock into a pattern where, as creative people, if they really pursue that they're, always going to be an emotional and physical risk because of the lifestyle they live in a or the risks they take emotionally. So your or, if they're, you know really talented. Usually that comes with a certain amount of doubt and addiction problems or whatever is going to happen, so you know they're out there and that you know yup battling this stuff.
Your day to day and if they survive it, they they come with the they come upon a real wisdom. I would think yeah and it's interesting to me. I mean this is just you know philosophically interesting, but I can tell you these lessons when you're a kid- and you can even take it seriously and try to internalize the wisdom right, but it's and it isn't until you go through those things that you truly understand it and- and you know right and You have your own story about it that you can tell somebody else will be like yeah right yeah and it's and it's I just wish it wasn't that way. I wish I wish you could just be told when you get it, but somehow our biology is stubborn. Add clean, but even in a super, in a way in terms of the human race. It's like, for example, with something like global warming. It seems like.
No matter how much we talk about it. I fear that it's going to take some kind of real world consequences like an experience that will then you know then we'll have had serious. I I I I think that I feel that that way too, and it makes me as sad as well I I do I'm doing a bit about it now. Just sort of you know what is it going to take it, and and and at that moment will we be able to adapt where it? Where is it like? You would think right now. It's like well, it's pretty clear yeah! Well, what has to happen. It's It's it's just dumped like six feet of Hail and Mexico and we just sort of like that's an anomaly, I don't know, but people are also in denial because I think either out of shame or out of a sense of business or they they or they just don't want to believe it
well designed must be evolutionarily and useful. Of course I was here I have I was. I heard something about how it's not enough from an evolutionary standpoint to be a good liar, because PETE people are humans are just so naturally sensitive. I mean that's why we love good acting because, we're all quite nuanced in our perceptions of facial muscles and vocal tone. So it's not enough to be good at lying it. You have to also kind of believe yourself sell it yeah they have the you have to have the ability to live yourself yeah, because all Only then can you truly not get caught right. That's the enemy! That's why we have this president yeah, for example, but I find that to be true really interesting, because the idea is that. Believing your own bullshit is an evolutionary. You know a skill that was did Ford and all of us yeah? So I mean it's not,
obviously we all know people who are who are too far in that direction and we're just shocked. I mean you know, we've been kind of like really a you know. Do you really believe what you're saying yeah, but I think the truth is that we All have that ability, of course, and If we hadn't had it, we would have died in our genes, wouldn't have passed on we. We are the survivors of L allying species. Okay, find it very interesting. What is real? interesting write a song about that. It's a little complicated, but you know so hard to laundry along. We are the. What is it we are the survey. Papers of applying species of allying species in the first line. It definitely going to be a hit get my mom to just do some wailing over it. They will have something fake. Do it. She she's always up for it so like alright, so going back, though
it's interesting that, in order to build a relationship with your father's absence that you integrated his work into yourself, it is interesting, and I don't know if you know it's kind of pop. Psychology on my part too, because it's it's not like a professional told me this. This is my own interpretation of me and so I thought you know I could just be making it up. I don't know, but it felt that way the reason I say that is because I remember playing piano before I could play or had a lesson or anything and just playing it, knowing that that was Hanna and missing him. Some kind of sounds like a sob story, but it's true I mean. So that was my sex story yeah. It was sad, but I remember the first I figured out some of his songs yeah. It felt really good, but you start with. I think the first one I learned was hide your love away, that
in word and Julia was the hardest one yeah. I mean that in fact still today I can't play this one f, minor, nine court. It's it's it's, it hurts yeah, even though I play guitar everyday, just never stops hurting that first fret, but yet really good in a way that it it doesn't. It never felt. Learning people saw the man, I love learning Hendrickson right cream, but that was always just like an accomplishment on the instrument. Where is learning when my dad songs felt kind of like a sacred thing, it felt like an intimate, yeah spiritual kind of thing It also has genetic resonance nice someone. He should coined that term too. That's another hit as the name my neck genetic resonance so like because it seemed to me, Listening to all this stuff that I on the first
Did you were you were really making a a a a sort of you know, fairly sophisticated pop record right in pointing some of those chords and and and that style of writing it is that true, honestly I'd like to give you an intelligent response to that. But I don't know my first record. Was me making up a song a day and then mix. At night and moving on. I think I did the whole album in two or three weeks yeah and I think it was my mom's influence sheep. Really believes in spontaneity yeah, so she really believes in. Channeling lyrics like they just come to her right right, I really looked up to her so I made a record in that fashion. Thinking thinking that people would think it was cool that I was doing something that was like a die,
a like a demo like something really intimate but not overworked, and just sort of a stream of consciousness thing but then I realized, when we were releasing it, that can in no way to make that clear it just even if I said that it just like no. This is your debut. This is where this is John and son deciding to you know, make a statement about who he is as a musician was for me, this statement was supposed like I'm, going to kind of I'm going to be really loose and not polished about in order to counter expectations of me getting a big record dealers, right my brother had done, and you know I respect for that, but I felt like, and I had been offered, those kinds of lucrative sure feels were like we'll get to this guy to write your song. This producer- and it just didn't, feel like me and
as I was hanging out with all these indie cats like the beasties and then Sonic youth to me, it just seemed cooler to do something understated, but New York too yeah so it was really off the cuff and kind of random a minute look at the lyrics. Sometimes I'm like man. What was I thinking? It literally was just like the cat in the Okay done! You know, because I sort of think scared to work on the lyrics too much, because I was scared to try to be smart. So I was just like you know: forget it yeah, just just right stuff. That runs right. So, that record, is a little hard for me to listen to in way. To be honest, it's like not that I really like, but it's kind of Twisting back to like some light, recording that you made when you're just jamming with your friends and they all just like you know, hanging out and you're like hey. There was a cool moment there, but it's. I think I was so shy that not really not really working too hard
feeding a real album, whatever that meant was my way of sort of easing my way into music and sort of through a back door or sideways posted taking it on yeah. Right here, first and because of the reception that record or that this sort of rude awakening the necklace reception I mean, I'm sure, you've seen spinal tap. You know when, when they're, just like reading the bad reviews right in Rob, Reiner's, like you know, you've had some terrible reviews of their out your career, and this one review comes to mind. It's simply a a two word review. It's a for the album shark sandwich, sandwich, do like you can't print. That is that even true like no but yeah, I had a shit sandwich reveal. Never forget it was enemy. Basically just said: are the Beastie boy releasing sorry, no hopers on the as a joke on the world
but that was the whole review. I was like wow, that's my shit sandwich with you, but, to be honest, There was no negative review for that, album that I didn't agree with on some level deep down, because it's true, wasn't meant to be. You know something that kicked out. Was just. It was more like little bits of a diary of a a naive kid, but did those reviews like, like you said kind of like, was that You know more the moment of of what it would what you would have to go through to be a public person doing something Well, I think that would have been true if I had made a different kind of record so was kind of compounded, meaning, like Not only was there the difficulty of being a son of, but then there's also the difficulty of the kind of odd record I made and try it each of those things would have been difficult independently, but together was just kind of a clusterfuck, but it's been you out.
It definitely made me not want to make a solo record for a long time and we did use right. I didn't yeah in fact, to this day I still sort of have cold feet about doing solo work. It's mainly because. Well I don't know I mean I want I was going to ask you actually do, because this is how I feel I feel like when you get a really negative. Been reviewer just even like a Youtube comment, I feel like it only will hurt. It only hurts if you kind of agree on some level. That's how I feel yeah I know I think that's true like if you don't agree at all, why would it actually right. I mean you're, just like oh you're, crazy, then, but the problem is running on your insecurity. You know almost all the one you're going to like. Never really thought that about that. But that's actually true, you can take it too far. He just use it as a bat you know what I mean like yeah you integrate like and then
We see a positive one. There's party this for, like I don't do the common thing anymore, or look in I've learned how to do I'm very sensitive. So it's all going to hurt right, but, like I've learned to be like just wait till it goes away and move on with your life, but you know they're trying to hurt you sure I mean if somebody does a sophisticated, real piece of criticism with interesting points you can integrate. Some of that. I think, and those are the ones MIKE well, that's where true, like you know, usually a real reviewer. A real piece of criticism will will say some young, almost good things. You know, then you know why really good thing and then, like two paragraphs of like what was wrong yeah and you know if it's, if it's well thought out, you know sometimes that that that's encouraging in some weird way get it kind of makes you more like what Monday I I never thought of that. That way, and now I'm going to integrate that? Well, if it's
if it really resonates in it's an accurate criticism. That's like a gift in a way right, but I guess, from my perspective, is it's. I fish in a way that a lot of the people who say? Oh, is that mean sorry, I'm so sorry, that's, ok, buddy you good yeah, false and he's a sweet guy. So it was oh yeah- I just often wish that the people who were spewing the venom about Maine I just wish they would stop. I just wish they knew that I totally agree like then there's nothing. They said that it's like a new new idea to be right. It's like not like like we only different head. You like yeah people that aren't that hard in themselves. But I just can't it's not something I can manufacture it's not one of those genetically alterable things that I can just believe. It's also a cultural thing. Because I grew up in New York on the Upper West side, and there was, I think it was you guys doing that house.
Well, my mother is not really, but I think there was a sort of uh an unspoken idea that the more self critical you could be was proportional to like what a good person you were like. It was sort of reward being self critical. I guess, if you weren't self critical, you were teased and made fun of in less. You were the teaser right, which is that your world right, so I feel like I was sort of raised with that value. You know it's like a it's like the Woody Allen Perspective on life and that was considered being a thoughtful person right. You know, self loading right was thoughtfulness in a way which I don't think that's true of all cities, but it took me right eventually, there's also a false humility to it and there's also a sort of narcissism to it. Well, that's it! I'm glad you said that
I was gonna say because well that's what I meant about you know feeling that that your not in going home state is a kind of noises of like what who do you think you are right. He not even close, either inverted north yeah, exactly yeah, so you just it's an it's an excuse to spend all your thoughts on yourself without you know, thinking you're Narcissus, because you're, not grandiose, right When you do the first record an you, have this thing like you know, you're sort of put off of doing solo work now in that mode. You know your mother is doing her work. How She handle that rejection with you. Well she's of world leading expert in rejection? I would say you know: she's got a doctorate in in snarky yeah. That's why I feel bad after watching above us only sky 'cause. You get this thing locked in your head and you know: there's some
yeah, but yeah, but yes, I have. I mean I just I've, seen all that stuff sure before, but the inter with the guys were there the older guys we're we're just sort of like you know it was. It was all Yoko that that shifted his perspective. You know- and I think it's important for, like all those people that mythologized this whole thing is that that's important new information to reframe your mother's. You know art and talent. You know, it was very exciting for me to be able to see it that way, 'cause and thought about it in a long time, but it's a rebirth in a way. Sure I mean I have a lot to say about that. Firstly, I think that the culture has come to a point where we, where we are collectively re, examining the past yeah, sometimes too much, but in terms of More recent understanding understandings of of of what sexism
This racism were and whatever people call the page. Whatever and I think the simplest analysis What happened to my mom is, I think it was runtime time in which a lot of kind of subtle, latent racism and sexism was, unnoticed- and I think she was a victim of that, but on the other hand, I would say that recent history, especially it is sort of an optics war between are Please subjective views of reality and three I say that is because I was. I grew up. Being able to read lots of different by uh, fees and histories of not just the Beatles, but my parents yeah of them with a completely contradicting or describe. Of what they were, what they did yeah, and so
always been aware that if people who I lived in a time of film video microphone recordings photograph could be misinterpreted so drastically, then, How could I expect any history of anyone in the past to be anything like a truth? So I do think that history generally is a kind of optics war and sure the real truth will always have to be probably harder to understand because it's probably going to have conflicting in more mundane in a way maybe more mundane, but I'm not sure, but what I guess what I'm trying to say is like there's, usually truth to all perspectives to some degree, I think the most important thing you said about that was you. You know people who are who who who live this dream in the dream about who you're your father was an eight. Yes. Can
Where do your experience of him and your loss of him? You know that there's no way they can engage the empathy in that moment necessary to even take that in right, so so the real life element of you have living. You know in that that zone within its a rarefied zone I mean I've talked to like I've talked to a Duncan Jones. I've talked to Jacob Dillon, I mean there's a small crew of you. I mean Duncan said that to me said he was going a few of us who have these father's appearance. This that, like you could be like you know, even talking to him, like you know, you guys are you know eating is a family owned and watching tv. You know yeah learning how to put your pants on Instagram in, and I don't know that that people even want to humanize these guys that much yeah. So when you have the human experience it almost doesn't, even register, which is something I totally understand an sympathize with, because
it's happened to me. I mean I've. Had you know people that I, put on a certain kind of pedestal and then it kind of gets ruined. If you get to talk to him too much or something, but you know we read well, I won't say in his, but it up a little is great yeah, it's cool! You know Sometimes your idea of what an actor is gonna, be like a lot of talk to me. You're, like I God now, it's ruined for me, yeah, you don't! So I understand that yeah. I know you you you want to hold on to that kind of precious feeling you have sure yeah 'cause, that's what it is it's in the same area of religion and hope and and and faith. You know it's in a mythology. I think I read. You said that from where about religion that you know you you're choosing see it is mythology. I I don't know really yeah. I know I do that's amazing. I I've said that before I mean I guess, with the five different feelings about religion. Throughout my life I mean I grew up without any asian size really extremely cynical.
But actually when I was young, but I think I've gone from being a sort of militant atheist to it. A meeting that I'm actually agnostic yeah in the end, because I don't think you can honestly say you're in it is you can see you air, on the side of atheism. But truly, if you're honest, I think you have to say your Plastic until right, You know what you want to hedge, your bet, yeah. Because you can't really say even if it's unlikely, so you know I can see, religion mythology with that does mean I'm putting it down. No, no, I got it it's through the kind of can belly and power of myth. I don't know if you've read Joseph Campbell, but his idea of how their these archetype. Throughout all the religions, and therein are very profoundly sends an important stuff and you know that's not to say it's. It is or it is supernatural, but the lessons are there an they're important, whether there's supernatural
in origin or not? It almost doesn't matter, because it's about these universal human stories that that are helpful, yeah. So yeah. That's what I mean by that you know, but I I have so many different minds about. It is part of me also just looks at all of it is and when I say all of that I mean especially, you know, established religion as a kind of acceptable insanity like there are different things in all societies. That we, that we allow those different tolerances for what is basically a kind of craziness, sure or delusion I think of it as acceptable insanity, because no matter how much progress we make with science and how austere and important, an accomplished. Our culture is in terms of figuring out standard model and you know some computing or whatever. We we always
still have a tolerance for this kind of well accepted in. Which is interesting to me, because it's fascinating that we could have. We could have all of this rational thought. Like you, know, math and the principia. Mathematically and all these incredible, rational accomplishments, but still doesn't really chip away at all at this sort of belief and these unproveable. You know deities info It is, and it isn't in the same sort of rubric, if that's the way is. That word is what we were talking about earlier, that you need to have to believe the lie exactly like a survival exactly so I think I think that's I Yes, it's a bittersweet truth is that we all have probably an inherited ability to kind of the even fantasies due to our own, our own benefit, because I think, maybe without that skill but the reality of life might be to terra harder today,
Well, yeah, the human, like most people, have an innate compulsion to believe in something bigger than themselves to find meaning in life, but again back to like your mother's phd and rejection, so she able to put it into perspective, for you um, I wouldn't say that she completely, figured it out. I think you know she remains human. I was always amazed that, after having gone through so much negative attention, yeah, let's call it that she was still hurt. When you know there would be some stock car yeah she's, still very sensitively on is one of those people what we talked about before, where you know she was in. You know a totally unique individual expressing yourself in in a way that was yeah. You know not diplomatic or or pandering, so she was one of those freaks that you know was
going to be made fun of she's uncensored, and you know, even even our japanese family at one point disowned her technically, I think from the official family books whatever, and that was actually when she married this guy Tony who was her second husband, but he was you know American. It was essentially that was all it took, just marrying someone who wasn't japanese and sushi rebelling against that. They could do it with your dad, though Then, what's interesting- and I guess Typical- is that, once they became kind of famous as John and Yoko, then the family kind of started You know this isn't the whole family, but certain members of the older generation, because my cousins and stuff, I love all of them, but yeah they were. I think at least what I've been told is that that you know they started to the nicer again. What
I think it was hurtful as well and the same thing happened. My dad actually with my grand his side, I think it's famous said MIKE. My grandfather came to one of his show Lowe's and wanted to like hang out or something and my dad tried a little bit, but I think ultimately, he felt kind of hurt that he was around before and then right kind of was seemed excited. I see I see opportunity this thing yeah, so I think that connected my parents in that they both went through this kind of rejection from their family. You know yeah and then I think that made them the civic repair. You know complementary to each other because they understood that experience together.
And when he finally did another solo record. Yes, I have that go friendly. Fire was my second solo record yeah. It went better than the first one. I was more prepared. I worked harder, you know I wrote string arrangements and- area. I worked on the songs yeah, I'm I'm definitely prouder of those songs, but. You know, there's something weird about me. I almost never play music from the past when I'm touring a new project. And I don't really know any other musician he's like that. I mean it's usually just sort of expected that, yes, he merely no a catalog of songs in your head of for to them write about your life, but I just have this weird. I just have this weird part of me that almost can't deal with the pad I'm just like, I don't want to deal with it. I don't want to listen to it. You know if someone puts on those records, I'm just like, I just shut it off. It's like I can't
I don't either like I've got six or seven or eight hours of comedy under my belt over the past two decades and I don't remember half the ship man, then I don't know if I wanted. This is really a not to be too mean about a like. I I was I'm I'm grateful that there are people out there who, like you, know those records, and I'm really grateful for that, but just personally I've never and it could be shooting myself in the foot, but I I've never nurture with that kind of catalog thing, so I'm always right, you're, not I'm always kind of burning a bridge with myself right and totally. Meeting to whatever I'm doing it with the freedom, and you can see that in in in the work you've done and also like you know in some ways not to be. You know a deck, but, like you know, it's fortunate that you didn't make an album full hits. Thank God thank the Lord, but can you imagine if I had those hits yeah? Well, you be playing him
yeah. I think I am deal with all of the phone's going. I have my botox surgeon on the lot on the phone. All the time. Who knows, I need more Botox, you know yeah, you know, like I I believe in the idea of not having any regrets, though I think that's impossible, but I think conceptually it's a good goal and And I don't know, don't know if you thought I watched podcast, I think it was Rogan. Had this guy on name named Noval Nevada, I don't remember his last name is an indian name, and he was talking about how happiness is not proportional to intelligence. Like there's tons of high iq, you know hi functioning. Successful people who, I think would be antithetical, were miserable exactly, but he thinks what he say
So how smart are you really if you're not happy, and so he he? He talked about this idea of how how he practiced re, framing everything that he could in a positive way, if you could not because he thought it was more true or less true, but because they treating it like a muscle like doing sit. Ups right, he just keep doing here- it's not fun, but developer. You develop an ability right, so I've been trying to do that at work, it's working, I mean it's. In a couple of months, but I you know I I have this tendency to kind of. As I said it's the I guess is the Woody Allen School of the hot were up. You know I can be kinda pessimistic about things or or critical as they're happening, but I been attending to reframe things positively, and you know it's the it's the one I'm thinking to myself as like. Would it hurt to just try right? What does it hurt to just try to see? If you can look at this more positively. It also frees up some of your brain because a lot of times it's just have reaction. Exactly
and you know any and it's something you eat. You have the people who do that, which I do it's it's sort of like home, based free right. It's a learned, identity. I think I don't think it's necessarily going to. It becomes an obstacle because you're afraid to experience happiness, you're, you're, free to experience, one ability or joy yeah, because when you have that thing, if that's your first thing, it's it's it's protecting your. You know what whatever you know whatever, wherever your heart attack yeah, I agree and and right now that you say it that way. I also think that all of us can our comfort zone doesn't necessarily have to be comfortable. I mean it's not like you can get used to anything. If you wake up every morning, just bang your head against the wall for six months. You know one day, if you don't do it you'll be like man. I really feel like. I
bang my head against. What do I do that a special my comfort zone is on come to like a is yeah, you know it's, it's it's what you're! You know it's a weird thing, because it's a weird way to use the word comfortable, but but it's true that you know whatever patterns you you've created to either you know, protect yourself or your sensitivity or or or from whatever pain you that, because that callous you know it it's how you engage in the world. Emotionally exactly and I think what a lot of us do is without realizing it is. We were kind of some, of our brain is trying to recreate. However, the most traumatic experiences we had up were in our childhood, so you're kind of looking for that, because it's it was it because it in printed you so, whether you know it or not, you might be seeking right,
It is a feeling right, yeah, you you it's family of origin, stuff that you, you tend to repeat with relationships right. You know in a and and the only way to escape it is to realize it and then make a concerted can good effort to learn how to not do that which is as painful as sit ups, basically they suck to do and it hurts to do. It doesn't feel natural. I've been trying to do that. So this was a long answer to my uh we can record or whatever how I feel about it. You know I felt more negative about it in the past, and I actually you know, I'm I see the positive in it. It was good good experience and I've evolved as a musician since then and hey do you? Do you guys like I, when I was working at the the work like I, you know I do it.
I do for you guys, seem to always be doing something. Am I gay? I have the soundtrack thing that must be a whole other in a world of of expression in in in in a collaborative way to do film soundtracks. You know that that must be like a whole other set of chops and and a whole, whether to collaborate with visuals in a way that you know I do love it. I mean the thing that's great about doing film scores. Is that you're not serving the purpose of your own artistic sort of desires or plans. Necessarily if you didn't make the film you have this framework that takes premise, over any of your feelings or intuitions? You have to serve this sort of set uh structure narrative
So it's kind of freeing in a way because it you don't have the pressure of figuring out what that backbone is or for filling some kind of you know indulgent artistic vision. Yeah, you have the you know what needs to be done right right, the the the map is laid out for you right, so it actually kind of frees you up in a way and I really enjoy it. I've only download, like three or four scores, but in production sort of similar to write that you're there to serve as someone else is vision in a way. Yes- and I have done some action work and it's funny because it was only when I started producing other artists, that I realized why it's great to have a producer yeah, which I do wish I had had for family five, for example, you know I don't I don't think of my of his an egomaniac or something very something in me that wanted to do it myself produce my own control thing yeah, it's it's definitely well, it's not always the sick.
Tesla strategy, but when refuse produce other artists, what I realized was. It almost doesn't matter if I have a musical skill as a producer yeah, it's just the fact that I'm not that person who wrote the song singing it right according it. The fact that I'm not them gives me this perspective that they simply can't have because they're caught in them myopic area. You know right vision of the the man Horoscopic, I mean the microscopic looking at everything you know. In front of your nose was like. I can step back and be like. Oh no, it's not working your voice better ten takes ago, it's really hard to to to understand that stuff when you're in it sure. So I think it's such a simple conclusion, but it hilarious to me that I never truly understood because you know I never one of working with producers, because I think I never really understood what they were going to do. I have like. Ok. Well, you know I'm playing this. I wrote the songs and there's the engineer like what do you
and we're going to stand there and kind of talk ok? I literally just didn't get it so yeah pretty thing has been really helpful to me or you produce from your mom stuff. I did coproduce. I mean she producer in the studio very you know she really has vision and she doesn't doubt her vision at all. It's interesting, you know surprises me that I'm related to her 'cause she's, so singular in her vision and chiefs, and she moves forward without any hesitation I think you can see that you know just watch her. Do her improvised kind of vocalization stuff that people often make fun of she's so committed, though there's not one, you know hair on her head. That's wondering like! Oh, should I do this go she's one hundred percent a committed to
the music or being a vessel for music, and I find that to be while it very compelling to watch and to listen to for me it's, I think, part of what I like about Hendrix Solos or something it's just someone thrive ng and owning their own vision. And realizing lies in the music without any kind of second guessing an. I think it's something that I strive towards doing honestly. I think for people like me who who are more, you know she frontally occupied meditation has been really good for me. Yeah and both my parents did TM yeah and it so I could that's the reason I read it doing team just 'cause. It was kind of in family tradition, but it's really helped. It's really helped me in terms of not being totally controlled by that rapid fire critic.
Yeah, yeah, yeah and and at least long enough that you can just play, play music it and it get it done, and then you can be critical afterwards, sir. For me, I think it's a it was hard to. It was hard to put that down. I don't know he it's like! I can't. Yeah, it's really hard, but I think you can learn to do it. No, I mean some people. It comes naturally my my mom just had it. You know she she's she's, definitely self critical in a healthy way when she's not working, but she never brings it to the creator for months moment. Hey is the thing that sort of the a and one of the more important things you gleaned from her sure yeah I mean because she yeah she. She just has this on him: uninhibited commitment to to the music or art when she's doing it, she's unapologetic
an yeah. I admire it a lot. It fascinates me and it's so alien, actually to what my characters like that. I think that's why I am so of I was such a big fan of hers and I wanna producing those two records for her or with her and put in not my label because I knew that I need to absorb some of that area. It's a kind of you had you had a sort of check, shift the relationship to being an artistic collaboration with her as a grown up as opposed to sort of a sign in buddy who sees her doing what she's doing well in terms of my relationship with her as her son. I think I looked at it as just a cooler way to quality time with my mom yeah. Well, it's like you know we could go to lunch. I have here yeah. The museum or we could rock out. It felt a lot more connected, yeah yeah, so that was cool. You know 'cause, I'm always looking for things to do
with her and playing music just felt like the I think I do. I listen to. I think that take me to the land of health, which is I Why did I listen? Do a yesterday the whole album and things I never listened to before, and I'm like this is like in now at you know, after seeing that documentary and re framing and I'm like well she's she's great, what is yeah she's really doing what she does she's interesting and I think people underestimate, her as a songwriter as well. I mean I just my Welcome era, music. Just with this other label, secretly, Canadian we've remastered all her vinyl solar records. Again. It was a nice way to figure out how to be a good son was to remaster all her records. And give them to her, I remember giving her a package of all the new vinyl that, with you know, we recreated the cover and the artwork and stuff, and I was like here in America's mess and she was just really touch. So
it's just like a nice way to do something with her. That's not just boring and also your visual arts, a trip to she very talented at drawing and it's funny because she didn't do that much drawing until she was in her 70s and then she started doing these point to list abstract uh drawings like she did about. One thousand government in a couple of years. It just came out of nowhere and it was really fascinating to witness I've, never seen it in quite like it she just went from not drawing at all to drawing constantly every day like she would be on the plane. She's doing it would be, you know the news will be on should be doing that yeah and I think those pieces. I don't know if you've seen them. I can show you. Some are one of the most important things you did in terms of changing people's understanding. Of her yeah, because I heard her art was so conceptual always in other locations here. Yes, I I think the average person just doesn't even connect with what
She did as art it. You gotta go walk through it yeah waiting it yeah. It takes a lot. It demands some attention anyway, but her drawings just speak. Cells are very immediate and so yeah She's done really well, I mean she's in fact, she's very inspiring. In terms of me, seeing the kind of success one can have after fifty yeah that most people don't, talk about as even being possible right, but you know she's. Her art career has really taken off in the last few, decades and she won the Lions Gate Award. I think it's the Venice Banali lifetime achievement and you know that's like a big deal. That's like getting an Oscar for actor. That's great but you know she wasn't getting that kind of respect for most of my life so to see that come to her. It kind of you know it's like a hero's journey, it's like if you, if you just stick with it right and you believe in yourself,
it's so cliche and keep evolving as it can come to you. You know people will come around and that has happened to her. So that's great and now I go. And also to this stuff. You do with your partner I'll show yeah, you guys still together, yeah she's at the hotel. Yeah I mean in that stuff. So I totally different too it's kind of, like I don't know like. I just noticed that e r, your willingness, whether it's out of in security or compulsion or or actually need to to express things differently. You know you definitely do a lot of different things musically, depending on who you're working with yeah and that stuff with her is is is pretty you know, it's it's sweets. It's it's not! You know it's it's it's danceable! It's got a pop vibe to it, but it's also has sort of a a strange kind of
not Campinas to it, but there's something there's a Carnaval aspect to it I mean we were very influenced by early psych, with a ghost I think that yet almost the garage psych yelling Sid Barrett in and the pretty things and yes, armies and stuff, but like again I mean people notice that that kind of nod to the past yeah that band, as as in a way that they also do with the delirium, but with the ghost I don't think it's purely retro like it was kind of kind of an amalgam of all sorts of stuff, but that Van yeah. I just called the goes here. Yeah Charlotte Charlotte, is one of the most from songwriters and musicians. I've ever worked with, so that that is totally her. Me? I'm going not writing a lot of people assumed because she is pretty and
and she was a model that she was just kind of. You know a stand in something that she's she completely produces, she wrote all the songs of me and it's my favorite things, I've ever done, and it's because I got to work with someone as inspiring as she is. I mean she. She really helped me with. For example, lyrics like she's a very good lyricist, and she also has incredible grit she never gives up she's, never lazy. She has an amazing work ethic, so she really gave me some muscles in terms of just pushing through and trying to write, trying to make lyrics, better mom, I think I'd always been not long. Easy about if it's almost like terrified to try right. So as a a laziness, it was actually kind of here's something. Well it's good. That you're with her on that level, because, if you're like me and- and it seems like we have these things in common- that self critical thing are these. You know these these wierd,
ways of of sort of avoiding your type of own ability, that's probably necessary, yeah to to to do to write songs. You know that yeah yeah, because, like even now, I'm just trying to get through it now and just to present your ideas to someone else. If they're, really coming from your heart, you sort of like yeah, my show it to anybody yeah because, like even if they look at you, if you give me something to read in their work and their face right to give it back yeah I like no, I like it now. I don't know exactly what you need. I can be like that too. I've done Klay, gotten tougher that I've gotten thicker skin over the area. But you know it's it's important to be empathetic enough to realize that they probably don't my we don't mean it
badly as you have. Why would why would they they really have no idea what a freak you are and how sensitive your you think, your normal for us, and so they're, just saying at this part could be better. If you like what you mean, I shouldn't exist, it's not mine. My very distance isn't justified think I had a hard to live with. I have that part of me, but it's definitely I've I've, I've. Just I've decided to be, for about it. Because, because was you can't yeah yeah, I mean have to be able to grow from constructive criticism. You have to be able to internalize it from your smartest friends and will take. Advice seriously and improved 'cause, otherwise you're just going to basically be you forever, which is okay, maybe, but
what it is. I think it's fundamentally childish in your coming from you know whether it's a kind of your permissive upbringing or or from when my case, parents that were sort of self involved to the point where it was permissive, is that you know you know if you don't get some sort of healthy sense of failure either through sports or whatever the. It is or at least one parent. You know teaching you how to shoulder that stuff. I mean you're going to have this emotional party. That's like five, exactly which I think is why I hope, the next generation of parenting, the post boomer parenting, takes a page from both previous generations, because I think you know it may have swung too far. The other way right, which is not wanting to the have your kid dislike. You because you're rich crazy, if you're being tough on them- and you know
This is, I guess, fable. I read it's about parenting like a good parent, will tell their son like jump off the stairs I'll catch. You Like don't worry, you can trust me in the sun jumps and you just let him smack himself on the floor and go Why you do that and like because that's you know, this is what the word is going to be like and I think that's really hard do as a parent because you actually have to you to be mature enough to rational rationalize, that this is best for the kid. Even though it's going to be uncomfortable for you, 'cause they're going to be mad at you for awhile sure, but if you actually care about them and not your feelings, then you can prioritize their growth over They'll always be mad at you for that. But if you really love them, you should be able to take that your hurt feelings right for their growth, which is, I think, that's a rough difficult. You know how kids, no, I don't
the one I mean. Theoretically, I deman at this age. Every time I see a kid, I'm like. Oh, my god, I love kids, but It's not something that I've always been like, headed towards and Charlotte and been together for, like twelve. The reason we are still not married and we kind of. Well it in one way, I think we're closer than a lot of our friends who got married and divorced like several times since we've been together. You know we're we're tight So I don't know if we need marriage to qualify it, but it's because I don't think either of us had many examples of marriage being somehow This is a beacon of real love, it, it's always been kind of complicated sure in our lives. You know we don't have many role models who are necessarily better off because they're married I'm sure they're out there, but in here we're just kind of finding our own way. I guess that's good, but in
reserve a like. You know we were you were talking about. You know just in it like we, we we. We talked about your mom a lot and we talked about your dad to a degree but like watch something like that doc. When you see that stuff was that part of your you know, building a relationship with him yeah it's hard to explain this. It's one I see a a film about my dad or go to there have been museum, shows yeah, yeah, archival stuff, like in Japan or wherever You know as grateful as I am that all that's out there. It kind of it kind of feels uncomfortable for me, because there's something really personal in my heart
Regarding memories of him, real memories of him and and just you know, his books in his guitar is in need of being in the house and just watching the Muppet show with him sure that's to feel so so precious to me that when it's externalized into some kind of media format, it actually feels kinda uncomfortable I mean I'm not. Like it's traumatizing right, doesn't feel as connected as the real life real world stuff. I'll, just say it's not as important to me is just you know, my personal sure memories of my own life
and in you you have a relationship with your brother and everything yeah. That's a great idea and that's always been the case. It's always been the case. I think I think there have been different times when we we we haven't been actively as close, but we've always. I've always loved each other deeply. Your regardless of whatever kind of public right media complexity. There was the. I don't think people realize how close we were. I mean there were times when he stayed at our house in the Dakota and use Tommy Guitar, and you know yeah when his for record came when his first record came out was a huge hit. I mean he was absolutely my hero yeah. You know I mean I I I I was as inspired to play guitar because of watching him play the show at the beacon that I saw as I was in.
By my mom and dad play music. It was he, you know he was like the cool, the cool, successful leather jacket. Wearing better. Other than me musician. Who really was killing. You know yeah. I totally looked up to him yeah, I think the meat Perception of our relationship is one of the most false It is I've ever seen. I mean I think people imagine that we were kind of right pitted against each other, but that just never happened between us. There have been tensions between the family. Publicly about certain things, but never spilled over into our relationship, we've always loved each other yeah. It's so funny too 'cause you both sort of like there is a genetic component to your vocalization styles, that is Lennon esque yeah, but you know he definitely has better pipes than I right you can really sing. There's a phrasing thing. That's
similar there's something there's something in there for sure it's funny, because again, first album. I remember intentionally trying not to like my head, because I was kind of nervous about that. So I one of scene in this way that I, to this day I can't deal with it was very it. Sort of like a whisper rewind at I didn't use any effects on my voice 'cause. Every time I did it would make it so I, like my dad, is my dad's lap or he'd used flange or whatever. So I avoided all that stuff that actually makes my voice sound good and then I intentionally didn't sing because whenever I sing out, I start to sing more like him like. If I push the air I get more of a great and then people start to say. Well, you sound like you that so I kind of regret over thinking yeah when I was young so now I actually just sing the way that comes natural to me I do sound more like him. When I do that, an you know, there's nothing I can
So yeah, I don't know it's. I think it's nice yeah, I mean I've. I've got the that texture in my voice and it yeah. I can't really avoid it, but I just you know, I'm just praying that I'm that there's a that there's positive growth in my future. I definitely it's daunting to imagine that I Already video had my chances, I don't think it's better. That way. We're gonna play your new skills yeah. I know I am, and I definitely play better than ever and I feel like I understand music better than ever so, but well, I think, you're doing great night. Now I, like the new record Thanks. I really appreciate it. Man, that's cool, I mean I was surprised to even know that it was on your radar. That's cool man, yeah it's like things get on my radar by people. Saying, like you know, do you know this stuff and I'm like I don't, and then I ended up with you know like a lot of the stuff you get in your mom stuff and then to your. You know some of your dad's other stuff and then, like you, all your stuff. So, like you know, it's been, it's been a fun week
that is the cool thing about the internet. Is you can find something and then very quickly kind of learn so much about it? And you know we just listen to experience, drone your creative evolution, 'cause, there's so much out there how you going to choose this stuff, you know, but but it's great- and it was great talking you initial man, it was fun that was great, got to know that guy huh did and you know, everybody's getting along nice, the album south of reality the Claypool Lennon Delirium is available wherever you get music on tour this summer, all across the country, you can go to quite
Lennon delirium dot com for tour dates, you can go to soar, death of trust, dot, com for information on on on the sort of trust when Sheldon's movie with me and it killed, walking down faster Intel, Hi Dan back at all funny stuff. You can always go to sort of trust, dot, com for details about all different places where there's a lot of places coming up all no music bulmer live
Transcript generated on 2019-11-07.