The Ghost Of A Saber Tooth Tiger (The GOASTT), Sean Lennon and Charlotte Kemp Muhl’s darkly dreamy band, opened Rebecca Minkoff’s F/W 2011 show with their signature whimsical sound—with just enough low bass beats to rouse the crowd and signal the cavalcade of models to come.
It was a fitting marriage of music and fashion: Lennon is a musician and producer as well as the son of icons John Lennon and Yoko Ono, and Muhl is a model, singer, and musician (she plays everything from accordion to banjo), and is now the muse for Minkoff’s collection—a dark-hued “urban gypsy” mix of oversize knits and fur. We caught up with the charming Lennon and Muhl (dressed in a Minkoff floor-length velvet burnout dress) for a few minutes after the show:
How do you see fashion and music relating? Charlotte Kemp Muhl: They’re both this incestuous medium. Sean Lennon: The best-dressed people too, a lot of them were in music. Like T. Rex and Jimi Hendrix and David Bowie, they were all dressing really good. Like George Harrison. A lot of the coolest style— CKM: Yeah a lot of the coolest style has come from rock’n’roll. We’re very inspired by rock’n’roll or folk or hippies.
What are you wearing right now? CKM: Well, he’s wearing my coat— SL: I’m wearing her coat that she bought in Iceland. It’s like a real vintage coat. CKM: We think [Iceland] is so cool. SL: We go there every year and we go on nature hikes and glaciers and stuff. But the fashion in Iceland is really forward, it’s really cool. And the music is very progressive. It’s a very progressive culture.
I see a lot of parallels between some ethereal Icelandic music and your music. Who do you cite as your influences? CKM: Syd Barrett. Whimsical, folk, psychedelic. Incredible string bands— SL: That and classical music like Mahler, and Debussy and Stravinsky. A mix of ‘60s folk and the weird harmonies and melodies of certain classical music. CKM: Definitely Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys. SL: We love the Beach Boys. And the Beatles too. We love a ton of music. CKM: All of the classics. SL: We love country too. We listen to Willie Nelson every day on tour.
What is it like to collaborate on so many levels: as partners, and on your music, and on tour? CKM: Well, it’s really gratifying, but it can be really difficult. SL: I think it would be more difficult if we weren’t doing it, because we would never see each other. So it’s kind of difficult— CKM: Yeah we had to merge our universes. SL: But what’s great about it is you have to force yourself to confront your ego and check it in order to get along with the other person and agree with them two-fourths.
What’s coming next for you guys? SL: We’re finishing an album this summer and we should be putting it out in the beginning of next year.
Is there a new direction with the new album? CKM: Yeah, the new direction that we’re moving in is electric and a lot more lush and a lot more instruments. SL: It’s going to be totally different— CKM: —like rock. SL: The first record was just a folk record, like the two of us playing acoustic instruments and this record is going to be a full band and it’s going to be more epic, psychedelic music.
Photos: Fairchild Archive