On the final day of Levitation Festival I had the honor of meeting the talented duo that makes up The Goastt (short for Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger), Sean Lennon and Charlotte Kemp Muhl.
Upon meeting them, it’s hard not to be completely stricken with how beautiful they are, but they also give off an immediate good natured vibe that put me at ease. Something I appreciated, because as much as I don’t want to mention Sean’s parents, I can’t help but acknowledge here that they are idols of mine.
She wore a delicate vintage lace dress and danced about on the muddy ground, either to the music playing in the background from a nearby stage or to a tune bouncing around in her head. He wore a pointy black hat and vest and leaned against the airstream trailer as he stared alternately at her and into the lens with a mystic intensity. And then with hugs and goodbyes, away they went, only to appear a bit later on the main festival stage to serenade the crowd with some groovy psych rock music. If you haven’t yet, give them a listen, and read on for an interview with the captivating Charlotte, and see more photos of her and Sean from Levitation fest.
When and where did you guys first meet?
We met at Coachella when I was 17 actually. There were way fewer people back then and he was standing by a fountain in the middle of the desert like an apparition. We instantly started talking about Carl Sagan and diminished chords and became intensive pen pals for the next year.
How soon after meeting did you start making music together?
We were together for a couple years before I played him any of my songs. I was, and still am, very shy. When he heard me play Cold Sun for the first time he insisted we write songs together, and our first one was World Was Made For Men, penned on the floor of my tiny west village apartment. We were never serious about having a real band until recently.
Who are some of your personal favorite artists, music or otherwise?
Heiroymous Bosch, Hendrix, Dali, Marquis De Sade, Henry Darger, Syd Barret and Bach.
What is something you hope to accomplish career wise in the next year?
I am starting another band with a gal friend of mine, and the Goastt wants to make another record soon. Long term, I want to be a film maker.
What is one of the most memorable moments you guys have experienced performing together thus far?
Oh man, every day is an adventure. Our first show together was at Radio City, and we just got to play Coachella on our 10th anniversary which is also where we met, coincidentally. But its not those kind of big landmarks that you remember the most, it’s little things, like buying candy necklaces at gas stations on tour, meeting strange people in strange towns, finding giant dead hawks on the side of the Arizona highway, unloading your gear in the brutal winter of Germany…
What was your favorite part of Levitation Festival?
This was by far the coolest festival we have ever played. The line up was insane. There was nothing corporate or random about it. It was raw, grass roots, good vibes and rocked hard! I bought a chicken foot necklace and a vintage cowgirl shirt and got to meet Rocky Erickson. How rad?
Tell me about your amazing dress – where did you find it, and when was it made?
The dress I wore for our show was Victorian and I got it from a NY antique shop upstate somewhere. All my Victorian clothes are falling apart and a larger percentage holes than actual material, but so is my brain at this point! Ha.