TCG: I also notice you play sitar-guitar on the new album.
JL: Yeah. I always loved that sound. Always loved it.
TCG: Which guitars do you use?
JL: Acoustically, I use an old ... I don't actually know the model number, but it's an old Gibson, 1957. It's got the pick guard, which is in the shape of .. I think it was called 'something cloud'. I couldn't tell you anymore details than that, but if you were a specialist and you knew guitars inside out, you'd say well that's a so-and-so. The other one I've been using, which I love to death, which is one of my favorites is a 12 string Taylor that I've had for over 10 years, which I absolutely adore. The other one, a, CJ 32 Yamaha, which is becoming one of my new faves. I've got an old Martin at home. I can't remember what that's called, but it's one of the greats. I'm not up on what is what really, as long as, when you get it in your hands it sounds good. That's all that matters to me.
TCG: I'd like to know when and why you set up your own record company, and why did you call it Music From Another Room?
JL: Well, because I wasn't prepared to sell my soul to the music industry again, or to a label for 5, 10 years of my life and have no control. That's one main reason. The other main reason is, setting it up allowed me to have control and get the distribution and licensing deals that I wanted, and I could negotiate for and do the best job I could for myself As far as calling it Music From Another Room, a company actually called me who was doing a film called Music From Another Room, and asked if they could have "Day After Day" as the title track and I said absolutely. And then, as I was trying to think of the label name, I had several names listed, but as soon as I heard the title of the film, Music From Another Room, I went into 'check it out mode' and see if whether it was used for anything else whatsoever. And I thought it was absolutely appropriate because y'know the other room is my head basically.
TCG: Do you have plans to release music from any other artists on your label?
JL: Yes, down the road, but I think the success of the company depends on the success of this album, so one step at a time. Yeah, I've already spoken to a number of artists and friends within the industry that just don't want to deal with major labels anymore and certainly don't want to deal with having to write things that they don't want to write. The things that interest me are great, creative artists that go their own route and don't have to be commercial by any means. People like ... if Kevin was around, y'know people like Kevin or even Greg Darling, who played on the album, who wants to throw another couple of albums out. I mean there's lots of people. There's tons out there.
TCG: Are you interested at all in instrumental music?
JL: To a degree. I mean there's times when I like it, but I mean I actually used to do a lot of instrumental, classically-orientated writing. That's how I first got into it, on the piano. I used to write 30 minute instrumental musical pieces. So, yes I'm very interested and I think this album in particular hints at some of that with "Way To Your Heart" and "Walls". But, there's a lot of material I have that's instrumental as well as vocal, but it's orientated that way and will be released on future albums.
TCG: Are you living in England or America now?
JL: Italy. I haven't lived in England since I was 20! Y'know, there's a lot more world out there than just England and America.
TCG: I want to ask you what you think of your younger brother Sean Lennon's album. Is there ever a chance you'll do something with him?
JL: Who knows? Never talked about it. Maybe. Might be. As much as I would write with anybody else or any other artist that I admire. Aside from that, his album ... I thought it was interesting. I heard a lot of his early demos say a couple of years ago, before, which was, a lot more, I felt, mature and personalized than the actual release itself. I thought, when I heard these demos, that Sean was beyond talented. I thought he was brilliant. And then when I heard the album I was a little disappointed, because it didn't have any of the flavors that it did of his previous demos a couple of years ago, which were very, very deep songs. So that's about that.
TCG: So what are your plans for the next album?
JL: Well, I mean the majority of it's done already. I mean, we recorded, with the whole sessions we were doing last time, enough for two or three albums, although I'm still writing occasionally from time to time when I do get a moment to myself The idea next is I still have a good couple of months of promotion to do in several other territories around the world and then a short break, and then a limited theater/charity tour 'round the globe. And then obviously it'll be 2000. I'm going to take some time off, because this project is already .. not only from the promotional aspect of it, but the whole putting it together and also putting the company, has been two years non-stop.
TCG: One last question. I have a cool pic with you, George, Paul and Ringo. Would you ever consider recording with them? Could you bring them together?
JL: It's not my place. Y'know, they've got their own life and they're doing their own thing. If they wanted to do it, they'd get back together and ask me to join them. But, whether they do or not doesn't bother me. If they did, from one artist to another, not because of the relationship of who their best friend was, but if they asked me as an artist in my own right and if they wanted me to come up and sing with them, then, or write with them, hell yes, I'd do it! I mean any artist would do that, given half a chance.
TCG: Well Julian, I just wish you the best of luck. I love your music!
JL: Well, thanks man
© 1999 20th Century Guitar
Background/Flowers from the 'Photograph Smile'
CD inlet by Angelika Letsch.
'Hey Jules' © 1998 - 2002 CJ Burianek