|Helen Leight: 'Crucified'. That's the new album 'Photograph
Smile', Julian Lennon here at 88.5 WXPN in Philadelphia. I'm Helen Leight
and guest in the studio today Julian Lennon. Any possibility of touring
in this part of the woods?
Julian: Yeah, Yeah, further down
the road, we're sort of, we're looking at mid to late summer onwards.
We don't know exactly where we're starting yet. But uh, we're in
the process of actually putting a limited tour together which involves
doing charity shows in every location that we play, in the sense
that we find out what the worse problems are in those locations
and so my example for the moment is for instance if it's about children
with AIDS or homeless children or abused children, then all we ask
for at the front door is blankets, cuddly toys or clothes or how
ever much your conscience allows you to dig out your pockets and
give, you know. So we're in the process of putting that all together
and we don't have specific dates yet but we're definitely looking
to do it, you know. Towards mid to end of the year.
Helen Leight: Now that the album is finished and
the tour a possibility, what else do you see - I obviously saw you
in a movie 'Leaving Las Vegas' - any other movie plans or books or
anything else you really looking to do to keep your goals?
Julian: Well, in my time off I
did a lot of writing and a fair bit of poetry as well, and I've
been taking a lot of photographs over the years. And I'd eventually
like to put together a - you know, a 'Photograph Smile' poetry and
photograph book, in which you know, instead of the music, you get
the visual expression of what the words are saying. So, that's something
I'd like to get around to. Maybe a cookbook at some stage too, because
I love cooking so much.
Helen Leight: Really?
Julian: That's equal with music,
in my eyes.
Helen Leight: Favorite recipes of Julian Lennon.
Julian: I have too many favorite
recipes to tell you. But for me, it's like very similar, you know,
it's the therapeutic thing where you, it's the combination of the
ingredients to make the right end result, you know. Same thing as
writing a song in many degrees.
Helen Leight: You're now, at part times, living
in Italy, I've heard?
Julian: Yea, yea, I am a resident
in Italy, but obviously travel a great deal so yeah. I mean, my
home is Europe, basically.
Helen Leight: Any plans of settling down? Having
your own family someday?
Julian: Yes. At some stage. Absolutely.
Helen Leight: I had heard you were dating serious,
and that was a possibility. So, we'll play faithful? (laughs)
Julian: Well, yes, it's as serious
as it gets.
Helen Leight: How is your relationship with Sean?
Sean recently put out an album. What's the relationship in the Sean-Yoko
Julian: The relationship in the
Sean camp is absolutely fine, you know. Sean's sort of in the middle.
But, you know, I've always had a great love for Sean. I used to
babysit him, I respect him immensely. I think he's very talented.
I don't necessarily think he showed his talent enough on his first
debut album, because, actually, the thing was I actually heard some
of his home demos that he did before this album several years ago.
Which was just him in his room with his little 8 track and I was
actually beyond surprised at how talented he was. He scared me at
that point. And then the album came out and it was no where near
what the original demos were, I mean not even any of the songs.
And I just felt that there was a lot of influence coming in from
either his girlfriend from Cibbo Matto or from Yoko's influence,
who knows, it's not my place to say. But I do know that he has the
talent there it's just give him a little time, he needs nurturing
a little bit and I'm sure he'll get around to it.
Helen Leight: I had also read somewhere, and it's
sad too, that you had to go to some auctions to get some of the stuff
Julian: Yeah, very true. I mean
with the settlement that we did agree upon, or which I should say,
which I agreed to, had to agree to, to a certain degree. Yeah, nothing
or not a lot, if anything, was handed down to me, or any family
of his back in England. And so with the money that I did receive,
I have been going to auctions and collecting not only you know,
some of his personal stuff, but a lot of Beatle stuff too. For me
and for my kids in the future, to know where they came from, to
know what their heritage was, you know, and the most ironic thing
about it is that, you know, I'm buying his stuff back into the family
with what was essentially his money in the first place, which is
insanity in my eyes. Absolute insanity.
Helen Leight: And Yoko just doesn't pass on anything
like that to you?
Julian: Hasn't done. I mean, I
received a guitar or 2 ah you know ten years ago, or something like
that, but her logic is, which is relatively logical, is that there
are 2 of us, Sean and myself. And so she can't exactly cut the guitar
in half, so it has to stay there. So that's the end of that story.
Helen Leight: Very annoying. (laughs)
Julian: To say the least.
Helen Leight: Well, there you go. I hope things
eventually work out. Now that you said you've got the new - this new
label, have you spotted any talent?
Julian: Yeah, there's a few people
I've spoken to about coming on to the label, but for me, at this
point in time, I think what is going to prove the label is the album
itself, and how well the album does. And, fingers crossed, if the
album does well over here, then the label will do well and I will
be signing up people and hopefully, you know, giving them a voice
too. People that I think are really talented that don't necessarily
get a voice because they are not in the commercial vein of most
major labels you know, of wham bam thank you ma'am you know, one
hit wonders. It's not about that, it's never been about that for
me, it's been about nurturing careers that last a lifetime. So,
that's what this company would mean, you know, is nurturing creative
talent that would be around for a long time.
Helen Leight: Julian Lennon with us today. And,
in the studio, to take another track from his album, his guitars are
Julian: Yeah, the guitars are ready,
I don't know how ready I am. Yeah, this little ditty, is when I
found my self overwhelmed in life, and I needed to find resolve,
I felt the best times to do that was when I was on my own and I
actually felt lonely. And you know, the only thing you can deal
with - you have to deal with is, looking in the mirror at yourself
and facing the problems that you have and hitting them head on.
And so you know, initially, that's what this was all about and this
song is called 'Good to be Lonely.' (To Matt) Are you ready, Sunshine?
Matt Backer: Oh yes, Darling.
Julian and Matt start to play 'Good to be Lonely,'
but Julian stops after the first few lines.
Julian: Excuse me, I screwed up,
I forgot the words. This happens from time to time. (Matt is laughing)
I know, I know. And it's with this song now, I've got a mental block
about it. I screwed it up the other day, too.
Matt Backer: You've been disconnected.
Julian: I've been disconnected.
Matt Backer: You've been loved and you've been rejected.
Julian: Thank you, I know the words,
they're just locked in the back of my mind.
Matt Backer: Traveling inside of a plane.
Julian: We can start that one again
if you like.
Helen Leight: Sure! Why not.
Julian: Let's just start from the
verse and hope I'll remember this time.
Matt Backer: I'll mouth you the words.
Julian: I know, I know, I screwed
up about 4 times the other day. You just have mental blanks about
this sometimes. OK, deep breath. Take a deep breath with me everybody.
OK. OK let's see. Oh yeah, I'm gonna sing this song right.
Julian and Matt successfully perform 'Good to be
Helen Leight: 'Good to be Lonely.' Julian Lennon
and company, from 'Photograph Smile.'
Matt Backer: Lucky I didn't look at you then. (laughs)
Julian: Lucky you didn't look at
me otherwise we would have screwed up and stopped, which I almost
Helen Leight: New project from Julian Lennon after
a long time off and back with something I think very special.
Julian: Thank you. Thank you very
Helen Leight: I do think that John did give you
a gift. You're very talented.
Julian: Thank you. Thank you very
Helen Leight: And we look forward to, how about
the single? How's that doing? 'Day After Day?'
Julian: Well, it's early days yet,
early days. The album was only released yesterday, so um, fingers
crossed, and if there was some wood, oh yeah there is wood, guitar,
hello. Yes, things will go well.
Helen Leight: Video for that?
Julian: Yeah, video for that is
already done and ready to go and should be rolling on VH1 in the
next week or so.
Helen Leight: You have one heck of a record company!
Matt Backer: You're looking at it!
Helen Leight: I see it!
Julian: Well, between Bob and I,
we are the record company. So, yeah.
Helen Leight: You co-wrote some of the music on
this. There's a couple of songs that were just penned by you, but,
working with Bob on some of the project is how you decided to work
with him as a producer?
Julian: Well, yeah, I mean, how
Bob and I got together was initially through Greg Darling, who was
an old acquaintance of mine, who played piano on the album, and
we sort of re-aquatinted ourselves a couple of years ago. And first
and foremost we just sat around and talked about music, and you
know, what we liked about music and what we truly didn't like about
the music industry. And you know, for both of us it was all about
recording songs in the most natural way possible. And getting in
the studio with a great band and just using the natural ambience
of the room and miking techniques, rather than a lot of digital
sampling. And that's the way we both wanted to go. And, as far as
I'm concerned, it's the best work I've done. And I, in part, have
Bob Rose to thank for that, and everybody who played on the album.
Helen Leight: The song 'Day after Day' is a story
Julian: Yeah, it's actually about
a guy at war, any war, that you know, the only thing that keeps
him going is his hope and faith that one day, and his love, that
he's going to make it back to his friends and his family and the
people that he loves and cares about. And, you know, that's relatable
in my life, not only my life but many other people's lives, that
are away from home so much you know, and it does feel like a battleground
and it does feel like war out there sometimes. At the end of the
day, all we want to do is be with our friends and the people we
Helen Leight: On the album, you even mention that,
I thought that was a pretty open dedication, where you say I hope
that everyone is proud of what I've done here and that I've done you
proud, I feel that I've done you proud this time.
Julian: Yeah, definitely, definitely.
After being away on the road so many times in the past and I felt
you know, I let so many people down in so many ways, because when
you commit yourself and you are committed by the industry and the
company as well, to working so hard and so long hours, and so much
time away from the friends and family and the people you care about.
You know, it hurts, it hurts a great deal, not only in my heart,
but their hearts too you know. And that's one thing that I've certainly
turned around in life, in that I've definitely found balance these
days you know, in the sense that, as I've said before, yeah the
work is important but there are other elements in our lives that
need that attention a great deal. And that's loving and caring about
the people that you truly care about, and being with them and spending
time with them, because we certainly don't know how long we have
on this planet.
Helen Leight: Julian Lennon our guest today. His
new album 'Photograph Smile.' Thank you for joining us.
Julian: It's been our, Matt Backer
and my, pleasure.
Matt Backer: Thank you very much.
Helen Leight: Thank you very much, as we give a
listen to the song we were just talking about, 'Day after Day,' here
at 88.5 WXPN.