Psychedelia and prog rock live in Sean Lennon’s bones. It’s what his father helped pioneer with The Beatles. It’s what he primarily listens to. And it’s the taking off point for The Claypool Lennon Delirium, his new psych-pop musical project with Primus’ legendary, whimsical bassist Les Claypool.
“That music attracts me because it’s very elaborate and sophisticated,” explains Lennon, who references the Mahavishnu Orchestra, King Crimson and even Miles Davis as some of the progressive artists he enjoys. “It takes a lot of work. It’s ambitious. It’s also fun. It’s more dreamlike because it takes you from here to there — to different headspaces within one song.”
His relationship with Claypool began when Lennon’s band, The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger, opened for Primus. After a jamming session backstage where the two “clicked,” Claypool invited him to his California home studio called Rancho Relaxo to write. It certainly worked: The duo had completed an 11-song album, called “Monolith of Phobos,” about a month later.
“The first song that Les came in with was called 'Captain Lariat' and that sort of set the tone [for the record],” says the 40-year-old artist. “He had this whole mythology about this character named Captain Lariat who was sailing in the salty seas.”