When Sean Lennon released his first album in 1998, it wasn’t the most pleasant experience.
“I felt uncomfortable with being investigated by the media at large, and I felt uncomfortable promoting myself,” explains Lennon, 31, the only son of the late John Lennon and Yoko Ono. “It felt embarrassing, inherently uncool. I wasn’t going to buy into the idea of exploiting my name and my legacy in a tacky way.
“That coupled with the fact my brain was in a state of chaos. I was 20, 21 years old. I felt like the universe was overwhelming at the time.”
Now, he says, things are more settled — which made putting out his second album, “Friendly Fire,” a bit easier.
“The world seems like I can perceive it better, somehow,” Lennon notes. “It seems to function in a more linear fashion.”
Nevertheless, Lennon says that “my 20s was an interesting time.” Rather than flog his own career, he served as the touring bassist for Cibo Matto (keyboardist Yuka Honda was his girlfriend and remains a collaborator) and also worked with Money Mark, Handsome Boy Modeling School, Soulfly, Esthero and Medeski, Martin & Wood — as well as his mother.
“I’ve worked with many people in many different situations and many different capacities — from writer to producer to player,” Lennon says. “All those things generally feel very important in terms of progressing your understanding of music.
“Musically, I feel like my ears got better and my relationship to the notes really expanded and clarified. I came into (‘Friendly Fire’) feeling more confident and ... valid, I think.”
Sean Lennon, Women & Children and Kamila Thompson perform at 8 p.m. Monday (April 16th) at St. Andrews Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit. Tickets are $16. Call (313) 961-6358 or visit www.livenation.com.
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