Pictured during mastering sessions are (from left) recording engineer Tom Biller, Sean Lennon and mastering engineer Bernie Grundman. Photo by David Goggin.
Capitol Records artist Sean Lennon has mastered his new album, Friendly Fire, at Bernie Grundman Mastering. Lennon was joined by recording engineer Tom Biller for the mastering of his first album since his 1998 solo debut, Into the Sun.
“There was a long period after the first album where I felt disillusioned with the machinery of the industry,” says Lennon. “It’s not that I stopped recording, playing and performing—I did all of those things, just more discreetly. Friendly Fire is an experiment to see what it might be like to do music more publicly again.”
Produced by Lennon, the Friendly Fire sessions were recorded by Biller, producer Jon Brion’s engineer for his recordings with Fiona Apple and Kanye West, as well as the scores for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and I (Heart) Huckabees. Drummer Matt Chamberlain (Pearl Jam, Tori Amos) joined Lennon in the studio for two weeks of collaboration.
While Lennon played nearly all the instruments on his debut, the Friendly Fire sessions found him still writing most of the parts but creating a “band” to record live to tape, mostly in single takes. Other participants included Jon Brion (organ, guitar, additional drums), Cibo Matto’s Yuka Honda (piano, keyboards, bass), Harper Simon (guitar) and Bijou Phillips (background vocals), among others.
Lennon has also produced a short film for each of the album’s tracks, directed by Michele Civetta. The fantastical shorts, which together comprise a conceptual film about betrayal and the failure of love, feature appearances from Lennon and friends including Phillips, Lindsay Lohan, Asia Argento, Carrie Fisher, Devon Aoki, Jordana Brewster and others.
Friendly Fire is scheduled for release on September 26.