Los Angeles Times

The real Harry Potter?

When your last name is Lennon, people don't forget about you. Even if you wait eight years to make a second album.

Sean Lennon, the son of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, has finally released "Friendly Fire." It's his first record since 1998's "Into the Sun." He's also recovered from the tragedy that inspired the new album: the death of his childhood friend Max LeRoy, from whom Lennon was estranged after learning LeRoy was sleeping with Lennon's longtime girlfriend, Bijou Phillips.

From London, Lennon talked to us about "Friendly Fire," his famous father and the world's most popular wizard.

What does "Friendly Fire" mean to you?

I'm just kind of re-appropriating language, that's all. There's a tendency in modern society to try and change things by changing the words we use to describe them, as opposed to changing the things themselves. Instead of saying, "someone was killed," you try to make it seem nicer by changing it into, "friendly fire." So it sounds nicer. But the act itself is not changed. Only the words are changed.

What are other examples?

It's every day. Operation whatever--"freedom"--whatever they call it. What they mean is war. Or "Afro-American" instead of black. Just thinking that saying history and herstory or actor and actress will make the world not sexist but it is anyway, and you have to change the cause--the symptoms not the surface.

When did you first realize what your father had done before you were born?

I don't really remember. It's not like there was one moment where I was, like, standing on a cliff or something and had some revelation. ... When did I realize that the world was populated by people? I mean, I don't know. Do you? Things like that just slowly become a part of your consciousness. And the degree to which you understand them sort of increases over time.

Have you heard some people think you look like Harry Potter?

Yeah, I have heard that. But I was kind of sporting the Harry Potter look before that look was even written. So in a way I'd say he looks like me.

Have you contacted J.K. Rowling?

I just believe she knows. It goes unsaid. An understanding.

What would you do if you were a wizard?

I feel like life seems pretty magical to me anyway. I don't know if I need to see through walls or anything. I guess flying would probably be the ultimate magic power, I guess. Invisibility or flying. I think flying is probably the best.

How's your Quidditch game?

I don't know. It's been awhile.

Are there any Beatles songs you don't like?

I don't know. There's no good answer for this question. It just feels like a trap. I just don't think that anything I say feels like it's a good thing to say. I can't see any light at the end of this tunnel.

Matt Pais is the metromix music and movies producer.mpais@tribune.com

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