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David Johansen and Leah Hennessey (of Hennessey) Interview Each Other

photo by Mara Hennessey

In anticipation of their show tomorrow night at Berlin (also the last night of CHILLEMI’s summer residency), Leah Hennesey (of Hennessey) – singer songwriter/underground web filmmaker and David Johansen – New York Doll/sometimes Buster Poindexter, indulged our voyeuristic tendencies by interviewing each other about live music, the Resistance, and the nature of nothingness.

Leah: If you could perform (singing songs) in any non-venue environment where would it be? For instance, The Grand Canyon, the moon…

David: It depends on the type of songs, for instance I like to sing doo wop in the street preferably in the night time

Now a song such as “This is my song” I would sing in the car

Leah: Why do the voices of the unconscious sound like cartoon voices?

David: Well I guess because life is such a silly thing. I mean we don’t really know why we’re even conscious so the unconscious likes to tease us about that with that Woody Woodpecker laugh

Leah: If you could star as the lead of any biopic film who would you want to play? Why?

David: Tom Hulce played the hell out of Mozart and Mickey Rourke made Bukowski seem interesting so let’s see…ah, George Orwell in his Homage to Catalonia period because to me the Spanish Civil War offers so many lessons in how to fuck up a revolution.

Leah: What do you like about hearing live music? When is it worth it to get out of the house and make the trek?

David: Singing to me is a pure expression of gratitude for being alive, it’s probably older than the drum. It would have to be someone like Boubacar or Billy Joe Shaver or Bryn Terfel. Otherwise it feels like a busman’s holiday

Leah: Do you still have songs you love that you don’t want to play on your radio show or cover because you want to keep them for yourself? If yes, why do you want to keep them for yourself? If no, why do you want to share cool stuff with people?

David: Well I like to share everything on Mansion Of Fun that tickles my fancy, most people have insufficient leisure time to develop taste so this is an area where I’m actually useful.

Leah: Do you have any suggestions or strategies for fighting the apathy and paralyzing fear that comes from living under the beginnings of a fascist regime? Any tips for staying active in the resistance?

David: Well I loathe the regime to the extent that every waking hour I’m thinking of strategies to undermine it. Having been a teen in the 60’s I also know that active resistance is the only way humanity will prevail. I really hate stupid nazis so I have to remember that if in intellectual pride, or in the laziness of dullness, we deny the light, thereby denying ourselves, how can we avoid being in darkness?


David: Do you think the privilege of a life time is being who you are? 

Leah: Absolutely. Flaunt it baby, flaunt it!

David: Do you prefer being in with the in part of the out crowd or being out with the in part of the in crowd?

Leah: I like to go out with outies and stay in with innies.

David: Ever not wanna do an experiment cause it might prove your theory wrong? 

Leah: I like doing the same thing thing over and over again and expecting different results.

David: Are you sick of choosing between the insipid and the atrocious? 

Leah: I usually go with atrocious, that way I can work my way back to insipid.  It really doesn’t work the other way around.

David: Do you ever think about the nature of nothing? 

Leah: I know you LOOOOOOOOVE Nothing. I think I am still a little babyish and tend to think of an ominous nothing like this one

David: Do you think that you and I are a lot alike? 

Leah: Yes, but I find it incomprehensible that you don’t love South Park. Also I have a much lower Blues threshold than you. These are matters of taste which have deep ramifications. I think neither of us dance as much as we’d like to. I think we both love the same things about being humans (even though you are part monkey and I am part elf).


Catch CHILLEMI, Hennessey, and David Johansen at Berlin tomorrow, July 25th. Only a few tickets left, get yours here.

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