Sean steps into a room and all vibration in the air stills. It could be any room, the most crowded basement gig with a lower the tone to match his mood, or a room full of bass undertones - as if to fully take this boy in you have to live in the same surreal pase in which he does. To fully take on this boy, you have to almost embrace the surreal moments he thrives upon.
Sean Semmens' silence has a certain grace to it. No word is wasted, there are just his answers and silence. He out of the blue proclaims his exclusive relationship with the colour black, then lets the quiet fall through the room again, saying only what needs to be said. A silence filled by the resonance of his voice, the dent he leaves in a conversation simply by participating in it.
We ask the mysterious model from SUPA Models to draw us a self-portrait as we draw words out of him. Self-portraits who? This is going to go so wrong.
We can stick to wrong. That's a funky watch you have there.
It was acquired under mysterious consequences when I was in America, ha ha!
That sounds interesting! What's America like?
It's nice there, so alien I was living on my own. Everything was budgeted, and a bit of a restricted way of living. It’s quite a fun thing though, well the challenge is making fun out of the situation.
Instant analogue created by Liz Ord using the Impossible Instant Lab. Special thanks to IMPOSSIBLE.
If it was a choice between England and America, what would you choose?
Ow. America, I’d say America. I always wanted to live there growing up It seems so much bigger, I like the idea of their high schools. When I was at school I just wanted to be in an American school, you know, with the lockers.
Haha, you could be a jock?
No, I think I would be a Misfit.
A bit like Beavis and Butt Head, ha ha?
No it scares the hell out of me. The sketches…I love them, but they're terrifying.
Haha, I agree. What adventures have you had so far modelling?
I've done a few photoshoots, and walked for Siki Im, Duckie Brown and Libertine.
That's a very humble reply considering you've also done campaigns for McQ and Diesel, and also walked for Alexander McQueen, DKNY, Jonathan Saunders and Topman amongst others. You said you were in a band, what do you play?
Not a front man type?
Ah no. I might start singing at some point though!
Do you write any of the songs?
Yes I write music, not words though, the singer does that. I can't seem to put words into the music which is odd, because I write poetry. Poetry and lyrics are quite similar, but sometimes poems just don’t fit to music. Not sure how, but it just seems to be like that.
Do you have any other obsessions asides from music?
I’m not sure about obsessions, but the reason I do a lot of things is for the travel, I love travelling. New York was great. Australia too.
What was the atmosphere like in America?
Well there was a budget, but it required a lot of healthy eating. I think I would have died if I didn’t eat healthy. I also didn’t have an American phone so the flat was our hub of communication with the agency. It was all very surreal!
Did you get an American twang at any point ?
No. I spent more time teaching them the English accent. I knew they would like it before going, but I didn’t know how much! Haha. (Puts on American accent) "Owww my God, you're British!!"; They all thought I only ever drank tea, even though I prefer coffee!
Do you draw? Your self portrait was pretty spot on.
I drew a lot when growing up. I hated the idea of studying it though, I don’t know why - I guess it's not for me and could be restrictive.
Who’s your favourite designer you’ve walked for?
Alexander Mcqueen. I like wearing all black and that seems to be what they do. They never have fancy venues, its always stripped down in old warehouses that look like they're about to fall down. It reminds me of the grungy venues I used to play at - this one place called Power Lunches, the power cut out half way though and someone got electrocuted by a plug. It was awful.
How did you get scouted?
I was having a shoot for my old band Coastal Cities for XXY magazine, me and our lead singer got scouted together.
Power cuts, watches, and New York. Yes I suppose that is how it happens!
Interview by Molly Baker and Liz Ord.
Words by Liz Ord.