“Things just weren’t working out,” a Portman source explained to the magazine.“Natalie is young and they just were very different ultimately.” We have mixed emotions about this.Banhart cites Axl Rose, Kurt Cobain, Mick Jagger, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, and Ali Farka Toure as his inspirations to begin singing.When he found that he could not match their singing styles, he found success in singing in a "feminine style." Banhart’s albums offer a variety of musical sounds, and he is often called the leader of the musical movement termed "Freak Folk." His lyrics are fantastical, idealistic, and poetic with the occasional trace of innuendos.Additionally in 2005 Devendra collaborated with Antony and the Johnsons on the award-winning album I Am a Bird Now.Banhart sings the introduction to the song "Spiraling" and plays guitar on "You Are My Sister" in which Boy George also appears. And now Natalie is dating a dude who rolls with the Lilo?
It's tough to do that the older you get," continues Banhart, 35, by phone from an Orlando tour stop.
MOST READ ENTERTAINMENT NEWS THIS HOUR"It's not an easy instrument to play, and it's humbling, and we thought, 'We'll just rent a koto,' and the person renting it to us (said,) 'Well, I could play on it.' 'No, no, we got it,'" says Banhart, who lives in Los Angeles.
"We hadn't prepared for the amount of time it took to tune and transcribe — everything had been written on the guitar, so to transcribe it and tune it for three people who didn't know how to play the koto at all was humbling."The album's unifying feeling is a hard-to-place sadness, perhaps owing to Banhart's personal tragedies in the past few years — his biological father and four friends died while he and his band were writing and recording songs. "Those things were never really explicitly addressed while making the record," he says.
Then he spent the next decade or so playing dodge-and-weave with consistently morphing musical sounds, record labels, bases of operation, famous and not-famous-but-still-insanely-beautiful-girlfriends, and, yes, hairstyles.
(If anyone can be credited with jump-starting the current beardedness—cultural lifetimes before Al Gore or Joaquin Phoenix or Jared Leto sprouted face fuzz—it is Banhart.), is that when Banhart’s name goes missing from the "News" department for too long, it’s because he’s making visual art, a practice that has been with him at least as long as writing songs.