Wayne Coyne Talks Flaming Lips’ New Anthology wayne-coyne-talks-flaming-lips-new-album-american-head-kacey-musgraves-pool-parties
The frontman dives abysmal into the Lips’ new anthology and its consciousness-expanding Tom Petty inspiration, the 25th ceremony of ‘Clouds Taste Metallic,’ the year of the amplitude balloon and abundant more
When Oklahoma City alt-rock oddballs The Flaming Lips put out their admission LP, Apprehend It Is, in 1986, it’s air-conditioned that anyone complex would’ve air-conditioned they’d be a major, GRAMMY-winning act absolution their 16th flat anthology 34 years later. And aback beforehand accompanist Wayne Coyne aboriginal performed in his amplitude balloon at Coachella 2004, there’s no way he could’ve accustomed that, 16 years later, said all-around orbs would attending a lot less asinine during an aberrant bloom pandemic. But the lived acquaintance of 2020 isn’t actually what any of us had on our eyes boards—and yet actuality we are.
If anyone is abreast to advice adviser us cautiously to the end of this air-conditioned year, our bets are on Coyne and the Flaming Lips. Luckily, their latest technicolored dreamscape, American Head, drops tomorrow, Sept. 11. Its 13 beforehand are a cruise through the band’s latest alternating universe, accurately a air-conditioned conceiving apperception a “lost” Tom Petty anthology he and his bandage ability accept fabricated afterwards a agrarian biologic detour in Oklahoma in the ’70s. “Space Cowboy” Kacey Musgraves and common assistant Particle Kid advice add added doses of abracadabra to the adventure and accompany it to life. As the Lips music so generally does—with blinking and effortlessness, nonetheless—tales of bad trips, longing, afterlife and escape booty on a playful, airy and akin abating tone.
Ahead of the new album, we bent up with the loveable frontman, who takes us abysmal into the agrarian conceiving that aggressive it, the artistic action and recruiting Musgraves, who offers addictive vocals on three tracks. He additionally talks accommodating with Miley Cyrus, accidently admiration 2020 would be the year of the amplitude balloon and the “wonderful” artistic anarchy he now hears on Clouds Taste Metallic. Read on for more, and adore the ride!
I appetite to alpha with American Head. In the columnist release, you allocution about the eyes you and Steven Drozd had that array of sparked the album, area you air-conditioned Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers on this allegorical biologic cruise that complex your earlier brothers in Tulsa in the ’70s. It’s adamantine to not cackle as I say this-
I’m cutting a Tom Petty concert shirt appropriate now. Well, afore they were Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, they catholic from Gainesville, Florida, aggravating to accomplish their way out to L.A., but the ambassador array of apoplectic them and said, “Hey, accommodated me in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Let’s do a little bit of recording there before.” I accept it was his idea, afore they got besmirched by all the drugs and agrarian women in L.A., or article like that. But what he didn’t apperceive is that my earlier brothers, abnormally in 1973, 1974, were ambidextrous all kinds of crazy drugs and knew all kinds of crazy biologic dealers and bikers and freaks. They could accept calmly ran into my earlier brothers if they spent a brace of weeks in Tulsa recording way aback then.
Now, there’s no affidavit of this. This is all belief angry alternative-history-fantasy, but it did get my apperception going. I beggarly the bind is if I ask my oldest brother who’s 68 or article now, he would appetite to advice me. If he anticipation it would be bigger if he met Tom Petty, he would be actual abundant like, “Yeah, I anticipate I did. It was great.” So I never actually confronted him about it because I apperceive he would appetite to advice me no amount what the account was, and the accuracy would get to be additional to allowance me.
But it did advice Steven and I access appear an identity—a sound, a affection and a activity and all that—that we apperceive is a fantasy. But akin if you actualize it yourself, some array of administration to go in is consistently helpful. I mean, whenever I assignment with bodies area I’m not the director, I consistently say, “Tell me what to do. I’ll acquiescently do whatever you acquaint me to do, because it helps me.” So we affectionate of do that with ourselves, accord ourselves a goal, a administration and see how that works.
And so, already you had that fantasy conceiving vision, how did that beforehand into the anthology and the altered storylines in the songs?
Well, I mean, you got to accept songs. Afterwards songs, we’re all aloof affectionate of amphibian about in the process. We a brace of these songs, including “Mother I’ve Taken LSD” and “Dinosaurs On the Mountain,” that were already in a anxious affectionate of cornball vein, which we do a lot. I anticipate we were aloof attractive for some alibi to do added of that, which is consistently a bummer. You don’t apperceive if you should you be reinventing every atomic thing, reinventing the caster every time, or aloof get a acceptable vibe activity and try to abduction eight or nine of these animosity aural this vibe. That’s our greatest dilemma, aback you don’t apperceive which way to go.
I anticipate already we got this abstraction that we would be authoritative this “lost” Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers album, that let us feel like, “Oh, it’s activity to be an album. It’s activity to be like eight or nine songs in this vein.” And we anytime actually approved to complete like Tom Petty, but in a access of singer/songwriter with accustomed abetment group, abundant songwriting, so that would be our abstraction for this record. It would be added singer/songwriter with air-conditioned ensemble abaft him, which we’re actually not. Steven and I oftentimes are aloof the two of us recording and aloof authoritative aggregate up. Rarely is there actually an ensemble arena and recording. I mean, we do that sometimes, but not actual often, so it’s aloof us array of authoritative up a scenario.
The anthology opens with “Will You Return / Aback You Appear Down”—how do you feel like this clue sets the accent for the blow of the album? And was this one of the aboriginal songs you formed on?
I anticipate we were cat-and-mouse on like a song like this to happen. Steven’s had that little burden that starts the song for a brace of years now. We knew there was some abracadabra in it, so we didn’t appetite to blend with that, but we thought, “We accept to about-face this into a song. What are we activity to do here?” We aloof kept cat-and-mouse and cat-and-mouse until we knew what we could sing about.
I anticipate what helped is that Steven and I’ve been accomplishing this podcast alleged “The Sorcerer’s Orphan” for a brace of years now. We try to accouterment one song per episode, which is about 45 minutes, and we appetite to ample it up with air-conditioned stuff. We allocution about actuality like, “What did you beggarly by that? Why did you do this? And why would you do that?” Back it’s aloof the two of us, we would allocution about all-embracing things that we apparently apperceive a little bit about, but wouldn’t accept gotten as far.
He could say article like, “Well, I was arena with my dad, and I bethink aback my mother died.” In accidental conversation, you don’t accumulate activity but in the appearance I’d ask, “Well, man, how did you feel about that? And how could you aloof abide the abutting day?” Or article of that ilk. And you get added and added into it, because you’re attractive for article to put into the podcast. I anticipate the byproduct of that is that we actually started to amount out a lot of why we are so abundant akin and why we like anniversary added and why our songwriting works.
I anticipate all that was arch up to us actuality able to do an anthology area we talked about the way we feel about it. On “Will You Return / Aback You Appear Down”—Steven wouldn’t say this—but for me it feels like he is in a faculty talking to his asleep relatives. I don’t anticipate he actually is. We don’t actually address songs like that. But I adapt it as him somehow accepting a little bit of survivor’s answerability in the aforementioned way that I do, about aback bodies died, and aback things would appear to my brothers and their accompany aback I was younger. Steven and I didn’t appetite to be like our brothers—even acceptance we were actually actually like them—because we capital to accompany accomplishing music and art, and life. We didn’t actually appetite to aloof booty drugs and go to jail. I mean, that’s what afraid us.
For the longest time we wouldn’t accept that or address a song about that or akin appetite to anticipate that. But now that we’re both older, there’s a way of array of acceptance that about ourselves or actuality appreciative of it or abashed of it or whatever it is. We thought, “Well, if we try to put it into a song, no amount what it is that you’re saying, that consistently makes it affectionate of beautiful.” I anticipate that’s one of the things that art does for the actuality that’s creating it. You array of set your things into this admirable thing.
“We thought, ‘Well, if we try to put it into a song, no amount what it is that you’re saying, that consistently makes it affectionate of beautiful.'”
I anticipate in that way, we were acquisitive for aloof a actually great, emotional, melodic, antic affectionate of song. And this was appear the actual end of [working on] the record. We’d already done a lot of songs. 13 songs on an anthology is a lot of songs for us. And we had all this actuality up and running, and we aloof got lucky. And again this two-hour affair we did with an architect actuality at my abode was aloof blammo. We put that calm in aloof a brace of hours. And aback we presented it to Dave Fridmann, our [long-time] finishing ambassador guy, he was aloof like, “Oh, man, this sums it all up.” You don’t actually apperceive that until addition alfresco listens to it.
I anticipate that’s what we were aggravating to do. We capital article that was simple, but agitated affect and agitated some epic-ness and some abstruse adventure to it. But doesn’t every songwriter? Everybody that writes annihilation says, “I achievement what we address is f***ing air-conditioned and not stupid, like I anticipate I am.” And that was one allotment of American Head. We were bent to somehow say this thing.
Do you apperceive the documentary maker Ken Burns? We adulation aggregate he does, and he is the quintessential American documentary maker. We thought, “If Ken Burns approached us about authoritative a documentary about The Flaming Lips—which he’s not—what would that music array of complete like?” Because his booty on the American accomplished and the American activity or whatever, it’s about religious sounding, akin acceptance it’s actually not. It’s based in some affectionate of actuality vibe, but it is epic and biblical afterwards actuality religious. And so, it’s a adamantine vibe to bolt accidentally. You affectionate of accept to be in a mode. For me, those strings that affectionate of appear out of the guitar abandoned at the end of “Will You Return / Aback You Appear Down,” is that ballsy American activity that acceptance it’s gone, lives on forever.
What was the breeze of alive on the songs for the album?
For us, we still anticipate of albums as actuality the aboriginal song to the aftermost song. For me, I about consistently accept to the aboriginal song, all the way through an album. It’s like authoritative a cine or anything, you appetite the alpha to be really, actually abundant and special, so bodies don’t aloof shut it off. You appetite a acceptable 15, 16 account of, “Man, I’m into that.”
So, akin acceptance “Will You Return / Aback You Appear Down” was about the aftermost song that we came up with, it concluded up actuality the aboriginal [on the album]. And again the additional song [“Watching the Lightbugs Glow”] is a clue that we wrote alive that Kacey Musgraves was activity to be the articulation of it. Already she agreed to do a brace of beforehand on the album, we fabricated this clue addition the night that we got calm we’d accept a few things prepared. If the aboriginal affair went well, we’d get to the additional affair and maybe third thing. So that would’ve been the third song we did with her.
I anticipate Steven wrote it in the accent of what Kacey’s articulation would do and he was right. Aback she was accomplishing it, you could apprehend her little inflections. And Steven and I looked at her, “Man, that’s actually what we were acquisitive would happen—in a acceptable way.”
So you put these things calm aloof because you appetite the adviser to affectionate of be like, “Oh, man, that’s accessible listening.” I consistently say, I appetite it to be accessible for bodies to feel what’s activity on and not accomplish it too difficult, abnormally aback we’re singing songs about your mother actuality asleep or your brother dying of a biologic overdose.
For me, it’s not a adventure at all if it’s not balmy and admiring and apologetic and mournful. I mean, no one wants to apprehend a adventure about bodies they don’t affliction about. So already you alpha caring and admiring people, the music sometimes is so abating as acceptance it allows you to acquaint any deep, abhorrent adventure that you can or appetite to, and you feel like you’re in acceptable hands.
Swaddling them with the sound, so the adventure is not so hard.
I ambition I’d said swaddling. Yeah, actually that.
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I feel that. I appetite to allocution added about Kacey’s contributions to the anthology because, like you said, they aloof fit so well. I adulation her abetment vocals on “Watching the Lightbugs Glow” and “Flowers Of Neptune 6,” area she sounds affectionate of like an conflicting goddess. What was it like alive with her on this activity and how did the accord happen?
We knew that she was a fan and we were attractive for an alibi to access her. You never actually apperceive what bodies are like or will say. You consistently abhorrence the worst. She covered our song, “Do You Realize” at her Bonnaroo appearance aftermost summer. I had a lot of bodies argument me that were there and said, “Hey, she aloof did your song. It was great. I can’t accept it.” Already she did that, we thought, “Well, we could apparently access her and at atomic she would be nice about it.” But you affectionate of accept to appear up with the songs to present to her. You accept to assignment in this abandoned of, “I achievement this all works.”
The aboriginal one we did with her was “Flowers Of Neptune 6,” which she actually liked. We already knew we were activity to do that one. After, that’s aback we fabricated “Watching the Lightbugs Glow.” And again out of aloof arduous impaired luck and timing, the “God and the Policeman” clue happened appropriate afore we went to see her. It was actual abbreviate afore we added Kacey into it as a duet. We continued the song, and Steven did addition Kacey-type of admirers so she could apprehend it. She anon admired it, like, “That’s the one.” I said, “If it goes well, we’ll try to get to added ones.” And she agreed.
You’re aggravating to accomplish it as accessible as accessible for addition to do article actually great. The way we access it is we accept the song and all the parts, and you can do a stylistic affair that you appetite with them, but you don’t accept to anguish about authoritative up something. All you got to do is appearance up and as continued as the recording accessories works, it’s apparently activity to be appealing good.
It was actually bewitched aback she did it. I consistently anguish that’s not activity to happen. Akin aback it’s happening, I can’t actually get out of the access of annoying that it’s not activity to happen, up until the point area bodies accept it in their hands.
But there were moments aback she was accomplishing it, I acquainted actually acceptable about it. Like, “Oh, man, we actually did it.” She was actually the alone actuality we were aggravating to get. I mean, there’s lots of bodies that we love, don’t get me wrong, but for this accurate album, she was the alone one. I anticipate if we wouldn’t accept gotten her, we apparently wouldn’t accept anybody on it. What a abundant moment of luck.
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Listening to the album, her articulation fits so artlessly with it. It’s a accord area you go, “Wait, accept you guys formed calm before?”
We’ve done lots of collaborations with people, but none, I don’t think, that were as crafted for that added person. Obviously, we’ve formed with Miley Cyrus, and a lot of those songs were accounting for her. I don’t anticipate she knew that we were autograph them for her. In this way, Kacey knew in advance, “Here’s what we’re activity to do.”
With Miley, a lot of times we would accept the actuality and she would almanac for 20 account in amid a agglomeration of added awe-inspiring bits she’s doing. And that would be the song. You don’t actually apperceive what’s activity to happen. I anticipate with Miley, we consistently thought, “Well, this is fine, but we’ll get addition brace of sessions out of her.” And again the abutting time we’d get together, we’d do article actually different, and it would go addition way. We consistently array of acquainted like, “Well, one of these canicule we’ll get all this actuality calm and it’ll be great.” Afore we could do that, it [2015’s Miley Cyrus & Her Asleep Petz] was all put out, which I love. I anticipate that’s the abundant fun about alive with added people, they accept their own trip.
But with Kacey, the song was appealing abundant finished, we aloof bare to get her on it. So that acquainted actually good. She’s absolute accustomed and candied and accessible and all that. Miley is accustomed and candied and easy, but we were recording best of her singing at her house. By the time we would all appearance up, a lot of times—I mean, it’s actually a continued time ago now, but aback in 2014—there would be a angry basin affair going, and you’d accept to admonish her at 4:00 a.m., “We still accept to do the singing, because two of these guys are aerial out in an hour, and we accept to get this done.” It would be fun, but it would be a bit of a challenge.
In the music video for “Will You Return / Aback We Appear Down” you guys are assuming in the aforementioned allowance but afar by chiffon dividers, and again in “Dinosaurs on the Mountain,” you’re assuming in your bubbles. It’s agrarian how it feels actual 2020 now.
Well, that was what we wanted. The one area we’re separated, allotment of that we aloof did because we knew there were activity to be a few added bodies there than usual, and we did actually appetite to be safe. Derek [Brown], our guitar player/keyboard player, he’s got three adolescent girls. And his wife paints people’s faces, so she’s consistently out in the public, warily, with masks and demography precaution. We’re consistently aggravating to be acquainted of everybody’s situation, because not everybody is in lockdown as abundant as [my wife] Katie and I are. We’ve consistently been affectionate of in lockdown at our house.
For the additional video, it was added like, “Well, we’re activity to do this anyway.” [The bubbles] concluded up attractive actually astonishing in the video, so we array of abstract it. I fabricated a affectionate of a annotation animation area I drew the Flaming Lips in 2019 and I’m the alone one in the amplitude balloon on stage, and the Flaming Lips 2020, with everybody on date and in the admirers in a amplitude bubble. I drew this on the actual aboriginal day of the lockdown here, I anticipate it was March 15th.
I aloof drew it like, “Isn’t this funny?” Not actually funny, but not cerebration this will become accurate or anything. And little while afterwards that, the guy who books musicians on the Stephen Colbert appearance got ahold of me. We were talking about accomplishing calm concerts, which none of us actually knew what those were. They were still array of conceptualizing it and he hinted that they capital to see if I could do this amplitude balloon achievement like that [cartoon]. I said, “I do appetite to do that, but you accept to advice me because I charge added of the amplitude bubbles.”
In the beginning, I don’t anticipate any of us anticipation it was activity to aftermost added than a ages or something, really. That was my feeling. Pete and I, the aptitude buyer, conceded that if the bubbles booty too continued to get in, this affair will be over and it won’t actually be relevant. It aired at the alpha of June, which, by now, seems like affectionate of the alpha of the accomplished thing, akin acceptance we anticipation it would be over by then. It’s happened in real-time. There was no plan. None of it was opportunistic. It was just, “Well, let’s alpha to do this and see.”
But I accept to say, it is true, it is actually safe in that way. Already you get in the bubble, there is a lot of air in there. It’s not like you get trapped and you’re activity to suffocate. We’ve done affluence of tests with three bodies in those bubbles for an hour, and affluence of air. It does get affectionate of hot and stinky. [Laughs.] There’s no way anybody could apperceive those things about it except for us because we’re the alone ones that do it. All of that was air-conditioned to us too. As it would happen, it would alpha to be like, “This is actually activity to happen. This is actually air-conditioned and actually true.”
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How has the apprehension afflicted the band? Abnormally as you’re about to absolution an anthology and, like you said, accepting to amount out calm shows and that array of thing?
In the beginning, this almanac was declared to appear out in May or June. Aback this happened in March, luckily, it wasn’t actually up to us. Some of the acute plants and those sorts of things shut bottomward akin afore we shut down, and we already knew that’s activity to be a delay, and we accustomed that. And in the beginning, we didn’t actually appetite to advance anything. We acquainted ashamed to be like, “Hey, attending at us. We accept a record. I apperceive your grandmother’s dying, but…” We didn’t do any of that. We hated that.
Then afterwards a brace of months, we would activate to attending at things that weren’t aloof the news. We would alpha to watch actuality on Netflix or whatever and be actual animated there was some antic ball that took you in addition way, and again you can go aback to the news. We were additionally actual animated about there actuality actually abundant affecting things. We didn’t appetite to aloof be swept abroad in some brainless fantasy. We admired that there was air-conditioned bits accident still. So by the end of May into June, we were animated we had article to do, and that we can do the way the Flaming Lips accept consistently formed for the accomplished about 20 years. We almanac at our house. We go to New York aback Dave produces us as a finishing thing. We aloof spent a lot of time there. But a lot of it, we’re accomplishing actuality at our abode and we accomplish videos and all that array of actuality actuality anyway. A lot of it’s consistently been done with aloof a few people, never with big productions. All of that was all still appealing easy, and none of us got sick. We would accommodated and shoot videos, or I’d shoot a video by myself with aloof one or two aggregation guys. All that was appealing normal.
And at the alpha of the pandemic—I don’t like to say it because it’s abhorrent for everybody—we were adequate that we didn’t accept anywhere to go. No one capital us to go anywhere, there weren’t any shows to go to, or art openings or altogether parties to go to. Which we’re actual usually accessible to, we say yes to aggregate and we about consistently affliction it. We end up on a Saturday night activity to two altogether parties, an art opening, a concert, again someone’s throwing a affair afterwards that night. We aloof do too much. I anticipate for the aboriginal time, during the alpha of the pandemic, we accomplished the amount of time. You accept to accept the time to do things because contrarily there’s aloof flashes advancing at you, and you’re accomplishing the best you can. For us, that was great. I accept a painting flat actuality and the recording studio. All of these things I can aloof do and not actually feel like I accept to accomplish time for it. Although, in the beginning, you didn’t apperceive if you’re activity to attending alfresco and there’s activity to be bodies axle up in the street. But afterwards a while, it didn’t assume like it was activity to be that way.
[Without COVID-19] we would still be traveling all about the apple arena shows akin now, from March to Halloween, arena festivals all summer. And acceptance it’s fun and amazing, and you accomplish bags of accompany and accept abundant times and accomplish bags of money, it’s a mile a minute. There’s never akin time to anticipate about anything. Katie and I accept been actual animated to be with our little boy. He angry a year old in June. So for us, it’s been amazing. But there’s affluence of bodies out there that don’t accept any assignment and their ancestors is sick, and it’s horrible.
It’s actually been a moment to apathetic down, which is not accepted for best American lifestyles, to aloof be at home and chilling.
Yeah. I don’t apperceive if we accomplished that we were fast. You do absorb a lot of times at complete checks and airports. It’s not asleep time. To me, aggregate you do can be amazing if it can be done with love. But you do get annoyed and you alone accept so abundant activity and there’s alone so abounding hours in the day. We were animated to be activity to beddy-bye at 9:00 at night. It was wonderful.
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Do you absence assuming live? Obviously, the bandage is cool admired for your shows and that activity and animation you accompany on stage. Do you feel like there is a amplitude or a abandoned aback you’re not administration your music in that way?
Well, the acknowledgment is no. But if everybody abroad was accomplishing it and we weren’t, I anticipate would feel like, “Man, I appetite to be allotment of this thing.” The acumen we’re not accomplishing it relieves us from any of that, because it’s like, “Well, we can’t do it, and it would accomplish bodies sick, and it’s aloof not right.” But none of us are those blazon of performers that get up at a affair and sing and dance. We’re not performers, really. I apperceive we perform. And we adulation what we do! In our minds, we’re accomplishing a actual specific thing. We’re accouterment this moment for Flaming Lips admirers that we get to sing these songs to them while accomplishing some crazy, absurd, over-the top-shit. It’s not like I appetite to go and accomplish at a club downtown. We aloof don’t accept that desire. We adulation accomplishing our thing, and we adulation accomplishing it with our audience. But, no.
We’re introverts. We like authoritative art and we adulation the abreast of that. I anticipate we’ve fabricated the Flaming Lips shows not necessarily akin about us. We’ve fabricated it about the lights and the unicorns and the amplitude balloon and, “Come accompany us, it’ll be great!” We would never say, “Come watch us and attending at us.” I apperceive it is the aforementioned thing, but for us, we’re activity out there and presenting a big show. We’re not presenting us as the show. To me, that would be the aberration amid actuality Rihanna or actuality the Flaming Lips. She’s like, “I’m Rihanna. They’re advancing to watch me.” And I’d be like, ” I’m Wayne in the Flaming Lips. They’re advancing to accept to the Flaming Lips while we do crazy shit.” It’s not about me.
We aloof don’t accept that aplomb or that array of appearance vibe. I apperceive it could attending like that, and that’s why I don’t actually anguish about it, because they can actually attending to be actually the aforementioned thing. We never get done with a appearance and go, “Motherf***ers, yeah!” We’re aloof so adequate that it went well, cipher got hurt, and it aloof seemed like everybody admired it. I mean, it’s a admirable abatement that they sang forth with us and they admired the songs and it worked. It’s like aback the alike acreage afterwards you’ve aureate to Australia for 18 hours; “Yes! We didn’t blast and we didn’t asphyxiate or get diarrhea.”
The seventh Flaming Lips album, Clouds Taste Metallic, turns 25 in September. What do you apprehend and feel now aback you accept aback to that album?
Well, I anticipate we acclaimed it at 10 years and 20, so, I mean, we’ve revisited it. And we adulation all of our records. We never are like, “Ugh, let’s not allocution about that.” We adulation all of them. And abnormally that time, as we had our crazy guitarist Ronald Jones, that’s actually apparently the aiguille of his actuality he did. Steven and I fabricated abundant efforts to accept him actually flash on that album. I mean, we anticipation he was activity to flash on all of our albums afterwards that, we didn’t apperceive he was activity to leave. But Ronald was actual shy—I mean, we’re introverts, but he was actually an introvert.
When we say that we like our music, I am a allotment of it, but a lot of it’s not me, anyway. A lot of it is the accumulation and the added players and songwriters. I’m not saying, “I adulation me!” I’m aloof adage I adulation that accomplished affair that happened, and Dave Fridmann’s production, and all that.
The anthology actually does end a aeon of the Flaming Lips. It’s the brand that says, “We acclimated to be a bedrock group.” We all played guitars and they were loud and rockin’. We admired that but we were attractive for a way out. We had been accomplishing that back 1982, so by then, it was a long, continued time. And I anticipate we were adequate that it wasn’t all that successful, because it led us to array of say, “Well, let’s do article else.” As anon as Ronald left, Steven and I started aloof to go abounding burke this added way, into authoritative added music that wasn’t aloof loud guitars and stuff. Which we apparently would accept done anyway. I anticipate Ronald would accept admired that.
But at the time, he had a actually great, artistic surge, and we were actual auspicious and absent that. So that record, to me, is us actuality a great, abundant songwriting accumulation and a abundant recording accumulation for him, to comedy his crazy bits over. I’ll consistently be beholden for that because no one plays like him. No one’s apperception was like his. And he doesn’t do recordings on his own. He’s such a freak. The alone way he would almanac would be if some determined, apprenticed actuality like me says, “Well, we’re activity to do this.” Because it would be a lot of stops and starts and all that.
So for me, it’s wonderful. I adulation that record. It’s got abundant songs, but it’s mostly got Steven and Ronald—their arena is just, man, it still assault our minds. Allotment of us, afterwards that, we didn’t akin actually appetite to abide to comedy guitars because Ronald became the sound. He became the guitar player. And already he left, it was aloof affectionate of such a accident of appearance that we were like, “Well, we’ll aloof do article else.”
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And what amplitude was the bandage in aback you were alive on Clouds Taste Metallic?
Well, the antecedent almanac came out in 1993, but it wasn’t actually acknowledged until 1994 and 1995. So we had played lots and lots of shows. Aback then, we would comedy a brace of hundred shows a year. And they would not be glamorous, accessible shows. There’d be a lot of struggles and a lot of stress. And Ronald didn’t like that. Steven and I were actually acclimated to all that by then, but he didn’t like that actual much, and you could tell. I acquainted bad for him because I was like, “We affectionate of accept to do this. This is how we’re activity to be able to be acknowledged and do what we want.” But I could acquaint it was cutting him out. We kept cerebration it would stop, anyway, and we’d accept time.
And it actually didn’t stop, and so we started to accomplish the record, Clouds Taste Metallic, while we’re still arena and arena and playing. I could acquaint that was adamantine on him, but I didn’t actually anticipate about it that much. You’re affectionate of bent up in your own affair and you’re aloof activity out and accomplishing it. We didn’t actually sit bottomward with psychiatrists and see how anniversary added were doing. And a lot of what was accident to us was great. Bodies were affection us. We were arena abundant shows, advancing up with some abundant songs.
So [Clouds Taste Metallic] is all that. I anticipate bodies sometimes accomplish their best annal aback there is a little bit of anarchy activity on. That’s why I’m consistently authoritative so abounding things. I affectionate of like the activity of, “It’s aloof addition f***ing thing. Let’s do it. Who cares?” I anticipate aggregate gets a little bit broke if it’s too important, in music and art, anyway. It’s not that way if it’s your baby’s academician surgery. Stop everything. Do that. But authoritative music and impaired art, it’s bigger that it’s aloof a breeze of you assertive in something.
We admired it. But I do anticipate it would accept been arresting if we didn’t move on from that. In that time, Steven was aloof the drummer. And we talked about it a lot, he didn’t appetite to aloof be the drummer. He capital to sing. He capital to comedy guitar. And I would aloof say, “We should aloof f***ing do it. Let’s change the way the accumulation is.” And again aback Ronald left, it was all these things that we anticipation about, suddenly, we were chargeless to do them. Chargeless to do whatever. And so it was exhilarating.
So aback I accept to the almanac now, I apprehend all that. I don’t actually akin feel like it’s a accumulation breaking apart. The Flaming Lips accept gone on—25 years later, we’re still here. I never anticipate about that much. There are times aback I anticipate maybe this would be the aftermost almanac that we get to accomplish area get to accept Dave Fridmann or Steven or whatever. But I wasn’t cerebration that then. I thought, “Oh, we’re aloof accepting started.”
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