Freaky, Sexy Lips: 5 Questions With the Flaming Lips

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Since the inception of the Flaming Lips in 1983, frontman Wayne Coyne has been considered somewhat of an enigmatic character, even within the world of psychedelic rock. An oddball musician with a knack for novelty, Coyne has remained faithful to his early rock following while also exploring advancements in the world of music production. This methodology of blending psychedelic rock with experimental electro is one that helped the Lips snag three Grammys in the past 10 years.

In summer 2012 Coyne gave his freak fandom more of the stuff they craved with the release of “Heady Fwends,” a collaborative album that featured tracks with Ke$ha, Bon Iver and Yoko Ono. With their 13th studio album, “The Terror,” released this past April, Coyne is insistent that the band opts out of any kind of formulaic attitude when it comes to producing new records and instead focuses on experimenting with new sounds and methods.

Freaky, Sexy Lips: 5 Questions With the Flaming Lips

4Skulls and Blood Vinyls

Image credit TheFutureHeart
TOP5: First you came up with the gummy fetus/skull USBs, then 7 Skies H3 in actual human skulls, and then more recently the “Heady Fwends” blood vinyl. It feels like there’s a progression happening here. Do you plan on topping these release methods? If so, how?

Wayne: [Laughs] I don’t know if we’ll ever be able to top those. The reason we were able to do those and the reason they were done at such an accelerated pace was that, at the end of the year 2010, we were going to be out of our contract with the mega-corporation Warner Brothers. It wasn’t that we were wanting to; it was just the way that our contract worked. We knew we were going to be about a year and a half outside of—not the restrictions, but you know—having to have Warner Brothers do everything with us. And they encouraged us: ‘I want you guys to think of the f#@king freakiest thing you can think of, we’ll help you do them, we just won’t help you do them as Warner Brothers.’ Warner Brothers as a company could never put out music inside of an actual human skull. That is just illegal almost anywhere in the world. That is just detestable for anybody to do. So I did that, and I knew that some of our fans would really like it. No company in the world is ever going to put out vinyl that has actual human blood in it. That’s just, frankly, always going to be illegal—now until the end of time. So in this time that I was allowed to do whatever I wanted, I did those types of things that I knew we would not want to do when we were back on Warner Brothers.

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