The Flaming Lips

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READ MORE: Huffington Post

Thirty-five years into his career, the frontman talks longevity and what makes him tick.

By Lauren Moraski

Wayne Coyne was at a ski shop once in Aspen, Colorado, when he heard a batch of Flaming Lips songs.

“I assumed that the people getting us the skis and all that, one of them must’ve been a Flaming Lips fan and thought, ‘How fun is it going to be? I’ll put on the Spotify playlist while they’re in the store,’” the Flaming Lips singer told HuffPost. “Which is fun, but it’s a little bit embarrassing.”

It brought up a key question, though: Which Flaming Lips songs are the most popular? Thanks to playlists on Spotify and other streaming services, Coyne gets to see firsthand what the world thinks of their music, at least in terms of popularity. This came in handy when curating the Lips’ new greatest hits collection.

The Flaming Lips have more than a dozen studio albums to their name, so there was lots of material from which to choose for the newly released “Greatest Hits Vol. 1,” which coincides with the band’s 35th anniversary. For Coyne, this isn’t just a throwaway collection of tunes. He was involved in nearly every step of the process, from tracklisting decisions to song remastering. In the end they came up with a mix of more popular tracks, B-sides and rarities.

“It really is a celebration,” Coyne said. “A lot of ‘Greatest Hits’ are put out in protest. Like the group doesn’t want it, but the record company wants it. ‘Greatest Hits’ are kind of just thrown out there sometimes. But that’s not the case with us, and it’s not the case with some of the greatest hits albums we’ve loved over the years.”

It’s also a time for reflection for the 57-year-old singer, who started the band in Oklahoma City without any major or long-term expectations.

“If my future self would have come back to my 22-year-old self and said, ‘Dude, you’re going to be doing this when you’re almost 60 years old and you’re going to love it,’ I would’ve been like, ‘Get out of here, you’re crazy! I’m not that responsible. I don’t want the things I’m doing when I’m 20 to still haunt me when I’m in my 40s and 50s,’” he said. “I would not want to be thinking of this as the beginning of this long, long story and legacy and this beginning of this big family. I would have been crushed by that. I thought the whole thing was only going to last six months, a year. And I’d figure out what the next phase would be.”

That six months turned into a three decade-plus career that’s seen Grammy wins, worldwide tours, art-inspired performances and critical acclaim. Coyne says he’s glad the success they’ve amassed over the years has come “a little bit at a time.”

“I see now how success ruins people and it pushes you off your trajectory of being creative and evolving,” he said. “The success that happened to us early on was just enough to keep us confident and to keep us doing it, and it didn’t give us any superpower over other people. It allowed us to see so much... We were lucky. We got to make our records, and people left us to ourselves because we weren’t trying to sell 100 million records. People weren’t giving us billions of dollars to make our records... If you had to do all that in two years when you’re 19 years old, you’re probably going to be crazy.”

Those little bits of success continue for the Flaming Lips. This year, they received a Tony nomination for their work on the score of “SpongeBob SquarePants: The Broadway Musical.” Coyne also attended the Tony Awards ceremony in New York City last month.

“We just embraced the absurdness of that stuff. Part of you thinks, ‘What are these awards ceremonies? Are they stupid? Are they useless? Is it just the industry celebrating itself?’ You can look at it as cynical as you want. But none of that is really true,” he said. “It’s all fun, creative, cool stuff to us. And to be invited into that world and be able to dress up and walk down the red carpet, some people think all that stuff is superficial, but we don’t.”

Now Coyne is eyeing the next Lips project: a new album to accompany his art installation “King’s Mouth.” With this ongoing creative momentum, Coyne likens the Flaming Lips to “Batman” movies or comics, where fans continue to follow a plotline.

“I can understand why people like that, because you’ve already established these characters and the story. And you can keep moving. I feel like we’re a lot like that in a way. We’re like a comic book that goes on and on. They keep having adventures,” he said. “They’re timeless in a way.”

But more than that, Coyne hopes they’ve been able inspire people over the years.

“By being yourself, you attract other people that want to be themselves,” he said. “I think that’s the greatest lesson that we’ve learned. People will say to us, ‘Man, I saw you standing there doing your thing and it made me want to do my thing’... I really do love being a creative weirdo.”

“If you asked me what would be the perfect day? If you could do whatever you wanted to do? It would be filled up with making something music and doing some art in my kitchen. I’m never longing to be free of that,” he added. “The Flaming Lips gives me this endless vehicle in which I can make another chapter.”

posted by derek brown - Jul 10, 2018 - 0 comments



Published: Fri, June 29, 2018 7:09 PM

The treats keep coming for fans of Oklahoma City-based art rockers The Flaming Lips, who are celebrating their 35th anniversary in 2018.

Rhino Entertainment releases today “Seeing the Unseeable: The Complete Recordings of The Flaming Lips 1986-1990,” a six-CD box set that includes remastered versions of the band's four albums for the indie Restless label — “Hear It Is” (1986), “Oh My Gawd!!!...The Flaming Lips” (1987), “Telepathic Surgery” (1989) and “In a Priest Driven Ambulance (With Silver Sunshine Stares)” (1990) - plus two discs of rarities, including the legendary "Mushroom Tapes" sessions and a collection of tracks from singles, flexis and compilations.

The box set also features sonic treasures such as "Unconsciously Screaming," “One Million Billionth of a Millisecond on a Sunday Morning” and the Lips' cover of "(What A) Wonderful World,” with all the music remastered by producer David Fridmann, with the Lips’ Wayne Coyne and Michael Ivins. Coyne told my excellent colleague Gene Triplett in a recent interview that remastering their old music was a time-consuming process.

“We knew that if we didn't put anything out — that's my biggest dilemma, as well, is putting out another record — if we didn't put anything out, it would allow us a good year or so to make these things and put them out. And so that's why they're all coming out this year. We started to work on it right after (“Oczy”) came out," he told Gene in the interview, which you can read here.

As previously reported, the Grammy-winning experimental rock band, which was founded in Norman in 1983 and signed in 1991 with Warner Bros. Records, released earlier this month “The Flaming Lips Greatest Hits Vol. 1.," a three-disc compilation – a massive 52 tracks - ranging from 1992's “Hit To Death In The Future Head” through last year’s “Oczy Mlody," along with a handful of rare B-sides and previously unreleased material.

In other interesting Flaming Lips news, Rolling Stone listed the lovely band's anthem "Do You Realize??" at No. 57 on its list of "100 Greatest Songs of the Century - So Far".

posted by derek brown - Jun 29, 2018 - 0 comments


LISTEN: "We Only Have Tomorrow"

READ MORE: Pitchfork

by Sam Sodomsky
Associate Staff Writer
JUNE 15 2018

The Flaming Lips have shared their original demo recording of “Tomorrow Is,” their contribution to the Tony Award-winning SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical. Their version is titled “We Only Have Tomorrow.”

The Flaming Lips recently released a greatest hits album and launched a podcast. They are currently on tour and will perform at this year’s OctFest: Two-Day and Single Day tickets are on sale now at For more information, including lineups, news, and updates, visit and follow @Pitchfork and @ReadOctober.

posted by derek brown - Jun 15, 2018 - 0 comments

Flaming Lips Wayne Coyne Plots Art Exhibit Debut

Flaming Lips' Wayne Coyne Plots Art Exhibit Debut

Singer's "King's Mouth" art installation will open in October at Baltimore "outsider art" haven American Visionary Art Museum

Read more: Rolling Stone.

posted by scott - Jul 23, 2015 - 1 comment

Electric Würms Song Premiere on NPR Music! Go listen to I Could Only See Clouds now!

Electric Würms Song Premiere on NPR Music!.

posted by GeorgeSalisbury - Aug 11, 2014 - 0 comments

Electric Wurms Song Premiere: Hear 'The Bat' from the Flaming Lips Side Project

Electric Wurms Song Premiere: Hear 'The Bat' from the Flaming Lips Side Project on!.

posted by GeorgeSalisbury - Aug 11, 2014 - 0 comments

Peace Sword Out Now

The Flaming Lips’ Peace Sword is available now digitally on iTunes.

The EP will be released on CD and vinyl Nov. 29th.

posted by wb - Oct 29, 2013 - 4 comments

Listen to Songs from Peace Sword

Songs from the Ender’s Game inspired EP ‘Peace Sword’ premiered today across a number of websites. You can listen to the songs here:

“Peace Sword (Open Your Heart)” on

“If They Move, Shoot ‘Em” on All Songs Considered

“Is The Black at the End Good” on

“Think Like A Machine, Not A Boy” on

“Wolf Children” on

“Assassin Beetle The Dream Is Ending” on

Peace Sword will be available on October 29th digitally and on CD and limited edition vinyl on November 29th.

posted by wb - Oct 23, 2013 - 1 comment

Peace Sword

The Flaming Lips will release Peace Sword, a FIVE- song EP inspired by the upcoming film Ender’s Game.

The DSP Track list:
1. Peace Sword ("Open Your Heart")
2. If They Move, Shoot 'Em
3. Is The Black At The End Good
4. Think Like A Machine, Not A Boy
5. Wolf Children

PHYSICAL Track List:
1. Peace Sword ("Open Your Heart")
2. If They Move, Shoot 'Em
3. Is The Black At The End Good
4. Think Like A Machine, Not A Boy
5. Wolf Children
*6. Assassin Beetle - The Dream Is Ending


Peace Sword will be available on October 29th digitally and on CD and limited edition vinyl on November 29th.

posted by wb - Oct 15, 2013 - 1 comment

Halloween Blood Bath Hoodie Pre-order

Celebrate Halloween this year by wearing the new ‘Halloween Blood Bath’ hoodie.
This hoodie is now available to pre-order and will street on October 29th to coincide with the Halloween shows in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and will also be sold at those two shows. AVAILABLE ONLY FOR THE MONTH OF OCTOBER on THE FLAMING LIPS ONLINE STORE.

Visit The Flaming Lips Online Store now

posted by wb - Oct 2, 2013 - 0 comments
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