I spent the last couple of days swimming in The Flaming Lips, interviewing front man Wayne Coyne and checking out his deranged holiday events, Christmas on Mars and March of 1,000 Skeletons. It’s weird to think that it’s been 25 years, but it has. And it’s been worth the noisy, arty ride. My Wired interview with Coyne on painkillers takes it from here.
The Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne Works Toward a More Personal Freakout
Twenty-five years ago, The Flaming Lips burst out of Oklahoma City with deafening noise and ambition to spare. Today, it is one of the most perplexing and productive bands in rock history.
Front man Wayne Coyne (at right, with the broken cross) and multi-instrumentalist Michael Ivins (at left, in the shades) may not have foreseen the future when they first banged heads and guitars in Norman, especially after hooking up with drummer Steven Drozd in 1991. But it’s hard to peer into the past and ignore how The Flaming Lips helped evolve music into the new millennium.
MORPHTV: The Flaming Lips’ Christmas On Mars
Flaming Lips’ Christmas, Game Bring Holiday Cheer
Although it has advanced in age, The Flaming Lips is still one of rock’s weirdest, coolest legends. If you don’t believe us, just check out a showing of its curious midnight movie Christmas On Mars, screening in Los Angeles, Columbus and Denver on Friday, before moving to parts outward. Check Cinema Purgatorio to see if the deranged holiday classic is coming to your town.
As Wayne Coyne explained in Listening Post’s extensive interview with the lead Lip last month, the film was designed to be as destabilizing as David Lynch’s Eraserhead and as spaced-out as Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.
“There’s something uncanny, uncomfortable and unsettling about Eraserhead, which is what I wanted for Christmas On Mars. I wanted a clumsiness to the dialogue and real beauty in the cinematography, and through accidents, lighting and mood, we got there,” Coyne said. “The sets were elaborately built, lit and shot, so you could walk through and feel like you were in a real space station, just like in Kubrick’s 2001. So yes, both of those influences inform the film.”