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The Flaming Lips unleash 'The Terror'

Oklahoma City's eccentric psych-rockers create one of their darkest albums to date.
BY GENE TRIPLETT etriplett@opubco.com Published: April 19, 2013
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/articleid/3788523/1/pictures/2016932">Photo - The Flaming Lips, from left: Steven Drozd, Michael Ivins, Wayne Coyne, Kliph Scurlock, Derek Brown.
PHOTO PROVIDED <strong></strong>
The Flaming Lips, from left: Steven Drozd, Michael Ivins, Wayne Coyne, Kliph Scurlock, Derek Brown. PHOTO PROVIDED

Coyne is well aware that some people will interpret these songs as his deeply personal expressions of despair and anger over the breakup of his long-standing romantic relationship and marriage to Michelle Martin-Coyne.

“Well, I think they will because there's songs on there that hinted that, and I wouldn't say that they're wrong because everything comes from an idea of expression,” Coyne said. “And even though I'm not really doing that, the way that Michelle and I are, it's not that typical way. I mean people will think whatever they want to think and that's fine with me.

“I don't want them to think anything that's gonna wrongly paint the way Michelle's life is. But yeah, I think they'll do that, yeah. But I think it's inevitable that the more you know about my life, the more you're going to see it in our art and our music.”

No matter how people interpret or react to this brave new experiment in musical catharsis, Coyne is comfortable in the knowledge that he's remained true to himself as a “fearless freak” of an artist, which is what true-blue fans of the Flaming Lips have come to expect.

“I don't want people to get the wrong impression, that we've suddenly turned into these (bleeping) bleak old men who no longer believe that the sun shines down on us. We do,” Coyne said. “To us, there's nothing wrong with being aware of this unstoppable pain and that life is a struggle sometimes.

“I think it'll please the fans that believe in us the most, the fans that really, really will always be there with us, that don't want us to make the same record over. They want us to go into outer space and come back with something that we've never heard before. They want us to experiment. And they would be the first ones to tell us, ‘Don't worry about failing,' you know? That's what I learned when we went to make ‘Zaireeka' and ‘The Soft Bulletin.'

“And that's what changed me. What changed me was them saying, ‘You know, Wayne, you should do your thing and don't be afraid, because that's what we want from you. We don't want you being saved, and we don't want you worrying about how this is gonna be marketed, we want you to go into the heart, the center-eye demon in your mind and confront that.'

“And I've tried to do that. I'm not always as determined as I think I should be, but I try to do that and not think about, ‘Is this gonna please anybody.'”


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