While The Flaming Lips might currently be without a contract at Warner Bros., there are signs that the relationship is far from expired—including but not limited to the fact that their handler there still hooks up email interviews, for example.
At a Boston in-store appearance on Tuesday, Wayne Coyne distributed the first test-pressings of a four-song, 12″ EP between the Lips and the Lightning Bolt. For a certain kind of noise freak, this amounts to a meeting of psych-damaged minds that feels far too long in having come about. Yet, despite the Warner logo on the back of the vinyl, there’s no distribution through the label. Meantime, over on eBay, the first sealed copy purchased direct from Coyne’s hands has popped up; with two days left on the auction, the bidding is already up to $66.
After calling Other Music and hearing that they expect to have a couple copies “by the end of the week,” I relayed a few questions about the release to Coyne through their publicist. So, should people sit tight and wait for copies of the Lightning Bolt EP to hit more stores, or what?
Coyne replied [via email, so sic throughout]: “Well.. I say.. do as you please… Some of our fans, lucky for them, have plenty of money and not much time and so they see it and buy it cause they know they will be able to go record shopping … When are they available ???? Well.. It is, currently, slightly more difficult to get these limited addition records and objects because we,all of the Flaming Lips organization, is pushed to the max during our busy summer tour schedule..we always put a limited, but not impossibly small, amount of all of our stuff up on the website store….But..the records are very limited and go,whenever we put them up for sale, very quickly….let it be said also… That all of the music on all of the releases is available on- line, for free….”
(He means here, presumably.)
And here’s how the recording went down. “It was a very spontaneous,thrown together thing… They [Lightning Bolt] were set to play a show in town and I met them as they pulled up to unload their equipment and do a soundcheck. I literally just asked them, I did not know them previous to this. I asked if they would do a jam at soundcheck…and .. .they did!!!!!”
Regarding some of the Lips’ other non-Warners stunts of late, including the “Gummy Fetus” USB drive, I forwarded Coyne a Jezebel post that asked “why do rock stars just love a fetus?”
His reply: “I don’t know about anyone else but for me it is just cool little thing… It’s a cool word.. It’s kind of disturbing ( all things associated with human birth are kind of disturbing) and conures images of abortions and fucking and even 2001 A Space Oddysey!!! Ha ha”
Now you know!
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 29, 2011