The Flaming Lips

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(Redirected from Wayne Coyne)
The Flaming Lips are an American rock band with psychedelic influences, formed in 1983 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma by Mark Coyne, Wayne Coyne and Michael Ivins. Over time the line-up has changed constantly, with Wayne Coyne and Michael Ivins providing a stable foundation.
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The Flaming Lips. Left to right:Steven Drozd, Wayne Coyne, and Michael Ivins

The band is known for its catchy, dreamy guitar-led melodies, overlaid on signature complex and fast-paced drum beats and accompanied by idiosyncratic usage of samples and sound effects. They are also known for their bizarre and frequently humorous song and album titles, perhaps the most infamous examples being Due to high expectations... The Flaming Lips are Providing Needles For Your Balloons.. (an EP) and Talkin' Bout The Smiling Deathporn Immortality Blues (Everyone Wants To Live Forever) (a song from Hit To Death In The Future Head). Their live performances often include strong theatrical elements. In the early years these were limited to relatively low-budget accessories such as bubble machines, confetti, balloons, hand puppets and strings of Christmas lights. Lately they have been able to add video projections, rabbit suits, professional pyrotechnics and complex lighting shows, while continuing to use their "low-budget" visual elements in ways more specifically coordinated with the musical performances. In 2002, Q magazine named The Flaming Lips as one of the "50 Bands To See Before You Die".

They languished in relative obscurity for long periods of their history, releasing their first four albums on a minor label (Restless Records) before being picked up by Warner Bros. in 1990. By 1994 they were gaining a respectable cult following and some college radio airplay with their album Transmissions from the Satellite Heart. Eventually, Transmissions managed to spawn a top ten Modern Rock hit with "She Don't Use Jelly", peaking at number 9 in 1995. The Lips were even featured on the popular teen television series Beverly Hills 90210 in March of 1995. The success of this record led to long stints of touring, including a second-stage headlining position on the Lollapalooza tour and opening for both the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Candlebox.

Clouds Taste Metallic was released to much critical fanfare in late 1995, though it did not achieve the commercial success of its predecessor. This was the last record and tour in which the Lips were performing as a "standard", although highly idiosyncratic, 4-piece rock band. The strain of the year-long Clouds tour added to the stress from the three years touring in support of Transmissions was a major factor in the departure of long-time guitarist Ronald Jones in late 1996. He was said to be suffering from a severe case of agoraphobia.

The departure of Jones and a general dissatisfaction with standard "rock" music led to the remaining members of the group (the current lineup) deciding to redefine the direction of the band. This led to the experimental Zaireeka (1997), a four-CD album which is intended to be heard by playing all four CDs in four separate CD players simultaneously. The music incorporated both traditional musical elements and "found" sounds (as in musique concrete), often heavily manipulated with recording studio electronics. As part of the development of this project (and occasionally as part of the subsequent tour), the band conducted a series of "boombox experiments", where an orchestra comprising up to 40 volunteers with modified "boombox"-type tape players was "conducted" - directed to vary the volume, speed or tone of the tape they were playing (all of which were made by the band) - by the band's lead member, Wayne Coyne.

Though their experimental endeavours received some press, their real breakthrough came with the massively acclaimed 1999 release, The Soft Bulletin. Marrying more traditional catchy melodies with languid synthetic strings, hypnotic, carefully manipulated beats, booming cymbals and oddball, philosophical lyrics (sung much more strongly than on earlier releases), the album was one of the underground hits of the year, widely considered to be one of the best albums of the entire decade. It also featured greater use of synthesizers, drum machines, sound effects and more studio manipulation. After this album was released, Wayne Coyne said that "if someone was to ask me what instrument do I play, I would say the recording studio." Realizing that an attempt to recreate this complex album live solely with additional musicians would be prohibitively complex and expensive, the group decided to tour as a three-piece and make extensive use of pre-recorded music to fill out the parts not being performed live by the members of the band. Perhaps most notably, this led to the decision to have Steven Drozd (ostensibly the drummer. but a talented multi-instrumentalist) play primarily keyboards and guitar live instead of the drums. This, in turn, led to a decision to utlilize video recordings and projections of Steven playing the drums for some of their older, more "standard rock" songs.

In a further attempt to enhance the live experience for the audience and to more accurately reproduce the sound of The Soft Bulletin live, the Lips devised the concept of the "Headphone Concert." A low-powered FM transmitter was set up at shows, and the concert was simultaneously broadcast to small Walkman-style receivers and headphones available for free to audience members. This would, in theory, allow the audiences greater sonic clarity while still feeling the power of a full live P.A. This concept was debuted in Dallas, Texas and at the South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas in March of 1999, and was subsequently used on the International Music Against Brain Degeneration Revue tour.

In 2002, The Flaming Lips released the full-length Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots to much critical acclaim. Considered much more accessible than any of their previous albums, Yoshimi is widely considered to be The Flaming Lips' first critical commercial success after nearly twenty years of existing as a band.

Several of the band's records are produced by unofficial fourth member Dave Fridmann of Mercury Rev, with whom the Flaming Lips are often compared. Also the LPs In A Priest Driven Ambulance and Hit To Death In The Future Head featured guitarist Jonathan Donahue, who would later go on to form and front for Mercury Rev. The band's current line-up consists of Wayne Coyne, Michael Ivins, and Steven Drozd.

After Yoshimi, The Flaming Lips released a series of EPs in the same vein of their previous album's robotic theme and containing remixed songs from Yoshimi, including Fight Test EP and Ego Tripping at the Gates of Hell EP. In addition to their EPs, The Lips have been working for several years on a feature film entitled Christmas on Mars, with a predicted release date of Christmas 2005, though it should be noted that the film has been delayed two years already, originally scheduled to be released Christmas 2003. [1] (

Recently, they performed as the backup band for singer Beck on his Sea Change tour. In the summer of 2004, it was announced that the Flaming Lips would appear among the headliners on the 2004 Lollapalooza tour, alongside such legendary artists as Sonic Youth and Morrissey; however, the tour was canceled due to lack of revenue. Following the concerts' cancellation, the band entered Tarbox Road Studio with producer Dave Fridmann and began work on their eleventh album, tentatively titled At War With The Mystics.




EPs / singles

  • The Flaming Lips (1984)
  • Drug Machine (1988) (released on Sub Pop)
  • Unconsciously Screamin' (1991)
  • Yeah, I Know It's A Drag... But Wastin Pigs Is Still Radical (1991) (first WB single)
  • She Don't Use Jelly (1993)
  • Due to high expectations... The Flaming Lips are Providing Needles For Your Balloons.. (1994)
  • Turn It On (1995)
  • Bad Days (1995)
  • This Here Giraffe (1996)
  • Brainville (1996)
  • Race For The Prize (1999)
  • Waitin' For A Superman (1999)
  • Do You Realize?? (2002)
  • Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots part 1 (2003)
  • Fight Test (2003)
  • Ego Tripping At The Gates Of Hell (2003)


External link & Reference

Official Site (


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