As the end of the summer rapidly approaches, fans in Orange County have a lot to look forward to. Doheny Days, which was reformed last year after a long hiatus, features one of the sneakiest good lineups of the season. With the likes of Jane’s Addiction, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, Rebelution, Jimmy Eat World and an assortment of others, the beachfront festival promises to be one that’s worth attending.
One band that’s on the must-see list is the legendary Flaming Lips. In between their extensive tour schedule, the release of their The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends compilation, along with putting the final touches on their 15th album, Wayne Coyne and company have a busy year. Before the band hit the road, we caught up with Coyne who filled us in on all of the above and their incredible eight-shows-in-24-hours to land in the Guinness Book of World Records for the most amount of shows in that time span.
Whose idea was it for the band to take on Jay-Z’s record?
It was MTV and VH1. They had an award show going wanted it to stretch out 24 hours to make it a show and wanted it to expand into the Internet world. I think they were searching for a group, we were one of the groups that they asked to do it at the beginning, to break the record.
On an absurd level they knew that would appeal to us because we like those sorts of things. You start to think that this thing is very hard to make into something musically that’s cool because there’s so much depth and panic about getting from one place to another. But in time, we’re able to find a way to think even though it’s eight shows, the Guinness Book of World Records doesn’t care how good the shows are, as long as they are a certain amount of time and you’re there.
We took the idea that if we’re going to do the eight shows then we’re going to make each one unique and play music we’ve never played before, and invite our fans to be a part of this crazy journey. They have someone time you for 15 minutes and as soon as they’re done timing you, you get the fuck out of there and onto the next place.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Psst. The video below is (very) NSFW.
What did it feel like to finish the last show in New Orleans? Did you want to hurry up and finish or savor the moment?
If this were the Steven Spielberg movie version, I would have crawled on-stage, barely able to sing, and we’d barely get through the 15 minutes and when the clock hit, I’d pass out and be in the hospital for a week. But it wasn’t like that. After that morning, which was pretty exhausting, I slept for about 12 minutes.
Yep. But there’s something that happens to your brain when you’re suddenly able to connect all of the dots so clearly again. The days leading up to this were very stressful too. There were long, stressful days of rehearsing and getting the equipment together. So we hadn’t really slept, it wasn’t just those 24 hours, for the three or four days leading up to it. I think that 12 minutes of sleep that I got that morning in between Hattiesburg and Biloxi, was probably the best sleep I’ve had in a couple of months.
The Thunder are the most celebrated thing out of Oklahoma ever. We thought we used to be then they came along.
I’m not really a sports freak, but it’s just a fun thing that everybody in town is into it. Those are fun nights when they’re playing and have the potential to win the whole thing. The guys are cool and they welcomed me into their thing, and I’ve went to games and met players. There are people that come up to me and say, ‘Hey man, we really like your team’—people in Germany and Spain. It’s crazy.
Even though you aren’t a sports guy, it’s a source of civic pride and you can’t complain about that.
I don’t care about the statistics. I like the excitement and happiness that centers around whether they win or lose. I’m not like that and that’s a bit silly. My disposition doesn’t really change that much if they lose. I’m happy if they win because everyone else is happier and I like happy people. That’s my opinion.
Is there going to be anything special since the show is on the beach and at night in a big park?
We do pretty elaborate outdoor shows most of the time when it’s not in the winter. We’re already exploding as much shit as you can do virtually every night. I think it allows us to do a lot more smoke bombs and things like that. I think a Flaming Lips show is the already the most you can do anyway. We already have a giant laser and maybe have a rainbow one by then, but we can’t tell if we’re going to be allowed to use it or not.