24 hours of fire power
THE Flaming Lips are known for many things.
There is their fantastic live show, the fact they wrote a song that went for 24 hours, and even their four- disc album in which each disc must be played simultaneously.
But last week the band truly outdid themselves by entering the Guinness Book of Records for most live shows in a 24- hour period – eight in all – stealing the record Jay- Z held previously with seven shows in 24 hours.
So when E Guide tracked down frontman Wayne Coyne to discuss the band’s latest album Heady Fwends, it’s no wonder the affable experimentalist is a little tired but mostly excited.
‘‘ It’s totally difficult and now I understand what these world records are about,’’ Coyne says of the band’s latest conquest.
‘‘ When you’re eight or nine and you read the Guinness Book of Records and see who can swallow the most worms it’s really cool. But when you’re in there, I mean it still blows my mind having a world record – it’s great.’’
Still reeling from the band’s triumphant 24- hour tour, Coyne ( pictured) is also celebrating another feat, compiling one of the most eclectic collaboration albums of the year featuring the likes of Nick Cave to Ke$ ha.
‘‘ I totally agree,’’ Coyne says of the bizarre mix of collaborations.
Coyne says he didn’t really call anyone to be involved on the new album if he didn’t think they would call straight back, but there was one elusive artist who was on the band’s wish list who couldn’t commit to the project.
‘‘ We’ll always keep trying for Jimmy Page,’’ he explains.
‘‘ It was a ‘ no thank you’ and I didn’t take it as if ‘ oh he doesn’t like us’. I’ve heard from his daughter that he does like some of our songs quite a bit but he didn’t want to do something over the internet. For him it was a faceto- face thing and he simply didn’t have the schedule to do that.’’
One collaboration that sounds just as interesting as it looks on paper is the band’s work with Ke$ ha.
‘‘ It’s probably my favourite,’’ quips Coyne.
But how on earth did these seemingly polar opposite musicians come to work together on the album opener 2012 ( You Must Be Upgraded)?
‘‘ I heard she wanted to work with us but being a big star surrounded by lawyers and ‘ the business’ I thought it would be tough,’’ Coyne says.
‘‘ But it was the exact opposite. She called me on my cell [ phone] so I drove right to her house and we spent the whole day and night recording and then got drunk and slept in. The next day we did the same thing, she is awesome.’’
With the album and world record behind them Coyne is looking forward to sharing the cosmic collaborations in Australia at Falls Festival and ringing in the New Year in Tasmania.
‘‘ It’s very exciting to come back because we know there’s an audience down there now.’’