In January, Flaming Lips leader Wayne Coyne talked about his band’s plan to release scattered songs in unorthodox ways across this year, rather than working on a full album. “The dilemma is whether we’re going to release it on vinyl, cereal boxes, or some of it on toys that we make,” he told Rolling Stone. Earlier this week, Coyne gave us some more details on the forthcoming releases, in between rehearsals for a Carnegie Hall performance as part of Philip Glass’s annual Tibet House benefit show. And his plan is even more insane than you’d probably expect.
In about three weeks, the band will self-release an as-yet-untitled, four-song 12″ featuring Neon Indian. Not too crazy. But then, in April, they’ll start selling gummy skulls. We’ll let Coyne explain this one: “It’s a life-sized human skull completely made out of edible gummy bear stuff. It also has a gummy brain inside of it and, inside of that, there’s a USB flash drive that has three new songs on it. It’s pretty outrageous.”
Click on to read more about the specialized gummy heads and possible future collaborations with James Murphy and Jimmy Page:
Talking about the logistics of his gummy innovation, Coyne went on, “We found this guy in Raleigh, North Carolina, who makes all these gummy bear things– even adult toys. I don’t know if he’s making giant dicks and pussies out of gummy bears, but we called him and said, ‘Hey, would you want to make a life-size human skull with a brain in it?’ And he’s like, ‘Who is this?’ We said, ‘The Flaming Lips.’ He’s like, ‘I love you guys!’ So sometimes you’re lucky and you’ll run into someone with enthusiasm.” Other oddball packaging ideas include “a salt box” and “a little spinning stroboscope thing.” Why not?
Coyne has also reached out to people like LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy, Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo, and Jimmy Page in hopes of involving them in future 2011 Lips releases. And yes, he’s talking about that Jimmy Page. “I know he likes our music,” said Coyne of the legendary Led Zeppelin guitarist. “It doesn’t always mean we get to sit in the same room as someone, and lot of times you’re just sending tracks back and forth, but I’m hoping he’s open to it. We always have a lot of stuff that someone like Jimmy Page could play over and we have a whole year to try and work this out.”
Currently freed from a record label contract for the first time since the 80s, the Oklahoma band’s first 2011 experiment was last month’s “Two Blobs Fucking”. The track was broken into 12 separate YouTube videos, which are meant to be played simultaneously on iPhones. (Watch the trio test out “Two Blobs Fucking” in a bathroom here.)
And, for the record, Coyne doesn’t rule out making more screen-printed posters out of his own blood, as he did last fall. “To me, it’s what I’m doing anyway– our blood is really in our work,” said the singer. “And I love blood. There’s some chemical reaction that happens when you’re with a group of people and there’s fresh human blood around; it’s not like taking LSD or anything, but this cool change happens.”