As the Flaming Lips and Looper tour starts, nme.com talks to Looper mainman in Seattle...

Looper‘S STUART DAVID has revealed to nme.com he parted company with BELLE AND SEBASTIAN because he had grown bored with working in a traditional band format.

And the former bassist has admitted his “main hope at the moment” is for people to stop referring to him as “that guy from Belle and Sebastian“.

Speaking during the band’s first batch of dates since he left the acclaimed Scottish outfit, David said: “I just kind of lost interest in the more band-oriented way of doing things and everyone playing instruments at once. I just liked cutting things up and the kind of possibilities of that.”

Currently on a lengthy US tour with The Flaming Lips, David and his bandmates – wife Karn, brother Ronnie Black and keyboard/sample player Scott Twynholm – have been regularly performing to sell-out crowds of more than 1,000 and, according to reports, regularly winning over huge sections of the partisan crowd with their low-key but charming opening sets.

During the performance at The Showbox (23 March), in Seattle, David said it was “a pleasure” to play in Seattle “because this is where it started for us”, referring to the Sub Pop release of the band’s ‘Impossible Things’ debut single in the US. The label will release the band’s second album, ‘The Geometrid’ in May.

During a well-received 40-minute set the four-piece enlisted the help of Flaming Lips guitarist Steven Drozd for new song ‘These Things’ which prompted David to joke: “He’s the only person on stage at the moment who can actually play an instrument!”

The band also dragged up their bus driver – nicknamed “Evil God” – to play saxophone on ‘Columbo’s Car’ during which the singer/bassist took some good-natured swipes at his touring partners, joking: “They’ve only got one song – that one about Vaseline.” (‘She Don’t Use Jelly’).

Although Lips lead singer Wayne Coyne was suffering from throat problems and struggled to be heard at times, the aforementioned song was one of the many highlights in a Flaming Lips set which was the usual crazy multimedia extravaganza, combining music, film, glove puppets and fans dressed in rabbit costumes.

It was also one of the band’s ‘Headphone Concerts’, the performance was broadcast live over the Internet and within the venue itself on an FM frequency where 200 lucky fans were able to listen simultaneously to both the radio signal and the sounds from the stage on headphones handed out before the show.