LIPS' BEATBOX CONCERT NOT JUST The Flaming Lips Tickets

[a]Flaming Lips[/a]' will be playing an experimental concert in London in May that involves 40 boomboxes. A special NME news feature gives the details...

LIPS' BEATBOX CONCERT NOT JUST
Flaming Lips' Wayne Coyne has promised that next month's experimental boom box show at London Kentish Town Forum will be "unpredictable and exciting". The show will feature 40 invited guests - including My Bloody Valentine's Kevin Shields, Miki Berenyi and The Boo Radleys' Martin Carr - who will play pre-recorded Flaming Lips tapes on cassette players, 'conducted' by the band.



Speaking to NME last week, Wayne Coyne said: "This is unpredictable and exciting. You never really know which way the composition is going to go because inevitably some of the tape players run fast and some run a little slower and some of them... well, because there are so many people up there trying to get it right, it really is impossible.



"So far, at least three people have screwed it up, who didn't even get the 'Play' button pressed. Because it's on tapes, I do have an idea of how it's going to go." The band bought the boom boxes from pawn shops and have made them tamper proof. "You know the way that Eddie Van Halen used to fix his guitars? So that he took all the controls off apart from the volume? We just covered the boom boxes in glue so that you can't change the settings apart from the volume knob and the tape door."



Coyne says the Lips are aiming for something that isn't challenging to listen to. He also insists the shows aren't Brian Eno-style art events or rooted in any tradition of avant-garde or experimental music. "I love the idea of experimental music but I think that the word 'experimental' puts people off. It makes a lot of people think, 'Oh no, it's going to be Karen Finley (US performance artist) sticking a piece of meat up her butt'," says Wayne. "What are a lot of experimental musicians trying to achieve? If you were a scientist and you told me that you were experimenting but didn't actually know what you were trying to achieve, I'd say, 'That's not experimenting, that's just dicking around'."



He said the real purpose was to find a way of making experimental music that was entertaining for both participants and listeners. "I think the idea of a rock show has just become totally boring. I went to see Radiohead a couple of weeks ago in Dallas and it was in this big theatre and I thought, 'Well rock shows have just become so organised to the point where they're just boring'. Not the band, but the whole atmosphere," he said. The boom box shows grew out of the Flaming Lips 'car park experiments', which began in 1996. "We started out just doing it in the parking lot with five, then ten, then about 50 car stereos. I just made up these tapes and at a given signal everyone turned them on. Then I thought, 'Well, let's see what we could do in, say, for example, a covered venue'," Wayne said.



There have been stories about people attending shows in the US being dragged out vomiting after becoming disoriented. But Wayne denied that this was KLF-type attempt to disorient the audience using sonic weapons. "Well, I don't know about disorienting. I think that those people who threw up had other reasons, like too much beer or too much of other things or... whatever." Coyne said he was currently working on a piece called 'The Loudest Blade Of Grass'. He said: "What I have on this one is 100 different horn players playing 100 different melodies and then they unexpectedly mould into birds chirping. This is the type of music that I would always dream about in my head, I'd think, 'Wouldn't it be great to have all these horn players that turn into birds and then turn into motorcycles and then into another band playing music again?'"



The band's latest album 'Zaireeka' is a four-CD set designed to be listened to on four different CD players at the same time. Coyne said: "The stuff on 'Zaireeka' has a lot more structure in the songs. A lot that we do at the concert would be entertaining if you were actually there but dull if you heard it on record. But some of the stuff on 'Zaireeka', how would you say, spurred us on down the hole into this sort of stuff."



All of the Flaming Lips are involved in the gig, although the band will still play more conventional shows later this year. The Forum show will be the eighth experimental gig that the Flaming Lips will have played. "This is just the beginning of something, there's no limits to where it can go and I don't have any idea what can happen next," he said.



Tickets for the Flaming Lips' Forum show on May 16 are available on the NME's 24-hour ticketline on 0870 1212 500. Calls are charged at national standard rate.

Read More On This Artist

The Flaming Lips Tickets
Date/Time Venue Seetickets Viagogo


Buy The Flaming Lips Tickets

from £32

 

back to top

More News
Kanye West denies that he is an Illuminati member: 'We don't run anything; we’re...
Panic! At The Disco return with new song 'Hallelujah' – listen
Surfer Blood guitarist diagnosed with cancer
Courtney Barnett covers John Cale's 'Close Watch' – listen
Unknown Mortal Orchestra reveal new song 'Can't Keep Checking My Phone' – listen
Twin Shadow postpone UK tour dates following tour bus crash
Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder performs with The Sonics for Record Store Day – watch
Neil Young debuts new band and new songs at surprise gig – watch
Beck and Karen O cover Lou Reed songs at Rock And Roll Hall of Fame – watch
Liam Gallagher declines to comment on speculation regarding possible Oasis reunion
Madonna adds further dates to the Rebel Heart Tour 2015 due to demand
Jack White: 'Treat your local punk bands as well as you treat the new blockbuster movie'
Kanye West performs 'Alors On Danse' with Stromae at Coachella - watch
Zayn Malik tweets for the first time since leaving One Direction
Alex James says he isn't friends with neighbour David Cameron: 'I should have moved to...
Christina Aguilera performs at ACM Awards – watch
Kanye West collaborator on hip-hop project with Marcus Mumford: 'It’s going to sound...
Blur premiere new track 'Ong Ong' - listen
Nicki Minaj appears onstage with Drake at Coachella but doesn't sing or say anything - watch
Museum of Modern Electronic Music to open in Germany
'X Factor' boyband Stereo Kicks 'glad to be away from' Louis Walsh
A$AP Rocky settles lawsuit out of court after allegedly slapping female fan

More News

Comments

Please login to add your comment.

Date/Time Venue Town/City Seetickets Viagogo
27 Aug 2015 Ross Band Stand, Princess St Edinburgh

Buy The Flaming Lips Tickets
from £32

 

Latest Tickets - Booking Now
 
Know Your NME
 

 
NME Store & Framed Prints
Inside NME.COM