The Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne on “space bubble” shows: “It’s honestly safer than going to the fucking grocery store”

"Making sure the audience is OK is the hard part, really"

The Flaming Lips Wayne Coyne has opened up about the group’s planned “space bubble” shows, reassuring fans how safe he think they’ll be.

Back in November, the group shared details of “the world’s first actual Space Bubble live concert”, enabling fans to see the band play live safely during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Now, in a new interview with Consequence of Sound, Coyne opened up about the events, which were recently pushed back to January. Back in June, the group performed a show with an audience in bubbles on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

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Coyne said: “I feel like our concerts, the way we’re doing it, it’s honestly safer than going to the fucking grocery store. You go to the grocery store, and some people have masks on, but some people just act like there’s nothing going on. There’s nothing you can do about that.”

“A guy could be standing next to you and not think the coronavirus is real. I don’t want to get in a fight at the grocery store. So that part of it, I believe that we’re in control, and we would be the ones who say you have to put on a mask.

“It wouldn’t be up to another concertgoer. It would be up to the ones running the show. I wish more places were like that. I wish more places took control.”

Speaking about the idea behind the gigs, Coyne said: “That first day we went into lockdown, I made a little cartoon. I drew myself. It was The Flaming Lips in 2019, and I’m the only one in a space bubble, and I’m on stage.

“Then I drew The Flaming Lips in 2020. I’m in a space bubble, but so is everyone else. Of course, I would think of that, because isn’t this absurd? And then the more it started to happen, it sort of seemed like, “I guess it could be possible, but is this all going to be over in a couple of months?”

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He continued: “I think in the beginning we were really focused on, ‘How do we get these people in there and make sure they’re safe and make sure it’s fun and make sure it works for everybody?’

“I think we know we can do this music. We can do it in the fucking rain, we can do it in the water, we can do it in outer space. That shit we can do. Making sure the audience is OK is the hard part, really.”

Reviewing the band’s latest album release, ‘American Head’ back in September, NME said: “Rather than using their fantastical bubble of sound to transport listeners into distant galaxies, as they have done so many times before, the band here float softly above Oklahoma city, where Coyne sits up front, quietly contemplating beauty and childhood.

“‘American Head’ is a soft, reflective moment of taking in and appreciating the vista once the trip has worn off – when king’s heads and evil pink robots have melted away – and the dust has settled.”

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