Decades of Envelope Pushing

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Decades of Pushing the Envelope

As frontman for The Flaming Lips, Wayne Coyne has been part of some of the most unusual projects in music in the past 35 years, including releasing a 24-hour song held on a USB stick sealed inside a human skull. But today he’s dealing with a much more mundane problem: a broken phone.

“My screen was really broke, and I took it to – not Apple dealers, you know, they’re just dudes who are fixing it, and part of it was fixed and then secretly parts of it are messed up,” he says. “So I’ll take it back to them, and they’ll fix it up.”

It’s an odd start to a conversation that eventually includes everything from encasing the blood of musicians who worked with the group in a vinyl record to reading books written in languages Coyne doesn’t speak, but there has always been a combination of the absurd and the normal with Coyne and The Flaming Lips, who recently released their latest album, Oczy Mlody.

Photo courtesy Warner Bros.

Formed in 1983, the psychedelic band recorded on an independent label until signing with Warner Bros. seven years later. Despite reaching mainstream success with The Soft Bulletin and Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (which went gold in the United States and platinum in the United Kingdom), Coyne still lives and works in Oklahoma City.

“It never occurred to us that we should be part of the music business or entertainment industry,” Coyne says. “Still even now