Last night, The Flaming Lips played Milwaukee’s Summerfest – as did Britney Spears. In a video interview before the show – embedded below – front-freak Wayne Coyne explained, “Britney is playing just over there, we’re playing at the same time and I think this is the first time that we’ve been playing at the same festival that Britney Spears has played so we always try to meet everybody that we play with – like we just go around and make friends...”
In 2006, Britney and Gwen Stefani were namechecked in the Lips’ song “The Sound of Failure” – interpreted by many in the media as diss track. Wayne clarified at the time that although he didn’t listen to Spear’s music often, shunning was not his intention, he has no complaints with her and likes some of Gwen’s tunes (Steven Drozd however did have “beef” with Britney’s parenting behaviors – though that’s a sidenote not related to the song). A couple of years later Wayne Coyne picked 26 songs as a guest DJ on BBC Radio 1’s Rob da Bank and Friends – one tune for every letter of the alphabet. Though many of his selections were predictable (Floyd, Zep, Radiohead, The Beatles, Echo and the Bunneymen, M.I.A., “Purple Rain”, “Bohemian Rhapsody”) some fans were surprised his “W” track was Spear’s “Womanizer”.
Yesterday Wayne elaborated, “She’s absurd, I think she’s crazy, I like that… I don’t know that I would listen to her music all that much but I think she’s interesting.”
Wayne also recently commented on Spears and her fans in an interview with middlemojo.com, “It’s no surprise that even someone like a Britney Spears, a lot of her audience are girls that look just like her. That’s the phenomenon of Bob Dylan, too. People secretly know that if you really love Bob Dylan it’s because you’re narcissistic, it’s because you want to sing about yourself and you want to sing about how the world sucks and you’re the only one that understands it because that’s what Bob Dylan does. So when people come up to me and say, “Man, it’s weird that you don’t love Bob Dylan,” I say, “I like Bob Dylan, but I don’t love him because I’m not a cynical person.” I think he makes great, interesting art. I just don’t want to listen to him complaining all the time. I think the way we put on the show and invite everybody up there, I think that says a lot about who we are. We’re open to this new experience, which is what we don’t like about most old people, that they’re not open to new experiences. They’re saying, “Look, take it from me. I know everything and you’re too young and stupid.” And I think the Flaming Lips say, “I don’t know the way. Let’s try it out together.”
UPDATE: Wayne discussed the meeting during “No Fun Intended Presents An Evening With Flaming Lips Wayne Coyne” Featuring DEERPEOPLE! The 51st Street Speakeasy. The recorded podcast is available as a free download at itunes (click here and get ep 8.5).
Tonight The Flaming Lips are returning to Chicago (they played their classic album The Soft Bulletin in its entirety at the Windy City’s Aragon Ballroom on this past Thursday and Friday) for Dave Matthew’s Caravan – South Side’s biggest event since the 1933 World’s Fair. Today’s festivities will provide the Lips many opportunities to hang-out with fellow artists – The Wailers, The Jayhawks, Emmylou Harris, Gomez, Marachi El Bronx, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, Michael Franti & SpearHead, David Gray and DMB are all on the eclectic bill (complete schedule and map via Time Out Chicago here). The Flaming Lips will feature their new arrangement of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon interspersed with Wizard of Oz songs (played twice before in June – first at Hollywood Forever Cemetary, then in Atlantic City).
Follow The Flaming Lips on tour plus music news, songs, videos and more at twitter/FutureHeartDay