Getting Psychedelic with Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips
Was there psychedelic music going when you The Flaming Lips got together?
When we began in the early ‘80s, underground music was almost exclusively thought of as being punk rock. There was no reason for you to be underground if you were going to be playing some version of music that could be considered popular. The music you made sort of situated you in this punk rock/weirdo underground. There was always some part of that was psychedelic, but a lot of it was [a kind of] punk rock.
In the early ‘80s, we’d go to shows like Black Flag and Husker Du and saw elements of what they were doing as freeform, psychedelic shit. But in the ‘80s, it veered more towards punk rock. In the ‘90s, there was underground music that quickly became popular music, like grunge and all that. That was very underground, and then everybody was in a grunge band. [With that] it moved away from people doing music as a way of doing art. A lot of musicians, and I don’t want anybody to take this the wrong way, can play any kind of music they want, and it’s easy for them to say “I’m going to play this kind of music because it’s more popular and we can get a bigger audience” so a lot of musicians will veer towards music they can earn a living from, where a lot of the time musicians who are just artists, can’t. They’re just doing whatever music is in their mind and they don’t have a choice about making music that’s underground or popular, and they’re just making their fucking noise.
Little by little, the underground has almost been left in the best sense to the weirdo artists who just say “I’m just doing my sound, I don’t know what’s going on, I don’t know who’s winning Grammys and who’s selling records, I’m just sitting in my room, taking acid and making music.” I think in the past 10 years, the best of that has settled into some version of new intense freakout psychedelic music.
Indie rock at one time wasn’t associated with that sort of musicianship, though I think of a band like The Boredoms or Deerhoof. Some of those motherfuckers, they can really play. They’re not some guys who just picked up guitars two weeks ago. There’s a big variety of skill level, a big variety of intensity, and intention, even. but I think All Tomorrow’s Parties was just… that’s like the greatest collection of drug music that there could be at one time. There were other groups that could be there, but I thought it was a small utopia that was living in this semi-abandoned weirdo hotel in upstate New York.
The Howlin’ Brothers take to the Relix rooftop and share a song they wrote with Warren Haynes.
Beth Hart shares the opening track from her latest album, Bang Bang Boom Boom, live at Relix.
Jamie Lidell sets up in the Relix boiler room and delivers a tune from his 2005 album Multiply
Duane Trucks is happy to announce his new project, King Lincoln. Watch them perform “Coffee” live and acoustic at Relix’s Online-Video Coordinator’s loft in Williamsburg.
Here’s another song from Crystal Bowersox’s new record All That For This, live at Relix.
WYATT share a song in the famed Relix boiler room.
Goodnight, Texas share a song from their latest studio album, A Long Life of Living, live at Relix.
Warren Haynes performs a solo, acoustic version of “Railroad Boy” and explains how he adapted the traditional Celtic song for Gov’t Mule, backstage at the Hangout Music Festival.
Australia’s Alpine recently made their NYC debut at the Relix office with this song from their new album A is for Alpine.
In honor of Umphrey’s McGee’s return to Summer Camp this weekend, we present the group’s Brendan Bayliss and Jake Cinninger performing this version of “The Pequod” from UM’s Anchor Drops.
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