need it.", Our favorite Prague local museums, art galleries, exhibitions, street art, sights and other cultural spots. This is where Prague locals go for culture, arts, architecture and history… Prague.TV ..." />

Non-Sequitur Non Disputandum Est

"In the end this is just dumb entertainment. It's rock and roll and rock and roll is extra; it's like cigarettes. People don't need it."

The Flaming Lips are an alternative institution, an oxymoron as striking as an intelligent Bush quote. Since the early ‘80s they’ve been producing a steady stream of psychedelic indie rock, stuff so unclassifiable it has taken nearly a decade for the world to adapt to it. And therein lies the rub. With a discography accentuated by bold, experimental soundscapes that make Sonic Youth seem tame and sweeping, gorgeous concept albums like their latest Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, the Flaming Lips have held the creative high ground and calmly invited the world to accept them on their own terms. Paradoxically, they remain one of the most open, approachable, and appreciative bands recording today, as devoid of ego and pretension as your neighborhood garage band. They will be performing in Prague for the first time on March 2nd at Akropolis. Wayne Coyne fielded questions from the Pill from his Oklahoma City kitchen as 11 “Frogs of the World” croaked out the hour behind him.

Pill: You’ve written that the new album, Yoshimi, was inspired by the rather mysterious death of a Japanese fan and the way you and the band discovered that she’d died. This, even if a rumor, suggests a more than extraordinary relationship with your fan base.

Coyne: Well, not exactly the whole album – it came from a song I wrote after I first heard about her death. We were in the studio at the time and the recording, which was originally intended to be a b-side, ended up turning into “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots.” Any band – any performer, for that matter – who has an audience come and see them ought to be thrilled. We are. We are amazed every time people come out to see us play, and grateful.

Pill: The practice of publishing copious commentaries on your songs, which anyone can find online and, in some cases, in the liner notes, is reviled by many artists who arguably have less interesting things to say. Why do you do it? Does it add to people’s appreciation of your music to have the thought and structure behind it exposed?

Coyne: I want our albums to be accessible, to be fun. The whole notion of art that can’t be understood is self-defeating. That exclusive, snobbish attitude doesn’t do anyone any good and it is, in the end, just an insult to the listeners. I think we owe it to our audience to give them insights into what we’re saying and why we’re saying it – to let them make up their own minds or to ignore it completely.

Pill: Friends who witnessed your parking-lot experiment at South by Southwest raved about the inspiring brand of “frontier” energy you created there. (The band played 30 different tapes from 30 different cars at the annual Austin, Texas music festival in 1997.) What advice do you have for autodidacts and DIY freaks here in Central Europe who don’t have the benefit of such inspiring venues?

Coyne: The parking-lot thing started out with just a few cars. It was the only way to create the sounds we wanted. The best thing about it for me was that it was listenable music, heard in a different way. It wasn’t something that made people feel like they’d just witnessed something “artistic” or “important”; they could go get a drink with their girlfriends later in a bar and talk about it. As for advice... do you hear that? [There is a strange racket in the background.] It’s 11 o’clock. That’s my Frogs of the World clock. Soon the trains will go off too. [They do, and Coyne describes his collection of clocks of the world.]

Pill: What is the legacy of bands like the Boredoms or the Butthole Surfers, who you supported on tour in the ‘80s?

Coyne: I see Gibby (Haynes) and Paul Leary (of the Butthole Surfers) pretty often still. The experience of playing with them then, of seeing their concerts when they were at the peak of their powers, so to speak, was an amazing thing for us. Sure, it was an influence, but I think I will remember them best as a great rock-and-roll band.

Pill: What can we expect from your show? How would you describe the experience to someone who’s never seen the Lips play before?

Coyne: It depends a lot on the venue. We bring the animal suits and all that, and sometimes we’ll get 25 people up on stage with us, it all depends. We just draft willing people from the audience – it isn’t all scripted out.

Pill: So we’re making an official Pill announcement now – to any of our readers who want to dress up like animals, make yourselves known! In a country where a western CD costs up to one-tenth of the average monthly salary, is it any surprise that your music is little known over here? I know you have little to do with it, but do you see any way around the problem of promotion the major labels have created for themselves here?

Coyne: In the end, this is just dumb entertainment. It’s rock and roll and rock and roll is extra; it’s like cigarettes. People don’t need it, and it’s no great expression of culture. If people want to interpret it that way, to read so much meaning into it, they have that right, by all means, but we’re playing because it’s fun, because we can. If you can’t afford to come, don’t come. No one should be made to feel that they are missing out on anything if they can’t afford a ticket. As for the promoters, they should be doing it to make money. Anybody who puts on a show like this and claims that it’s for cultural reasons is fooling themselves or trying to fool the audience. The albums are the same thing – if it costs too much, don’t buy it, download it off the Internet or something. We have our album online for anyone to download and I’ve got plenty of friends savvy enough to get just about anything they want off the Internet. I think it’s great that we have such freedom.

Related articles

  • The Prague Orgy - a new Czech film in English in Czech cinemas by Michal Kráčmer


  • Festival 4+4 Days in Motion by Eliška Míkovcová (4+4 Festival)

    Festival 4+4 Days in Motion to start in Desfours Palace, this year’s slogan is Nobody Has Anything

  • Lunchmeat Festival 2019—Dark Stars on the Horizon by Tony Ozuna - (Photo Lunchmeat Festival)

    Lunchmeat Festival returns to Prague at the end of September as the leading arena for cutting-edge electronic music and with more audio-visual punch than ever before. Their new motto is a challenge to the mainstream: “obsessed with audio-visual mindf**cks— & those who question the status quo.”

  • The Best European Locations For Hen & Stag Do's by Lucy Stevens

    Alpha Travel Insurance have ranked Europe's top Stag and Hen do destinations and indexed them based on factors including the cost of flights and hotel, the cost of a pint and the number of bars and activities available to find out which city comes out on top.

  • Circus and Theatre Festival Letní Letná Kicks off Next Week by Paul Lysek

    The "Leave the Crowd Speachless" Summer Circus Festival is back for its 16th Season at Letna.

  • Events for the week of August 19 - 23 by Narmin Ismiyeva

    We've highlighted five events for this week including The Great Beauty, Latino Anděl and Festival of Illustration.

  • Events for the weekend 17 - 18 August by Narmin Ismiyeva

    Are you making plans for the weekend? We've highlighted six events including the 1981 Secondhand Festival, beer tasting in the Botanical Garden, Etnopicnic and a lesson of Argentine tango atop Lucerna. 

  • Events for the weekend 3 - 4 August by Narmin Ismiyeva

    Are you making plans for the weekend? We've selected six events including the Czech version of the famous South Asian festival of love and colors that will take place on Střelecký Island on Saturday.

  • Events for the week 29 July - 2 August by Narmin Ismiyeva

    Are you in Prague this week looking for things to do? We have one event for each day, including yoga in Stromovka and screening of Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel in Karlín.

  • New exhibition opens at National Library of Technology by Narmin Ismiyeva

    The National Library of Technology in Dejvice (NTK) is especially popular among students, however, anyone can have access to its study areas. Go explore the unique space and the art exhibition it is currently presenting.

Facebook comments

KUKBURG - Farm to table

Our meat and products straight to your table

Ristorante Casa de Carli

Authentic Italian cuisine in Prague

Pražské Benátky

Enjoy Prague from a different view

Burrito Loco Spálená

Tasty Fresh Mexican fast food in Prague

Charles Bridge Museum

Discover the history of Prague’s famous Charles Bridge

Trabant Museum Prague

Trabant Museum @ STK Motol

Army Museum Žižkov

Armádní muzeum Žižkov

National Memorial to the...

Národní památník hrdinů heydrichiády

Prague’s # 1 source for Czech news in English…

Expat and Czech Business Professional Network


German Language Info Service