The Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne Discusses Bubble Shows, Black Sabbath, Protests And More

The Flaming Lips will hold bubble concerts this weekend, January 21 and 22, in their home of Oklahoma City. The shows, rescheduled from December, will find both the band and audience members in plastic bubbles for COVID safety measures.

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As Wayne Coyne tells host Steve Baltin on this week’s People Have The Power podcast, no one is better prepared for doing a COVID-safe bubble show than the Lips.

“I think of all the people in the world, we’ve messed with these space bubbles at a concert probably more than anybody,” Coyne says. “We’ve been doing it since 2004 and as ridiculous as that sounds, we have a lot of first-hand experience on how it could work and what’s good and what’s bad about it.”

Coyne also discussed the band’s superb 2020 album, American Head, one of the finest of their career. “Especially this American Head album, so gentle and emotional it’s letting you say things. That part I really, really love about it. We didn’t turn a corner and try to be smart or cool or clever,” Coyne said.

Of course, Coyne picks several protest songs in the nearly hour-long conversation. The most interesting song he selects is arguably Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs,” which Coyne points out the Lips began to play around the time of the Iraqi war. He also goes crazy deep for Think’s 1971 track, “One You Understand.”

As Coyne explains, to him, the protest song is as much about just being a great song. “A lot of these songs that have been deemed protest songs, they’re fucking great songs anyway,” he says. “You’re just waiting for an excuse to go out and sort of sing them. ‘Ohio’ would be one of those. They’re really made to help you express it, cause you don’t know what to say.”

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