Finally, orcasound meets the Flaming Lips. The idea of interviewing this seminal band had been churning around in my head for quite some time; so when the Montreal show was announced I was delighted to finally meet up with the band in my home town. The early 1980's found the band at Montreal's punk paradise, Les Foufounes Electrique and in 1994 the band was part of the Loolapalooza concert bill. Now, backstage moments before the band's sound check at the Metropolis everyone is comfortably scurrying around putting their various pieces of the puzzle togeather. The band was hatched in Norman, Oklahoma in 1983. 1991 marked the addition of guitarist / drummer / over-all musical wiz, Steven Drozd to the band, joining founding members Wayne Coyne and Michael Ivins. I had a chance to talk with Steve and Wayne while sitting backstage. Since joining The Flaming Lips in 1991, Steven Drozd has been involved in creating the music for several songs while Coyne writes most of the band's lyrics. Drozd musical dexterity contributed to the evolution of the band's so called psychedelic sound. 1999's release of "The Soft Bulletin" found Steve writing and arranging most of the songs. Steve also performed on almost all of the instrumental passages on the album. We talked about the band's performance at the Sars Benefit concert in Toronto along with the Rolling Stones and other notable bands and 500,000 people in attendance. "It was really no big deal, we only played for 15 minutes and once you've played in front of big crowds such as this past summer's concert in Glastonbury England (80,000 attendance) you get used to it." The band settled into the Omni Hotel a few days before their show to just re-energize. Wayne discovered Mont Royal and got a bit lost there after he consumed a light meal / dinner on one of the nights. "I loved that park in the middle of Montreal and the old town." Steven visited a few of Montreal's Irish watering holes but mostly just rested. During the band's hiatus in our fine city, the members generally unwound and got a bit of space from each other.
The Flaming Lips' first feature film, 'Christmas on Mars' should be available in time for Christmas. Written and directed by Wayne Coyne and featuring all of the band mates and many of their associates, the film tells the story of the experiences of Major Syrtis during the first Christmas on a newly-colonised Mars. Wayne has compared the film to, "Maybe 'Eraserhead' or a '2001: A Space Odyssey." Now we will have something other than Santa Claus to look forward for Christmas.