Relix Magazine recently caught up with Steve Drozd, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist for The Flaming Lips, to discuss in detail the band’s new album, The Terror.
Check out an interview excerpt after the jump, and click here to read the full interview.
Speaking of which, The Terror feels very much like an album in the classic sense of the word. I know you guys debuted it in its entirety at SXSW and performed it as this unified artistic work. Was there a point in the recording where it seemed more like an album than a collection of songs? And at what point did you decide that you’re going to put this out live as one full performance piece instead of sprinkling new songs throughout your whole show on tour this year?
We feel like we’ve had a couple of great experiences at SXSW. One of our very first parking lot experiments was there in 1997, I think the second ever South Bulletin Tour show was at SXSW in ’99. It just felt like, we have this new record, we’re really excited about it, we hope people perceive this as us doing something different or whatever. It just felt like a cool thing to just play the record all the way through. I mean, I don’t know if it was a success, but for us, I can say that I haven’t seen us that excited after a show in some time. Now, we may have lost some of the audience at that show [Laughs], but for us, maybe it’s just too self-indulgent, but it was just a wild, fun time. And not because people hadn’t heard it, that seems like a bad reason to do it, but the good reason to do it was it was just something different to do. I know Wayne was like, “Nah, I really don’t want to get out the space bubble and do that,” and we don’t want people dancing on the side of the stage, we want to just try something different.
So, now we’re about to go on the road [and] we’re working some of the kinks out of all that stuff, because it’s not just new music, it’s a new stage show and everything. There’s new video stuff, there’s new lights, there’s new technology, all kinds of stuff happening and it all goes hand in hand with this new music. It’s almost like a little rebirth. I hate to use that word, but it’s kind of like that. I think as the summer goes on we won’t be playing the record all the way through, but half our show will be new stuff. We’re going to try to make it work where we can play this new stuff and then drag some of the old along with it but not make it seem like such a contrast. We don’t want to make it seem like, “Oh, they’re doing The Terrorstuff, now they’re doing stuff from Yoshimi.” We’d like to be able to have it where that can all be in the same live show and all be the same kind of live trip. That’s what we’re struggling with now, a way to make all this new stuff work with the old stuff and not have it be such a black and white change within the show. But at that time atSXSW, in our minds, especially since no one had heard the record, it felt like we might as well just fucking go all the way and just say we’re going to play this whole record all the way through and people will either be turned off or be really thrilled about it.