The Flaming Lips Discuss Their Six-Hour Song

Offering Hours of Entertainment

Sep 16, 2011
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Starting in January, Oklahoma natives The Flaming Lips announced that would be taking part in a number of creative, if sometimes odd musical endeavors through the course of the year. Delivering in spades, over the past several months the band has released a collaborative EP with Neon Indian, made a song entirely on a iPhone, composed 12 separate audio YouTube clips that when combined made one complete song, and created a series of edible Gummy skulls and Gummy fetuses that had been inserted with a song-filled USB.

About three weeks ago, frontman Wayne Coyne and the band hatched its next bizarrely awesome idea: a song lasting six hours. Recently speaking with Under the Radar, Coyne explains that the inception for the project started with a toy, a device that’s been re-engineered and called The Strobo Trip Toy. Says Coyne, “What it is, it’s a little thing that spins with these little drawings on them and as it spins you put this strobe light on it and it makes these little animations come to life on this disc. And we know it’s really made for kids but we sort of took it and made it our own little thing, our own little device, that we sort of feel people will use when they’re tripping or something. It’s all just having fun, but part of me thought why do we make a song that lasts for as long as you want to play with this toy. We claim that this toy will offer hours of entertainment so we thought we don’t we make a song that lasts for hours. I don’t know why we picked six. It sounded like a cool title.”

Aimed at benefiting the Central Oklahoma Humane Society and the Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma, the epic song will feature the names of individuals that donated money to the organizations. For such an outside-the-box thinking group such as The Flaming Lips, even Coyne admits that the scope of things seemed a bit daunting. “What a motherfucker,” says Coyne. “Don’t get me wrong, parts of [making it were] very free and very joyous. You fall into these moments where you forget that you’re making a six-hour song with crazy sounds and music lifted into this other world. But there [were] long moments where you’re like, ‘Fuck, this is just too much to fathom.’ I think our overconfidence is to blame. When you’re too far into something you can’t turn back.”

Fans can expect the Six-Hour Song to see release in the coming days.




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