If you'd have told 19-year-old Wayne Coyne that someday his band would be nominated for a Tony Award for writing a sunshiny ballad that appears in the Broadway adaptation of a popular Nickelodeon cartoon about the underwater adventures of a plucky talking sponge, he probably would have been like, "Whatever, man." But there Coyne was on Tuesday morning (May 1), waking up at home in Oklahoma to the news that the Flaming Lips' contribution to SpongeBob SquarePants: The Broadway Musical, "Tomorrow Is," had landed the long-running rock band their first Tony nom.
"It would have been weird then, but it doesn’t seem that strange necessarily today," Coyne tells Billboard about his feelings upon learning that the prestigious nod could put his group halfway to an EGOT. "The first time you get nominated for a Grammy it's a shock, but a pleasant shock. If all this would have happened in the first couple years when we were a young group, we would have had a reaction like, 'We’re cooler than that. We’re more punk rock.' But after being a band for a long time, it's different and we can think about what it means, and even today getting all these texts early in the morning I was thinking, 'Man, this is so cool.' You don't ever really get used to that."
?The Lips were nominated in the best original score category for the lyrics and music they wrote for the show alongside an impressive roster of other contributors that includes Yolanda Adams, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Alex Ebert of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Plain White T's, They Might Be Giants, T.I., John Legend, Cyndi Lauper and Rob Hyman, Lady Antebellum and others.