After a 2009 that saw the release of two albums — “Embyronic” and the collaborative recitation of Pink Floyd‘s “Dark Side of the Moon” with Stardeath and White Dwarf — Flaming Lips‘ Wayne Coyne has is donning his filmmaker’s beret again.
Coyne tells Billboard.com that he’s starting work on a project designed to be a bit more modest than 2008’s “Christmas on Mars.” “My only goal was that I didn’t have to build space station-looking sets every time I wanted to have someone say something,” Coyne notes, “only because I built those sets myself every time we shot something for ‘Christmas on Mars’ over the seven years we took to make it. This one is set in someone’s house and in a back yard and in a slaughterhouse; all those are available to me right here, so I don’t have to build everything this time.”
Like “Mars,” Coyne says the new film will be shot primarily with his Flaming Lips bandmates and friends and family in Oklahoma City. “I’m gonna try to get real actors, too,” he adds, “celebrities to show up and have fun with us for a couple of nights. I’m in the process of begging Justin Timberlake to be part of it; if I’m lucky I’ll be able to wear him down in another year.” That, of course, implies that we shouldn’t hold our breath waiting for the finished product. “I think everybody would be relieved if it all got done in six weeks and we could say, ‘Look at that!’ ” says Coyne, who’s also started working on music for the movie with Lips bandmate Steven Drozd. “But because I get to do it with people I love and it’s my art, I don’t care how long it takes.”
Flaming Lips are hardly going on the back burner while Coyne works on the film. The group has already announced 14 shows, including a March 12 stop at the South By Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas, a performance at the Bonnaroo Music Festival on June 11 and a Central Park Summerstage gig on July 26 in New York City. The Bonnaroo show will include a full runthrough of “Dark Side…” — which comes out in limited addition vinyl for Record Store Day on April 17 and on CD May 4 — but Coyne doesn’t think the Floyd classic will become part of the Lips’ regular repertoire.
“We’re viewing Bonnaroo as the exclusive ‘Dark Side…’ show in America for the summer,” Coyne says of the piece, which was released digitally in December and also performed at their third annual New Year’s Eve Freakout in Oklahoma City. “We may do another one somewhere else in the world, maybe, as the summer ends. It’s a nerve-wracking thing to do when you don’t get to play it over and over in front of an audience. Usually you have the luxury of getting to play a regular set and honing it as weeks go by, but when you only get to play this piece of music twice a year or something in front of people, it’s nerve-wracking. But it keeps us on our toes, and we like that.”