Never a group to shy away from theatrics, the Flaming Lips have completed an appropriately oddball video to accompany “SpongeBob & Patrick Confront the Psychic Wall of Energy,” their contribution to Sire’s “SpongeBob SquarePants” movie soundtrack. The cut will serve as the first single from the set, due Nov. 9, and also featuring Ween, Wilco and Motorhead. The film opens Nov. 19 in U.S. theaters.
In the clip, shot recently in Austin, Texas, and directed by the Lips’ Wayne Coyne and filmmaker Bradley Beesley, band members are dressed as food items inside a salivating mouth the size of a truck. Coyne also climbs inside the giant bubble he utilized to travel through the crowd in May at the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in Indio, Calif.
“[‘SpongeBob’ creator] Stephen [Hillenburg] seems to be a fan of the weirder music of the late ’80s and early ’90s,” Coyne tells Billboard.com. “He wanted to evoke the music he got turned onto back then. A lot of times, you contribute a song to a movie, but they have someone like U2 who is selling millions of records, and you’re being attached to it but you’re not really the spokesmen. But now, we’re the ones who will have the single for this soundtrack.”
In addition to the video, a making-of featurette was shot for future broadcast on Nickelodeon. The clip itself is expected to surface in early December.
Shins frontman James Mercer tells Billboard.com he was inspired enough by a very rough cut of the film to pen the soundtrack cut “They’ll Soon Discover,” which dates back to sessions for the group’s 2001 Sub Pop debut, “Oh, Inverted World.”
“[Music supervisor] Karyn [Rachtman] had this unfinished version of the movie, which was really interesting to see,” Mercer says. “It would look like the regular cartoon for awhile, but suddenly it would cut to pencil drawings, where they hadn’t finished that part of it. Sometimes the voices would disappear and it would just be the writers reading. It was really cool to see the creative process, which to me has always been very mysterious. How do you go about making a movie, much less an animated one?”
“I decided I wanted to address some of the aspects of the plot of the film, but do it in such a way that you could hear the song and not feel like it was necessarily from the soundtrack of a movie,” he continues. “I have a tendency to write with vague metaphors, but some of the stuff is pretty blatantly about SpongeBob. The music was stuff I had actually put together, at least the main part, a long time ago. I’d always struggled trying to turn it into a pop song and I think I needed something like this to make it work.”