Wayne Coyne Of The Flaming Lips On Twitter, Pirate Sites, Coldplay v. Spotify And How To Use 'All Technologies' To Reach Your Fans
from the knocking-down-barriers-faster-than-the-gatekeepers-can-set-them-up dept
Rose M. Welch sends in this brief interview with Flaming Lips lead singer Wayne Coyne, which touches on a lot of the band’s recent activities, including its use of social media like Twitter to stay connected with its fan base.
Coyne himself is prolific user and has nearly 75,000 followers. Add The Lips’ 560,000 more, and you’ve got a potent medium for getting the word out, right now, about the band’s many new projects.
And the band has several new projects. In addition to a recent Parking Lot Experiment (where Coyne got 30 people together to play 30 different Flaming Lips songs from 30 different cars), the Lips have also cranked out a 6-hour song and a 24-hour (!) song, the latter of which is available embedded in a skull(!!).
As tireless and prolific as the Lips are, it’s tough for anyone to keep up with them, whether it’s the internet itself or their record label, Warner Brothers. In fact, the world’s biggest distributor of digital music isn’t responsive enough for Coyne:
iTunes is a bit formal and slow and wonderful, but still seems based on release dates and albums. We’ve moved into an area where there is actually no outlet other than our Web sites and a lot of pirate download sites where a portion of our audience will have fun and get easy access to our spontaneous output. I announce something on Twitter for a week, and sometimes it generates quite a bit of interest. We have done some of our recent recordings, tweeted about them, and a week later, it is out in the world. That’s still hard or impossible to do on a giant record label.
I’m sure many of you caught Coyne referring to a legitimate use of a “pirate” site as a convenient distribution point. I’ll just leave that hanging in the air for SOPA-boxers.
Coyne also has a rather blunt but interesting take on Coldplay’s recent decision to withhold their new album from Spotify:
It seems like a bad idea. Maybe they need more cash?
Coyne would rather take advantage of “all technologies” to get the Lips’ music to their listeners:
Our philosophy is that we love our fans and we realize that having our music available virtually for free allows some of our audience that doesn’t have much money to still hear it. We’ve found that a lot of people will listen to it for free and still buy it.
The interview ends with Coyne stating that he doesn’t think major labels have much to offer a band like the Flaming Lips but believes that, like the irrepressible optimist he obviously is, the labels will come up with something in the future. After all, “they’re smart.”
It’s tough to scan that last statement for any traces of sarcasm, seeing as this was an IM interview, but Coyne seems good natured enough to actually mean it. If the labels are smart, they’ll give more of their artists free reign to come up with innovations and solutions of their own, even if that means distributing their music through “rogue sites” or via a four-disc album that’s meant to be played on four different stereos simultaneously(!!!).