FLAMING LIPS’ FRONTMAN WAYNE COYNE releases the mind-warping Musik, Die Schwer Zu Twerk (trans: Music That’s Hard To Twerk To), under the moniker Electric Würms, in August. “They call themselves Electric Würms after the greatest of the super freaks,” ‘explains’ Coyne of the side project, which includes fellow Flaming Lip Steven Drodz and members of Nashville psychsters Linear Downfall, “but they are not a super-group. They are like Sherpas climbing with you. To help you. To love you.”
Psychedelic showman Coyne reckons that “it all began in the ’70s when… the overly optimistic freaks of the day began flying into outer space… They flew in spaceships that were, at first, made of futuristic super metal but before too long they didn’t even NEED ships. They BECAME the ships and they called themselves Electric Würms.”
MOJO readers can experience unaided space flight with this early stream of album track Heart Of The Sunrise, a treatment inspired by the Yes track of the same name...
Whether Electric Würms are in fact spaceships, Sherpas, or cryptologists, Coyne assures “a hypnotic mood for most of the space bible readings” on this debut record. Certainly, MOJO can confirm that the approach is at the more impressionistic end of the Flaming Lips spectrum. One track, Transform, is based on Miles Davis’s Sivad, the opener from his 1971 album, Live-Evil.
As for the contemporary dance move referenced in the album’s title, Coyne notes that “some of it was indeed hard to twerk to but some of it, if I could do it, is not.”
Coyne will be pleased to see attention return to his music after the recent social media furore surrounding the ousting of Flaming Lips drummer Kliph Scurlock.
Scurlock, a band member since 2002, initially suggested he was fired because he criticised Coyne’s friend, Christina Fallin, after she posted a photograph of herself in a Native American-style headdress on her Instagram account.
“They call themselves Electric Würms after the greatest of the super freaks.”
Scurlock deemed the photo disrespectful to Native Americans. When Coyne defended Fallin, Scurlock responded with allegations of racism and other abuses. He has since recanted, stating on his Facebook page “in all caps this time because it’s true – WAYNE COYNE IS NOT A RACIST.”
After calling Scurlock “an abusive, compulsive, pathological liar” last month in a Rolling Stone interview, Coyne said “I don’t even like talking about our ex-drummer, because it just uses up this space that we could be talking bout this cool shit we’re doing with Sean Lennon and My Morning Jacket and Miley, and I don’t want any of that tainted.”
No less bonkers, but this time in a good way, Musik, Die Schwer Zu Twerk will get its UK/Europe release on Bella Union August 18. It will come out in the US on Warner Bros the following day.