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The Flaming Lips: 'Embryonic' Experiments

The Oklahoma-based band The Flaming Lips has been making music for over a quarter-century, producing some of the most challenging -- and yet, some of the most accessible --rock music of that time.

The band's latest release, Embryonic, is being hailed by critics as one of their most complex and accomplished records. Compared with previous offerings, many note that the band appears to be reinventing or challenging itself -- something The Flaming Lips is known for.

"It makes it sound like we really know what we're doing," says lead singer Wayne Coyne. "Maybe we've never been that satisfied with what we've done. Or, I think, mostly it's that we stumble upon things a lot by accident. There's this thrill of kind of the unknown, or the thrill of experimentation, or the thrill of something failing and turning into something else, that we kind of want to happen."

In an interview with host Guy Raz, Coyne talked about the process of creating Embryonic. When the band went into the studio to record demos for a new album, it launched into free-form jam sessions. For example, Coyne says that the opening track, "Convinced Of The Hex," represents the best three minutes of what was a 15-minute jam.

"And when we listened back to it, it really did spark us in a way to think, 'Hey, that's kind of that sound that we were trying to get' -- only trying to get it through computers and crafting it as opposed to just playing it and see[ing] what happens," he says.

Coyne spoke about the band's notorious creative liberties, filming a very Not Safe For Work music video for the Embryonic single "Watching The Planets" and the band's forthcoming release: A full, track-by-track remake of Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon. He says that idea began as an offhand comment in a conversation with representatives from the iTunes Music Store.

"And I flippantly -- not as a joke, but just as a way to push the conversation onward -- I said, 'Maybe we should just do a cover version of Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon,' " Coyne says. "And thinking they would say, 'Yea, well, maybe not,' and we would think of something else. But it didn't."

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