The Flaming Lips are touring behind The Terror, the neo-psychedelic band's 13th and darkest album, one seemingly obsessed with loneliness, futility and suffering.
The Terror is a pretty bleak album. What inspired it?
Life is about contemplating who you are and what you are about, and when we contemplated that, we created this sound that evokes that. That sound we hit on told us what to sing. We just make sounds that appeal to us and turn them into some structure. And I agree. When I hear The Terror as a whole piece of music I think, "That's some bleak, powerful shit." I don't think that has to be bad. I don't think music or art is supposed to just lay there. I think you are supposed to feel something from it.
Was it inspired by a dark period in your life?
I don't really have dark periods and light periods. I have a little bit of darkness every day and a little bit of light every day.
You've been in the Flaming Lips since you were in your 20s. Did being in a band make you more confident with women back then?
I don't think I ever had a problem with that. In the entertainment business, you either find a way to do this thing I am doing right now, speaking without being self-aware, or you quit.