The Lips have kissed, and the Fire is quenched.
Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne apologized in early May for disparaging comments he made a few months ago about Canadian indie outfit Arcade Fire.
To refresh, Coyne griped to Rolling Stone's Andy Greene in a telephone interview for a March 4 post on the magazine's Smoking Section blog, saying "I'm a fan of them on one level, but on another level I get really tired of their pompousness."
He wasn't done there. "We've played some shows with them and they really treat people like shit," Coyne said, adding that, "People treat Arcade Fire like they're the greatest thing ever and they get away with it. They have good tunes, but they're pricks, so fuck 'em. Who does Arcade Fire think they are?"
Arcade Fire frontman Win Butler responded to Coyne's remarks on the band's Web site, writing: "I can't imagine a reason why we would have been pompous towards The Flaming Lips, a band we have always loved, on that particular night, all those years ago. Unless I was way more jet-lagged then I remember, I hope I was less of a 'prick' then telling Rolling Stone that a bunch of people I don't know at all are really assholes."
In a May 1 interview with Entertainment Weekly's Music Mix blog, Coyne said his comments were misconstrued and apologized for the lip-slip.
"I wish that had never happened. I didn't necessarily mean it about the people in the Arcade Fire. I meant it about the guys that were running their stages at a couple of festivals," Coyne told Music Mix. "I wish whatever had been said wouldn't have been taken as such a defiant statement from the Flaming Lips, because it wasn't."
In other Flaming Lips news, the Oklahoma City band revealed to the Phoenix News Times plans for a double album, to be released in the fall.
Shortly after answering a phone call from the News Times, writer Michael Alan Goldberg wrote on April 21 that Coyne paused the interview to relieve himself.
"Hello! Hey, gimme one second, I gotta pee "¦" Coyne told Goldberg, causing a urinal confessional that drained a previous interview memory from the writer. In the April story, Goldberg recalled an odd commencement speech Coyne reported giving to a class of Oklahoma high school students in 2006. Goldberg remembered that Coyne shared with the students a life lesson he gleaned after a jellyfish in Mexico stung a friend's face. When a local doctor advised a treatment of "fresh human urine," Goldberg wrote that Coyne was inspired to offer caution.
"As you go out into the world, beware of those inexperienced fools who offer easy, exotic solutions to painful, complicated problems," Coyne reportedly told the students.
And now for a Flaming Lips news quiz: Q: What do the psychedelic confetti-rockers have in common with British pop-rockers Coldplay? A: Accusations by The Artist Formerly Known As Cat Stevens.
In a May 5 story, the Guardian UK wrote that Yusuf Islam has claimed that Coldplay's song "Viva La Vida" borrows liberally from his 1973 opus "Foreigner Suite."
The Guardian reported that Islam hasn't yet taken Coldplay to court or filed a copyright infringement lawsuit. The Lips previously avoided a catfight stemming from similarities in the band's 2003 song "Fight Test" and Stevens' 1970 hit "Father and Son." The Guardian wrote that Islam and the Lips settled and agreed to split the song's royalties.
"I know ('Father and Son') and when I came up with 'Fight Test,' I knew there would a little bit of comparison to that," Coyne told Rolling Stone in 2003. "Parts of it are radically different than what I intended in the beginning, which I thought sounded a lot like the Cat Stevens song, but I didn't give it that much thought. We did the song quite quickly once we came up with the arrangement. It's not a reference necessarily to the ideas of ('Father and Son'), but, yeah, definitely a reference to the cadence, the melody, and stuff like that. I think it's such a great arrangement of chords and melody that you just hope to express something, even though it's in a similar vein."