Flaming Lips Changed Their Sound After Jones’ Departure

Steven Hanna of Entertainment Today caught up with the Flaming Lips recently who were playing an in-store gig at Amoeba Records in Hollywood to celebrate the release of their new album ‘Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots’. Steven Drozd addressed the band’s direction after Ronald Jones’ personal problems led to his departure in ’96. “We sort of thought,” says Drozd, “‘well, without him, you know, doing all this guitar business, it really gives us a chance to try some other stuff.'” The other stuff included a symphony written for car stereos, with a drive-in full of convertibles blasting pre-recorded orchestrations from their tape decks, and 1997’s magnificent Zaireeka, a single album on four CDs designed to be played at the same time on four stereos, so that the songs are synched to eight separate channels. “So really,” he notes dryly, “by the time we were doing all that stuff, when we were working on ‘The Soft Bulletin’, that didn’t seem weird at all. Doing strings and stuff for just two speakers didn’t seem like such a big deal.” Ent-today.com has since shut down.

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