Wayne Coyne

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Wayne Coyne
Wayne Coyne from the Flaming Lips photographed by Kris Krug.jpg
Coyne performing in 2006
Background information
Birth nameWayne Michael Coyne
Born (1961-01-13) January 13, 1961 (age 61)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Origin Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States
Genres Alternative rock, experimental, neo-psychedelia
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter, actor, director
InstrumentsVocals, guitar, keyboards, bass, theremin, percussion
Years active1983–present
Labels Warner Bros.

Wayne Michael Coyne (born January 13, 1961) is an American musician. He is the lead singer, guitarist, keyboardist, theremin player and songwriter for the band the Flaming Lips.


Early life

Coyne was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States, the son of Thomas Coyne and Dolores "Dolly" Jackson. The fifth of six children of an Irish Catholic family, [1] Coyne moved with his family from Pittsburgh's Troy Hill neighborhood to Oklahoma in early 1961. [2] Coyne grew up in Oklahoma City. Coyne preferred listening to music and playing pickup football. He, his sister, and his brothers dubbed themselves "The Fearless Freaks" for their brutal backyard football games. Tommy Coyne, Coyne's older brother, described the games as a "semi-civilized gang fight." [3]

In 1977, while in high school, Coyne began working as a fry cook for a Long John Silver's restaurant in Oklahoma City. [4] During his second year of employment, there was a rash of robberies in Oklahoma City. The restaurant was robbed and Coyne and other employees were held at gunpoint and forced to lie on the ground. Coyne was certain he was going to die. [5] The assistant manager could not open the restaurant's safe, however, and the robbers eventually fled the scene. Coyne believes "this is really how you die...one minute you're just cooking up someone's order of french fries and the next minute you're laying on the floor and they blow your brains out. There's no music, there's no significance, it's just random." [3] Coyne continued working at Long John Silver's until 1990. [4]

With the Flaming Lips

Coyne at Lollapalooza, 2006 Grant Park, Chicago Wayne Coyne Lollapalooza Giant bubble-2006-08-06.jpg
Coyne at Lollapalooza, 2006 Grant Park, Chicago

Coyne formed the Flaming Lips in 1983 with brother Mark singing lead, Michael Ivins on bass guitar, and Richard English on drums. Mark later left the band and Wayne assumed vocal duties. Wayne and Michael have been the only two constant members of the band since its founding. (According to allmusic.com Coyne "became the primary singer and songwriter" of the band. [6] ) [7] According to an article in the September 16th, 1993 issue of Rolling Stone Mark and Wayne Coyne [8] came up with the name "The Flaming Lips" as a reference to a rumor of a High School classmate who contracted Genital Herpes after receiving cunnilingus from a partner with active cold sores. Wayne remarked on this unsubstantiated claim:

When Mark and I were in, I think it was Junior Year in High School, there was a rumor about this girl who got herpes from this guy at a party. He went down on her with a cold sore. I don't think we knew the girl, and I'm not sure if she even existed, you know how kids just spread bullshit. But when we were thinking of band names one night over a pack of Schlitz and some left-handed cigarettes and remembered how we joked that they both had "Flaming Lips" and it just stuck.

During large-crowd festival performances, Coyne makes his entrance by descending from an alien mother ship (a nod to Parliament-Funkadelic [9] ) in a bubble and floats across the audience. Coyne has also been known to pour fake blood down his face via a hidden tube during live shows. Coyne does this to pay homage to a famous picture of Miles Davis who, after a performance, had blood on his suit because a police officer had beaten him during the show.[ citation needed ]

Flaming Lips concerts also feature confetti cannons, lasers, laser pointers, images projected on to a screen, dozens of large balloons, a stage filled with dancers dressed as aliens, yetis, the gloves etc. [10] Before performing, Coyne can be seen helping the stage crew. Their performances have been likened to psychedelic experiences rather than simply music shows, a tradition that goes back to the band's formation. [3]

Experimental art

In 1996 and 1997, Coyne developed "The Parking Lot Experiments," where forty different tapes were distributed. The band instructed forty cars to start the tapes at the same time, resulting in a surround sound. Over 1,000 people gathered in a parking lot for this experiment.

The parking lot experiments led to the experimental album Zaireeka , which is made up of four stereo tracks, each on four different CDs. The four CDs are meant to be played simultaneously in order to hear the complete tracks. Coyne believes Zaireeka embraces "...a kind of anarchy in art. It was like an art happening – you have to bring four sound systems together. Sometimes you get great synchronicity; other times, it sounds haphazard. You get to hear music in a whole new way." [11]

At the New Year's Eve Freakout [ citation needed ] in Oklahoma City on January 1, 2010, Coyne instructed the audience to set their cell phone alarms for 12:55 a.m. When the alarms went off, the alarm sounds were drowned out by cheering. Coyne remarked that "someone has a loud fucking iPhone."

In October 2010, Coyne created a screen print using his own blood. The poster commemorated The Flaming Lips' appearance at the Austin City Limits Music Festival. It has a picture of a skull drawn in a Wes Wilson style. Coyne printed it using his blood collected in a vial. The frontman stated, "We thought it would be silly to use chicken blood or something, they don't need to sacrifice their vital fluids any more than I need to" Livemusic.fm

In February 2017, Coyne debuted an art exhibit at the Waterloo Center for the Arts in Waterloo, Iowa called "Works by Wayne Coyne". The exhibit featured The King's Mouth, a 14-minute light attraction you can enter and enjoy. [12]

Directorial debut

Coyne began making his science fiction film, Christmas on Mars , in 2001. It was a low budget project and principal photography was shot on a set in his backyard. The different parts of the spaceship set were built by Coyne. [3]

The film tells the story of the first Christmas on a colonized Mars. In the film, Coyne plays a super-being who is curious about a baby being born on Mars.

Christmas on Mars was shown for the first time at the Sasquatch! Music Festival in a circus tent. The Flaming Lips took the tent on tour, showing the movie after each performance. "The concept was to come up with another one of those midnight movies, like The Rocky Horror Picture Show that I went to see as a teenager, all toked up, before the days of cable." [11]

Other projects and appearances

Wayne Coyne in Brighton Centre, UK in 2003 Wayne Coyne Brighton Centre-2003-11-02.jpg
Wayne Coyne in Brighton Centre, UK in 2003

Personal life

Coyne lives on a compound of four houses in the same neighborhood in which he grew up. Each Halloween, Coyne dresses up to scare trick-or-treaters who come to his home. He feels that it is good to scare children, because when they grow older, there are things "that are horribly scary . . . you can't just run away from them or turn on a light and it runs away." [3] Though an atheist, Coyne states: "I wish I did believe in God. It would be a great relief to think, 'God'll take care of it. God'll put gas in the car tomorrow.'" [18]

In 2012 Coyne separated from his common-law wife, J. Michelle Martin-Coyne. In September 2013, Martin-Coyne filed for divorce on the grounds of "irreconcilable incompatibility." The two had no children together and disagree on how long they lived together (Martin-Coyne claiming since 1989, Coyne since 2004). [19]

Coyne began dating Katy Weaver in 2012. The two got engaged in September 2018 [20] and in November 2018 announced they were expecting their first child together. [21] They got married January 5, 2019, in downtown Oklahoma City. [22] In June 2019, Coyne and Weaver welcomed their first child, a son, named Bloom Bobby Coyne. On March 13, 2022 the Coynes announced the arrival of a second son named Rex Roses Coyne.

Related Research Articles

The Flaming Lips American rock band

The Flaming Lips are an American psychedelic rock band formed in 1983 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The band currently consists of Wayne Coyne, Steven Drozd, Derek Brown, Matt Duckworth Kirksey and Nicholas Ley.

<i>Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots</i> 2002 studio album by the Flaming Lips

Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots is the tenth studio album by American rock band the Flaming Lips, released on July 16, 2002, by Warner Bros. Records. The album saw the band pursue a more electronic direction than previous efforts, incorporating acoustic guitars and rhythms influenced by hip hop and top 40 music. The album was well-received critically and commercially, helping the band break into popularity, and was adapted into a musical in 2012.

<i>Christmas on Mars</i> 2008 film by Wayne Coyne

Christmas on Mars is a 2008 independent psychological science fiction film from the alternative rock band the Flaming Lips, written and directed by the band's frontman, Wayne Coyne, and featuring the entire band in the cast, as well as many of their associates, including Steve Burns, Adam Goldberg, and Fred Armisen.

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<i>Zaireeka</i> 1997 studio album by The Flaming Lips

Zaireeka is the eighth studio album by American rock band The Flaming Lips, released on October 28, 1997 by Warner Bros. Records. The album consists of four CDs designed so that when played simultaneously on four separate audio systems, they would produce a harmonic or juxtaposed sound; the discs could also be played in different combinations, omitting one, two or three discs. Each of its eight songs consists of four stereo tracks, one from each CD. The album's title is a portmanteau of two words: Zaire, chosen as a symbol of anarchy after Wayne Coyne heard a radio news story about the political instability of the African nation, and Eureka, an expression of joyous discovery.

Michael Ivins Musical artist

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  1. The Flaming Lips: 'We tried to give Prince some of our CDs. He gave ... https://www.independent.co.uk  › Culture › Music › Features Jul 17, 2019 - laughs Wayne Coyne when I ask him to describe the home state of The Flaming Lips. ... “This place has done so much for us,” he says. ... Born in 1961, Coyne was the second youngest child of a large, Irish Catholic family. ... My older brothers brought a lot of drugs, motorbikes and music into the house.
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