Race for the Prize

After a monumental 1999, the Flaming Lips return to the road, ponder their legacy and look toward the future

Maybe 20 years from now this won't be true. But people still like to go to record stores and buy records. To me, I think MP3 will grow. At the same time, I think record stores will grow and all will exist together. Hopefully there will be more opportunities to get to the good music, because so much of it isn't good that you end up becoming discouraged. But the more you can hear, the more people get educated about stuff. One feeds the other.

NT: Speaking personally, I never want to lose that sense of discovery toward new music, like I had when I was a kid.

WC: What you said right there is the key. Someone will always make the effort because you enjoy doing it. But most people just come home from their job and want to listen to some music but don't want to make the effort. And they shouldn't! Let's let these people work and build the streets and the sewer systems and be musical idiots! As long as my toilet flushes I'm fine! I'm glad there's a big work force out there that will just grab the first entertainment that comes their way. If I'm lucky it will be something that I've done.

It doesn't mean that what I've done is better than Ricky Martin or the Spice Girls or whatever. That mainstream audience isn't a dumb audience. They're just not concerned. They just want to be entertained and don't care how they get it.

The Flaming Lips are scheduled to perform on Saturday, April 1, at Nita's Hideaway in Tempe, with Looper. Showtime is 9 p.m.

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