The Flaming Lips and Bon Iver collaboration? Thank Twitter for that.

From The Huffington Post:

Mike Ragogna: Dude, when we get talking, it’s like an hour and a half later.

Wayne Coyne:
 (laughs)

MR:
 Wayne, the internet has to get popular someday, right?

WC:
 Well, look, Mike, since this is supposed to be a short interview, if we start talking about the internet, this is going to turn into an epic weeklong discussion.

MR:
 You’re right, who cares about the internet anyway. Stupid internet.

WC: The internet is the greatest thing ever though, isn’t it? We’re so lucky to live in a time when it happens. I don’t understand it, like a lot of things that happen. I don’t really understand it, but I’m so glad that it exists, it works and it helps me.

MR: Thank you, Al Gore. It helps us, one and all.

WC:
 It does, unless you don’t have a computer, then you wonder what people are looking at all of the time.

MR: Okay, you have a new project–The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends. That could be my favorite title of any of your albums, but not really. Cute though.

WC:
 Well, the “Fwends” part of it, we didn’t want to make it seem so serious. We’re very lucky that we get to travel all around the world, we get to meet amazing people, and sometimes, it’s amazing musicians who will play music with us. But we don’t want to make it like we have these great friends and you’re nobody. So that’s why the “Fwends”…not taking it all so seriously.

MR:
 You have some cool “fwends” on this, just how did you get this fwendly ensemble?

WC: 
Well, some of them…I don’t think we knew they were our friends until we approached them about doing our music. For example, I wanted to do something with Erykah Badu. You have to remember I live in Oklahoma City. She lives in Dallas, which is about three hours away. My wife’s sister also lives in Dallas and at one time lived in the same neighborhood as Erykah Badu. So I’ve been kind of secretly stalking her for a while with the thought that maybe she would allow us to do some music together. Well, she was working at a studio down there and I know the people at the studio and I said, “The next time she comes in, you’ve got to text me and let me see if I can talk to her.” Well, lo’ and behold, on my birthday, just a couple of months ago, on January 13, she texted me. “Hey, Wayne, it’s Erykah Badu, Happy Birthday. Let’s get together and make some music.” I didn’t realize it could be that easy. So, lucky for me, she got a hold of me and I said, “Let’s do some music together,” and within a couple of days, we were doing stuff.

And some of the people have been our friends–or “fwends” as we’re speaking here–for a while. I’ve known the Coldplay fellows, but mostly Chris Martin, even since before their very first single, “Yellow,” became big. We were playing a show with them in Scotland on the day that this huge song of theirs–now in hindsight–went to #1 in Britain. We were playing a festival and we’ve gotten to know them as friends and they was real special times, and I think Chris has made an effort, as I have, to remain friends, to know what’s going on with each other. A lot of it is just that people end up liking each other’s music and like each other and say, “Let’s do something!”

MR: 
Let’s do something as in “Let’s Do It” featuring Yoko Ono?

WC:
 I think Yoko probably sent about 10,000 versions of different things. Because she’s so gracious, she allowed us to take these recordings that she did and we’d take little snippets of what she would say. This is the thing that you can do through the marvel of computers now. We recorded quite a few tracks where she was doing stuff, and then we took that track and then we combined it with parts of other tracks. It’s a song virtually of Yoko Ono throughout the song screaming, “Do it, do it,” as only someone like Yoko Ono could command you to do. But, she never really did it in real life. These are little snippets that we put together and put music behind it. That’s kind of the nature of a lot of the things we’re doing on this recording. With some of these artists, we only have a little bit of time to do something and you don’t really know what’s going to happen. Sometimes we take things then later turn them into songs and turn them into things that sound like performances and it sounds cool.

MR:
 Actually, sir, you have a lot of things on here that sound cool, for instance, Bon Iver on “Ashes in the Air.”

WC: 
Exactly. This is a strange coming together. A friend of mine was following the singer Justin Vernon on Twitter and mentioned to him, in a Twitter kind of way, you should get together with The Flaming Lips, they’re doing all of these collaborations. You should get together with The Flaming Lips and do a song.” And he replied, “I should, let’s do it.” So immediately after that, I tweeted Justin Vernon, and before you know it, we had each other’s phone numbers. I said, “Just send me a little piece of music and we’ll make something of it.” Probably a day or two later, he sent me a little synthesizer piece of music that to most people wouldn’t seem like anything. But I already heard a little bit of what we could do with it. It was just a little three minute synthesizer part. But, that’s what I had asked for, something that we could begin to work with. Myself and the other members of The Flaming Lips turned it into a little bit of a song and sent it back to him, he wrote some lyrics, added a little bit more to it, it went a couple of times back and forth, and we really have this great track. Even though, I’ve never met him in person and I don’t think I’ve ever really talked to him, all this is done through email, Twitter, texting, and I guess just psychically hoping to love and understand each other.

Continue reading the rest of the story on The Huffington Post