I'm not practising, I don't go to church, but what I got from it was a sense of belonging to something bigger. What I really miss is being forced to be in a community with people that aren't the same as you. Then, you really have to work through the ways that you're different.
I'm not a good hipster - if I let my moustache grow for weeks, it just looks like I have dirt on my face. I'll never have a glorious handlebar moustache.
Whenever you're talking about meaning, basically... I think a lot of the human experience has to do with trying to understand what things mean, and there's not really any tools to do that unless you're thinking about it in a more spiritual or philosophical realm.
If you think about it, if you've ever been to a Catholic service, it's practically a laser light show. It's very dramatic, very theatrical. The outfits they wear, it's all designed to be impressive.
Our music may sound big emotionally, but that's more to do with the playing, the level of musicianship and the full-on energy. Often, the lyrics are often quite small and focused.
The Flaming Lips have been on Warner Bros. forever, and certainly everything I heard growing up was on a major label in some way, from the Cure to Radiohead to Bjork.
I had a somewhat religious upbringing. Not strict, but it was there, and I'm kind of thankful for that. If you grow up just watching MTV, that's its own form of religion, and it's not even based on happiness or communal responsibility. I mean, try to construct a worldview out of that.
I found out a lot of stuff through MTV, and I didn't even have cable, I just saw it at friends' houses. But my culture in junior high was totally influenced by it.
My favorite English teacher in high school showed me 'Brazil' when I was 15, and it blew my mind. It's one of those movies that's revealed itself in different ways as I've gone back to it over the years.
The music in Haiti is all tied up in voodoo and African rhythm, and so there's this funny thing: go to a voodoo ceremony, and then go to a Catholic church and tell me which music you liked better, to which one the music is more integral.
I grew up in a somewhat religious family. My dad's family isn't religious at all, but my mom's side of the family is, so I was exposed to church a bit.
Funny songs aren't usually that good. Like Weird Al and maybe a couple of Beatles songs, but it's kind of hard to bring humor into rock music in an interesting way.
I was really sick of bands just ignoring the audience as a posture in rock music. And I think we fed off each other in terms of trying to engage the audience, not in a hammy way, but actually trying to be aware of the space that you are playing in and trying to connect in some way through the music.
It seems like the record industry made so much crazy money in the 1960s that everyone wanted to get in on it. Now it's just become very corporate. So all of these people who despise music end up being in charge.
When I was living in Boston, I worked in this store that played the college radio station. I had to listen to it all day, and I didn't care for most of it.