Neon Indian Will Bring All Kinds Of Tech Toys On The Bus

Posted June 26

In addition to playing after a ton of diverse acts during The O Music Awards, Wayne Coyne and The Flaming Lips will also be collaborating with some of the myriad bands who worked with them on the recent release, The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends. One of the acts, Neon Indian, will also be joining the Lips on the bus — and they’re probably bringing along a tech toy or two.

The next O Music Awards is kicking off on June 27 at 7:30pm EST in Memphis, Tennessee, and will stretch across 24 hours and 8 cities in the form of a road trip. In addition to giving away awards and the like, we’ve also enlisted The Flaming Lips to break the Guinness World Record for the most live concerts in 24 hours (multiple city) during the show, as well as an eclectic selection of performers to play with/open for the band. Neon Indian will be playing with the Lips in the dead of night in Jackson, Mississippi.

We chatted with the band‘s frontman Alan Palomo about his late set time, working with the Lips and what he plans to bring on the bus.

You must be pretty excited to be playing at like 2 a.m. or whatever time your show is.

I think it’s going to be like 4 in the morning, which up until our show at Primavera in Barcelona, I’ve never had a show that late before. It’s kind of nice because it kind of guarantees that there’s a certain looseness — for lack of a better term — that’s been set loose among the crowd. I think it makes for hopefully one of the more exciting shows on the whole run.

I’ve heard it called the “psychedelic show” around OMA HQ.

Totally. Yeah, I’ve been told it’s the psychedelic one as well, so I’m still trying to think of ways in which I can contribute helping it be just that.

Do you have your set list picked out yet?

Well, I know me and the visual collaborator are going to figure some sort of arch of songs and some pretty interesting visuals that would be unique to that show. But I think we’re still kind of in the planning process.

And have you been talking to Wayne about what you’re going to play? Maybe one of your collaborations?

Well, I think it will be a combination of the second and first record, but, yeah, there’s definitely been talks of playing with the Lips something from the EP we worked on together. I guess we’re still playing it out.

I guess it’s all up in the air. Should be an interesting experience.

Totally. I think the charm of putting together a show — not just that late, but in that context — is that I think everyone is just curious to see what the show is going to be like. For the Lips, they have a lot to work with, and I think everyone is curious as to what these 24 hours will bring. And obviously the question is the breaking of the record.

Do you think we can do it?

Totally. Anyone who would have the stamina — their touring schedule is perpetual and somewhat seemingly infinite. I think those are just the dudes for the job, so I’m pretty stocked about it.

So you’re coming on the bus with us. What do you think will happen once you board?

I don’t know, I would have to equate it to the pods in Alien where everyone is just like in a state of hyper sleep before the next show. I don’t know. It could also just be that same state of delirious fun you have with any group of friends when you all have been deprived of sleep and have been working for that long. For us, when it comes to touring, suddenly you have some logistical nightmare that involves driving an extended period of hours and going straight to a city just to jump on a stage to play. I think that’s when you get to know your friends — those people that you play with — the best. That’s when all the weird inside jokes and incohesive, hilarious babble ensues.

And all the inside jokes will be live on the Web.

Yeah, totally, and now that I know that I might have to control that filter on myself at least.

Are you going to bring anything on the bus? Maybe one of your custom PAL198X synths?

Yeah, I still haven’t given one to Wayne, who had asked for one, so I definitely want to bring a couple just for the dudes, but I don’t know. It’s going to be this spontaneous, spur-of-the-moment thing. I’m still gauging what I might want to bring with me. I have a bunch of Commodore, gutted equipment that spits out these indecipherable 8-bit sounds, one of which is a little drum machine, so I might want to bring one of those. I guess I’ll decide the few hours before I leave for the airport.

I wanted to ask you a little bit about the contest you’re running with the PAL198X synths. I know you came out with them when you released Era Extraña, and now you’re doing some crowd-sourcing deal?

It’s called the ‘P.A.L. User Initiative’ and basically it’s rewarding people that have applied the PAL to whatever means and are using it for its initial intended purpose, which was to make music with it or incorporate it into some kind of project, devoid of genre. With things like that — especially when it’s something associated with a band — it can always just sort of sit in its bag for a while or be seen more as a piece of memorabilia. So this is a fun reminder and a bit of a challenge to see if people are willing to take it out, put it together, and start doing something a little out of the norm with it.

For me it’s incredibly exciting, because the whole premise of it was to have people hack it. I’m waiting to see what kind of results it garners. And the prize itself is actually having the opportunity to — whatever song you create — have it released on its own 7-inch single for, Static Tongues, the imprint that I operate.

Do you think you’ll collaborate with Wayne again?

We’re always talking about stuff. I think as much as we throw around ideas, the best way in which they happen is just by the virtue of something like this, where somebody finally just says, ‘Hey, let’s do this!’ I kind of like being caught off-guard with anything that trickles out of Wayne’s brain.

Image courtesy of Facebook, Neon Indian