During this week’s O Music Awards, some performers will simply be opening for The Flaming Lips as they plow toward their goal of breaking the Guinness World Record for the most live concerts in 24 hours (multiple city). And some performers, like Grace Potter of Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, will be buckling in for the ride — and making sure we break that record.
For those of you who have not yet been informed, 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. Grace Potter — in addition to playing with The Lips in Oxford, Mississippi, on June 27 — will be joining caravan for a stint, and she has some fancy plans for her time on the bus.
Read on for our Q&A with the musician, who also, apparently, has a flair of the culinary arts.
You’re one of the few performers who is actually going to be on the bus with the Lips, which is a whole new level of awesome and crazy.
I know I know, Wayne is afraid that I’m going to make him take a sheet of acid.
What was that?
Oh, I got it. Ha! So what did you think when you were first approached about doing this, playing with Wayne and going on a bus?
I actually begged to be a part of it. I was already in touch with Wayne because we’re [working on a collaboration]. I had already written the song and I thought it would be great to get Wayne and the Lips guys to lend their particular brand of weird to the track. So I had already been speaking with Wayne about something totally separate and then [I heard] about this crazy awards show that sounded completely bonkers and something that was so down my alley.
And what did you think when you found out you were going to be on a bus for several hours — live on the Web?
I think it’s great! I live on a bus, so I’m comfortable on buses and I love to take that journey. Wayne is such an interesting guy. I feel it’s going to be such an interesting process to see exactly the kind of madness we’re going to get into.
Have you been talking to Wayne about what you’re going to do or talk about on the bus?
I mean, yeah, but at the same time, I was just in Oklahoma City with Wayne a couple of weeks ago and conversations go a million different directions. You can plan for things all you want, but at the end of the day it just turns into a complete freak show. I’m sure we’re going to have plenty to talk about. At the heart of it we’re two very loud and opinionated people who will find something to do or talk about.
So you’re not worried about anyone getting bored?
Well, if we do we can always curl up in our blankets and tell each other bedtime stories or something strange like that. I think there is always something to do even when it’s boring. I think that’s the best thing about being on a tour bus. I live on a bus, so it makes it a little easier for me. There is really no such thing as downtime. The only thing you can really do is pull the blinds in your bunk and hope that no one comes in and farts in your bunk or anything. There’s always plenty of shenanigans.
Do you have any tried and true tour activities? Since you’re on a bus most of the time?
Yeah, I mean my favorite thing to do is to go into the back and listen to records. We have a turntable back there and we go from town to town and we’ll pick up records from different record stores. I just sit in the back and just listen and dream about the world in music and the possibilities. I mean, there is just so much music to make and I love making music –- the creation of it from the very beginning.
And I also love sports. Just sitting with the boys and yucking it up. I love watching the discourse that goes on.
I think the bus is the kind of place that can become really lonely unless you participate and become part of the community. You can’t just shut yourself off. I like cooking on the bus, that’s my favorite activity, personally.
That must be kind of hard on a bus.
It’s probably more dangerous than hard. I have a hot plate that only gets hot when a pot is on top. So if we were going down a hill and the pot fell off it would automatically turn off, which keeps it a little more safer.
Are you experimental with cooking, or is more like… soup?
I’m very experimental! Maybe I’ll bring my hot plate on the bus and cook a little something for Wayne. Some grilled cheese, something simple that is fuss-free. Maybe I’ll do some sort of bruschetta or something like that.
Have you guys talked about what you’re going to do on stage in terms of collaboration?
Yeah, I think we’re going to do a few songs with the Lips. Not many, as we have to get up and move on. We have a few ideas we’ve been bouncing back and forth; I don’t really know what yet, though. And again, we’re dealing with two bands on a stage, so there’s always production things that come into play. You know, we have to make sure that everyone has an instrument to play, then if they don’t, do they have a pot or a pan to smash on.
You’re going to have pots and pans, too?
Oh yeah! I’m a cook so I’ve got all kinds of sh*t going on!
I’m just imagining you with a camping backpack covered in pots.
Oh, I love that! Just like one of those one man bands you see on the street that just bangs on sh*t all day. Yeah, that’s me.
You’ve played in the South before, no? What do you like best about doing shows there?
One of my favorite things to do is to travel through the South particularly because of the food, the Soul Food is amazing and the Southern hospitality — you can’t compete with that.
Do you have any favorite spots? Anywhere we should stop?
I don’t think we’re going to have a whole lot of time to stop because we are breaking a world record here. I’m worried that I am going to distract everyone here from the goal, which is why I’m probably just going to have to cook on the bus. The Soul Food –- there is a rib joint that is just off the highway just past the exit for Oxford. I don’t remember the name of it now. It was where we went the last time we were in town and it was amazing. I’m always up for ribs. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it right now!
I’m sure there’ll be time for ribs at some point — either before or after the show.
There better be!
I think we are stopping at a rib joint at some point on the journey. Are you going to be resting up in prep? Do you have any rituals you are going to be doing?
No, but do you know what I’ve been doing? I’ve been going to bed later and later each night as to work up to staying up all night for this one. Because when you’re out on the road, you get into a tour sleep schedule where you don’t get to bed till 4-5 in the morning and don’t wake up until noon, 1-2 p.m. I’m feeling pretty fresh because we’ve been out on the road for a few months now.
So I guess my last question for you is this: We’re going to see Wayne this week, but what would you say to the Lips and everyone involved with regard to the world record? What advice would you give?
I’m super competitive. We better f**king break this record. So I’m going to be ‘chop-chop’ all the time trying to make sure everyone is on course the whole time, because I love this. I love the idea, I think it’s amazing. I think there are going to be plenty of distracting antics, but I’m going to be the queen of taking away the distracting antics and reminding us of what we’re there for! And that is to dominate Jay-Z and make a world record!
Image courtesy of Facebook, Grace Potter