Wayne Coyne has never been shy about getting weird. In fact, he’s made a career out of it. Famous for their outrageously over-the-top live shows which may or may not include freaky inflatable animals, surreal dancing suns, trippy psychedelics and Coyne’s trademark inflatable crowd-surfing bubble, what has been described as “rock’s greatest acid punch party” is now synonymous with The Flaming Lips. But it wasn’t always this way. In the outskirts of Oklahoma City in 1983, they were just another band trying to find their sound.
If you thought Chance the Rapper couldn’t have possibly cast a bigger shadow over the entire Chicago hip-hop community in recent years, just imagine being his little brother. While just two years younger than the Grammy-winning, Obama-meeting, violence-fighting local phenomenon, Chance’s little brother Taylor is just beginning to carve out his own place from behind his brother’s massive shadow — most recently coming out as bisexual on Twitter in advance of his 21st birthday in January, telling fans “I’d like to be more open about myself to help others that struggle with the same issue.”
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah’s 2005 self-titled release almost broke the blogosphere with instant breathless acclaim from pretty much every indie media outlet on Earth to big-time musicians like David Bowie and David Byrne, who you might even be so lucky as to spot in the crowd at one of their early shows. The band’s upbeat indie rock sound and pleadingly melodic vocals became signatures of the group, which reached the peak of its success with that debut. Over the past 10 years, it’s been largely downhill as the band has seen anniversary tours, lineup changes and eventually the paring down of members to its one original, Alec Ounsworth. But that doesn’t mean CYHSY isn’t still enjoying the ride. On the eve of the new Clap Your Hands Say Yeah album The Tourist, Chicago INNERVIEW hit up Ounsworth with some burning questions about the new album, the band’s living room tours, and what’s next.
After releasing two solid arena rock-sized records chock full of head-banging, youth-angst anthems about getting drunk and falling in and out of love — while touring those records pretty much nonstop for nearly four years — Vancouver duo Japandroids took a brief breather before commencing work on their newly minted record, the more mature-sounding but equally fun Near to the Wild Heart of Life. Chicago INNERVIEW spoke to drummer Dave Prowse about this latest chapter in the ever-evolving Japandroids history.