The Flaming Lips

WHAT IS THE TERROR??
It is a strange thing when humans are very sad, the
stories and music they want to hear is not hopeful or
happy; they want to hear SAD stories and music…so we
suppose happy people wanna hear happy things maybe
we only hear ourselves or we only LISTEN to ourselves
Well, then, what had happened to us? Why would we
make this music that is The Terror – this bleak, disturbing,
hopeless record…?? I don’t really want to know the
answer that I think is coming: that WE were hopelessWE
were disturbed (but we didn’t have a longing to NOT be
disturbed) and, I think, accepting that some things are
hopeless…or letting hope in one area die so that hope can
start to live in another?? Maybe this is the beginning of
the answer.

Making music is such a haphazard activity, especially
when done by a group. The individuals each have their
own states of mind and each are, in a sense, listening to
or hearing only themselves and so it can be a mishmash
of moods or sounds or themes depending on the
members’ assertiveness or their ability to conquer others
(ha ha). It is a wonder that anything gets expressed (or
maybe it is BECAUSE of these different agendas that
music is, sometimes, its MOST expressive) It’s a
motherfucker and a mystery.

So toward the end of the mad frenzy that was the
“Heady Fwends” collaboration record, a second studio
was being used to record in while the main studio was
being used to mix in. And often the demands of the main
studio would be so overwhelming that when we would
retreat, starting sometimes at 1:00 in the morning, to the
second studio, our music would be made in a kind of
sleepwalker’s dimension…meaning, lead only by pure
desire, pleasure and curiosity. All creations, if you are
lucky, begin like this. They can quickly turn unpleasurable
but that’s the nature of all production. So when “The
Terror” was beginning to take shape, Steven and I were
determined to navigate around this drudgery of
production, trying our best to keep every moment, every
sound, every word as it happened in this “sleep walker’s
dimension”. You see, we weren’t really trying to make a
new record and we were being completely self indulgent.
We started to be affected by this music eventually
affected so much that we could not tolerate any other
music we had an inflated sense of self-importance and
belief that this music this sound this mood is all that will
ever matter to us from now on. Being obsessed is fun!!

But The Terror is NOT fun…

CHAOS, CONTROL, CHANGE…
REPEAT

What we can’t control… if you are like me… we try to
control. What we can change, we try to change… And so,
maybe when we are immersed in chaos for too long, we
long for stability or control. And maybe when we have
control for too long, we have a desire for chaos. Or
maybe we are just hungry worms… yeah… worms that
are a thousand feet long… and we are eating our own
tail… but we don’t know that, yeah, when we HAVE
control, we fear LOSING control… but we think we WANT
control… and then chaos comes in and shows us that, if
we had control, our lives would be safe… or predict

able…or boring??? We create the chaos BECAUSE we
have control… Fuck!! Like I said (or like I feared), we are
hungry worms…

LOOK, THE SUN IS RISING!!
For a long time in our life, when we were young, we lived
as though there were eyes watching us from above not
GOD, but a super entity; not a super entity that cared
about truth or justice, just a watcher. After that, we lived
for a long time believing the universe has made us yeah!!
but the rest is up to us. And then paranoia seemed useful
again and for a short time during the making of “The
Terror”, we believed that eyes from beyond were once
again watching over us. We longed to have no control of
our lives… we tried to believe UFOs were hovering and
watching us… we wanted to believe there was a
conspiracy of fake truth and that we were being kept
hostage by an unknown overpowering enemy and that our
only escape was internal… we went inside ourselves.
Where we know what is real… but once we went internal,
we discovered we were empty and scared and we once
again confided in the underlying truth that LOVE will save
us yes, LOVE will save us. But The Terror?? The Terror is
that LOVE is not the magic gravity, the sun of suns… We
want, or wanted, to believe that without love we would
disappear; that love, somehow, would save us that, yeah,
if we have love, give love and know love, we are truly alive
and if there is no love, there would be no life The Terror is,
we know now, that even without love, life goes on… we
just go on… there is no mercy killing.

Peace,
Wayne

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