The Flaming Lips’ Steven Drozd

Rig Rundowns

28-06-2023 • 56 min

Over the last four decades, the courageous and creative Flaming Lips have put out 16 studio albums. Their genre is an alphabet soup that ranges from acid rock and ambient to zany psychedelia, all while pumping on a pop heartbeat. They’ve won three Grammys, written and filmed an alien colonization movie and soundtrack (Christmas on Mars), reimagined Dark Side of the Moon with Henry Rollins, had their hit “Do You Realize??” named the official rock song of Oklahoma, and of course, performed in bubbles before and during the pandemic.

As members of one of rock’s most adventurous bands, founding frontman Wayne Coyne and his longtime collaborator, multi-instrumentalist Steven Drozd (who originally joined the band in 1991 as a drummer), have tried almost everything, including transforming their sensitive-smash album, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, into a Broadway musical. And Yoshimi was back in the spotlight this spring as the Lips toured for its (delayed) 20th anniversary, playing it front to back for their show dates later in the season.

Before the band delighted a sold-out crowd at the Ryman Auditorium with Yoshimi and 11 other of their greatest hits, Drozd invited PG’s Chris Kies onstage to catalog his bizarre-yet-basic setup. Steven details the origins and deterioration of his 1967 Fender Jazzmaster (and why there’s a Hot Rails in the bridge), explains the superficial reason why his doubleneck only has one fretboard, and shows off a pedalboard that’s probably smaller than yours.

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