"It's not just music, it's a lifestyle, it's art, it's just being around freaks, so I think I'm made for this life."
If he'd known 30 years ago, when The Flaming Lips were starting out, that they'd still be a fixture of the psych-rock scene in 2015, then, he says, he probably wouldn't have continued with the band.
"If someone said 'When you're 54, you're going to be playing shows with this 20-year-old girl called Miley Cyrus,' I'd be like 'Fuck that, I'll be old, I don't want to do that.' Now I feel absolutely I want to do that, but y'know, we did our first record when I was only 22 and I think then we only wanted to be alive for another couple of years.
"If someone said 'When you're 54, you're going to be playing shows with this 20-year-old girl called Miley Cyrus,' I'd be like 'Fuck that, I'll be old.'"
"I think if we had some look into the future and we knew, 'Oh my god, we're going to have to know each other for 30 fucking years,' we probably wouldn't have wanted to do it. I always feel like it may only last another year or so and then it goes on forever."
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But what's the secret to that kind of longevity? How does Coyne manage to continue on as a creative force?
"I come from a big crazy family that is full of, my brothers are crazy, they do crazy shit all the time and they love music and they love drugs and they love to do crazy shit, so I think I was brought up in a household that is very much like the band. It's not just music, it's a lifestyle, it's art, it's just being around freaks, so I think I'm made for this life, y'know?
"You don't know that when you're young, you only know that when you're older and you realise 'This is the life I wanna live, doing exactly this.' I think it's just that I got really lucky that the thing I want to do I was made to do it. That's how I live. I'm still living the same life.
"That mode of thinking and creating and doing and thinking and creating and doing, I just like it. And if I don't do it I go crazy."
But his life is a little different - Coyne says he actually parties more now that he's in his 50s.
"When I was younger I think I had too much stuff flowing through me, so I'd do drugs, and even though I liked them, I wouldn't like the aftermath. The next day I would just not like it at all. And now I just don't have the aftermath, I think I've built something in my brain that lets me: I like it, but the next day I don't wake up and think 'I hate everybody' or 'I have to do more.' I don't have an addictive energy towards drugs, I don't fear them like I did when I was younger. I feared that maybe I'd become a drug addict; all my brothers and my sister, and a lot of their friends were drug addicts..." Coyne trails off.
"I don't have an addictive energy towards drugs, I don't fear them like I did when I was younger."
"I think it's just that we have a better life now. We just have more fun now than we did when we were younger. It doesn't seem as dangerous I guess, y'know. Most of the people that I'm around aren't crazy drug addicts. When I was young, everybody was, they were crazier. Now everybody is having fun, it's not so crazy."
Coyne is coming to Australia next month with The Flaming Lips for Sydney Festival, MOFO and a headlining slot in Melbourne, before returning to the US to continue work on a new The Flaming Lips record he expects to release in April or May. He describes Australia as "wonderful", and festival slots and live gigs as "like a big fucked up party", and a "communal, uplifting experience". But he has some other plans while he's in Australia: he wants to shoot a music video with Miley Cyrus ("She's very creative and insane, and I'm creative and insane, and we just like that we have each other to do that with") in Western Australia.
"Have you ever heard of the Pink Lake?... We have three days off after we play Sydney I think and we were gonna try and drive there and shoot a video with Miley Cyrus in this giant pink lake. But I don't think we can drive there so I'm still looking into it, so I think we're going to go to the Arctic Circle and do something there. But the Pink Lake sounds fucking cool - I've been trying to shoot a video in like a thing that looked like blood, but I can't get a place big enough filled with stuff that looks like blood and then I found this pink lake and you can go in it. People take pictures in it. I wanna go!"