The Flaming Lips

From Geartome


circa 2008 - early 2011


Wayne Coyne

Live, Wayne plays a beat-up, duct-tape-covered acoustic guitar with an Alesis airFX built into it (and a Nokia cellphone, and probably other things), which is an Alvarez 12-string (and pretty much never has 12 strings). He's also played Jazzmasters, a custom Gibson acoustic, a Fender Strat copy, and Drozd's guitars, along with a slew of other instruments. Coyne reportedly receives homemade instruments from fans sent to him through the mail all the time. He famously (and fairly heavily) uses a circuit-bent Animal Band children's keyboard live and in-studio (on Mystics at least), which he received from a fan. He's also regularly banged and manipulated a crash cymbal, bullhorn, theremin, and of course, the gong live. Little to nothing is known about the effects he's used, but reportedly, Coyne mainly used some kind of mysterious Japanese distortion pedal for his distorted sound up to Clouds.

Steven Drozd

His main electrics are a 1967 Fender Jazzmaster (with a Seymour Duncan Hot Rails bridge pickup installed by Wayne), a Epiphone G-1275 doubleneck guitar (which used to be whole, with a broken iPod taped to it, but now only has the 12-string neck; recently, Wayne appears to have taped a Guitar Hero controller with a Kaoss Pad to it for noise purposes), and a 1966 Fender XII 12-string (used heavily on Embryonic). He's also played/owned an oft-seen '60s Supro guitar, 1972/75 Fender Telecaster Deluxe, 1967 Gibson 330, 1967 Gibson Firebird, and an 1980 Ovation Viper, among many others. Effects he's used have included a Boss GT-8 processor, Line 6 FM4 Filter Modeler, Line 6 Delay Modeler (his three main pedals live), Dunlop Heil Talk Box, Z. Vex Fuzz Factory, SubDecay Noise Box, DOD FX51 Juice Box, Boss DD-20 delay, Roland Funny Cat, Ampeg Scrambler, and MuTron digital delay. He has a large collection of vintage stompboxes (around 120 by March 2010), including various Systech gear, like the Harmonic Energizer, Overdrive, and Phase Shifter. His amps have included a Fender Super Twin Reverb (Wayne's), and more recently/often two Roland KC-550 keyboard amps (with a guitar, run in stereo) and a Roland JC-120 Jazz Chorus (not mic'd, for stage sound). For some of the sounds on Mystics, the guitar signal was run through an amplified drum from the '60s called a Timpano. He uses .012-gauge strings.

Of Drozd's drum gear that is known, his live kit in 1996 was a 26" Yamaha Rock Tour Custom bass drum, 1963 Ludwig 13" and 16" rack and floor toms, and a 1970s Ludwig Supraphonic chrome snare. He also used 15" hi-hats and 22" and 24" crash-rides, of various brands (usually Paiste; Zildjians and Sabians have also been reported). According to Wikipedia, his current kit includes vintage Rogers drums, along with the '70s Ludwig snare.

Drozd's keyboards and related instruments include a old Roland EP-707 (purchased in 1995), a $15 Realistic Concertmate, a rarely used Nord G2, and a Roland XP-80 (among countless others). He also uses Propellerhead Reason (which is heavily used on Mystics) with miscellaneous Native Instruments plug-ins and whatnot, which he runs on a Power Mac.

Michael Ivins

There's nothing online about his basses, but his main bass for some time has been a Fender P-Bass in some kind of stripped wood finish. (On Yoshimi, he apparently also used an old Fender Mustang bass for a lot of the basswork.) Ivin's effects include a Boss ODB-3 overdrive (with low end cranked all the way, high to 3 o'clock, and balance from 11 o'clock - 1 o'clock), Boss SYB-3 bass synth, Boss SYB-5 (for distortion only), and Boss BF-2 flanger (Japanese model). After his pedalboard, he splits his signal; he uses a Framptone 3-Banger to send one signal to the house, one to his Ampeg rig, and another to his Roland JC-120. Ivins also occasionally plays keyboards; live, he plays a Roland XP-30.

Kliph Scurlock

Kliph uses acrylic C&C Custom drums: double-miked 24" kick (previously 26"), 13" snare, 13" rack tom, and a 16" floor tom. He also uses Istanbul cymbals: 14" funk hi-hats, a 22" medium ride and a 22" heavy ride (and a 24" cymbal of some sort). He is endorsed by both brands. All of his bottom heads are clear Ambassadors, and uses clear Pinstripes on all of the tops except for the snare, which is a coated Emperor. (And according to Shurlock, "the drum set I have at home is mostly coated Emperors on the top and clear ambassadors on the bottom, except for this Evans head I have on the snare right now. When it breaks, I'm probably going to put a coated ambassador on it.") He also uses Vic Firth Extreme 5B sticks.

Derek Brown

Recent live addition Derek Brown has been seen with a Squire Jagmaster, Gibson Marauder, and a few other instruments. He also plays keyboards and percussion.

Ronald Jones

The mysterious Ronald Jones, who had an extremely unique and abstract style of playing (involving a plethora of effects pedals) was notoriously secretive of how his sound was produced, due to him not wanting anyone stealing his sound. It is known that his main guitar during his time with the band was a white '64 Jaguar (and/or an early '70s surf green Jaguar), and that he used two Eventide (Ultra)Harmonizer processors, several Boss SE-50 processors, a Whammy, EHX MicroSynth, modded Vox and Crybaby wahs, a Punkifier distortion, some Boss pedals (Super Chorus, Digital Delay, Super Octave, Pitch Shift), and MXR Phase 3 and an Oberheim Echoplex, along with a bunch of other unnamed pedals and noise toys (many homemade). He played through two Roland JC-120 amps in stereo, panning his crazy sounds across the stage, and controlled his large rig with MIDI foot controllers. He also used a telephone amplifier (placed on top of his amp, which he grabbed and manipulated to make crazy sounds), quarter, eBow, and copper slide. He also had several other guitars, including some sort of Vox guitar and a red Supro.


  • ProTools, and lots of it
  • A Boss SP-303 sampler has reportedly been used before with the Flaming Lips
  • EAW reported that the Lips ordered EAW MicroWedge Series MW15 Stage Monitors and two MicroSub Stage Monitors
  • a Harmony Rocket in the liner notes of one album (Wayne and Jonathan have made heavy use of this guitar in the past)
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