Ousted Flaming Lips Drummer Kliph Scurlock Clarifies He Doesn't Think Wayne Coyne Is Racist
Published May 13, 2014This month, the split between the Flaming Lips and drummer Kliph Scurlock turned ugly, as he and Wayne Coyne exchanged harsh words in the press. Now, Scurlock has attempted to diffuse the situation, clarifying that he does not think Coyne is a racist and admitting that he wasn't always a loyal member of the band.
Their war of words stems from an argument surrounding Coyne's friend, Christina Fallin, who posed for a photo wearing a First Nations headdress. Scurlock criticized her, while Coyne reportedly came to her defence. Scurlock claimed that he had endured "verbal (with threats of physical) abuse from Wayne," while Coyne responded that Scurlock was a "pathological liar."
Scurlock posted a lengthy letter about the controversy dated May 7. It was only visible to his Facebook friends, but it's available to read thanks to a Google cache [via Stereogum].
He wrote, "I never have and never will accuse Wayne of racism because I know he's not racist. And racism can kill careers. Just look at that NBA dude from last week... Despite my 'statement' trying to clarify that Wayne is absolutely not a racist and his actions that people are perceiving as racist actions were not done to be racist, but rather to jab at me, I still saw several headlines over the weekend that claimed I was accusing him of racism. Look, if I thought he was racist, I would say so. But I know that dude really, really well and I can say in no uncertain terms that he is absolutely NOT a racist."
He said that Coyne doesn't fully understand cultural appropriation, but repeatedly insisted that the singer isn't a racist. Coyne has apparently received death threats over the situation, while others have renounced the band, and Scurlock says that such actions are unwarranted.
He also admitted that his involvement in the Flaming Lips left something to be desired, conceding, "I wasn't the perfect soldier in the band I painted myself to be (and thought I was.) There were lots of things I wasn't the least bit interested in — the Lipsha record, the Stone Roses cover album, the Sgt. Pepper cover album, working with Miley Cyrus, etc. — that I would just simply skate out of and not participate in. I operated under the delusion that it didn't matter (and it ultimately didn't. Those records got made or are getting made whether I'm around or not), but I can see how it might look to the other guys in the band and how it might cast doubts on my ultimate allegiance to said band."
While he initially operated under the perception that he had been fired out of the blue for criticizing Fallin, he now sees that he had a "bullshit attitude" within the band.
The whole thing is more than 3,500 words, and it includes everything from the details of his childhood to how much he pays for rent, so if you feel like a very lengthy read, go here.