Indy: Forgive us for complaining, but what the hell took so long to get a stateside tour of The Lips' latest album, 2006's At War with the Mystics?
MI: Oddly enough, I'm not sure we felt like we [have] actually toured the record. We did a lot of festivals, but I don't think we actually felt like we played shows here in America. It's kind of weird.
Indy: Well, we can't stay mad at you. Especially since you're bringing out the flying saucer [a stage prop used during some Flaming Lips shows] for the Monolith Festival gig.
MI: Every time we do it, we kind of see what needs to be done. Obviously, we're not doing the U.F.O. at every show. You come to find out that you need to learn a lot about the trucking industry, which normally we don't deal with too much, until you say things like, "We want to have a U.F.O. on stage."
Indy: It's safe to say the Lips' impromptu cover of Black Sabbath's "War Pigs" was the hit of Bonnaroo 2007, right?
MI: That's something we started playing right before we went in to record Mystic. I think it kind of guided us, in some ways, in how the record sounds. It's always fun to play, and I think it definitely has a topical message unfortunately, just as topical as nearly 40 years ago. But we're still involved somewhere in the world with some kind of war that once again seems to be mostly unpopular.
Performing at the Monolith Festival at Red Rocks on Sept. 15.