Wayne Coyne Says Miley Cyrus Was “Just Perfect” on Beatles Tribute Album

Image Courtesy of Warner Bros. RecordsThe Flaming Lips are no strangers to the tribute album. In 2009, the band released a full tribute to Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon. Now, Wayne Coyne and company are releasing With a Little Help from My Fwends, a tribute album to The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Even with one tribute album already in the band's pocket, Coyne tells ABC News Radio that they originally had no intention of tackling the legendary album in full.

"It wasn't something that we arrived at and said, 'Let's just go and do it!'" Coyne says. "We were playing a New Year's Eve show last New Year's Eve, and in the middle of the show we were doing a John Lennon, Beatles set. So we'd stop everything and say we're gonna do this little special thing, and the standout song was the 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds' track."

After that, the Flaming Lips decided to bring "Lucy" to the studio, and Coyne recruited pop star Miley Cyrus to sing lead vocals. While Cyrus may seem like an odd collaborative partner for the Lips -- although the band had previously worked with Kesha -- Coyne was very pleased with the result.

"The way that [Cyrus] did ['Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds'], I couldn't of asked her to do it that way. It's her thing doing it her way, and it's just so perfect for the song that I couldn't have directed her to do that," he says. "It was like she just did it and Stephen [Drozd] and I and the engineer when she was doing it were just like, 'I hope she likes this, because it's just perfect.'"

As Cyrus' appearance on the album indicates, the roster of "fwends" is quite diverse. The record includes contributions from My Morning Jacket, Grace Potter, Phantogram, Maynard James Keenan and many more. Coyne and the Flaming Lips had worked with some of these bands previously, but the album also gave them a chance to collaborate with bands for the first time, like they did with the group Fever the Ghost, who appear on the record's eponymous opening track, "Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band."

"I didn't even know who [Fever the Ghost] were, I think I'd read their name here and there and had confused it with Sean Lennon's band," Coyne says. "When I heard their take on ['Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band'], that completely blew me away. I almost immediately thought, 'That's gotta be the beginning of the record.' That's so now and so insane. It's like music that you wouldn't have been able to make a couple years ago. It's music that you could probably only make right now."

As for any feedback from either of the surviving Beatles, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, Coyne says he hasn't heard anything from them. But in this case, he thinks no news is good news.

"If they don't want you to do it, you get the feeling like a black helicopter would come out of the sky and pick you up and you would disappear," Coyne says. 

Coyne has yet to see any black helicopters, so you can look for With a Little Help from My Fwends, out today.

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