Kliph Scurlock, the drummer from The Flaming Lips, has allegedly been fired from the group, and he has accused frontman Wayne Coyne of supporting a friend’s seemingly racist behavior. Scurlock was dismissed from the band in March for mysterious reasons, but this week sent an email to Pitchfork claiming he was fired after standing up to Coyne for a variety of reasons—including his “endless verbal (with threats of physical) abuse.” (Of course, all of this is Scurlock’s word without a Coyne response, so take it with a grain of speculative, yet sensational salt.)
In a story on Gawker earlier this week, Jordan Sargent picked up on a story that had originated with a commenter over on Brooklyn Vegan, who said that Scurlock was kicked out of the band after objecting to a picture of the Oklahoma governor’s daughter, Mary Fallin, wearing a Native American headdress. Fallin is a friend of Coyne’s, and the frontman had supported her amid the ensuing social media backlash by posting a picture of other people wearing similar headdresses to his Instagram page. Scurlock later told the Indian Country Today Media Network that his criticism of Fallin on Twitter had directly led to his removal from the band, saying he was “fired for telling Christina to go fuck herself after her lame-ass ‘apology.”
In his statement to Pitchfork, Scurlock says that, while he’s “happy to see Wayne finally catch heat for some of his actions,” he does think some of the more extreme reactions to his firing have been ridiculous. He says he knows band members Steven Drozd, Michael Ivins, and Derek Brown “as well as it’s possible to know a person,” and that they’re “three of the kindest, most upstanding (and outstanding) people you could ever hope to meet.” Noticeably absent from that statement, of course, is Wayne Coyne.