Anyone familiar with the social media accounts of The Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne will know that the musician isn’t shy when it comes to sharing some cheeky NSFW imagery.

So it wasn’t such a surprise to some when Coyne was booted from Instagram last week after posting one too many racy images that breached the company’s conditions against “sexually suggestive” material.

The deletion of Coyne’s popular social media account mean the loss of nearly two years and 12,000 images worth of Flaming Lips archival material, causing a groundswell of support from fans protesting the removal, including an online petition pushed by Coyne’s musical mate and collaborator Moby, saying “there’s no place for censorship in a free society.”

But speaking out about being kicked off Instagram, Coyne admits that he “didn’t care that much.”

Ahead of The Flaming Lips co-headline show with Tame Impala (their recording buddies) in New York this week, Coyne tells NME that he half-expected that his account would be erased after posting too many explicit images.

“I know that they would take things down if you posted too much naked things… I know that Instagram’s like that, but sometimes I would forget, because I’m taking pictures of paintings and cartoons and stuff,” says the chief ‘Lip.

He explains that the posts that eventually led to him being removed from Instagram were of pictures taken from his Womb Gallery in Oklahoma City last month, with Flaming Lips fan site The Future Heart figuring out some of the exact tweets (with the now defunct account) that likely ruffled the feathers of the social media company a little too hard, including some naked images of a woman that were confused for a real person.

“We had an opening at our gallery and I was doing a lot of pictures of stuff at the gallery and there was a statue we have and she’s naked, but if I take a picture, you can’t tell if she’s a statue – and I forget that,” explains Coyne.

The pictures that got him shut down included images of the ‘Womb Room’ bar area, whose centrepiece includes a juice dispenser, “kind of modeled after the milk bar machine’s in Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange,” as Wayne explains in a video tour of the art space.

“It’s funny when you’re there, but I can see when I posted it it just looked sort of disturbing and pornographic,” Coyne told MTV News recently.

“I do regret that I was a little too free with my Instagram, because I see now that I had so many cool things on there that people could see what we were doing and see what we’re about — cool things that I think people would really like… I totally understand that Instagram has their rules and they don’t want everything to be just a wide-open thing,” he says.

“I knew that they take stuff down, but I think they have a policy of like ‘if you get three in one day, man, you’re out’. And I woke up Sunday, and everyone was like ‘dude, what happened!?’,” he tells NME. Instead of kicking up a fuss, the psych-rock frontman simply started a new Instagram account.

“Everybody else wanted me to protest. And I should’ve, [but] I don’t care that much,” says Coyne, who picked up exactly where he left off: with more behind-the-scenes images from the Womb Gallery (would you expect anything less from the leader of a band who regularly appear on stage by ‘birthing’ themselves through a giant vagina?)

Instragram have yet to offer an official statement on the incident, despite pressure from The Flaming Lips fans, but a representative tells MTV News: “Instagram has a clear set of community guidelines which make it clear what is and isn’t allowed. This includes photos or videos of actual nude people. We encourage people who come across content that makes them uncomfortable to report it to us using the built-in reporting tools next to every photo or video on Instagram.”

Meaning Coyne could have potentially been dobbed in by one too many offended conservatives. But in light of the incident Coyne says that it just reflects a different set of values. “I think we all would agree that in lieu of what is considered real, horrible problems in the world, just showing pictures of people without any clothes on seems pretty silly. What’s the big deal here? But that’s the world I live in and a lot of people don’t live in that world. It’s a much more conservative world.”

In related news, The Flaming Lips have recorded covers of Tame Impala, and vice versa, for an exclusive vinyl release, one of a slew of collaborative releases the band have up their sleeve in the coming months.

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