Micah Nelson and Sean Ono Lennon speak the same language: psychedelic, experimental, exploratory, and just a little unhinged. Lennon asserts that they’re the “weirdo kids of the family”; Nelson quips, “the neon sheep.” And there, on some distant plane of existence, the two came together to create Nelson’s latest track with his band Particle Kid: “Velocirapture (The Serpent Flew).”
Nelson wrote the trippy track after eating a chocolate edible made by his mother, Annie D’Angelo. “Sometimes if I eat too much of that, I’d be like, I’m dying, but like the right dose and I get into this state of mind where creativity flows and song ideas just kind of effortlessly appear,” he tells Rolling Stone. “I was laying in bed, trying to sleep, and it was like three in the morning. And, and suddenly I just heard the beginning of the song.”
The track is about a lonely velociraptor, an outcast going through extinction. “I couldn’t think of any songs about dinosaurs, let alone their personal existential narratives,” Nelson says. He punted the song to Lennon, who used his late father, John’s, amps and a Mellotron to up the woozy factor.
“I was just imagining the raptor flying,” Lennon says. Nelson adds: “That was his spirit leaving his body, consciousness zooming through the 2001 Space Odyssey tunnel.”
Nelson and Lennon met a few years back while the latter was on tour with his project with Les Claypool, the Claypool Lennon Delirium. They again crossed paths when Nelson, along with his father Willie and brother Lukas, covered “Watching the Wheels” to celebrate John Lennon’s birthday. The two vibrate along that same wavelength: the sons of legends, the brothers of more traditionally melodic musicians.
“I think Micah and I both kind of like a kind of an instinct toward being a little more, I don’t know, off the beaten path, you know, alternative or whatever,” Lennon says. “I was raised around a lot of people making music professionally, as well. I always admired my brother [Julian] for doing that mainstream thing, but also sort of found my own way and being more alternative. I think Micah and I have a similar sort of a personality in that way.”
Nelson is currently on tour with Particle Kid and the Flaming Lips.
Particle Kid, Flaming Lips Tour Dates
From Rolling Stone US