Along with Mark Coyne and Wayne Coyne, he formed The Flaming Lips in 1983 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. According to frontman Coyne, Ivins was found as the bassist for the band because of his punk-rock look, and not because of his musical ability.In fact, Ivins initially couldn’t play bass, but he learned how and has been the bassist for the band ever since. Ivins developed an interest in the recording process and has helped engineer the Flaming Lips’ studio recordings since 1994.
Ivins often wears a full-body skeleton suit commonly recognized as a Halloween costume in tribute to John Entwistle (he wore this costume when The Flaming Lips performed at the 2008 VH1 Rock Honors, which paid tribute to The Who). In recent years, he is more commonly seen wearing СССР T-shirts.