The eyes of the world are watching. The airwaves are waiting. It’s been three years since the four mild-mannered stadium lords last came out survey their lot.
But as the glorious summer dawns on 2008, their vast empire has begun to excitedly scurry in preparation of their emergence since the first assertive noises emanated from their self-enforced creative exile.
Finally stepping up once more to their rightful place at the top of rock’s round table, the monarchs of music are ready to reign –with a totally revised regime. All hail the new sound. All hail Coldplay.
it’s done, so you’ve just gotta let it go and wait until it comes out in the shops
Into the fray steps Clash, accosting half of Coldplay in an effort to expose the real story behind the creation of their career-defining milestone.
First up, Scottish-born bassist Guy Berryman…
How does it feel to be on the brink of the release of an album that literally the whole world is waiting for?
Well it’s a sort of mixed feeling really. It’s obviously very exciting but it’s obviously very terrifying at the same time. We’re just sitting still at the moment, waiting. We put a lot of work into this record and we just hope it’s gonna be received in the way that we want it to be really. It’s just a very strange emotional time really because we’ve finished the record, it’s been mixed and it’s been mastered, and at this very moment in time it’s being manufactured somewhere, so you can’t fuck with it anymore; it’s done, so you’ve just gotta let it go and wait until it comes out in the shops.
Next up, the gracious frontman and incessant activist, Chris Martin. Usually the paradigm of self-assurance, on the day Clash catches up with Chris, he is atypically dejected and in the need of some gentle encouragement…
Does huge success limit your experimentation on every new album, or does it bolster your confidence?
We’ll see. The thing about big success is that there is a big portion of people who don’t want you to change and an even bigger portion of people who do want you to change. I think on the last record we felt pressure not to change, so we didn’t change that much, but then when we finished that, we sort of felt we were really hungry to try new things. And so we got our own place called The Bakery [their studio in North London] and we went in there with Brian [Eno] and with [co-producer] Markus [Dravs] and just felt very liberated. We definitely didn’t use the same old tricks, so that by its very nature is a bit risky, I think.
How did that liberty infuse your music?
Just by you come in in the morning and then you don’t feel trapped by anything, you know? So if you wanna spend three hours on pan-pipes you can do it, and then at the end of it you can say, ‘let’s keep that’ or ‘let’s not keep that’. But we don’t come in every morning anymore and say, ‘Okay, what’s today’s piano ballad?’ You know what I mean?
You may not be playing any festivals this year, but are you hoping to get down to any yourself?
Really the only one that I’m gutted to miss is watching Jay Z at Glastonbury. But we’re in America then so we just can’t go to it, which is annoying.
What do you make of those arguments about Jay Z headlining Glasto? He’s a friend of yours, isn’t he?
I love Noel to bits but that was a stupid thing to say
You mean am I biased?
I’m very biased. But I’m also aware that he is possibly the most talented man on the planet, so I’m not that worried about being biased. I think it’s one of the best ideas ever.
So you don’t agree with Noel Gallagher’s comments about Glasto being for guitars only?
No, I don’t. (Laughs) I love Noel to bits but that was a stupid thing to say.
Where can Coldplay go and what can Coldplay do that you’ve not been and done before?
Where can we go? We can try and get better.
On record or on stage?
On record and on stage. Ultimately we try to provide a service, you know? And for all the wanting to be cool and everything, really what we wanna do is make someone who buys our record or comes to our concert have a nice hour and feel something. That’s one of the reasons I like the changes that are happening in the industry – everything is a bit more direct. If I had my way I would just hope that someone on their way back from school listens to some songs and the journey from school is a bit less boring. So where can we go from here? We can just try and make bus journeys really exciting.
The full version of this interview can be found in Issue 28 of Clash Magazine onsale now.