Hello everyone, we "coldplaycorner.com" took a little interview with Paris a few months ago ... He talks about his work with the band and their meeting, it's really interesting interview.
You can read the interview in English on our site
Paris, the painter who has worked with Coldplay, co-designer of album covers "Mylo Xyloto" and its singles, reveal to us a little more about his work with the band.
- Hello Paris, I hope you are fine and thank you for accepting to do this interview with us.
- To begin with, tell us more about you, about the artist you are. How do you work? Where do you find your inspiration?
I've been an artist for 25years, my work has always revolved around the streets.
These days what inspires me are the markings of people & time on a city.
If I lived in the countryside maybe I'd paint landscapes like David Hockney, but I don't , I live in the inner city so I seek to find the beauty in the world around me here. Like the paintings in the Chauvet Cave, the marks I make on wall's and the canvass I paint are a document for a future world, like hieroglyphics.
- Let's talk a bit about the band now. How long did you know Coldplay before working with them? Who did contact you first and when did it happen?
My friend Misty Buckley had worked for the band previously, and I often work for Misty at Glastonbury festival, decorating the Park stage for her & backstage at the Pyramid stage. It was Misty who introduced me to the band, we all took part in a big "Graffiti how-to session"
- How was your first meeting with them?
It was great, when the band walked in a terrific energy filled the room, time just flew by!.
- Concerning your contribution in the creative process of the artwork for Mylo Xyloto. When did you start working on it? Did the band have a specific ideas of what they wanted or Did they expose their vision and you tested differend things?
Phil contacted me in late April 2011, and asked if I'd like to be involved, of course I was delighted!.
Tappin Gofton had been developing ideas for some time, building on visual themes that the band where into.
Within a week a full scale version of the wall had been built at a rehearsal room in London.
Before the band rehearsed we would all get together and throw paint at the wall, create designs, doodle... it was great fun.
For the rest of the day I was left to work on what we had created, bring it together and add my own style to it.
- Making grafities might not be as easy at it looks, do you need to have a prior idea of the final result (in mind) when you start? what have been the steps needed for the creation of the graffitis, for MX ? (from the original idea to the final result...)
The art on the wall had to look like it had grown over decades, it had to have many many layers , different styles / techniques.
The band also had their own concepts / codes / symbols... Theres a very futuristic / cosmic feel to the art, which is something that developed with the use of fluorescent (glow in the dark) paint.
- The cover of an album is very important. It has to be as beautiful, intriguing or attractive as possible. How did you take part to its creation?
There's a flower right in the centre of the cover, it looks like a galaxy unfolding. This is a style I've been developing for years, but it was the band who wanted an image of a Rose bursting through the wall ( its a song lyric too)...I helped sculpt the finished work , but the band had a very clear idea of what they wanted. It was a very exciting creative process.
- Tell us more about the "Mylo Xyloto Wall" as the Coldplay fans call it. How did you work on it? How long did it take? and was it determined, at the very beginning, that the covers of the album and singles would be some parts of this famous "MX Wall"?
Tappin Gofton were very keen to document every step of the wall's development. So Kate Peters (photographer) was brought in to document it.
Theres some very beautiful phases of transformation that occur whilst a wall is being painted that can be lost in the finished works. Like flowers / vines growing up a wall, a tangle of blossoms growing & bursting.
- Was the great secret contained in this wall planned or accidental? We know that the band likes to play and leave clues...
I think there were far more secret messages painted on the wall than I was aware of..., it was good fun leaving puzzles for people to work out & decipher...
- Video clip shootings like "ETIAW" or "Charlie Brown", with the painting, graffitis or even stage sets like the Madrid's Unstaged must have been big work sites, did you get some help? And about the band's instruments, How was in charge of the colours and the customise? Is it you helped by a team (like the famous "Miss Milk" that we've seen colouring Will's drum at Glastonbury) or did the guys customise their own instruments and you put the finishing touch?
The band have very clear ideas about what look/style they want,always to compliment their music.
I interpret their ideas however I feel like it...Sometimes they give me instruments that they've started to paint on, other times they are brand new and I make them look old & graffitied.
When really big jobs come along then I have to find extra help, and quick!.
Me and Milk have painted together for 6-7 years, our styles work really well for the band.
Other artists I work with are Gasius, Mudwig & Ekoe.
Its actually very very difficult painting an instruments to look like someones been writing on it for years.
- Are you traveling a lot with the band, to prepare the stage, or it's exceptional like for Glastonbury or the Madrid Unstaged?
Weve been so lucky, most of our travelling was during the promotion of the Album, we got to paint in New York twice, the first time for the Today show at the Rockefeller plaza, the second time was actually on the set of Saturday Night Live (which used to have graffiti on it in the 70's).
I've also painted for the band in Paris when the O2 advert was being filmed... (no piano's where hurt in the filming of this advert!).
I love to travel & paint.
- A few months ago, the Italian Magazine "Republica" published an interview of the band with pictures of their studio "The Beehive" with graffitis on the walls. Are you the one who painted those graffitis? Or was it the guys and their relatives?
Yeah I've seen that article, the graffiti featured is by all of us, its a very special place to work and I'm honoured that my work hangs on the walls there.
- We know that Chris is very demanding about the work on the album and everything around, as well as Matt Whitecross who is a man who knows what he wants and who looks for perfection. Do you see that like a sort of challange which pushes you to go further?
Good direction is key on a project like this, its also refreshing when you're given free reign to interpret things in your own way. This is how artists need to work, to be trusted to get the job done , and this is the creative freedom I get from working with Chris & the band, Matt.W, Misty and everyone else I've met along the way, ...true professionals, and it encourages great creativity on my behalf.
- Now, can you tell us about the contribution of "Tappin Gofton” (who collaborates with the band for a couple of years now)? Did you know him before and has collaborating with him influenced you in an artistic level?
I've always enjoyed Tappin Gofton's design work, especially the older Coldplay covers.
- You said that you are closely working with the Art Director "Misty Buckley," who, we know, has already worked with Coldplay for "Christmas Lights", the "2011 Festivals Tour" and for the last "Brit Awards". What was her role in what you have created for the band?
Like I said earlier, Misty got me the job!, she's a very cool designer to work for , her vision of what she wants is very clear and the way she will describe it to me is always spot-on.
When we collaborate its so much fun, just throwing paint around, mark making, mixing all layers and textures and surfaces.
Her visions for the big arena stages are incredible, I love interacting in this process.
- For you, what is the most beautiful song on "Mylo Xyloto", last coldplay's album?
Princess of China, and Paradise, I always get a rush when I hear them on the radio.
- Have you already known our website ColdplayCorner.com before? What do you think? A few words for the team and the members?
I love your website!, its very professional, it looks great, and I'm very honoured to be appearing here! thank you.
- It's a classic in our interviews, a few words in french for all the members of Coldplay's french speaking community?
"L'art lave notre ame de la poussiere du quotidien.....", visiting Paris ( the city) in my youth changed my life...the wonderful style & effortless grace of the French speaking corners of this world fill me with inspiration ...thankyou X
- To finish with, thank you very much Paris, I am really glad that you took the time to answer to my questions. From all our interviews, you are the person whoes work and contribution in Coldplay's world was the most intriguing. It's been a pleasure to do this interview with you. Thank you again.
You are welcome, Thank you.