Here you go : please remember my English is not perfect !
Is Coldplay coming to an end ?
Releasing the last of five albums, the English quartet is finally coming to the end of their deal with Parlophone/EMI. Now, what’s next for the band ? Did Chris Martin and his friends ever imagined their tremendous success that led to beautiful album Parachutes
That was in 2000 and Coldplay never managed to compose such beautiful melodies or to create so many hits (“Yellow”, “Trouble”, “Shiver”, “Don’t Panic”) since then. In 2002, A Rush of Blood to the Head
confirmed the band’s reputation in the world. But apart from “Speed of Sound”, nothing really happened on 8 million-selling copies X&Y
. In 2008, Viva la Vida
, produced by Brian Eno himself, surprised Coldplay’s audience with its [word is cut I can’t read it sorry]
rock and its excessive ambitions; yet, they sold millions of copies of the record. Afterwards, there’s nothing but silence for 3 years, apart from a mediocre Christmas song. So this fifth album is much awaited for - by the skeptics who will definitely decide that Coldplay “was better before” as well as huge fans who have waited far too long to be disappointed. Yet, how can you not be disappointed by Mylo Xyloto
whose only exiting element is its title ? The record is [I don’t understand what he means]
but none of the songs are as powerful as “Yellow”, “In my place” or “Violet Hill”… But the duet with Rihanna and the guitar riffs à la U2 should work well and should please… That’s what charismactic singer Chris Martin and guitarist Jonny Buckland seem to think anyway…
Let’s start with the album title, “Mylo Xyloto”. What does it mean exactly ?
CM : “It means anything you want. I know it seems a bit stupid but it just means this album. It’s a bit like Coca-Cola, Google, YouTube or one of these things which didn’t mean anything before they were invented. Something that was totally invented, this is what it means.”
Even if it can be quite hard to pronounce for some persons ?
JB : “Yes, once they’ll know how to pronounce it, it will be a lot better !” (laughs)
CM : “Maybe calling it “Mylo Xyloto” was a mistake… But now, it’s done !” (laughs)
In Latin, mylo means something that isn’t ambiguous. And xyloto is a kind of insects, the syrphes. If we put the two words together, it doesn’t mean anything, but it represents something dark…
CM : “It’s true. But we didn’t pay attention to the Latin definition. We just liked this title because it sounded good, that’s all. It’s like our band name, “Coldplay”. No one knows what it means.
What’s the funniest interpretion of the album title you heard ?
CM : “Yours !”
JB : “Insects that aren’t ambiguous… Yes, it must be this one.”
How much is this a concept album ?
CM : “I’d say it’s 73%. This record is pretty narrative. If you want to see a story in the album, you can find one. It represents a kind of parallel universe where inhabitants feel the same things we do. The idea of calling the record “Mylo Xyloto” just came because we wanted to do something new, without any visible influence ; that’s what we try to do with our music. So it’s a concept album in its structure, because it’s something new for us ; but the feelings are human.”
Does it really talk about a love story in a hostile environment ?
CM : “Yes, it’s very much like that”.
And about CCTV (?) and religious fundamentalism ?
CM : “Absolutely. How do you know that ?”
That’s just my interpretation.
CM : “Well, you’re right. I think it’s not really far from what people are really experiencing on our planet : trying to find love in a very scary world”.
There’s a rumor saying you also got inspired from the famous resistance group “the White Rose” and by The Wire.
JB : “I think if you’re watching The Wire there’s no way you can’t get inspired from it. It’s one of the best tv series in the world…”
CM : “It just helps us to be creative. We also got inspiration from so many places… Concerning “the White Rose” movement, I think there are persons who follow others who are just fighting for something. It’s an example to follow…
What about the novel “The Road” by Cornac McCarthy ?
CM : “Yes, there’s a song called “Mijor Minus” based on this book. About the fact that you try to escape by the road… (laughs)”.
Speaking of “Major Minus”, it’s a song that reminds me of the mean one in the James Bond movies…
CM : “It’s exactly like that ! It’s like you’re in my head, man !”
We had a similar conversation last time for X&Y, this record touched me, really.
CM : “Oh, thank you.”
But we shouldn’t talk about your last album…
CM : “Yes, we’d feel uncomfortable”.
Yet, I would have loved to talk with you about your look à la Adam & The Ant
CM : “Yes, but this is finished !”
JB : “Adam Ant took them back since then ! (laughs)”
And now you’re imitating the Clash ? You looked like Joe Strummer in the trailer for your last album.
CM : “Oh, it’s nice to hear this ! It’s not cool for him, but it’s for me !”
You never met him ?
CM : “Unfortunately not, but there’s a stele in his honor in Glastonbury, so I was able to pay my respects”.
You are evolving in a NYC graffiti ambiance, like The Clash who were kind of urban warriors.
CM : “It’s true”.
Are you aiming for a new direction visually ?
JB : “… I don’t really know.”
Well you should because you did this record !
JB : “Honestly, I didn’t think we were that much like the Clash, even if we really admire them”.
CM : “When we had just formed the band, we used to live in their manager old flat. We received letters from Clash fans everyday. Everyday ! It’s not a joke. We used to stack these letters down the stairs thinking : “God, people love the Clash !” (laughs)”.
JB : “They had split long before !”
[I can’t read this part because there are too many words cut] […]
CM : “We think too much”.
JB : “We go to concerts but we end up wondering if we like the lights. (laughs) We don’t really appreciate this kind of things as much as we used to actually. So we have to step back, listen again to these old discs we love but also those which just came out.
CM : “It’s important to always stay a fan of something. It’s new and exciting.”
Do you have “music days” scheduled ? Like days when you just listen to music ?
CM : “You know what ? When we worked with Brian Eno, some days, we would just listen to records or play other band’s music. Anyway, every morning, while I’m exercising, I listen to a different record. You too, Jonny ?
JB : “Same here.”
CM : “So we really listen to lots of different stuff”.
What are you listening to at the moment ?
CM : “This morning, it was The Smiths, yesterday, Tinie Tempah. Two days ago, I think it was PJ Harvey.”
On this record, there are very noisy moments, some more acoustic, others electric… And the entire record doesn’t go in one predefined genre.
CM : “We took all the time we needed, it was very freeing… It’s already our fifth album so we really wanted to do something different. And we work with amazing people like Brian Eno and Markus Dravs who really help us to do what we want to. I think we found our sound. I couldn’t really describe it, it’s just music of our time. It’s possible to like lots of different kinds of music. I think our albums are becoming more interesting.
What’s Brian Eno role in your band ?
JB : “He’s a kind of sensei (a master, in Japonese) for us. A kind of teacher. Like M. Miyagi in Karate Kid, who teaches the kid how to fight. In the end, the kid succeeds. It’s pretty much what Brian does for us. He shows us how to do it, then disappears (laughs).
CM : “Yes, he’s a kind of magician.”
This time, did he say “more guitar” ?
JB : “He said : “More guitars, more everything”.”
CM : “Except for me. He said : “less Chris, more everything else”. It was exactly like that”.
Why ? Jonny, was it about confidence and responsibility, being more present on this record ?
JB : “Heu… I don’t really know what to say…”
CM : “I’m going to answer for him. It’s important for people to understand why we think you’re so awesome, Jonny. This time finally arrived. That’s really what I think, it’s not just for the interview, it’s for us. I think it’s really cool that Jonny is more important on this record.
JB : “Thank you”.
Jonny, you have your moment à la The Edge on “Major Minus”, don’t you ?
JB : “oh my God, yes !”
Did you want to play like U2 on this record ?
JB : “Not really. We have a lot of other influences, even if we love U2. It’s a fantastic group.”
CM : “Are you talking about their good career choices ?”
JB : “I think they really are the best on this point”.
CM : “We can’t compare to them. It’s like The Clash. All these bands had their own thing. We are also trying to get “our own thing”. Unfortunately, when you’re a band in 2011, people will always compare you to someone else. It’s really a challenge to stand out. You know, we love these bands, it’s true, but it doesn’t mean we want to be like them.
By the way, why did you write a song about “Charlie Brown” ?
CM : “I simply like the title and the character. He never seemed to feel good but there was always this sort of spark behind his sadness. People really liked him, you see what I mean ?”
Can you explain what is your next single “Paradise” about ? And its childish chorus “Para-para-paradise” ?
JB : “It’s the story of a girl who tries to escape from her everyday life.”
CM : “This record has two sides : one is a girl, the other a boy. “Paradise” is one song for the girls. It’s about people who think life is difficult and try to escape in their heads. We all do that : you lie down and think of a beach… It’s just about this. No matter what happens in your life, you can go anywhere you want in your head. It’s important to mention it.
You said somewhere : “I don’t think you should stay in a band after 33.” Is it still true ?
JB : “No ! I’m almost 34 ! Same for you, Chris ?”
CM : “34, indeed. I don’t think you should stop the band. I don’t know what I meant at the moment… I hope I didn’t really said that, actually. I’m sorry (laughs). I say a lot of stupid things.
Nowadays, Justin Timberlake is concentrated on his actor career, does this benefit to Coldplay ?
CM : “Wow ! That’s the best question I was ever asked ! I’ll say our income must have increased of 1 or 2%.”
JB : “I’d say 2,5% !”
CM : “He took all my roles, that’s what is revolting ! Seriously, I think Justin Timberlake is essential to pop music. Pop music needs him. I hope he’ll do another record soon.”
You are close friends of Simon Pegg. Why didn’t act in one of his other movies after Shaun of the Dead ?
CM : “He never asked again. While Justin Timberlake’s career took off, ours was stoping, after one scene in one movie !”
You’re releasing your fifth album and you sold 50 millions copies worldwide. Is this the last record with EMI ?
JB : “No ! (laughs)”
CM : “No. Our deal should stop long after our death ! We signed for a very, very long time. I think we’ll retire before the end of our deal. But it’s okay, we like it this way.
Where do you keep all your awards and gold records ? Is there a museum somewhere, or do your parents keep them ?
CM : “Good question.”
JB : “My parents have a garage full of discs !”
CM : “They don’t sell them, do they ? (laughs)”
JB : “They do ! It’s a traffic !”
CM : “Your father signs them and writes Bon Jovi on them. He pretends those are real Bon Jovi discs. He makes benefits with them.”
JB : “Yep, he does make great benefits.”
CM : “The criminal !”
Finally, everybody is talking about the 20 years anniversary of Nevermind… What do you feel when you listen to the record nowadays ?
CM : “ It’s certainly the best record I’ve heard. It’s so good it’s scary.”
JB : “I remember when it was out. It took time for me to understand : I was only 12 and I had never listened to anything similar before. No one had heard something like this before. Every song is awesome, it’s a fantastic album.”
CM : “I think that if this record is perfect, it’s because anyone who can play a bit of guitar can play all the songs. Yet no one can write them. Mozart is incredible, Radiohead is incredible, but you have to be a very talented musician to play their music. It’s not the case with Nevermind, which is easy to play, yet impossible to compose ! It’s a kind of crazy puzzle !"