Man ray kind o f sky Posted June 9, 2005 Share Posted June 9, 2005 why is it that a lot of coldplay fans love radiohead and never say anything bad about them...but a lot of radiohead fans (and readiohead themselves!) arn't the biggest fans of coldplay? I've heard it's because the radiohead crowd believes coldplay is just a "wannabe". I don't believe that for a second. But I still like radiohead. I just wish they would all stop being such asses about coldplay. Now this is a myth. Taste is taste. Thom has not really been into guitar rock much, except his own band, since the Pixies broke up. Phil even likes Athlete, so I'm sure he's at least a Parachutes fan, and Ed loves U2 and anthemic rock n roll. I would not be surprised if that half of the band appreciates Coldplay's first two albums, maybe even this one. Musical taste aside, reporters try to provoke people in interviews. They try to get Chris to say he hates Thom, and they try to get Thom to say he hates Chris. They want a Gallagher style feud, but it's not gonna happen. Still, we all know Thom Yorke is a bit unpredictable in interviews sometimes. (Fans of Chris Martin's mood swings don't have a leg to stand on in criticizing Thom for mental health, though, so please don't). What he said, in response to a leading question, was about like this: "You become lifestyle music whether you want to or not. Coldplay is an example right now." Is he criticizing Coldplay? No, he's not passing any sort of judgment on their songs, he's just saying it's sad the way the marketing campaign has grown so big the intentions of the music itself are obscured. The only time when Thom specifically had a go at another band for sounding so much like him it made him sick, was a few years ago. And it wasn't Coldplay, it was Muse. Who don't sound like Radiohead now, but around Showbiz, Matt Bellamy was basically Thom crossed with Jeff Buckley. One reason he made his voice sound strange on Kid A was he was sick of turning on the radio and hearing his disembodied self singing about things he didn't care about. He was once depressed by "fridge buzz" radio, but imagine feeling like he'd become a part of it, just due to other bands' music. But Coldplay hadn't even released their first single until Kid A was done. Most likely it was Travis' popularity that inspired the voice change. And while I doubt he's a fan of Travis' music, he can't hate them personally too much, or he wouldn't work with the same producer. Thom just could not sing like that, write that kind of song anymore, because his territory had been pulled out from under him and appropriated by other people. But not Coldplay. Coldplay was a new band, so the territory was new for them, and as I said, they came around too late to have any impact on Radiohead's evolution. I don't know what Chris is really about yet. But let's look at Bono. Bono would not be phased by the idea that his work has become "lifestyle music," he would love it. Bono has a completely opposite philosophy from Thom. I think both of their views (if not recent actual music by U2, or Radiohead for that matter) have lots of integrity. Bono wants U2 to be primarily a communal experience, inclusive of everyone. How good an album is is determined by how popular it is, but not popular in a monetary sense, something purer. Bono is serious, he doesn't write albums JUST to pander (even if they now sound like it), but he's a populist at heart. It's not that Thom intentionally excludes people, but Thom is an outsider, anyone can see that. He looks at the things the media doesn't tell you, that don't get on TV, and he makes them personal. He writes music outsiders appreciate. If U2 does this at times, or has in the past, they've made it easy for everyone-- Art Rock for Dummies. When Radiohead writes complex songs, they aren't that hard because the band still has plenty of melodic sense, but you have to puzzle them out for yourself. Radiohead's music is a much more personal thing for them than U2's is-- U2 has given up ownership of their music to the world, because for them it's only as good as the number of people who GET it. Thom and Radiohead do not hate popularity. They've said how much they love "Hey Ya," the Beatles, tons of popular stuff! In fact, with the exception of the Cure and Echo & the Bunnymen, they've namedropped every older artist Coldplay has namedropped. And they aren't like Nirvana. They don't feel guilty about being successful, at least not anymore. But the difference is, Radiohead do not particularly enjoy being successful either, because to them success is in the music itself, not the number of people who appreciate it. They want it out there, they want people getting it, but they NEVER compromise what they want it to sound like in order to have more people hear it. What they want it to sound like isn't always necessarily good, either, but it always ends up sounding how they wanted it, if they release it. They would never have released an album like Pop which they didn't feel was done. They would have taken the million dollar tour losses instead, or gone into bankruptcy. Bono described songs as "parents," who tell you what to do. Once the song is there, you have to find a way to present it to get it to the most number of people. And sadly in recent years, if that means gutting the lyrics or pointlessly overproducing it, or appearing in an iPod ad or at the Super Bowl, fine. Thom has described his songs as children-- to be protected and allowed to grow up and finally put into the schools/albums where they really fit. That's why there are so many brilliant Radiohead songs that have been recorded in many failed attempts, but never released, because they didn't get things just right. I'm not sure what kind of band Coldplay is in terms of backing philosophy, more the U2 or more the Radiohead. To be honest, I'm getting very bad vibes from Chris right now. He used to be the most humble man in rock, awkward like Thom, yet no hard edge (okay, defect of the music, definite plus for personality), but I really think fame has changed him. He's still completely insecure, but he has a harder shell, and he's intentionally making a play for power. Maybe it's because the indie rockers he always wanted to be like have not taken him into their ranks, and the pop people have. When people like you, you become influenced by them, and you naturally want to please them. X&Y is not such a contrived thing. A band's own tastes can change as they try more smoothed over commercial styles. But if/when this was what Bono was doing in the '80s, he was able to make it seem so much deeper than that. When I see the "Speed of Sound" video, it simply looks like a true "television commercial." Bono hawks iPods on TV now, but on their third album's first video, which musically was not that far from "Speed of Sound," he was out there in the snow, singing about WAR. Bono is right: U2 has WEIGHT, and so whatever their flaws, its understandable they are a candidate for the biggest band in the world. Radiohead has WEIGHT, and they get a special award for being humble enough never to throw it around at everyone (the critics do that, not them). Coldplay has been a very pretty, a very moving band at times. Their first two albums are amazingly great for a new band, if not quite earth shatteringly creative yet accessible like The Bends. But Coldplay for all its heavy production doesn't have the kind of weight either U2 or Radiohead has, certainly not on X&Y. How can they aspire to be the biggest band in the world in any meaningful sense, without being a band that's ABOUT anything? How can they hope their music, with those lyrics, could possibly define the lives of everyone on the globe the way U2's best songs do, or define the state of the world for their fans the way Radiohead's songs do? It sounds like when they say they want to compete with U2, all they mean is they want to sell more albums than U2. There's absolutely no honor in that alone. So Thom Yorke has not said anything bad about Coldplay, besides stating the obvious (they became successful despite themselves), and he probably never will, because he's not the type to slag anyone off or put himself into the tabloids. He has a family and kids just like Chris, and that's what matters to him now, aside from music. But maybe one of these days when Coldplay's popularity is not so "despite themselves" anymore, he will say something nasty, and maybe they will deserve it. 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