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US Tour Preview: Coldplay 'At Top Of Its Game'


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British rockers Coldplay emerged from this month's Q Awards with statues for best album and best act in the world today. On the eve of a major U.S. tour, the recognition makes them look like a band at the absolute pinnacle of success, reports canada.com.


That may be true, but you won't find frontman Chris Martin patting himself on the back. In a phone interview, the mild-mannered 31-year-old was modest about the band's achievements, generally chalking them up to the superior talent of people like Brian Eno, who produced Coldplay's chart-topping fourth album, Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends, and Jay-Z, who remixed the latest single.


"There's a lot of great musicians around and we don't necessarily always feel that we're as good as them so we work with people we know are super-talented in hopes that some of it will rub off," Martin said, after joking that they should have won the Q award for best bribe.


This streak of insecurity led them to Eno, the former Roxy Music synth man who went on to become a masterful producer (and mentor to Canada's Daniel Lanois). The members of Coldplay wanted to challenge themselves by working with a legend, and Eno's list of credits is dominated by some of their favourite U2 albums.


The Coldplay-Eno collaboration was fruitful, yielding so much material that some songs were put aside in order to finish Viva La Vida in time for last June's release. Now five of those back burner tracks have been rounded up and will be included on an EP, titled Prospekt's March, to come out in November.


"Our sessions with Brian Eno over the last year or so, we really did a lot of different things," Martin says, "and I think some of the more extreme things, just took us a little while to finish basically."


He was quick to dispel the notion that the leftover songs weren't good enough for the original record. "No, I would say they're actually better but I might get in trouble for saying that," he said with a laugh.


In Martin's eyes, Eno brings "confidence and colour" to the band, two things they were lacking. "It's like working with a genius nymphomaniac," says the singer. "He's very excited about life and all that it brings, and music and everything. He's a ball of energy."


Even more colour, of the rhythmic variety, comes from Jay-Z, who lays a sturdy hip-hop beat and hard-hitting rap in the new remake of Lost, one of Martin's most plaintive ballads. They may seem to be an unlikely couple, but the scrawny, pale singer and burly hip-hop visionary have worked together before and Martin calls it a privilege and a spectacle to watch the magic unfold, "especially with someone like Jay who does something completely different than what we do. His talent level is pretty extraordinary and when you get to be in the room and watch it, it's a special feeling."


While success in the studio does not always translate to success on stage, Coldplay appears to be on a roll in terms of delivering a top-notch concert experience, according to both newspaper reviewers and bloggers.


"Recently we've got a lot better live," says Martin, attributing the improvement to better songwriting. "As cliched as it sounds, you can just filter out the bad songs from your set and keep putting in the good new ones. So now our concert is all songs that our audience likes. It's a big singalong at the moment."


It's the best feeling in the world, he says, to see the crowds and hear their voices. "It's an unbeatable feeling. It's like when your wife or girlfriend or partner has a baby, it's on that level of euphoria. It's big."


Martin, of course, is no stranger to the parental buzz. He and his wife, actor Gwyneth Paltrow, have two children, a four-year-old girl, Apple, and a two-year-old boy, Moses.


The American leg of Coldplay's world tour actually starts in Canada before lumbering on down the Eastern seaboard and through the Western states. The band is also booked to appear on Saturday Night Live on Oct. 25, and have been nominated for four American Music Awards, to be handed out in L.A. on Nov. 23.


Why begin in Ottawa? The members of Coldplay have always had a soft spot for Canadian fans, who were among the first to embrace the band back in the Yellow days. Says Martin: "Canadian audiences are pretty unbeatable so it's good to start in a place that's friendly."


Source: http://www.canada.com

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