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ColdplayCorner.com Interview with Nikki Rosetti (Safety ep & Blue room ep Producer)


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1) Hello Nikki, and happy New Year. Thanks for giving us this interview, it's a honor for us to interview someone who took a huge part in Coldplay's debut.


Thank you and a happy new year to you too.



2) Could you introduce yourself so the fans can really know who you are?


Ok, well I'm a musician, producer and artist, although pretty much retired from the full time music scene now. Until a few years ago I ran Sync City Studio in London along with my partner Ron Niblett. You can follow what I'm up to now at www.nikkirosetti.co.uk



3) First, when and how have you discovered Coldplay?


Coldplay were recommended to us as most of our clients were. It was all word of mouth and the studio had a good reputation for producing consistently good quality work.



4) When have you started to think "Coldplay's a group I should work with"?


When the band first came in I was a little intrigued by the sound of the band but it was only when the Chris added the vocal that the sound became the complete and unique thing that it was. Then my interest was sparked.



5) How happened your first meeting with them?


Our first meeting was really just the formalities of arranging recording times and discussing the session in broad terms. It wasn't until the recording got underway that I really heard what the band was all about.



6) What were your first impressions about them?


I think they were unusual in that they had already evolved the structure that worked so well with the early songs, Jons guitar sound was developed, as was Chris's vocal and lyric style. I supposed they were more fully formed than many bands and had a clear idea of the sound and feel that they wanted to achieve. also they understood music and the structure of songs, they were very musically mature.



7) How was the atmosphere in the studio? Was it hard to record? Was the studio ready in matter of equipment?


No it was very relaxed and friendly and was probably the easiest sessions I've ever worked on. We spent some time in Jons guitar effects setup I recall.

As for equipment, I was (and still do) believe that it's not how much flashy equipment you've got, but how you use it. although we were one of the earliest digital studios, our old Allen and Heath desk was getting on a bit!

I know the band were really pleased with the recordings and the sound was not least due to the equipment we had (good and bad) and our familiarity with it.

I think You have to know your equipment inside out and that desk and I became intimate over the years!



8 ) Which is the best song you produced for them according to you?


Such A Rush. It has such passion and movement, although I think that the subsequent re-mix I did does it more justice than the 'safety' version.



9) Had you more affinities with one guy of the band and if so, why?


I definitely spent more time with Chris, working on vocals. Chris was a perfectionist and knew what he wanted. We spent hours on multiple takes and drop-ins.



10) We know you weren't the only one to produce these EP's, Ken Nelson and Chris Alison were a part of it too, how were the relationships between you three?


The 'Safety' e.p. was produce entirely at Sync City by the band and myself. Tracks for the 'Blue Room' were recorded at Sync city where I was producing with the band and elsewhere by the other producers and put together by the record company. I never met the other two. 'No more keeping my feet on the ground' which appeared as the 'B' side to 'Yellow' came from the 'Safety' sessions.


11) You worked with Keane too when they began, do you think Keane and Coldplay are similar?


Keane came to the studio as a development band for RCA. In those days they still had their guitarist and he gave them a very 'Coldplay' sound. I think that is no longer the case and they have their own distinctive sound.

Keane were another band who were immediately recognisable by their vocalist, yet very different.



12) How you do feel when we associate you to the beginning of the story of Coldplay?


I suppose it is nice but maybe somewhat overplayed, when you get a band with such natural ability as musicians and writers, it would be very difficult to turn out a bad result!


13) Have you any regrets about the productions of these EP's?


I can't think of any regrets, I feel that the band has lost the magic and excitement now, which they had in those very early days. They are more commercialised now but that's the inevitable result of signing up for the music merry go round. That's the 'business' part of the music business.

I'm afraid, for me, that writing and releasing a Christmas song puts you firmly in the 'pop' camp.



14) Do you still have a copy of the demo tape?


I have copies of the 'Safety' e.p. and remixes I did of all the songs from the 'Safety' sessions. together with the songs from the subsequent session about six months later.



15) We both know the success Safety and Blue Room have had, why didn't you produce Parachutes too?


You would need to to ask the band or Phil Harvey about that. I guess when a band is signed the record company picks their producer and studio.

Having said that, during the recording of 'Parachutes' Phil Harvey rang me to say that they were struggling to re-create the sound and he asked if we had studio time available. Well we didn't hear anything further. It just goes to show you, you can have the best studio and equipment in the world but if you don't have my old Allen and Heath desk..........!



16) How did you decide which songs should be or not on the Ep's?


Entirely the band's decision.



17) What happened to the songs like Vitamins, So Sad or If All Else?


These songs live on in my collection and get played regularly. They are unlikely ever to see the light of day though.



18) How do you feel when you know that the band you gave their first chance is known as one of the greatest rock band in the world?


Not surprised. It was obvious to anyone who heard them that there could be no other outcome. And they still seem to be the same guys, but with trendier haircuts than before.



19) Are you still in touch with the band?





20) which of the four last album was the most complete and perfect in the production according to you ?


I'm afraid for me that guitar based bands need to have a raw edge. Technology and the need to produce a flawless product tend to iron out the character of any band.

I was very pleased and surprised to hear that Brian Eno was to work with the band. I couldn't really put the two together at first.

Eno and Talking Heads for example was an obvious move, but Coldplay? Well I guess I'd give it to Brian as he's one of my heroes.



21) A classic question, which of Coldplay's song you didn't produce is your favorite?


It would definitely come from Parachutes and would be either 'Don't Panic' or 'Everything’s Not Lost' because I think they capture more of the Coldplay I knew.



22) Finally, could you say a word to the fans from ColdplayCorner.com, and can you say some words in French?


Bonjour la France! Je vous remercie de m'avoir invité à discuter avec vous et j'espère qu'il y aura quelque chose à vous intéressent ici.

Bonne année à vous tous.




23) Thank you for giving us your time, it was a great honor to ask you these questions.


Thanks for inviting me.

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17) What happened to the songs like Vitamins, So Sad or If All Else?


These songs live on in my collection and get played regularly. They are unlikely ever to see the light of day though.





I want to hear the rest of So Sad :(


Anyway, thank you, great interview!

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From the sound of this, she doesn't seem to like Coldplay that much anymore. 'I'm afraid, for me, that writing and releasing a Christmas song puts you firmly in the 'pop' camp' makes it sound like it's a bad thing to release a Christmas song. AND RELEASE SOME EARLY MATERIAL, WOMAN!


Awesome interview, though... I had no idea Safety EP remixes existed!

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