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[2015-12-04] Chris Martin interview on The Sun


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'Gwyneth took a chance on an unripe banana': Chris Martin opens up about his split with Paltrow

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Chris Martin on amicable split and new record A Head Full of Dreams



Coldplay . . . Guy Berryman, Chris, Will Champion, and Jonny Buckland


AFTER overcoming the toughest time in his life, A Head Full Of Dreams marks a new chapter for Chris Martin.


Following his “conscious uncoupling” from actress Gwyneth Paltrow and the turmoil of the break-up, the Coldplay singer has bounced back with an album that reflects his positive outlook.


Martin says: “The idea that you can go through something and, with the right guidance, you can emerge into this more colourful place — that’s where this album came from.”



And he admits: “It has been difficult. I reached a real low point through the nature of what was going on in my personal life, so Ghost Stories was quiet, intimate and silver and blue in colour. It felt right not to do a huge tour after it.


“A Head Full Of Dreams is the blossoming. At the end of Ghost Stories there is a song called A Sky Full Of Stars which is the gateway into A Head Full Of Dreams.”


His optimism is evident when I meet him at his central London hotel. Martin, 38, bounds toward me, all smiles and hugs, and hands over a badge with LOVE on it.


“You’re in the team. Thanks for joining me and doing all this,” he says, referring to the secret arrangements in the run-up to announcing that Coldplay’s seventh album was imminent.


Getting into his car — I travel to Wembley Arena with Martin where he is to hand out a prize at Radio 1’s Teen Awards — he tells me he’s just had the best sleep all week, after flying in from LA a few days earlier.


He also reveals that he is on a fasting day — a part of his new, positive take on life. He says: “I’ve done it for nearly a year now. It has had a big effect on my life, and probably on this album, in terms of making me feel so grateful.


“When you don’t have food in your life, just for a day, it makes you realise you’re lucky to have it the next day. So the day after fasting, the music that comes out will be very joyous.”


His split from Paltrow, his wife of 12 years, forced him to reassess what was important in life and “reminded me of the miracle of even being here”.


Martin says: “The changes made me rethink how I approached life in general. Like how grateful and lucky I am even to be alive, in particular the poem The Guest House, by Rumi.


“This album is based on that poem. Its idea is that you sit with everything and don’t run away from it. So that’s what I did, and so now I’m in a good place and can handle the harder feelings.”


So, while Ghost Stories was mournful, A Head Full Of Dreams is a celebration. Blissful pop songs made for stadiums.



Good cheer . . . bandmates remain as close as ever

Hymn For The Weekend — an impressive collaboration with Beyoncé — as well as first single Adventure Of A Lifetime and the anthemic Up&Up is Coldplay at their most joyous. The latter track also features Noel Gallagher on guitar, whom Martin now shares a close friendship with. He says: “I love Noel. I’m like his little brother who likes ballet. We’ve been blessed over the years to have mentors within music. I would count Noel, Jay Z and Bono among them.”


Produced by Stargate (Norwegian production duo Tor Erik Hermansen and Mikkel Storleer Eriksen), A Head Full Of Dreams also includes Beyoncé’s daughter Blue Ivy Carter, Swedish singer Tove Lo, Martin’s new girlfriend Annabelle Wallis — and Paltrow, who sings backing vocals on piano ballad Everglow.


With his ex on the new record, does it surprise him that people are so interested in the pair remaining friends?


He tells me: “Gwyneth and I broke up a long time ago (their official break-up was announced long after their actual split) but I don’t think about that aspect.


“I know I am in a band that is famous and my private life is famous. I get it and it’s fine.


“Even when I grew up in a village, people wanted to know who was going to the dance with whom, and I understand, but I think if I engage with it too much it won’t be that healthy.


“That whole period was a real blessing and I am so grateful for it but you want to keep certain things to yourself.


“But if your job is to release music you’ve got to explain it a bit because otherwise it’s not fair on your audience who think they might be buying a carrot and you’ve actually made a cabbage.


“And Gwyneth and I are really good friends. I think she was really lovely to take a chance on an unripe banana.”


With Martin living in LA and the rest of the band — drummer Will Champion, guitarist Jonny Buckland and bassist Guy Berryman — in England, the record was made on both sides of the Atlantic.


“We shared custody,” says Martin. “So we worked in LA and then we’d have two weeks away from each other, which was a good time for me to work on what I’ve got to work on and then I’d come to London and do two weeks there.


“But it worked out. I’m happy in LA but I will live wherever my kids are and I don’t really mind where it is.”


Consciously uncoupled . . . Chris with Gwyneth Insight News & Features


All of Coldplay’s children — including Chris’s daughter Apple, 11, and son Moses, nine — also sing backing vocals on a number of the new tracks.


And on this topic Martin laughs about how his children find having the likes of Beyoncé or Jay Z “in their kitchen as normal” yet can get starstruck when it comes to their idols.


He says: “In some ways Apple and Moses have had that mystical allure of celebrity removed but on a musical level Moses is obsessed with Ed Sheeran and Apple is the same about Taylor Swift.


“They are so sweet as, when Coldplay play a concert, I can see they are listening and are engaged, but as soon as we are finished it’s like, ‘Dad where’s my iPad?’ It’s like I’m two different people!”


US President Barack Obama appears on the track Kaleidoscope — via a sample of him singing Amazing Grace at the funeral of Charleston shooting victim Reverend Clementa Pinckney. Says Martin: “I thought it was one of the most powerful responses to a tragedy I’ve ever seen and so we asked permission to use that clip.


Not to sound like a nob, but I knew someone who knew him and they asked him. I have met him once or twice. I am a big fan.”


Coldplay also got to work with another of their heroes — Rolling Stones’ Gimme Shelter singer Merry Clayton, who appears on tracks Adventure Of A Lifetime and Up & Up.


Martin tells me: “It had been a dream to work with her so we just called her up.


“She came in a wheelchair and did her thing and then said, ‘I just lost my legs’.”


The legendary singer had just had both legs amputated at the knee after a serious car accident.


Says Martin: “We didn’t know. She’d just come out of hospital the week before but was so full of joy, gratitude, love and life.”


The first single, Adventure Of A Lifetime, is said to be inspired by Martin’s friendship with Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence, who he was rumoured to be dating from last year.





1. Unstoppable


2. Green & Gold


3. What You Don’t Do


4. Tokyo


5. Wonderful


6. Midnight


7. Grow


8. Ghost


9. Never Get Enough


10. Good Goodbye



I ask him if that rumour was true and he answers: “I didn’t know that had been said but that song is actually inspired by a book called Half The Sky, by Nicholas Kristof, about all the women in the world.


“So it is about a girl but about three billion of them.”


With A Head Full Of Dreams being released just a few weeks after Adele’s record-breaking album 25, will the band be disappointed if this album misses the top spot?


“Not at all,” says Martin. “Music is not a competition and I know Adele and I am a huge fan.


“I am so grateful for where we are as a band and the numbers don’t matter. Adele is f***ing awesome and it’s cool to see her do so well, as I love her.”


It’s clearly a different Chris Martin from the one I have interviewed before, when he has admitted worrying about how he’s perceived and why people are so vocal about not liking Coldplay.


He adds: “Things don’t matter like before. This time round I am even happy for the people who don’t like it to slag us off.


“If it makes you happy then please go for it. You’ve got to express yourself in life and it’s better out than in. What you reveal, you heal.”


As the car arrives at Wembley Arena, where a TV team are awaiting for him, Martin adds: “I am really living in the now and going to enjoy life and my band, go on tour and make it the best tour we’ve ever done.


“Everything up to here has been a journey. I couldn’t have got here without going through what I have and musically we would never have arrived at A Head Full Of Dreams without making our first six albums.


“As a group of friends we met in 1996 and formed in 1997 — it’s now coming up to 20 years and we’ve had ups and downs but are still here.


“Now that is something to be happy about.”



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Nice article, but...


May God protect us from a Taylor Swift collab on LP8.


LOOOOL I am not seeing that ever happening :) Though John Mayer did one.


Nice little interview btw, though aren't we guys always unripe bananas compared to the fairer and often wiser sex? I believe so , but then again its also a bit part of our charm...I hope LOL

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