Jump to content
🎉 WATCH COLDPLAY LIVE AT iHEART RADIO FESTIVAL 2020 🎉
gai

[2015-12-18] Guy Berryman interview with Toronto Sun

Recommended Posts

Coldplay on new album, Super Bowl, battling Adele on charts and the future of the band

 

1297779462106_ORIGINAL.jpg?quality=80&size=420x

 

 

If you think Coldplay is an odd choice to play the halftime show at Super Bowl 50, you shouldn’t.

 

It’s in keeping with the extroverted and adventurous journey the quartet first embarked upon when they set about making their seventh album,

.

 

Following 2014’s subdued Ghost Stories, the band is “in the mood to party again,” bassist Guy Berryman says.

 

The fact that the new record is “eclectic” and strives for a “maximalist sound” makes Coldplay circa 2015 a natural fit for the biggest sports event in the world.

 

Postmedia Network caught up with Berryman down the line from Italy as he talked about the band’s big ambitions and whether A Head Full of Dreams will be Coldplay’s final album.

 

 

Ghost Stories was a bit of a bedtime record. How did the four of you find your way back to bigger sounds and soaring melodies in A Head Full of Dreams?

 

“When we made (Ghost Stories), it didn’t feel like the right time for us to make another big album … we were in the mood for changing gears a bit and doing something that was a bit more subdued with a bedtime kind-of vibe. But now, we knew we were going to be going out and playing live. We wanted to create songs that would work really well in the arenas and stadiums.”

 

There are a lot of cameos on the record, including Noel Gallagher, Beyonce, Gwyneth Paltrow and Barack Obama. How did those come about?

 

“We wanted to make it a colourful album. There’s a lot of different ideas and styles, so it was us taking every paint in the shop and throwing it at the canvas … We just wanted to incorporate more of our lives onto the record; all of our kids sing on one of the songs; most of our friends are playing on the record. We’ve done so many records where all of the ideas come from us. And, in the spirit of changing things up again, we just wanted to welcome in other people and make something different.”

 

 

You guys broke big in 2000 and here we are 15 years later. Did the four of you imagine this kind of success?

 

“When you’re starting a band, you’re on a mission. For us, at the beginning, it was about getting together, writing some songs, playing some shows, getting a record contract, being allowed to make another album, perhaps start playing in arenas and stadiums, so the mission was very clear. Something we struggle with these days — and it’s a luxury problem — is answering the question: What do we want to do now? Where do we want to go? Where do we want to be in five or 10 years’ time? That’s not so obvious.”

 

When did you know you’d made it?

 

“There have been a few moments along the way. I think one of the earliest ones was when our song Yellow came out on the radio station and it turned into a popular single. We were playing at a festival in Scotland in the ‘New Bands’ tent and I could see the sides of the tent being pushed in by everyone trying to get in to see us. There just wasn’t enough space for everyone to get in and watch, and I could feel the energy. That was an amazing moment — our single on the radio and people really connecting with the song. I think the second was when we headlined Glastonbury for the first time (in 2002) … That was a milestone for us as well.”

 

You guys are battling it out with Adele on the charts right now. What do you think of her new record?

 

“I haven’t listened to it yet. It’s the story of my life. If everyone’s telling me how amazing something is, and I see the whole world getting involved in something, it turns me off. At school, when everyone was listening to Stone Roses and Oasis, I listened to Stax and Motown records. But I love Adele. I’m not saying she doesn’t make great records, I just haven’t heard it yet.”

 

 

What's your favourite Coldplay record?

 

Everyone seems to think our second album (

) is our best album, as time goes on and things start to fall into place it seems to be that that’s everyone’s favourite. It’s a good album, for sure. But I don’t know, I can’t judge. It’s like trying to choose your favourite child. It just shouldn’t be done.

 

Chris Martin has said this will be Coldplay’s final record. Any truth to that?

 

“He’s said that on every album. We should know by now that’s what everybody’s going to ask us when we do our promo (laughs). Who knows? Even we don’t know. We can’t think beyond this album. We just finished it, we’ve got a big tour lined up and we can’t think beyond that. We had a really good experience making this record; it was a lot of fun. We all got along with each other. I don’t see any reason we’d want that to end … I think it’s easy to come up with a statement, ‘This is our last album,’ because we’ve done a lot of things we set out to do. Now we’ve got to try and figure out what else we’d like to do.”

 

x

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting to see that they're aware that most people consider Arobtth their favorite. I feel like they avoid seeing what fans comment and it's not like interviewers ever say "hey remember your best album all those years ago?" So I wasn't entirely sure they were aware of how each album was received. Nice to see that they are.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm so hoping that they will return to AROBTTH-like sound now that Guy acknowledged that it is "everyone's" favorite. Shouldn't they want to please their fans?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It’s the story of my life. If everyone’s telling me how amazing something is, and I see the whole world getting involved in something, it turns me off.

 

I am so like Guy in this. I tend to stay away from the hype & watch/ listen to things much later :sweatdrop:

 

Nice interview. thanks Gai

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That was a good, (almost rare) interview featuring mainly Guy... And more honest and direct for a change :)

And yes people, this band do know what we're thinking about... They always have from the start and they probably always will. The kind of music they have been making reflects how sensitive and vulnerable they are / have been as people - the difficulty they had making X&Y, and prior to that the turmoil while making AROBTTH all shows how much they do care. The fact that they are still making music that is emotionally open and vulnerable shows that they still do care. The day they make emotionally unengaging music is the day I will stop listening to their music...

 

The thing is, they can no longer allow their insecurities and vulnerabilities to take over all of their visions and their thoughts - otherwise it would just be too overwhelming and would paralyse them to the point that they couldn't do anything music-wise nor elsewhere in their lives - they all have families now who depend on them, so they have to somehow be strong and find the strength to be father figures to their sons and daughters.

 

It is for this reason (that they do keep an eye on what their fans think and express) that I often try to humanise the band and remind people here that in the end Coldplay are made up of 4 human beings as well, who, like us do need to feel love and affection as well (probably more so than your average rock band given their sensitive personalities)... So, in the end, try to be gentle, people - express your unhappiness and discontent, but please consider that there are 4 people (who have previously somehow touched you profoundly in your life) at the other end potentially reading and receiving it. They lift us up with their music - let us lift them (and others) up with our words and sentiments!

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I liked the AROBTTH comment by Guy as well. Maybe the band should think more deeply about this fact...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In case they are peeking through this forum from time to time...A Rush is not my favourite album, just for the record, not everyone agrees on that hehe

 

I´d say I am with Guy on this. I honestly was thinking about that yesterday briefly after I finished listening to AHFOD for the Nth time I thought to myself "hmm is this actually my favourite Coldplay album?" and then I immediately concluded "no its not, I like most of the others just the same because each has a different mood".

 

I would not mind them going back to a rock vibe (we had a few of those on Mylo), but I hope they never repeat any of their albums and that they always strive for something new or a good mix.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I´d say I am with Guy on this. I honestly was thinking about that yesterday briefly after I finished listening to AHFOD for the Nth time I thought to myself "hmm is this actually my favourite Coldplay album?" and then I immediately concluded "no its not, I like most of the others just the same because each has a different mood".

 

I would not mind them going back to a rock vibe (we had a few of those on Mylo), but I hope they never repeat any of their albums and that they always strive for something new or a good mix.

 

Exactly my thoughts... You and I seem to have a lot of thoughts and sentiments in common lol (that's why I keep liking your comments - it's like hearing myself say it :P) I still find it difficult to rate all the albums - I can say (prior to AHFOD) MX was my emotional favourite just coz the first half of the album is so immediate with 7 hits in a row one after the other (minus the interludes), but then every album is the best at something in its own special way - Parachutes is so emotionally wrought and heartfelt, AROBTTH is great brit-pop/rock, X&Y has sonic density and well-developed musical motifs within each song, VLV is probably the most musical and creative, etc...

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

got to say, @gentleparachute and @Jedi Leo, you two bring such a calm. collected-ness to the forum :) i really enjoy that.

 

edit: of course there are other wonderful posters here :) goes without saying.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
got to say, @gentleparachute and @Jedi Leo, you two bring such a calm. collected-ness to the forum :) i really enjoy that.

 

Thanks gai, so do you! Hope you are enjoying AHFOD as much as we are... :D The album really does have so much to offer beyond the superficial stuff...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks gai, so do you! Hope you are enjoying AHFOD as much as we are... :D The album really does have so much to offer beyond the superficial stuff...

sadly, as a whole, this album is not my cup of tea. i'm enjoying several individual songs though :) love birds! giving some time off for most of the album. it is such a mixed bag, with several real (potential) gems. but the tour is bound to be good!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Exactly my thoughts... You and I seem to have a lot of thoughts and sentiments in common lol (that's why I keep liking your comments - it's like hearing myself say it :p)

 

So you´re basically liking your own comments lol Hey nice to find people one can relate to :) I do like the diversity and the discussions, but I probably love even more geeking out about all the Coldplay stuff I like with others who like it too at the same degree of geekiness hehe

 

got to say, @gentleparachute and @Jedi Leo, you two bring such a calm. collected-ness to the forum :) i really enjoy that.

 

Hey Gai, thanks a lot for such a nice comment! I think the exact same thing about you, gentle and quite a few others.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sadly, as a whole, this album is not my cup of tea. i'm enjoying several individual songs though :) love birds! giving some time off for most of the album. it is such a mixed bag, with several real (potential) gems. but the tour is bound to be good!

 

What other songs you like besides Birds? Is it not your cup of tea because its too pop perhaps? And yes the tour will undoubtedly be good!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What other songs you like besides Birds? Is it not your cup of tea because its too pop perhaps? And yes the tour will undoubtedly be good!

i feel like the better songs suffered a lot during production. i love the live version of up&up. it has the potential to become a coldplay classic i think. also like the energy of ahfod and the aoal. live everglow can be more evocative than most of gs too.

 

anyway, can you imagine the nuttier songs chris must come up with that gets axed way before it even passes the demo stage? going by some songs in here, i can only say thanks to the rest of the band for not letting them happen. hahaa!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
i feel like the better songs suffered a lot during production. i love the live version of up&up. it has the potential to become a coldplay classic i think. also like the energy of ahfod and the aoal. live everglow can be more evocative than most of gs too.

 

anyway, can you imagine the nuttier songs chris must come up with that gets axed way before it even passes the demo stage? going by some songs in here, i can only say thanks to the rest of the band for not letting them happen. hahaa!

 

The production sometimes I like sometimes I dont. I am conflicted. I often wonder how they would sound with more organic sound and less synth, but then maybe the song would not work (I am thinking of army of one or even Fun). I generally dont think about it much though when I listen to them. I agree with Up&Up, but then I kinda noticed so many Coldplay songs are just better live haha I remember thinking the same about MX and GS, so maybe its just that they are so good live hehe

 

As for the songs they scrap, I think they said once that 90% of what they make they scrap to find the 10% they keep or something like that? hehe So I think the process is necessary to get to the good stuff. But I think you and I and even Chris would agree a "Chris solo album" none would like to hear hehe

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The production sometimes I like sometimes I dont. I am conflicted. I often wonder how they would sound with more organic sound and less synth, but then maybe the song would not work (I am thinking of army of one or even Fun). I generally dont think about it much though when I listen to them. I agree with Up&Up, but then I kinda noticed so many Coldplay songs are just better live haha I remember thinking the same about MX and GS, so maybe its just that they are so good live hehe

 

As for the songs they scrap, I think they said once that 90% of what they make they scrap to find the 10% they keep or something like that? hehe So I think the process is necessary to get to the good stuff. But I think you and I and even Chris would agree a "Chris solo album" none would like to hear hehe

yes, since viva, production has been on the decline, to varying levels. hope they get this sorted out when they come out with new music next.

 

and yes, it is such a good thing that chris is self-aware enough to know that a solo album is not something he should be doing. hahaa! i wasn't convinced about this until viva, but after that, it has become clearer and clearer.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
yes, since viva, production has been on the decline, to varying levels. hope they get this sorted out when they come out with new music next.

 

and yes, it is such a good thing that chris is self-aware enough to know that a solo album is not something he should be doing. hahaa! i wasn't convinced about this until viva, but after that, it has become clearer and clearer.

 

I think its very hard to judge from a listener´s point of view. After all none of us are professional musicians (I think lol). I think the production is there to set the general vibe of the album or songs, so in that case I dont think it has been in decline if it has reflected how they wanted it to sound. Then as a listener one can like a certain producer or not of course.

 

I never once thought Chris would be better off going solo. All from the very beginning you can hear how much the others contribute. Sure he comes with the melody, but the melody is just one little part of the song. The magic the others added has always been invaluable imo. All the way from Parachutes. Even that album would be a sad affair if it had just been Chris and his piano hehe (just think of The Scientist and how much Jonny lifts it in the end)

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think its very hard to judge from a listener´s point of view. After all none of us are professional musicians (I think lol). I think the production is there to set the general vibe of the album or songs, so in that case I dont think it has been in decline if it has reflected how they wanted it to sound. Then as a listener one can like a certain producer or not of course.

 

I never once thought Chris would be better off going solo. All from the very beginning you can hear how much the others contribute. Sure he comes with the melody, but the melody is just one little part of the song. The magic the others added has always been invaluable imo. All the way from Parachutes. Even that album would be a sad affair if it had just been Chris and his piano hehe (just think of The Scientist and how much Jonny lifts it in the end)

true in a way. but when it comes to production, i prefer the more organic output than heavily and meticulously tinkered. the thing is even x&y was over produced.

also about us not being professional musicians and just listeners, it's clear that for the band who actually breathe and live these songs, it means a completely different thing to what they mean to us. they are small snapshots of their lives. we can never relate to that. and it is difficult to be objective about creative output, let alone one's own. so i can see why the band love this album, even though i don't. as a fan, i can appreciate that.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
true in a way. but when it comes to production, i prefer the more organic output than heavily and meticulously tinkered. the thing is even x&y was over produced.

 

X&Y was bloated, even though it had great songs. I did not think so at the time but later I could see that I agreed with that statement. Viva I thought was just perfect, MX was perhaps a tad long but still good. Ghost Stories was to me masterfully produced. I actually find AHFOD flow better than MX. You can still have a heavy production and keep the organic sound or have a very spare production (like on GS) and have a synth sound. So I guess it depends on what you want the whole to sound like.

 

and it is difficult to be objective about creative output, let alone one's own. so i can see why the band love this album, even though i don't. as a fan, i can appreciate that.

 

I actually think they are 10 times harsher on themselves than we will ever be as critics! hehe Thats why they tinker until the very last minute, they are never happy lol

And I dont think it would be helpful to be objective about creative output, to me its there to reflect what you feel, what comes through you and what resonates , so the whole thing is a product of subjectivity hehe I think they are capable to say the things from their work they like less (clearly X&Y and Talk for example hehe, probably others too we dont know about but they never play live haha)

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I actually think they are 10 times harsher on themselves than we will ever be as critics! hehe Thats why they tinker until the very last minute, they are never happy lol

And I dont think it would be helpful to be objective about creative output, to me its there to reflect what you feel, what comes through you and what resonates , so the whole thing is a product of subjectivity hehe I think they are capable to say the things from their work they like less (clearly X&Y and Talk for example hehe, probably others too we dont know about but they never play live haha)

exactly. that's why it is hard to talk about the quality of creative output as an absolute since it is completely subjective. so while we measure the quality of their albums by our own barometers, the band may enjoy them in terms of the creative process, experience, where they were in their lives, etc. so the fact that the band may have enjoyed making ahfod more than previous albums may not necessarily reflect on what they consider to be their best album.

 

also, i too think they are more critical than us fans will ever be. but i feel like they have loosened up a little as they get older. you change as you grow.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
exactly. that's why it is hard to talk about the quality of creative output as an absolute since it is completely subjective. so while we measure the quality of their albums by our own barometers, the band may enjoy them in terms of the creative process, experience, where they were in their lives, etc. so the fact that the band may have enjoyed making ahfod more than previous albums may not necessarily reflect on what they consider to be their best album.

 

also, i too think they are more critical than us fans will ever be. but i feel like they have loosened up a little as they get older. you change as you grow.

 

I actually meant that it would be detrimental to be objective about one´s creative output :) I dont think they have a favourite album (from what we hear from Guy anyway hehe) but like you say the making of an album must also be inextricably linked with how much they like that album (probably the reason they so dislike X&Y cuz they were not feeling good as a band then..), so yeah their perspective will always be different from the fans.

 

As for loosing up, I think they are less worried bout what others think but I dont think they are less critical of themselves or less perfectionist. Just imagining the countless versions of the title track before they found the right one *LOL*

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I actually meant that it would be detrimental to be objective about one´s creative output :) I dont think they have a favourite album (from what we hear from Guy anyway hehe)

ah i see what you mean, and i have to say i agree. and yes, they still seem to be perfectionists. and i don't think we'll ever learn about how they exactly work as a band just because they are considerate about each other and they all seem to be pretty sensitive guys. don't think representing the truth about what goes on behind the scenes is in any way important to them than being a tight unit. out of all big bands, coldplay has to be the one that has never thrown shade at each other in the slightest way. to me, that speaks volumes about who they are as a band and as people than them saying whatever. and that's a huge part of their allure :)

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
coldplay has to be the one that has never thrown shade at each other in the slightest way. to me, that speaks volumes about who they are as a band and as people than them saying whatever. and that's a huge part of their allure :)

 

I think it absolutely seeps into the music and thats definitely one of the reasons I like them. I really think the music reflects the artist as well, beyond the pure artistry of the music. For example I love some of U2 songs I think some of the songs are wonderful, but I cant bear hearing them because I just dont like U2 playing them LOL Like even Bono voice irritates me. I have no idea why really, something about them as people doesn't seem to click with me. So I agree that it often takes the whole package to really like a band :)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now



×
×
  • Create New...