Jon Hopkins Praises Coldplay’s ‘Experimental’ Tastes

Classically trained musician Jon Hopkins is proof a modern composer can be esoteric and widely appealing at the same time.

A former child prodigy on piano, his first two releases were introspective, subtle and dreamlike, but over the last few years those qualities have been augmented by a deeper rhythmic expression. Hopkins attention to detailed, cinematic sonics caught the attention of Brian Eno, who introduced him to Coldplay when Eno produced ‘Viva La Vida’ two years ago. That led to a tour with the British band, and now Hopkins returns to North America on his own at Montreal’s MUTEK festival on June 3.

Working with Coldplay came as a surprise, says Hopkins, though perhaps not a complete surprise, given Eno’s golden Rolodex of experimental artists…

“I met Brian Eno about seven years ago and he took me out of the sphere I was in,” Hopkins tells Spinner. “I had a day of jamming with Herbie Hancock and Squarepusher, which I’d never dreamed of. One day he told me he was going to produce the next Coldplay album and he just invited me in one day. I came along with my keyboard and started jamming with them. He’d got the band back to basics a little bit, all playing in the same room together for the first time in a long time and enjoying the feeling of playing as a band. Eno liked the idea of including someone who wasn’t part of the original four to break it up for them.

“I found that their tastes were a lot more experimental than people imagined,” he continues. “They’re actually very forward thinking and progressive in their songwriting — it was a million miles from anything I’d ever done before. I wasn’t expecting such a long relationship with them; it’s been amazing. It was very surreal to be in a band that everyone knows about and to discover that they were really great musicians.”

Read the full interview between Spinner and Jon Hopkins here at their website.

Jon Hopkins