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    Chris Martin speaks on Coldplay's free album, stage fright and butterflies

    chrismartinabsolute.jpgColdplay is back on the road this summer on the final leg of its huge "Viva La Vida" tour. Just days before the group landed in America last month, singer Chris Martin gave the San Francisco Chronicle a call to talk confetti butterflies, stage fright and the totally bonkers idea to give everyone who attends the shows a free copy of a new live album, 'LeftRightLeftRightLeft'. The following article appears on page R - 14 of the Chronicle:


    Q: You've been on the road quite a lot this year. Are you just trying to avoid the family?

    A: I'm glad you started with an easy question. From the very beginning of my life, people have always enjoyed it when I was around for a couple of days at a time. So, I think, most people in touring bands are best in small doses. That's why we turn up in a town, play and then we leave before anyone can get sick of us.

    Q: Shouldn't you have a bit of an ego at this point?

    A: I have an ego. But it's being worked on today. I don't have it. It's in the shop.


    Q: It's important to get it back before you get here and have to face 10,000 people.

    A: Yes, you're right. I need to speed them up. I think when you're as talented as me or you, you don't need to have an ego. On a serious note, the people I most admire in the world in my field have never shown that much ego to me. So it makes me think, if Bruce Springsteen isn't acting like an a-, I shouldn't either. If someone can be that successful and still be as nice to the guy who gives him his dry cleaning, then anyone in Coldplay should be extra nice.


    Q: How many confetti butterflies have you gone through on this tour?

    A: Well, I've got to say it's up in the millions. It's a tough dilemma. We're not unaware that it's a little untidy, but we also think it looks incredible. I don't know. You can call me out on that if you like.


    Q: Are they biodegradable?

    A: Some of them definitely are, but then there are some nights where they're less so, which has not been a problem indoors.


    Q: There are different varieties of confetti butterflies?

    A: The world of confetti butterflies is a labyrinth. You could spend months learning about that stuff.


    Q: Have you stopped wearing those ridiculous handmade Sgt. Pepper's outfits?

    A: We have some new ones coming through. But back to the butterflies, we're just about to give this live album away to people who bought tickets and the cover of it is all to do with those butterflies.


    Q: Right. Everyone who comes to the show gets a free live album. That's very generous of you.

    A: On a purely business level, we're very blessed to be able to afford to do it. The reason we're able to give a record away for this tour is a lot of people have paid for tickets, so it's just a way of saying thank you. It's generous, but we wouldn't be able to do it unless we sold a lot of tickets.


    Q: Do you still get stage fright?

    A: Sometimes I get it within a concert if a particular person's expression catches me. For example, if I see a guy with his arms folded looking a bit bored, then I get nervous. Only for an instant and then it comes right back. The problem is it's often my dad.


    Q: You need to start giving him the bleacher seats.

    A: Right. Send him to the back.


    Coldplay performs at 7:30 p.m. July 13 at Shoreline Amphitheatre, 1 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View. $35-$97.50. @ livenation.com.


    Coldplay at Riverbend Music Center, Cincinnati, OH (4 June 2009):


































    Pictures: luscious mix of words and tricks


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