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    Coldplay says thanks: Detroit preview & new Chris Martin interview (1st June 09)

    chrismartin2008a.jpgOnce upon a time, Coldplay fans learned how to wait. Years would pass between releases by the big British band. Songs like "The Scientist" and "Speed of Sound" would be old classics by the time the next album rolled out.


    Now it's an abundance of riches for fans of a quartet that's brimming with creative energy: Last summer's chart-topping "Vida La Vida" was promptly followed by the EP "Prospekt's March." And now there's "LeftRightLeftRightLeft" -- a live collection described by vocalist Chris Martin as a "free thank-you album." Concertgoers will receive the CD at the door; others can download the songs at Coldplay.com.


    Work has already begun on the full-length follow-up to the anthemic "Vida La Vida." Martin connected with the Free Press shortly before the tour's May 15 kickoff, speaking from L.A., where he'd been holed up writing songs. Chris Martin talks to the Detroit Free Press about connecting to fans and Tuesday's DTE audience getting a free disc...

    QUESTION: How did the band settle on the track list for the live disc?


    ANSWER: The rest of the band hate to having to make lists. I love it. I love making lists. I'd forced them, on a flight from Hong Kong to Abu Dhabi, to each write a list of the nine songs they'd put on the live record. There were about six that we all agreed on, the rest of it we argued over for a couple of hours, before finally we arm-wrestled for the main decision. It’s a case of just thinking, “Oh, I remember Paris being a good show. Chicago too.” Then we have a very sweet sound guy called Dan upon whom we put that horrible responsibility of choosing the final ones.


    Q: There's been such dramatic change in the music industry during the past decade. Would a gift album even have been in a band’s realm of thinking 10 years ago?


    A: Well, 10 years ago, it wouldn’t have crossed our minds because we couldn't have afforded it. It costs quite a lot of money to do it. But it's because we've been very blessed over the last year or so that we can afford to do it. And I think it would have crossed our minds 10 years ago if we'd been in the same position. These kinds of things come from our secret fifth member (manager Phil Harvey), who's always thinking about how to reward people’s loyalty. We see it in grocery stores and banks, where if you're loyal to that business they give you something. (Laughs) So we thought, let's do the same.


    Q: The whole fan connection has always been a big part of what Coldplay is. On the last round of dates, you were going into the crowd to do a song. I don’t know how much deeper you get than that -- literally standing with the audience, performing.


    A: Being in a rock band, or a soft rock band, or whatever we are, it's very hard to be original. If Bono hasn't done it, Mick Jagger might have done it, and that means Madonna probably did it. So whenever we think of something we haven't seen done before, like going into the back of the audience and playing on one microphone and stuff, we immediately want to try it. And then once we do try it, if we love it -- which in that instance we do, where you get to break the barrier between audience and band -- then we keep it in. That's our favorite bit of the concert, you know, because it's very unusual to take away all the smoke and mirrors. I think we really enjoy that adrenaline rush. I always feel like the audience is very tolerant at that point, because we're so sweaty and musically shambolic, most of them would be excused for leaving. So we see it as a kind of test of their patience.


    bilde?Site=C4&Date=20090601&Category=ENT04&ArtNo=90531041&Ref=AR&MaxW=320&Border=0Q: Talk about the work on the upcoming studio album.


    A: We all feel the limits of two things: One is that we feel like we're getting old. No, not really. We know we're playing well at the moment, so we're trying to capitalize on that. Two, (producer) Brian Eno's patience is very limited, so we're just trying to keep him around for as long as we can. When you're in the middle of the tour and you're in the studio, there's no pressure. It's a bit like a holiday camp, so you can just play without any worries or pressures or sales-figure concerns. I just feel really inspired at the moment. I think we all do. I feel incredibly blessed to be in the job I'm in, especially in this day and age. So whether it's things going on in my life, or our lives, or in the world -- I don't know what it is -- I just feel very tuned in at the moment.


    Q: Where is the music headed? Is there anything that's starting to stand out musically?


    A: I can tell you exactly where it comes from at the moment. I've been getting so into Bruce Springsteen. I was getting a bit depressed that I was 32, and I thought, "Aggh, maybe that makes me too old to be writing good songs." And then I was learning about Bruce. He didn’t do “Born in the USA” until he was 35. Then I went to see him play two weeks ago. And so I think the spirit of Bruce has been keeping me very joyous.


    Q: Can you elaborate on European perceptions of Bruce?


    A: I can break it down. I think a lot of people think he's, like, Mr. America, because of the cover of "Born in the USA," with the hat and the jeans and the American flag. And whilst I think that's true, it's a misconception. Especially if you learn all the music before and after that album, you realize that at the time he had that Mr. America image, in fact he was doing nothing but great things for the American image, because it isn't macho and small-minded, the stuff he's talking about. It's quite the opposite. It's very tender and all-inclusive, telling stories about people like you and then about people you’ve never thought about before. So I was not real sure about it until I really started listening. I think the cover throws a lot of people off.


    Q: Isn't it reassuring to know there are still discoveries to be made in rock 'n' roll? Here you're 32, and you're starting to understand Bruce Springsteen. You mentioned earlier the idea of everything having been done already. But it's still this journey of discovery you get to be on.


    A: It's incredible, and I'm sure it's the same for you. Only this morning I was listening to "Appetite for Destruction" (by Guns N’ Roses) for the first time really properly. Ever. So that's a new record to me. That's the great benefit of having this library of previous work, you know?


    Source: freep.com


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