Chris Martin wears an impish grin, a cross between a kid just let out of school for the summer and a dog newly liberated from his kennel.
At first glance, the reason could be the french fries he’s scarfing down at an outdoor chicken eatery or perhaps his 9-year-old son Moses’s fresh flag-football team victory. But ask a few questions about Coldplay’s seventh album, A Head Full of Dreams, out Dec. 4, and the answer blossoms like a rose.
“That this is our job after 16 years of being together is simply a miracle, I’m so grateful for it and I don’t take it for granted,” says frontman and pianist Martin, 38, who recently sat down with USA TODAY along with guitarist Jonny Buckland, 38, bassist Guy Berryman, 37, and drummer Will Champion, 37.
“Sometimes we weren’t sure where we fit in (musically). But with this album, we’re embracing the fact that we don’t have to fit in anywhere,” Martin says. “We’re allowed to listen to (Beyoncé’s) Single Ladies, we’re allowed to listen to Champagne Supernova (by Oasis) or Good for You by Selena Gomez or the Pogues. It’s all OK.”