Long-time Coldplay roadie Matt McGinn was exclusively interviewed by Coldplayzone.it this week, in which he answers questions on working with Coldplay on their new album. Matt also talks about his 2010 book, touring intensely and his favourite Coldplay songs. You can discuss this latest interview here at the Coldplay forum [thanks coldpatrix]
Hello Matt! It's a real pleasure and a great honour to interview a key person like you, so involved in Coldplay's universe. How're things going?
Great thanks, just enjoying some time at home for Christmas.
The most devoted fans of the band acknowledge you to be a constant presence in the staff of an English band, born a long time ago, that actually hit it big in the music scene. Music lovers, on the other hand, could learn more about you reading the book 'Roadie - My Life On The Road With Coldplay'. It is indeed a good way to introduce yourself, so how do you feel about that? And again, how hard is to stop and start writing a book, being used to work at such a frenetic pace?
I can't really believe I managed to write a book and go on tour at the same time. It wasn't easy - a lot of it was written on gaffer tape and airplane napkins!
How do you evaluate your book, as your first writing experience? It is believed that debuting as a writer can lead to write tons of word, without following any logic. However, it doesn't seem to be the case, the text is so nicely fluent.
Thanks man, I'm pleased. Having great editors really made a difference. I'm thinking of writing another, maybe.
Did you expect that your literary production could have such a huge success among Coldplay fans? After all, you've limited yourself to relate 'only' about your world, ruled by music, but obviously mentioning many things about them...
I thought Coldplay fans would probably hear about the book and maybe check it out, but didn't realise how much they'd love it. I'm very lucky.
Honestly, how did you feel when you "dropped some glue on that vital part" of Jonny? We think it all ended up laughing, without any bad consequence...
I felt terrified. And very stupid! I was trying to be clever, which is usually when things go wrong.
To us, devoted fans of Coldplay, the delay of the release of 'Roadie - My Life On The Road With Coldplay' sounded like the project would have been then discarded. Do you know why the release date was postponed from May to August 2010?
Something to do with the overseas deals - it came out in England a few weeks before everywhere else, including America. Nothing personal!
Unfortunately there are no plans of an Italian edition of 'Roadie - My Life On The Road With Coldplay' (or any other language, according to the editors). Is there any chance they can reconsider that?
Well, I have been asking. Let's hope.
Your relationship with Coldplay has become stronger, thanks to this book too. Do you think you are going to be in the future Coldplay's projects or, maybe someday (as much far as you can, please!), you could think about quitting them for another artist or band if they were imploring you to be their official roadie?
I hope to be with Coldplay for as long as they are around and need roadies. It's always a joy to go to work.
As the guys said, 'You're part of the Coldplay family since day 1'. You saw them, changing themselves so quickly and radically from kids full of hopes to grown men with children. How have 'your' Coldplay changed over time?
They are the same as when I first met them, except they all wear nicer clothes! (I'm still wearing the same outfit as ten years ago, I'm afraid. I can't stop with the denim)
Have you ever think of knowing more about the magic formula that brought the band (and thus, indirectly, you and your work) to this huge success?
It's amazing, but I can't explain it. Just like a great football team... some sort of magic between the people, plus talent, good fortune, great support and hard work.
Let's talk about what we think you're now experiencing very intensely in your life: live concerts! In your book you describe Glastonbury 2002 as the most exciting and exhilarating live show in your life of roadie. So, we can say that the A Rush Of Blood To The Head Tour was the best tour from all points of view in your opinion?
Not really... all the tours have a different, special meaning for me. Viva was probably the toughest and most rewarding to date though, just for the sheer scale of it.
Given the impressive amount of work during live performances of 2008, 2009 and 2010, carried out by you, the entourage and the live organization, do you agree that 'Viva La Vida Tour' was the most challenging tour of all time? I bet the hours you slept over the legs of the tour can be counted on one hand...
Yeah, you get used to it though. Average around four hours a night, but there are days off, long flights or bus journeys to catch up on the sleeping so it's not too bad.
In your book you also talk about the worst gig you've ever experienced (and here we're talking about the technical difficulties for those that must work at the speed of light, extricating from instruments, pedals, amplifiers, cables and wires everywhere). Is there a concert, a show, or a festival where it was extremely hard to make everything fit?
There have been a few but I will never forget Abu Dhabi, when a storm hit us and the show was drenched. I had five guys with umbrellas and tarpaulins over me, plus Jonny had to have a towel and dry the guitars himself as I gave them to him. I fell over in the water as well, carrying a guitar. About as challenging as concerts ever get!
Some artists, when asked about the best tour of their careers, usually answer, gritting their teeth (and lessening the discomfort of the situation): 'The next one'. Have you already discussed about the next tour with Chris and the guys? Is there something that you can reveal us about it? At least, could you tell us if the idea of coming back to their intimacy with the audience, like in the early days, is still the path they want to pursue?
I can't say too much. But I know they are planning something special!
I can't believe that a primary character in the world of Coldplay like you hasn't listened to the new record yet . What do you think about the sound? And, above all, are you already considering and studying the best ways to make the new sound of Coldplay perfect, from the first performances?
I'm in the studio most days with them and hear all the stuff but the album isn't finished yet. We are thinking about how to reproduce it live, but not too much. Just concentrating on the recording.
Now a straight answer please: your three favourite Coldplay' songs!
OK: Clocks, Viva, Christmas Lights.
Please give us an adjective for each one of the guys. Please note: you can't express your affection for Jonny!
Er...can I skip this? It's too weird!
Thanks for the chat, Matt! It was really funny to know more about your world and Coldplay's too. Here in Italy there are so many people who constantly follow you guys in the news, interviews, reviews and much more. Would you like to tell them something, maybe in Italian?
I don't know any Italian but would like to thank everyone for their support, through the years. See you down the road!
Don't forget... Not long to go to submit your favourite albums of 2010 lists: