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    Coldplay's Oracle on Faultline, Phil Harvey, vocal warm-ups, unreleased tracks and more...

    More questions answered by The Oracle... (circa. 3700 questions now answered - submit yours now!)


    January 17, 2013 - submitted by Rhys, Canada

    Q. I know Coldplay used to be called Starfish, but did they have any other names before that?

    The Oracle replies:

    They had plenty of names but none that they gigged or recorded under. Starfish was the one they settled on from a selection of equally terrible suggestions - sorry guys! The only other name that they ever used live was Pectoralz but that wasn't serious - it was a jokey side project that didn't last, though one of their songs (Call Me) was recorded by an EMI artist some years later after they themselves were signed as Coldplay (obviously).



    January 17, 2013 - submitted by Margaret, United States of America

    Q. I know on one of Faultline's albums, Chris sang in Your Love Means Everything pt.2, and Where is my Boy? So, I was questioning whether David Kosten wrote the song + lyrics, or did CPlay?

    The Oracle replies:

    They're Faultline tracks with Chris featuring as a vocalist only rather than a songwriting collaboration, so no, Chris didn't write the lyrics.


    January 16, 2013 - submitted by Michele, Italy

    Q. Did Coldplay ever been opening act for someone in early days?

    The Oracle replies:

    Yes, they opened for a few people including Muse, U2, Embrace and smaller bands such as Mercedes as well as a joint headline tour with Terris.


    January 16, 2013 - submitted by Theron, United States of America

    Q. Is this the address is should use to send a letter for coldplay:


    EMI Records UK

    EMI House

    43 Brook Green

    London, W6 7EF



    Or should I use this:

    c/o PO Box 246


    SK8 9AF


    I would be so grateful to know, thanks!!!!!

    The Oracle replies:

    Neither. EMI moved and the PO Box was closed 4 years ago. We don't have a postal address for physical mail; we prefer to receive electronic messages. It reduces the impact on the environment plus we don't have the resources to receive and house letters etc. There's a contact button on the site...


    January 16, 2013 - submitted by Ida, Denmark

    Q. Hey Oracle! I read in a Danish music magazine that Chris has tried to sell one night with Guy for one million dollars for charity. Is this true or is it just another one of Chris' hilarious jokes?

    Love from Denmark!

    The Oracle replies:

    It's absolutely a joke. I've had a couple of people asking for more details on that auction but of course it's not happening. Chris was making a reference to Guy's good looks. They're all good looking - obviously.


    January 15, 2013 - submitted by Amelia, United Kingdom

    Q. Phil Harvey is always referred to as the 'fifth member of Coldplay' but do you know if he regrets not ever becoming an actual member of Coldplay, as in an onstage member? Thanks, and Happy Christmas!

    The Oracle replies:

    There was never a time that Phil was considering that position, so no, he doesn't. He's as much part of the band as Chris, Jonny, Will & Guy but it's always been behind the scenes. Phil has appeared in videos and onstage as Elvis during Christmas Lights but Phil has never been in the band as a playing musician. He is musical though which is why his input is such an integral part of the role of 5th member.


    January 15, 2013 - submitted by Ambar, Puerto Rico

    Q. Hello Oracle! I just have COLDPLAY LIVE 2012 CD and DVD I was wondering why it has a RED NUMBER ON THE BOTTOM LEFT of the artwork cover???? Mine is 15 what does it mean?? Thanks in advance!

    The Oracle replies:

    That's the parental guidance age. Age restrictions are in place to determine suitability.


    January 15, 2013 - submitted by Rowan , United States of America

    Q. Dearest Oracle, Does Will ever get bored sitting behind his drum set? Chris runs freely around the stage and interacts with the crowd. Guy and Johnny move occasionally. I just wanted to know if Will ever yearns to work the stage a little. Cheers! RJ

    The Oracle replies:

    It's not like many other bands where the drummer stays in the one spot behind his kit for the entire show so, no. Will gets to move to the front, X Stage, C stage (or whatever variation they've had on previous tours).

    I'm sure he wouldn't be a drummer if he wasn't happy with the idea of being at the back. Or he could have chosen to stand up like the drummer in Jellyfish.


    January 14, 2013 - submitted by Noah, United States of America

    Q. Hey Oracle, what type of vocal warm ups do Chris and the boys do before showtime and how close to showtime do they tend to warm their voices up? I'm a singer and it would really help me! Thanks!

    The Oracle replies:

    Jonny, Will & Guy sit in the dressing room with a pre-recorded warm-up session that takes them through various techniques. Chris goes into a warm-up room with a steam machine to practice vocal acrobatics to get his voice prepared. This tends to happen within an hour of show time before they get dressed into stage gear.


    January 14, 2013 - submitted by Ethan, United Kingdom

    Q. Hey Oracle!:) I was just curious if the guys wore makeup during the shows? I used to do plays and I too had to wear makeup for lighting purposes. Do they as well? Thank you, Ethan (Coldplay 4 Life:D)

    The Oracle replies:

    Although in musical, dramatic theatre and sometimes television performances make up is worn, no, the band don't wear it. Just imagine how much it would run down Chris & Will's faces with the amount of energy they expel.


    January 10, 2013 - submitted by Sanya, India

    Q. Hello Oracle! I was watching some videos of Coldplay and came across this funny one. Does Chris write all his songs like this?

    The Oracle replies:

    Not exclusively, no. That was more in response to how to write a song but I guess it always starts with an idea. Sometimes lyrics just appear and seem to flow out. Sometimes the essence of the idea grows from inspiration and trying different things out. You may notice that sometimes Chris comes up with an idea for a lyric in one song, only for it to end up in a completely different song. The line "poison in my blood" for example appears in both Wedding Bells & Christmas Lights which weren't written all that far apart. That's why lyrics can contain repeated themes - as is quite common with Chris' songwriting: world turning upside down, keeping feet on the ground, the sun, webs...


    January 10, 2013 - submitted by Charlie, United Kingdom

    Q. Do you think that there's the possibility in the future that Coldplay might release a CD compilation of their unreleased studio tracks and demos? Or are these got rid of at the end of each recording session?

    The Oracle replies:

    An unreleased studio track would be discarded because it either doesn't "fit" with the album as it takes shape or it's not good enough. If it's the former, there's no reason it wouldn't resurface at a later date. This is one reason it's sad to see the demise of the b-side as many of the great songs appeared that way. If it's the latter, they wouldn't be released on any format for any reason. If an artist wants you to hear something, you will hear it - whether live (as is the case with Spanish Rain for example), at an event (Wedding Bells at the Apple convention) or on a further release (the Prospekt E.P). The thing with demos is, they're exactly that - a demonstration. They are a way to lay down ideas without committing to a full production. If it's decided the idea is worth developing, they can work on that to produce a better version. They're not got rid of as there may be a hook or a riff that they could come back to a later date. Generally it's likely an artist doesn't want a demo to be heard. There are exceptions of course. If it's a song in its entirety that was eventually released, and of a great standard, it could easily appear.

    The Safety E.P is a good example. That hadn't been the original idea. The band's recording session for their first E.P didn't quite go to plan. Due to time constraints they needed to release something. Their then A&R man decided they should go with 2 of the 3 tracks that featured on their self-financed Safety E.P. as well as new tracks. The exact recordings from that Safety session were released on the Blue Room E.P. While we're talking about demos that are officially released, one of my favourites ever is Amy Winehouse's Love is a Losing Game.


    January 9, 2013 - submitted by Louise, Australia

    Q. Hi Oracle! How do you become a volunteer for Coldplay? For eg. The people that hand out wristbands and what not. Just wanted to know out of curiosity :) thanks!

    The Oracle replies:

    As far as I am aware, "we" don't have volunteers per se. There are obviously people who volunteer at the venues to activate and hand out Xylobands (as mentioned previously), but we don't source the volunteers. If you wanted to volunteer at the venue (whether for Xyloband duties or Oxfam*), you only get to see part of the show as there's a job to do so if you're thinking of doing it to see a free show or meet the band, it's probably best you know now that it's not part of the deal. *You can find out more about becoming an Oxfam volunteer from the charity directly but there's nothing currently planned with us.


    January 9, 2013 - submitted by Nick, United Kingdom

    Q. I'm not a big comic book fan, but I LOVE Coldplay. Would I like their comics?

    The Oracle replies:

    It depends on whether you like the concept behind the Mylo Xyloto album and are interested in discovering more about characters and themes. The band don't feature though so bear that in mind. You can probably tell from the artwork and HLH video what the visual for the comic is like so maybe gauge your reaction to that as to whether the comic will be something of interest.


    January 8, 2013 - submitted by Elizabeth, United States of America

    Q. Hey Oracle! Hope you're having a great new year, my question for you is, what city was the music video for Christmas Lights shot in? Please let me know!

    The Oracle replies:

    The video was shot entirely on location in London.


    January 8, 2013 - submitted by Sam, United States of America

    Q. Hi, Oracle! I was wondering... who does the hand on the cover of The Blue Room belong to? This is silly, but I've been wondering it every time I listen to one of the songs on that EP. Thank you!

    The Oracle replies:

    It's not silly but we don't know - it's sourced from National Geographic and we had nothing to do with taking it. I answered this question back on November 12, 2010 (wow, where does time go?) so you can read more about the sleeve here.


    January 8, 2013 - submitted by Tahra, United States of America

    Q. Oracle, I was reading past answers and I saw that Chris has a mix of ginger, lemon, and hot water that he has during concerts. I'm also a singer and I know that lemon irritates the throat since it's acidic. Does Chris know about this? Or does he have the lemon for a specific reason?

    The Oracle replies:

    Acidic doesn't have to mean irritant or that it's not good; he wouldn't drink it if it didn't work for him. It also works for me. I also find lemon juice is great for clearing my throat. The combination of honey, water & ginger are perfect to soothe and cleanse. If it doesn't work for you though, obviously steer clear. Whatever works.


    January 7, 2013 - submitted by Nat, Brazil

    Q. Hello Oracle! Can you tell me what are they doing with all those wristbrands? Are they volunteers? Nat - Brazil

    The Oracle replies:

    The Xylobands arrive in boxes with little plastic tabs that they need pulling out of position before the audience arrives so that's what they're doing - removing the tab that activates them. They're not Oxfam volunteers but the photo was taken by someone who works for Oxfam who was on the MX tour.


    Latest photos: of Chris Martin at Los Angeles airport (12 January 2013):


















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