You know how we know you’re gay? Because you’re reading about Coldplay. But seriously, the awesomely successful Brit-pop outfit’s adventurous new album, Viva La Vida, may have more to offer than you think. We talked to singer, songwriter, and Apple’s proud papa, Chris Martin, about smoothies, Donna Summer, and that famous dis from The 40-Year-Old Virgin.
Will non-Coldplay fans dig Viva La Vida?
Whether or not you like us, you can’t deny it’s the sound of a band hungry to try new things. It’s the perfect 45-minute album for a postcoital listen. The people who don’t like us should be happy about its brevity.
What did legendary producer Brian Eno bring to the table?
When you become a successful band people have heard about, you’re tempted to think, Maybe we’re all right. But when you get someone like Brian Eno on board, you are admitting, We are shit. That’s what happened.
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He whipped you guys into shape?
It was like military boot camp; he had to break us down before he could build us up. It brought out the best in all of us.
What did you listen to while recording?
We set a rule when we started that every day would be like show and tell. Everyone had to bring in something new and different, and then we’d try to use those influences on what we were working on. The stuff really varied, from Rammstein and the Arcade Fire to the Golden Gate Quartet and Donna Summer.
Can you hear it all on the album?
You know when you’re drinking those smoothies you’ve got in America, and you’re like, “I think I can taste papaya.” That’s what we’re trying to do: make musical smoothies. We’ll have a Kanye West influence here, a Beatles influence there. As long as the listener can spot different ones, we’re doing our job.
Got any thoughts on the Coldplay dis in The 40-Year-Old Virgin?
All I can say is, I’m very proud of that.