Interview: Coldplay

Following on from our interview with Chris Martin in the last edition of Atomicduster, I put a few more questions to Coldplay's Will Champion at the Leicester leg of their UK tour.

Atomicduster: You've achieved a hell of a lot in a very short space of time - a top 5 single, number 1 album, nominations for prestigious music awards and so on. What's next for Coldplay and what direction will you be taking?

Will Champion: Well we don't like to get bogged down too much because we tend to get a bit depressed about how structured our lives have become. Every single hour in every day is filled with doing something so I think basically what's on our minds at the moment is just making this tour as good as possible. When we come back from this tour we go out to Spain, then come back, then out to Australia then Germany. It's very busy.

AD: Did you realise when you came into the industry that it was going to be quite such a full time job?

WC: Well we hoped it would be. Family members still say to me "What do you do as your real job?" though!

AD: You were widely expected to win the Mercury Music Prize. Did it hurt to lose out to Badly Drawn Boy and do you take music awards seriously?

WC: No it didn't hurt and no we don't really take them seriously. I don't know, it's weird. It's nice to be nominated and stuff but it's just a panel of judges so it's a bit dubious the way it's selected.

AD: The inevitable backlash encountered by any successful band has already started, not least with Alan McGee's comments that you were "bedwetters". Were you surprised by his comments and how did they affect you personally?

WC: I really have no opinion on it whatsoever. It's one of those things we get asked about all the time and we had absolutely nothing to do with it.

AD: So it's not going to turn into a Robbie Williams / Liam Gallagher type slanging match?

WC: There's no point. The thing is that, the most criticism we've had is not to do with the music, it's to do with the fact that we haven't worked down a mine for fifteen years. Then people start questioning your right to be where you are and I think that's a bit rude really. If anyone's got a passion for music, no matter where they're from or who their parents are, they should be given a chance.

AD: Having put out such an accomplished and outstanding album, do you feel you've put enormous pressure on yourselves for the second? How do you hope to better it?

WC: We have put pressure on ourselves, but if we hadn't, we'd just be churning out any old rubbish and that's not what we want to do. We're only going to release the second album if we think it's better than the first. In order to do that, I think we need to live semi-normal lives to write decent music that isn't just about mini bars and hotels because at the moment we haven't been able to. We're just constantly on the road. Next year we're going to be operating a two week on, two week off kind of thing where we stay at home and live and write songs and then two weeks touring, promotion, whatever.

AD: With the current charts being ruled by dance acts and boy bands who only got where they are by massive marketing campaigns, was it difficult to get noticed and how did you achieve this?

WC: What we're most pleased with is that it hasn't been a mindless marketing slog. It's been more of a natural growth and it's been on the base of radio play and live performances. I have this kind of both respect and loathing of music journalists because they're trying to put something into words which ultimately is not decipherable. That's why it's music. Then on the flip side you can destroy something that someone's put a lot of soul and effort into with one article. It's so fickle. If someone at, say NME likes this band they're made, - forget about them if the NME hates them.

AD: Do you get invited to loads of showbiz parties or do you tend to avoid them like the plague?

WC: Again it's nothing to do with what we're into - which is the music - so we tend to avoid them....although Guy DID go to Kylie's party the other day!

AAAH don't tell me that. I'm a secret Kylie obsessive. I even have her mini video with "Je Ne Sais Pas Porquoi" on it. Enough of the green eyed monster for now though

- thanks to all of Coldplay for undergoing the Atomic Duster experience. Tone E

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