10 Things You Might Not Know About Coldplay
As Paul Rudd jokingly asks (and answers for) Seth Rogen in ‘The 40 Year Old Virgin,’ “Do you know how I know you’re gay? You listen to Coldplay.” We here at Diffuser.fm can comfortably say that sexual preference has zero to do with being a Coldplay fan, and furthermore, we think the internationally renowned British band has gotten a bad rap in the last few years. After starting strong with ‘Parachutes,’ the band immediately raised the banners of U2 and Sting and went from Single-A pop to the Major Leagues in one fell swoop. This may have disillusioned some of its fan base, but ask yourself this: Who wouldn't want to sell millions of records and marry Gwyneth Paltrow? Come on. Be serious. But there's more to these guys than stadium sing-alongs and toddlers with weird names, and to prove it, we’ve put together this handy-dandy list of 10 Things You Might Not Know About Coldplay.
You may already know where Coldplay got their name. We put this up top because it's probably the easiest of these "Did You Know?" questions. The name is derived from an out-of-print British psychology book titled ‘Child’s Reflections, Cold Play.’ If you're a real super fan, you might own a copy -- and if you do, we might suggest you seek psychological help, preferably from a more recent book.
This sounds like a silly statement, but it’s true. Frontman Chris Martin had to learn how to sing ‘The Scientist’ (or at least pretend like he was singing it) backwards for the music video Coldplay shot with director Jamie Thraves. In a 2003 MTV.com interview, Thraves said, “[Martin] got a tape of the song recorded backward and he listened to it over and over. He's a very passionate guy, so he got really into it.” Passionate, obsessive ... same difference.
Willie Nelson? A Coldplay fan? That’s what most of us said when this Chipotle ad started making the rounds in 2011. We suggest taking a gander. It’s a neat little cover. We can imagine ol' Willie separating some plant life on a Coldplay CD cover, sparking a giant ‘special cigarette’ and starting in.
We’re not going to be shy about our Gwyneth Paltrow worship here at Diffuser.fm: Chris Martin married wisely. Of course, when he was shooting the video for Coldplay’s megahit ‘Yellow,’ he had no idea that he’d soon become a permanent resident -- if not the mayor -- of Stud-Land.
Ken Nelson, co-producer of ‘Parachutes,’ explained to Sound On Sound, “This was one where Chris [Martin’s] vocals were done in one take. He recorded more than one take, but the one we picked was one take, warts and all.” That’s pretty special when you think about it. Listen to the song, which is flush with higher-than-high parts, and you'll hear all the breaths in and out and the cracks in his voice. It’s sheer magic.
Here's another fairly well known bit of trivia: Coldplay's debut was shortlisted for the U.K.’s top music prize, and while it didn't win, it was an early indication of where the gang was headed. Wondering who did take home the 2000 prize? That would be Badly Drawn Boy, whose ‘The Hour of Bewilderbeast’ is an absolutely amazing album everyone should own. We agree with the Mercury people, at least on this one.
As Champion explained to 'Drum!' magazine's David Weiss in 2003, “Coldplay and drumming arrived simultaneously for me.” He lived in an apartment with a guy that had a drum set, the band recorded him and the self-taught timekeeper was good enough to make the lineup. Not a bad career move.
No, the band didn’t make him do it. According to a 2012 Brisbane Times story, Aussie fan Robert John Kiunisala stripped down to his birthday suit at a Coldplay show because, well, he just loves the band that much. His defense attorney Michael McMillan offered up this gem of an explanation for his client's audacious display: “The intoxicant was his extreme feeling for the group.” We suggest never showing your “extreme feeling” in public. To anyone.
So Coldplay are sissies, are they? Actually, Coldplay’s Chris Martin has had more than one run-in with a photographer and can kick some serious ass when necessary. Watch what happens to this poor guy when he tries to snap a picture of Martin leaving a hospital in New York City. Who you callin' 'Yellow?'
Next time you have Coldplay over for a dinner party, make sure you don't serve them chardonnay. Courtesy of TheSmokingGun.com, we got a hold of this 2003 Coldplay tour rider, which clearly states on page two that the band likes cold bottles of dry white wine -- not chardonnay. Sorry, chardonnay makers of the world -- you just got the, um, cold shoulder.