Much has changed for Coldplay since its early days at University College London, where the group struggled to make a name for themselves under the moniker “Starfish”. (We’re glad they decided on a rebrand early on, not least because of the hilarious jokes that must have been made about Chris Martin’s sex life—see fact number one below.) Beginning with a sound popularized by mid-'90s Radiohead, the four-piece proved both its versatility and staying-power by transforming the emotional indie of A Rush of Blood to the Head into the colourful, string-infused rock of Viva la Vida and then the feature-filled pop-rock of A Head Full of Dreams. Last playing in Vancouver in 2012, the band will bring their explosive live show to B.C. Place on Friday (September 29).
Late to the porking party. Still desperately waiting for your first-ever kiss, mostly because there’s the admittedly slim chance that it might lead to you finally getting to do it? Chris Martin without question feels your pain. The world today knows him as the rakishly handsome rock star who—incredible as this might seem—got to the point where bedding Gwyneth Paltrow started to seem like work. Before his former wife came along, Martin wasn’t going to unseat Gene Simmons, Tom Jones, or James Deen as one of the busiest Lotharios in show business. Endearingly, the singer has never pretended that he first did it drunk at age 13 in the woods with someone whose name he can no longer remember. Instead, Martin didn’t lose his virginity until he was 22 years old. Three years later, at a time when his rock star status ensured his unlimited access to groupies across the world, he was ensconced in a relationship with Paltrow.
He’s been candid about his late start, telling Rolling Stone, “Well, there were religious issues and shit like that. Also confidence. I had a tricky time with girls until I was, like, 21. I'm sure it's always tricky, but I didn't quite have it down.” As for today, one can only hope that his conscious uncoupling from Paltrow in 2014 has enabled him to put a few more notches on his bedpost. He’s at least picked up some skills since his teens. As he noted in that same Rolling Stone article, he started a band for the reason everyone starts a band, namely to get laid. “I got trapped in the friendship tip many, many times,” he said. “It was like, ‘I need to be a rock star, because this is no good: being the kind of guy that everybody likes but no one wants to have sex with.’ I don't want to be the person that makes everyone laugh before they go off and bang. I want to be the guy that everybody bangs. So all these little things accumulate to just give you little bits of drive.”
Genocidal maniac. Gutted that Rob Stark never made it onto the Iron Throne? Blame Coldplay. The band’s drummer, Will Champion, was a central part of Game of Thrones’ infamous Red Wedding scene, in the role of…a drummer. Awarded a cameo in the shocking episode that—spoiler alert—graphically depicts the murders some the Stark clan’s most important members, Champion appears as one of the musician assassins hired by Lothar Frey. That’s not the only involvement that Coldplay have had with the show. Known for its charity work, the band performed alongside former and current members of the Game of Thrones cast—including Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister), Emilia Clark (Daenerys Targaryen), and Kit Harington (Jon Snow)—for the inaugural U.S. Red Nose Day event. The sketch riffed on the idea of a musical version of the show, which suitably disgusts writer George R.R. Martin. If only he’d spent that time actually finishing The Winds of Winter.
You're feeling very sleepy. Chris Martin might be a famous non-drinker, but he’s not opposed to getting out of his mind. Signing on Roxy Music star and general musical oddball Brian Eno as producer for the Viva la Vida and Mylo Xyloto albums, Martin and the band consented to being hypnotised to write the records. “Brian knew a hypnotist and we thought it might get some interesting results,” guitarist Johnny Buckland told Entertainment Weekly. “We all went upstairs, sat down, and he walked around us. He got us into some strange kind of trance, and we came down and played some more.” “It did work, actually,” Martin confirms in the same interview. “We came up with a lot of interesting noises, which we used.”
RIH-up. Like most people with decent to good taste, Coldplay frontman Chris Martin is a fan of Rihanna. A big one, in fact. This admiration presumably dates back to 2014, when the Brit band collaborated with Rih on the orientalizing mess that was “Princess of China” (we’re still side-eyeing the fuck out of them for that one), but Martin really went public with his fondness of the Barbados-born star during an interview with The Guardian last year. “She is the Frank Sinatra of our generation,” he said. (Yes, he literally said this.) “She can turn anything into gold with that voice.” He then went on to compare Rih’s tone to a “beautifully squeezed tube of toothpaste” and a tree trunk. “Rihanna’s voice is just delicious for your ear,” he concluded. Thoughtfully poetic, or hilariously delusional thanks to a few too many years spent kickin’ it with the ol’ Goop? We’ll let you decide.
Houston: we have a problem. Coldplay was forced to cancel its Houston show last month following the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, but that didn’t stop the group from showing the city—and its resilient residents—some love. During a tour stop in Miami on Monday (September 25), leading man Chris Martin took to the stage to introduce a newly written song dedicated to and named after the Texan town. It’s a country track and it’s kind of great: "I'm dreamin' of when I get back to Houston, I'm dreamin' of that very special place; I'm dreamin' of when Houston has no problems, in that city where they send you into space,” the band sang. Martin stated that, after the Miami performance, “we'll never play this again”, but we reckon it has “potential charity single” written all over it.More