After making a splash landing in the U.K. with its debut album, "Parachutes," the British group known as Coldplay is readying to drop its new record here in the States on November 7.
Thanks to a much-lauded performance at this past summer's Glastonbury Festival in England and a pair of hit singles, "Shiver" and "Yellow," Coldplay has already generated the kind of cross-Atlantic buzz that surrounded recent British musical imports such as Travis and Gomez.
Coldplay formed out of a group of classmates at the University College in London in 1998, and drummer Will Champion said that after first meeting Chris Martin (guitarist-vocalist), Jon Buckland (guitarist), and Guy Berryman (bassist), it became clear they were all kindred musical spirits.
"It was sort of obvious that we were going to play music together," Champion told MTV News. "I think part of the fact [we formed the band] was that a lot of the first times we met each other, it was often having to do
with music, either listening to music or playing guitars or whatever. It was something to do with that, definitely."
After releasing a series of EPs, Coldplay tapped producer Ken Nelson to oversee "Parachutes," the band's first full-length effort, and were quickly put at ease by the technical acumen Nelson had demonstrated while engineering Gomez's acclaimed "Bring It On" and "Liquid Skin" records.
"You hear tales of producers that are very much armchair producers," Champion indicated, "and they'll say, 'All right, you go in there and play that in this style and I'll record it.' But it was just like having a fifth member of the band who would just sit there [and take it in].
the technology behind [the studio]
and the actual sort of way to make things work and the functions of everything. But [he was] also someone who knew the songs and could tell us when something good had been done. We just trusted him implicitly with being able to tell what was good and what wasn't." [RealAudio]
The resulting sessions produced a record's worth of moody and atmospheric tunes, although the band is quick to point out that "Parachutes" is not quite the dark and morose album that some European critics have tagged it to be.
"We sort of see the optimistic side of [the music]," Champion explained. "We see that a lot of the songs are quite moody and are telling of bad things or whatever, especially lyrically. But there's a lot of sort of twists that imply optimism and stuff like that.... For example, in "Spies," there's
a little twist at the
end of the lyrics which is kind of contrary to the music. The music sounds really dark, but the lyrics are quite positive at the very end.
"It's more like a sort of dichotomy kind of thing," he continued. "It's like the thing behind 'Perfect Day' by Lou Reed. The lyrics are beautiful and they're really, really happy, but the music is really, really sad. It's that kind of thing, where you can create [differing] moods through the music and lyrics." [RealAudio]
Coldplay's "Parachutes" was one of the finalists for this year's Mercury Music Prize, although the record eventually lost out to Badly Drawn Boy's "The Hour Of Bewilderbeast" album (see "Badly Drawn Boy Draws 2000 Mercury Music Prize").
The first American single from "Parachutes"
will be "Yellow,"
while the band is preparing to issue another track, "Trouble," as the third European single from the record.
Coldplay is tentatively set to tour the U.S. in support of "Parachutes" early next year.