Coldplay Want Next LP To Be ‘Best Thing Anyone Ever Heard’

Frontman trying to 'be Einstein' of music world on new effort.

During an appearance on London’s BBC Radio Tuesday, Coldplay
singer Chris Martin said that the band plans to stay out of the public
eye for the rest of the year to work on its next album with producer
Ken Nelson.

“We really feel that we have to be away for a while,” Martin said, “and
we certainly won’t release anything this year, because I think people
are a bit sick of us.”

Martin said there’s no pressure to match the sales of A Rush of
Blood to the Head,
per se, but he’s pushing himself to the extreme
because Coldplay are aiming to create songs that are more dynamic,
well-crafted and beautiful than anything they — or anyone else
— have ever done.

“We are trying to make the best thing that anyone has ever heard,” he
said. “My philosophy at the moment in life is, why not try and be
Einstein, even if you’re never going to make it?”

Martin’s BBC interview, which lasted nearly a half hour, was primarily
to discuss the campaign for fair trade. He addressed music for only the
last few minutes.

In addition to talking a little about Coldplay, Martin discussed his
hero Johnny Cash, whom he referenced when he accepted a Grammy for “Clocks.” He added that he wrote a song for Cash
and had been invited by producer Rick Rubin to record it with the
country legend.

“It was all ready and Rick Rubin said, ‘[Cash is] ill at the moment,
but then he’s coming to L.A. and he’s going to record this.’ And then
he died,” Martin recalled. “[Cash] was someone who stood up for
everybody and never got criticized for it, maybe because he lived it a
lot more than people like me. When you’re a musician, you have to look
up to those people. He’s my hero.”

At the Grammys, Martin also sang the praises of U.S. Senator John
Kerry. “I mentioned John Kerry at the Grammys because someday, if he’s
president, maybe he’ll say, ‘Maybe I’ll meet with these Coldplay guys
and find out what they have to say about fair trade,’ ” he said.

Martin got interested in fair trade two years ago. He was invited by
Oxfam, an organization that works to combat poverty and suffering, to
visit Haiti and observe the working conditions and treatment of the
country’s coffee and rice farmers. Martin spent over a week in the
country.

“They really feel the effects of product dumping and rich countries
subsidizing themselves,” Martin said. “Haiti’s rice farmers are crushed
by cheap American rice coming in having to pay no import duty, and that
rice is excess that’s they don’t need in America because it’s paid for
by subsidies and they produce too much. So Haiti was a good example of
someplace that can’t get off its feet because it can’t get its industry
going.”

While Martin said traveling to Haiti was an invaluable experience, he
didn’t enjoy being there. “I thought, ‘Well, I’m a rock star with a
worthy cause and I’m going to love it, and I just wanted to go home. I
thought, ‘I can’t hande it. It’s disgusting. I want to go back to the
bubble which I live in. I can’t deal with that reality, which is all
the more reason to be there. There’s no state benefits, the government
aren’t building roads, and no one’s picking up the rubbish. It’s
awful.”

Since then, Martin has traveled to Mexico City and plans other
expeditions in the future. He knows that he’s no Bono and realizes he
won’t be able to schedule appointments with major world leaders, but
he’s happy to be seen as the poster boy for free trade.

“We want to get the words ‘fair trade’ around. The more those words
become buzzwords or into the public’s consciousness, the better,” he
said. “I would be happy if some 19 year old hears about fair trade
because he likes Coldplay. And then years down the road, when he’s the
CEO of some company, those ideas stick in his head.”