Anxiously awaiting the new album from Coldplay? Well, get comfy. It’s going to be awhile.
That’s because the as-yet-untitled follow-up to 2002’s A Rush of Blood to the Head — originally due in March — has been pushed back to late June, as the band is still tinkering with the final product. But there is light at the end of the tunnel: After months of writing and rewriting, recording and re-recording, Coldplay decided it was finally time to get busy (see “Coldplay Want Next LP To Be ’Best Thing Anyone Ever Heard'” and “2005: A Look Ahead”).
“I think we were in no hurry, because the prospect of touring again was so daunting that we felt we should take our time, and also we wanted to make sure that it was the best it could possibly be,” drummer Will Champion said in an interview in the band’s quarterly e-zine. “Having no deadline became a problem because we never really felt the need to finish anything. As soon as we gave ourselves a proper deadline, we started to be much more productive, and the stuff we were doing was miles better. It’s always the same with us: The best stuff comes when we start to panic.”
That panic has produced “about 14 or 15 songs,” of which 10 or 11 will make the final cut. According to the e-zine, song titles include “Square One,” “What If,” “Talk,” “X&Y,” “Till Kingdom Come” and “The Hardest Part.”
“There are songs that kind of pick up where ’Clocks’ left off, but also ones that have moved on a bit,” Champion said. “On one song, I played the pump organ, and we all sat in a room together recording live takes. On others, I would play the drums to a guide piano or guitar and singing, and then we’d layer it up from there.”
One fundamental difference with the new album is that it’s the first Coldplay are recording without Ken Nelson, who produced both 2000’s Parachutes and A Rush of Blood. Originally, Nelson was on-board as the producer for album #3, but he has since been replaced by Danton Supple, who served as an engineer on A Rush Of Blood.
And when will fans actually get to hear some of the new material? Well, Coldplay will headline Santa Monica, California, radio station KCRW’s fourth annual Sounds Eclectic Evening, and they have also been confirmed as one of the headliners for this year’s Coachella festival (see “Coachella Snags Coldplay, Nine Inch Nails, Weezer, Bright Eyes, Wilco” ), April 30-May 1 in Indio, California. Aside from those gigs, nothing further is confirmed, which is apparently OK with Champion. The prospect of live shows has him feeling a bit nervous.
“[I’m] utterly petrified,” he said. “We haven’t played a gig in 16 months.”