As of this writing, Coldplay's X&Y has sold more than 2.2 million copies in the U.S. alone, in a stealth manner befitting a band whose lead singer makes his political statements via pieces of tape on his fingers.
Coldplay might not be the flashiest rock act in the world, nor the most headline-grabbing or controversial, yet they've still managed to achieve massive worldwide success, mostly because they are none of those things. (see "Coldplay: The Quiet Revolution") But that could change in an instant, thanks to the video for their new single, "Talk," directed by photographer-to-the-stars Anton Corbijn, who's so famous that he didn't even have to approach Coldplay — they approached him.
"I have turned down a few previous requests from Coldplay to do a script for their songs, but I liked this song and had an idea straightaway, so that was enough for me to go on," Corbijn said. "It is always the idea and the song that counts, not the size of the band. I just as happily work with [songwriter/abstract artist] Joseph Arthur, for instance, as with a big band. The only redeeming factor in that sense is that I know the video from the big band will get MTV airplay."
The flashy Corbijn — who's directed memorable clips for the likes of Nirvana ("Heart Shaped Box") and Depeche Mode ("Enjoy the Silence") and recently helmed the Killers' "All These Things That I've Done" video (see "Killers Don't Understand Their Anton Corbijn-Directed Clip") — will shoot the "Talk" clip in London during the first week of November, in between Coldplay's gigs in Oslo, Norway, and Stockholm, Sweden.
For clues to what fans can expect from the video, Corbijn said to look no further than his past. With him, what you see is generally what you get. And though he was a bit hesitant to divulge actual details about the "Talk" clip, he was more than happy to take all the credit for them.
"Well, it is black and white, and slightly strange, as is often the way in my videos, I guess. It will have a certain B-movie feel to it, but I cannot say more than this for now," he explained. "I always come up with the ideas — except for Nirvana's video — but usually there is some input from the artist. Generally, people come to me for the whole trip, if you like. Whether that is good or bad, I cannot say, but that is what happens."