British rock band Bring Me the Horizon have explained why they smashed Coldplay‘s table during a live performance at the 2016 NME Awards, clarifying that it wasn’t an act of “dirty protest.” Last year, singer Oli Sykes made headlines by accusing Coldplay of copying the cover art of Horizon’s 2013 LP Sempiternal for their A Head Full of Dreams sleeve. But Sykes says it’s pure coincidence that Coldplay were sitting at the table he trampled. “It wasn’t meant to be Chris Martin’s table at all,” he told BBC. “You know when you know no one is really going to care about your band if you do what you usually do.”
The incident found Sykes jumping on Coldplay’s table while the alt-metal band played “Happy Song” from their acclaimed 2015 LP, That’s the Spirit. The frontman kicked bottles and glasses until the table collapsed beneath him. Crowd-shot footage of the incident is available below.
— Coldplaying (@coldplaying) February 17, 2016
“I had no sound in my ears, so I thought ‘Well, there might be sound out there,'” Sykes told NME after the ceremony. “There weren’t sound out there, so when I came back, there was a table, which I got on. There wasn’t any sound on there, but it was a bit more energetic up there. It was in no way a protest against Coldplay.”
“I don’t think [Oli] was aiming for Coldplay,” added keyboardist Jordan Fish. “It was just whoever was nearest. It [just] happened to be Coldplay.”
Bring Me the Horizon were seemingly at peace with the album art controversy prior to the performance. Last year, Sykes told NME that while he’s surprised Coldplay didn’t notice the similarities, he’s happy the “flower of life” symbol on their cover will reach a wider audience. “It’s not ours, it’s kind of cool really, it’s a cool thing that a band that big are also gonna be sharing that with people,” he said.
Bring Me the Horizon expanded beyond their metalcore roots on That’s the Spirit, incorporating orchestral and electronic elements into their music. “We don’t listen to extreme deathcore anymore,” Fish told Rolling Stone of the shift. “We still like some heavy music, but I also like Justin Bieber. My wife told me the other day I have the music taste of a teenage girl.”