Chris Martin is famously press-shy. “You play your cards close to the vest,” Rolling Stone founder and editorial director Jann S. Wenner observes in this sit-down, filmed recently in New York City. “I try to,” Martin admits. But for one of the only interviews he’s doing around the release of Coldplay’s eighth album, Everyday Life, Martin opens up to Wenner as he has never before: about religion, sexuality, his drive, insecurities, and Coldplay’s place in the world today.
The frontman goes deep into his teenage years that led to Coldplay’s formation. He struggled to fit in at his boarding school and questioned his sexuality, something that created “terrible turmoil.” He retreated into music, especially classic soul, British shoegaze rock and cathedral music, all of which came out in Coldplay’s sound. When they became one of the biggest bands in the world with the release of their first album Parachutes in 2000, Martin’s insecurities never went away. He wanted them to be the biggest band in the world; sometimes his ambition led to the wrong creative choices; he admits their third album X&Y was “not quite right,” but they released it anyway.
Martin had let go of a lot of those pressures by the time Coldplay made Everyday Life, a double album that Rolling Stone called “Coldplay’s rangiest and deepest release by orders of magnitude, maybe even their best.” After playing the Super Bowl and releasing the huge commercial success, A Head Full of Dreams in 2015, he tried to get back to the feeling that made him want to make music in the first place. “Between you and me and everyone who’s watching, we had to grow a bit of balls to be able to do this one,” Martin reveals. “It’s the first time we really said what we think about some things. And it’s trying to be empathetic and it’s a bit unfiltered. It’s completely unfiltered. It’s very raw and pure.”
“All we have to do now,” Martin says, “is follow the muse.”
This is second of four video interviews with music’s biggest names, presented by Dodge. See the first interview with the Black Keys here.