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Coldplay drummer Will Champion talks to Roofdog

Since the release of last years Blue Room EP and subsequent live dates with Gomez, Bellatrix and Shack, Coldplay have found a strong following and are now recording their eagerly awaited debut album. Roofdog now speaks to drummer Will Champion...

Over the past few months, a lot of praise has been bestowed on Coldplay and now it seems that all eyes are on you as the 'next big thing'. Do you find that intimidating?

"Not really. The pressure we feel is only on ourselves really; we put pressure on ourselves to make the best music we can and live up to our own expectations and if we live up to other peoples expectations aswell then that's a bonus. I think we're just in the business of trying to make sure we do play to the best of our ability and if people will enjoy that then it's brilliant because that's what it's all about, just trying to get as many people to hear your music and as many people to get something out of it as possible. Next week there's probably going to be another 'next big thing' round the corner so you can't take it too seriously.

It's nice that we've had such attention, but hopefully we want people to judge us by the album and by our live performances which are the most important things rather than our reputation."

Your new single, Shiver, is out next week. Is that a fair taster for the album?

"Yeah - the general theme of the album and the message we're trying to get across is one of optimism and determination and it's almost like a mirror of our situation; we're on the bottom rung of a very big ladder and the only way you can hope to improve is by being really strong and determined. But the way it manifests itself in the album is quite different - there are a lot of big 'up' tunes and there are a lot of quieter ones.

We're going back to Liverpool to finish recording the album for the next ten days and then we'll be finished, so the album should be out either late May or early June.

Did you enjoy the NME Premier tour?

Yeah, it was brilliant! We'd done a couple of small tours before that, one in the summer and one last autumn with Bellatrix, but the NME tour was the first one which had larger venues and bigger crowds. Actually, when we played in Newcastle (Newcastle University, with Shack, Les Rythmes Digitales and Campag Velocet) we went out with Shack afterwards and ended up in a little Jazz Bar until about four in the morning singing songs with Shack and it was brilliant - we really enjoyed Newcastle!"

So have you any rock 'n roll tales?

Not really, not from our camp anyway - we're not big on rock 'n roll excesses - we're privileged as we're in a situation where we can let a lot of people hear our music and that's the thing we're most grateful for. We're not quite rock n' roll decadents yet?!

Coldplay are often compared to artists such as Jeff Buckley and Radiohead. Do you think this is fair, and do you respond?

"I don't really get annoyed by it but I suppose it's only natural because we haven't had a huge body of work that's been presented to people, so all they have to go no is early stuff, which to be honest is very different to the sort of stuff we're writing and playing now.

It's not really annoying but the way that the mind works is to compare us to someone else. It's nice to be compared to them in a way as we'd be lying if we said we didn't enjoy the music of Radiohead and Jeff Buckley, and it's an honour to be put in that category. I can't see the comparison any more myself, as the stuff we're playing now is very different to anyone else round at the moment, and hopefully when people buy the album they'll realise that. It's getting better for us as all the songs we've played on the NME tour were new ones so the recordings went really well as we knew how to get the best out of the songs."

Please choose five bands for your fantasy festival - you're allowed two that have split but the other three still have to be around.

"Hmm... well obviously you'd have to have the Beatles? I'll have The Rolling Stones aswell. Oh? how many am I allowed that have split up, just two?

Three at a push...

"Ah, then I'll take The Beach Boys aswell. Bob Dylans's still recording, and I'll have a chap called Christy Moore. He's an Irish singer who you might not have heard of but he's just amazing; in the sort of mould of Bob Dylan but more sort of traditional Irish songs."

You find yourself marooned on a desert island for a week, but you're allowed an unlimited supply of one type of food and drink to last you. What would they be?

"Hmm... Chunky Kit Kats, and Tropicana Orange Juice probably? a fine, fine drink.

And what have you been listening to recently?

"I have been listening to a lot of Beatles.. I just bought the new Beastie Boys anthology which is brilliant. We listen to a really wide range of stuff, which will hopefully keep us varied. Once it becomes predictable it's pretty boring - even if it's little things that jump out at you from an album, it's still something you can take away with you and that's the important thing. So let's hope that the different influences will keep some good songs churning out?"

Karl Cremin

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