Last Friday the BBC reported an incident that occurred during a pre-recorded taping of Radio 4 arts show Front Row which resulted in Coldplay lead singer Chris Martin excusing himself from the interview, leaving drummer Will Champion to answer questions for almost the full remainder of the interview.
Writes the BBC:
Martin appeared uncomfortable with the interview from the outset.
When asked [by presenter John Wilson] about a speech he made at a music awards ceremony in 2005 where he said the band would be away “for a very long time”, Martin said: “I always say stupid things and I think Radio 4 is the place that will most remind me of that.”
Presenter Wilson questioned whether the new album – full title, Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends – was a morbid reflection of the band’s lyrical obsession with death.
“I wouldn’t agree with you there at all, no,” said Martin.
“I’d say you’re journalistically twisting me into saying something I don’t really mean.”
A few minutes later, Martin said he was “not really enjoying this” and that he did not really like “having to talk about things”.
Perhaps it was the end of a long day and Chris had had it up to hear with dumb questions? It should be noted, that if you listen to the full interview, the part where Chris says he “says stupid things…” he was saying it jokingly.
Chris does seem to get peeved right around when John says he made a sexist joke about Frida Kahlo. Wilson then goes on to vaguely insult the absurdity of their title, then says that the new album is “morbid.” Wilson presses the idea that Coldplay is lyrically obsessed with death, to which Martin becomes more and more defensive saying that if they only wrote about being happy, it wouldn’t be an accurate image of life.
I must say, it’s pretty amusing to an American listening to it when Chris walks off. There is this kind of uncomfortable silence then Wilson asks “Have I upset him?”, then poor Will responds, “I don’t think so.” The conversation carries on for a few seconds with Wilson and Will muttering to each other. Says Wilson, “I don’t think I said anything conscientiously….” Will interrupts, “No, I don’t think so.” SO BRITISH!
Do you think the storming off was justified?
Presenter John Wilson wrote a story for the Guardian on Sunday, trying to clear up the matter:
As rock’n’roll tantrums go, it was hardly in the spirit of grafitti-scrawled, angry-mob rebellion suggested by the album sleeve. One moment Chris Martin was joking about melons, the next he was politely excusing himself. [ED NOTE: Woah, that’s an amazing quote!] Let’s get this straight – the Coldplay man did not ‘storm out’ of the Front Row interview. Instead, despite his understandable discomfort at having to talk about songs that he’d written and strange album titles he’d invented, he asked if it was OK if he could ‘have a couple of minutes’. I feared the phrase was a showbiz euphemism for: ‘I’m off, you’ll be hearing from my people.’ Well-brought up lad that he is, Chris kept to his word, skulking back in with an embarrassed apology. This was Radio 4 after all.