62 oracle items tagged as jonny
May 20, 2014 / submitted by David, Netherlands
Q.  Dear Oracle,
Have the band ever tried to switch roles? At a small gig or during a soundcheck or something... I think it'd be cool to see them switch roles for once.

Yes, they have done that a few times at soundchecks. I have photos of Will playing the Gibson Teardrop guitar and of Chris playing drums.
Live there has only really been Jonny and Guy playing instruments other than their own. Notably keys & more recently the reactable.

May 12, 2014 / submitted by Ben, New Zealand
Q.  Hello Oracle!
This was posted on the Coldplay twitter a wee while ago. My question is who is that standing behind Jonny? his guitar tech? Also do you know what "awesome" song he is playing?
Many thanks

That is Dan Green. he's the band's sound engineer/co-producer and has been with them since their early days.
I don't know what the "awesome" song is but shall ask soon.

May 5, 2014 / submitted by Peter, United Kingdom
Q.  Hi Oracle!
I was watching Jools Holland and I noticed Jonny sitting behind the piano during the start of Magic but the piano was playing itself, so I was wondering If Jonny played the intro or was he sat there for another reason?

A few people have asked about the piano playing itself. This isn't the first time the band have adopted this technique (don't forget, it also featured in the Christmas Lights video). More of you seem to have noticed with Magic especially as Chris wasn't sat at it.
Jonny does indeed play the beginning which can be seen more clearly from footage of their recent performance for Sports Relief.

April 8, 2014 / submitted by Jonathan G, Germany
Q.  While I was watching the latest performance of Colplay where they're playing Magic at Sport Relief 2014 I noticed that Jonny first of all plays the piano (which is great I think!) and then he switches to his guitar - but the piano sounds are still there. Do they use a pedal for that? Is most of their instrumental music played live at all, since they have so many different layers of sounds in their songs - especially in the ones from Mylo Xyloto and Ghost stories:

Thank you and greetings from Germany! :)

I've touched on this subject before but it's important to differentiate between not playing live and miming. Their performances are all real and are not mimed. Everything you see is happening in the moment but there are obviously musical parts that are replicated as it would be impossible to play every sound as you say. Another example is the strings in Viva. Keyboards and MIDI systems are equipped to play these parts at live shows.
FYI I mentioned MIDI last week when listing Roadie #42's roles. It stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface.

April 1, 2014 / submitted by Neil, Philippines
Q.  Hi, all-knowing Oracle! I was just wondering, did Jonny ever use his Lake Placid Blue Fender Telecaster live?

Another one for Matt...
"The only blue Tele I recall is the one Jonny had back in the Parachutes days - a JD model with a big dent in it that actually belongs to Will, who I think got it cheap cos of the damage.
It's now his dressing room/warm up guitar and travels with us pretty much everywhere!"

April 1, 2014 / submitted by Dean, United Kingdom
Q.  Hi Oracle, can you please ask Matt McGinn what Jonny's new amps are that he's been using for the recent shows since the iTunes gig? How come he's abandoned his trusty Fender Devilles?


Your wish is my command...
"Not abandoned, don't worry - it's the same rig, we just put the speakers in soundproof isolation boxes away from the stage, so the audience didn't get their ears blown apart in the small room."

March 24, 2014 / submitted by Jake, United States of America
Q.  It is darn near impossible to find out I have looked everywhere online! Your my last hope. Should have been my first go too since your all knowing. What guitar strings (brand/gauge) does Jonny like to use?

Over to Matt McGinn for this one.

"We've always used D'addario but only cos that was what on his guitar when I first met him!
That said, they do have the advantage of having colour coded ends for each individual string - handy in a hurry. 

We do use Ernie Ball's too though, there doesn't seem to be much in it, tone or quality-wise.  No colour coding but each string comes in an individual envelope with a big number on it so you know the gauge.
Jonny's main guitars are set up with regular tens but we'll mix it up for odd tunings, such as Violet Hill which has a big fat bottom string to allow for being tuned down to C#.

Thanks, Matt!

February 11, 2014 / submitted by Begum, Turkey
Q.  Hello, how is your day? I hope everything is goin well. Here is my' question: Who are Jonny Buckland's guitar idols?
Thank you so much! Greetings from Turkey!

I'll go one step' more and give you a list of his musical heroes / influences from his formative years if you like:
Kevin Shields, George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Gram Parsons, Keith Richards, Ian Brown, Aretha Franklin, Shaun Ryder, Nick Cave & bjork.

January 30, 2014 / submitted by Matias, Argentina
Q.  I just saw a picture in which Chris kisses Jonny. Is it real?

That photo is from when Coldplay performed at the Hollywood Bowl, 2003. Someone (with too much time on their hands perhaps) has made it look like a longer kiss by editing the speed.

November 20, 2013 / submitted by Jort, Netherlands
Q.  I found out that at the beginning of the MX-tour Jonny played almost only Fender stratocasters, but later in the tour he started playing Fender telecasters in almost every song. Why did he change?

Jort, I hand this over to the capable guitar tech hands of Matt McGinn:

"Well, this is sort of half-true. We used Stratocasters a lot early on during Mylo, but they never sounded as fat as the Tele's at gigs, which have humbucker pickups rather than the classic single-coils Strats usually come with.

In the end we reverted to the Tele's - 'Sunny', his fave, in particular - for most tunes, except Violet Hill (on which he's always played a 1974 Les Paul Deluxe) and God Put A Smile Upon Your Face. If you look at the live DVD footage from Paris Stade De France you'll see Jonny is playing 'Punky' on this track, which is a white, painted Strat with a Lollar Regal Humbucker fitted at the bridge position.

We did this so he can do all the nice Van Halen-y dive-bomb bits/feedback, etc. The whammy system has been doctored inside as well; it hardly ever goes out of tune, which is amazing if you look at what he's asking of it!

All clever stuff done by the good people at Noden Guitars of London, as always.

Unmodified Strats remained in use on the C-Stage throughout the tour however; they sounded pretty on the quieter numbers, when they were more out on their own and not competing with the big main-stage noise. These were hardtails, i.e. no whammy's.

Finally, the Tele's are actual Fenders but the Strats definitely aren't! They are Nash S63's, custom built by Nash Guitars, near Seattle, then hand-painted by graffiti artist Paris."

Thanks to Matt for this comprehensive answer.