62 oracle items tagged as jonny
August 20, 2013 / submitted by Steve, United States of America
Q.  Hey Oracle, my name is Steve from United States. My favorite guitarist in the world is Jonny Buckland, and I always had a question about his rigs...
I know he uses Fender Deville, but wondering if he's using stock speakers or others and what are some of his drive pedals that he uses to get the sound? If you could answer this for me, that will be the most awesome thing that will happen in my whole life...

Steve from the U.S, you're about to have the most awesome thing in your whole life happen (well, for now).
I asked Matt Mc Ginn to answer this one as this is very much his domain. He's given quite a detailed response:

Hope the following helps and isn't too techy! You're right, Jonny uses two 2x12 Hot Rod DeVilles live, hooked up in stereo for exta-silly delay effects.  The amps are so loud we have to have one facing backwards, along with an equally earsplitting (ask Bash the drum tech) Marshall 1960BX 4x12 cab driven by a reissue 100w Superlead head.  All Marshall pieces are stock but the Fenders are modded - they have Celestion Vintage speakers in, plus the pots have been changed so they effectively only go up to three instead of eleven, twelve, or whatever it is. They're the same vol, but the knobs are easier to use, is all.  And a pair of DeVilles is plenty loud enough, even running at two and a half! You might notice more stuff than this piled up behind him on his riser; that's cos we have a spare of everything, plumbed in and ready to go. 

As for Jonny's tone, it's achieved in a quite old-fashioned way, which is to say we don't use master or gain, we just turn it up a bit.  This, coupled with the humbucker pickups he has on most of his guitars, means he never really has a properly clean tone at all.  It sorta starts off slightly dirty and just gets muckier, depending how hard he plays and what pedals we decide to switch on.

There's all sorts of distortion and gain effects; Power Screamers, Rats, screwy echoes that break up, that sort of thing.  Most stuff we punch in is running pretty hot too - if there's a meter on a device you'll be seeing a little red!
You can have a look at the FX setup at their website.

August 12, 2013 / submitted by Chris, United Kingdom
Q.  Did Chris and Jonny became a school janitor? If yes, is it after college or while studying college? Hoping for your answer!

This was at college. The band were on the verge of a record deal but they decided to finish their time at UCL (all bar Guy that is) before signing to a label.
There is no way they had time to be janitors* post-studies as they literally went straight from college to touring and recording.

*Here's a little interesting fact. From 1984-9 there was a band from the North-East of England called The Janitors. Their guitar / keyboards player was Craig Hope - our very own Hoppy!

July 31, 2013 / submitted by Vero, Argentina
Q.  Hi Oracle! I was watching an old interview with Chris and Jonny (from 2005, I think) and I was surprised when Chris mentioned that Jonny is an astronomer. Is this true or was he joking? Thank you for your time!

Jonny did indeed study astronomy (& maths) at UCL.

April 10, 2013 / submitted by Hasnaa, Morocco
Q.  Hello dear Oracle,
What do you think of this? Can we know what they think of that now?
From the first time I've seen it, I said whatever the signed thing may be... from Coldplay it would be precious.
Thank you dear Oracle, wish you all the best :)

That's just Jonny having a laugh but it is a siNGing toothbrush not a siGNed one.

March 19, 2013 / submitted by Nate, United States of America
Q.  Hello Oracle, I was wondering how Jonny gets that great sound on his guitar? It sound incredible! And where can I get a book or tabs for how Jonny plays songs and riffs exactly the way he plays them? Thanks see ya!

Many great guitarists have a distinctive sound: Clapton, Prince, Hendrix & our very own Buckland.
There are many components to creating that sound. The guitarist first and foremost and then their choice of guitar, the effects pedals, techniques and even the amp. Guitarists can choose to play with or without distortion, capo, whammy bar, pick (plectrum) and slides. All of these are contributing factors.

We don't have guitar tabs books - though there are some available online, as well as tabs sites but I'd hate to recommend any that aren't accurate.
There are also YouTube videos of how to play Coldplay songs - unofficial - but probably worth a look.

December 6, 2012 / submitted by Jake, Australia
Q.  HEY!!! Coldplay's first Sydney show was spectacular and absolutely outstanding! Quick question: I noticed that for songs like Paradise, Charlie Brown, In My Place, Major Minus - that Jonny wasn't using his 2 regular 'MX graffiti' guitars, instead he was using a sunburst tele. Do you know why?
Thanks! The whole Coldplay team are amazing!

Thanks to Matt McGinn (Jonny's guitar tech) for this in depth response:
"Well, that one (which is called 'Sunny' - they've all got names) is Jonny's total favourite. He's had it about ten years and has played it on most of the albums and tours since Rush Of Blood - it's actually the one he's holding if you look at the band photo from that album cover. There's just something about the two of them that seems to click. It sounds amazing, for a start. And he's really happy when he's playing it, as you might have noticed.

I can't remember where he picked it up - maybe Chicago? - but, if you're interested, it's a '72 Thinline from about 1974. It's half hollow - so, semi-semi acoustic, I guess - and has a lot of really nice gouges in it from being thoroughly thwacked. All still original, as far as I know. I reckon it must've cost him about 2000 US dollars but God knows what it'd be worth now. You can get a pretty good Fender copy/reissue these days for a lot less, off the peg, that might turn out lovely after a few years of playing it. That's the thing, any old guitar can be amazing if you love it enough.

It - or should I say 'she', since, like ships, all guitars are girls - was sidelined for awhile and only used on 'Scientist' but then we got so soaked, boiled and frozen on the last European stadium run that all the other Tele's got in a total mess; impossible to tune, playing like old dogs etc. I decided to hand him Sunny out of desperation one night right before Fix You (I forget what town) and when he did the opening riff it was like a light coming on. He just looked round at me and we knew she had to come back for good.

Glad you liked the Sydney gig - so did I!"

August 14, 2012 / submitted by Laura, Argentina
Q.  Hi dear Oracle! I hope you're doing great. The other day I was watching a documentary about different dialects and languages spoken within the UK and I found Welsh absolutely impossible to understand or imitate (I speak for myself here of course) Now, I know Jonny grew up in Wales and I was wondering, can he speak Welsh fluently?

Regards from Buenos Aires

The part of Wales that Jonny is from - Mold - is North Wales and very close to the English border. People from that area don't tend to have strong Welsh accents at all. As far as I know Jonny's secondary school wasn't a Welsh Language school so as he wasn't born in Wales he will have spoken English at home - and school.
I'm pretty sure he's not fluent.

May 30, 2012 / submitted by Tony, United Kingdom
Q.  Hi,Oracle.
I want to ask that which song Chris Martin sings here?
I can't know the name of this funny song.

It has no name as it's not anything. It's just an on the spot "jam" to sing happy birthday to Jonny. Chris is making it up as he goes along.
Good find so thanks for sending it!

March 20, 2012 / submitted by Valentina, Denmark
Q.  Dear Oracle,

I was listening to a live version of In My Place and I heard Chris say that Jonny actually wrote that song. I also remember Chris mentioning that Square One was written by Jonny jamming with Will. I was under the impression all melodies came from Chris and then were worked together by the band, but are there actually songs whose melody comes from someone other than Chris? And which other songs are Jonny's then? :)

Chris comes up with the majority of the melodies but regardless the band often come up with individual parts, hooks, riffs, fills etc. Some songs do start as a jam and if someone has a great idea, it becomes the reason for continuing and forming a new song. Jonny did come up with the instantly recognisable guitar hook for In My Place. As far as I know, Square One comprises many different elements from the band and a riff from Matt McGinn.
I can't answer your question other than to say no other songs are Jonny's - they are all Coldplay's.

March 13, 2012 / submitted by John, United Kingdom
Q.  This is a bit of a long shot, but I used to teach Jonathan Buckland in his last 2 years of Primary School. He was the goal keeper in our school football team and also - not surprisingly - had a star role in our school Christmas concert! The kids used to call me Mr D. I have two sons from my first marriage - they are both Coldplay fanatics! I am now re-married and have two step-daughters who think they are brill as well. Trouble is, they don't really believe me when I say I used to teach Jonny. Is there any way he would consider sending me an email to prove I'm not spinning them a yarn? Many thanks, John

Nice little insight into the young Buckland there, thank you. Have you tried asking the school as they must have a photo of their football teams in the archives somewhere? Or even the Christmas concert...
I'm ever so sorry but I'm not sure I want to open the floodgates of validation requests.