Kaotican Alphabet

Jonny: My hobby is being in the studio

27.Jan.2009 catches up with Jonny

Hello Jonny, what are you up to?
I’m in the studio.

The Bakery?
Yes. We pop in all the time, but this is the first time we’ve been back doing a little bit of stuff with Brian.

Mr Eno?
Yeah. It was enjoyable last time, so we asked if he fancied doing a little bit more. We’re just sort of trying ideas at the moment.

With a view to what?
Just to having some ideas! We thought it would be an enjoyable and interesting thing to do.

Is hypnotism involved?
No hypnotism this time. We’re using a few less oblique strategies, but they’re strategies all the same.

Can you reveal any of those strategies?
No, not really. We’re trying a load of different things and seeing where they take us.

Is it nice to be doing that again after all the gigs last year?
Yeah it’s refreshing. After you’ve been playing for a while it stops feeling creative, so it’s good doing some new things. We’re trying to do things that haven’t been done before, by us or anyone else.

Do you think of your job as being 50 percent in the studio and 50 percent on the road?
I would say my job is going on the road and my hobby is being in the studio. I enjoy the playing part of touring. Being on the road is great in small doses. but if it’s more than ten weeks away in one go, that can be hard.

So, 2008 went pretty well for Coldplay.
I haven’t really thought about it, to be honest.

Well, you had the biggest selling album in the world last year.
Did we? That is incredible.

And you played gigs all around the world to sold-out audiences.
Yeah, it was a great year actually. Very enjoyable. The only bit that wasn’t so enjoyable was the bit right before the album came out. But the rest of the year went remarkably well.

What was the best gig of last year?
Brixton Academy. It was exciting because we were playing the new stuff. The free one at Madison Square Garden was great as well.

What was the worst mistake you made on stage in 2008?
Oh there were so many! Splitting my trousers on the run back from the C-stage bit was pretty hair-raising. It was in America, around Dallas time.

Did you have a good Christmas break?
Yeah, I went to Jamaica. It was very nice.

The big excitement since Christmas has been the video for Life In Technicolor ii.
Absolutely. I think it’s our best video. I always have a fondness for videos I don’t have to be in. I didn’t have to do anything. It was a dream video. I think we should do all our videos this way.

Guy’s puppet perhaps isn’t the best likeness to him.
Oh, I think it bears a sort of distant resemblance.

But Guy’s a good looking man and his puppet isn’t terribly good looking.
Well, how many puppets are good looking?

How did the video come together?
To be honest I didn’t have that much to do with it. Phil, who features quite heavily in the video, worked with the director who came up with a couple of ideas. This was the one that fit with the song.

What did you think of Phil’s acting debut?
I thought it was superb. I particularly loved his sweater.

What are you looking forward to most about this year?
The stadium gigs, definitely. And going to Australia will be good – it’s a long time since we’ve been there.

Are you re-thinking the whole show for the stadium gigs?
Yes, probably. I think we’ll spend a good chunk of April pondering that. We’ll have to do some things differently, I think.

Will you be going to the Carling Cup Final at Wembley for research purposes?
Sadly not, as we’ll be in Australia. I’m a bit gutted to be missing it. I can’t believe we [Tottenham] made it in. I turned on the radio when we were 3-0 down to Burnley with five minutes to go in extra time. It’s been a strange season. But I’m really pleased to have Jermain Defoe back.

Presumably it’s nice have received so many Grammy and Brit nominations.
It’s wonderful. I don’t think we’re going to win any, though. I like to go into these things thinking that way.

Is it still strange rubbing shoulders with lots of famous people at award shows?
It is a bit. You still get that thing where you think you know people but actually you’ve only seen them on the telly. I had an awfully embarrassing moment with somebody, who I’m not going to name, when I waved to them and then I thought to myself, "Oh no you idiot, you don’t know her, you’ve just seen her on TV!’

So, is there any sort of time scale on when we might hear this new material you’re working on?
Not at the moment. We’re not even recording anything, we’re just playing. We do have some songs, but we’re really just trying things out at the moment.

How’s the trying out been going?
Really, really well. It feels like we’re expanding our palates. And we’re having fun.