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Chris Martin

musician, co-founder of Coldplay
Chris Martin in Hong Kong in 2006

Christopher Anthony John Martin (born 2 March 1977) is the lead singer, pianist and occasional rhythm guitarist of the popular rock band Coldplay.


  • I definitely believe in God. How can you look at anything and not be over-whelmed by the miraculousness of it?
    • Scaggs, Austin; Corbijn, Anton (2005-08-25), "COLDPLAY'S QUIET STORM". Rolling Stone. (981).
  • I do a lot of apologising but deep down I'm a very confident man. I'm confident in the fact that I make a lot of mistakes. source
  • It was so terrifying, the plane was all over the place. Once a year, for a week, all this dust blows over from the Sahara Desert, you could not see a thing, I couldn't see the ground and as it turns out, nor could the pilot. I found out we were about 200 metres up. The plane dropped off violently to the right then way over to the left, it was lurching all over. But somehow the pilot pulled it off and landed. I don't know how he did it, I was convinced he wasn't going to. Did the pilot know Chris Martin was on board? I don't think he gave a flying f**k. My mind was racing and I thought, 'My daughter will have to get a stepdad.' I also thought, "I've written a will. The band have finished the album but they know how I want to finish certain songs."
    • To The Sun newspaper about a trip for Make Trade Fair, 2005. source
  • What keeps me going is that I could die tomorrow so I’m always trying to live every day. source
  • Q: Are you worried that if you start living it up you'll stop writing good songs?
A: No, I don't think you have to struggle to make good art. I think you have to be passionate to make good art. You have to believe in what you're doing. It just comes from when you lie awake at night. Do you think about what car you're going to buy or what tune you're going to do next? It comes from you. source
  • I think when you're as talented as me or you, you don't need to have an ego. On a serious note, the people I most admire in the world in my field have never shown that much ego to me. source
  • You can sometimes get your own feelings across more strongly if you pretend that you're singing it from someone else's angle. But it's always from me. It's just a new way of framing it. source
  • Before our albums are released I feel like we still own it, that we have control over our music. But once it's out there in the world it's no longer ours. source
  • Economically, unfair trade will benefit nobody in the long run, as poorer countries will be bled totally dry and will become unable to produce anything. source
  • Q: What’s the strangest place you’ve ever woken up?
A: I woke up once somewhere south of Chicago in a children’s playground at about five in the morning. I have a lot of trouble sleeping, and this is when we used to fight as a band, and I definitely remember taking too many Ambien, but I can’t quite work out how I got there. I think I must’ve done that thing where you take Ambien and you start wandering around but then you just fall asleep somewhere. I woke up in this playground, but it was really quite near our hotel. That’s not really a strange place. source
  • It's weird that whatever else is on your mind, whether it's the downfall of global economics or terrible environmental troubles, the thing that always gets you most is when you fancy someone. source
  • They grow cheap tomatoes in Ghana, but I saw market stalls stacked high with cheap tinned tomatoes shipped in from Italy. If Ghana tries to export to Italy they are whacked with tariffs. It doesn't make any sense. We are making money out of these people and they can't afford to send their kids to school. We've got to keep banging on about fair trade. If people knew what misery these trade laws created they would be shocked.
    • To The Sun newspaper about his five-day trip for Make Trade Fair, January 2005. source
  • Anyone who criticizes me for talking about fair trade is really a few pebbles short of a beach, because everybody should care about it, just like everyone should care about the environment: because we all live here. MTV, 2005. source
  • Being nice is a lot easier when you're loaded. Of course I can be a bastard, but it doesn't make me feel as good as not being one. What I'm saying is, sometimes people think you're nicer than you are just because you've got loads of money and you can pay for things.
  • The whole rock star myth, which is 40 years old and basically nonsense, has nothing to do with being a rock star. Everybody gets trashed and breaks things. By that standard, plumbers and heating engineers are just as rock 'n' roll as rock stars.
  • Those have been the two biggest challenges of my life: trying to follow Radiohead, and trying to follow Brad Pitt.
    • Alluding to his marriage to Gwyneth Paltrow
    • Scaggs, Austin; Corbijn, Anton (2005-08-25), "COLDPLAY'S QUIET STORM". Rolling Stone. (981):40-46.
  • It takes a long time to get to know Guy and Will. That's why often people think [Coldplay is] just me. If you sit with us for half an hour, I'm the only one you'll get an impression of because I'm a loudmouth idiot. They're my best friends really. source
  • Q: And you decided to be a rock star, when?
A: "Well, I don't like the word 'rock star,' the two words, 'rock star.' Not even 'soft rock star', [laughs] not even 'limestone star'. I don't like those words."
  • Q: Why?
A: "Because I don't wear the right pants for that. You gotta wear the right trousers if you're gonna be a rock star." source
  • Coldplay is for people with great taste, intelligence, incredible good lookingness, talent, ability, success, grabbing of life. Coldplay's for people who know what life's about. They're always entertaining. Delightful to talk to. Sweet, charming, incredibly good in bed. Virile. They have incredible success with girls, or boys, or both. They're generally just the world's best citizens. Maybe I'm biased, but I'm definitely right.
    • In an interview with Andrew Denton on Enough Rope, 3 July 2006.
  • To be a frontman you have to be half very driven and half a total knob. I like to think I'm both.
    • On a Time Out London interview, June 8-15, 2005.
  • Q: Do you think of your band as a gang or a family?
A: It’s one and the same, especially if it’s an italian gang. source
  • I think as people listen to the album more it'll become its own thing more, but it'll also become apparent how much we've plagiarised. To me, really, at the end of our album we should've had a bibliography.
  • Whether you're 15 or you are 55 or 80, it’s like, well I'm whole, I don’t have a missing piece, you’ve just got to find that wholeness within. Does that make any sense? source
  • Say what you like about him [Jonny Buckland], he does incredible guitar animal impressions (Side note – Cow like noise during A rush of blood to the head). source
  • I’m not a big fan of people putting birds in cages because to me, that thing can fly, how can you do that? It's crazy. source
  • ‘Well, okey, something got broken but hey, what you're gonna do? You're not gonna give up, you're never gonna give up.’ That’s the best thing my dad ever taught me. source
  • There's too much information (on social media). Everything you do is available all the time, so the only thing you can rely on is not being false. source
  • One day in Haiti I was talking to a farmer. I said, 'I don't have any solution to these problems.' He said, 'Of course you don't! You're a singer.' He was right. Music is what I live for - and as Coldplay, our main job is to make the best music we can. But I hope that in our small way we can do something to raise awareness.
  • He (Jonny) just has a way of writing melodies that is perfect… I just love his playing so much. And in that song, we are always saying go and do a solo one day and he’s like, "I don’t do solo’s" and we sort of got him to do… And that’s his standing-on-a-mountain moment. That’s why being in a band is the best job in the world because your best friends bring in bits of music that you wouldn’t thought of and you piece it all together and you get Optimus Prime! source
  • We are very much a band and we always have been, and we are more than ever. In our personal lives and our professional lives, there’s this thing that links us where we would do anything for the others and its a very powerful feeling, to go have gone through everything we’ve been through with the same group of people. We knew each other when we had nothing. source
  • Life is beautiful in all its colors, even the darker ones, they’re here for a reason.
"He's (Paul McCartney) almost a saintly figure in England, it's hard to not think of him as a mythical figure. He'll give you a nod and doesn't leave, he called us a ‘good little band’."
  • Q: Hey, isn't that how McCartney describes the Beatles?
"Yeah, I know." source
  • Q: Do you think that the key in the new rock is going back to the electronic sound?
A: "I don't consider music in terms of rock or pop, or categories. It's music. I feel the music without terms or bareers. The less the limits, the better. I think everything can be mixed up and to me, that's the key." source
  • Even though some of the things I do can come across nerdy or unprofessional, it's at least true to me. Now more than ever, pretending not to be myself would end even worse. source
  • It’s more egalitarian on the Internet, anyone can put anything up. But in terms of the money it takes to allow a band to get good, there’s less of it to invest. Music is split up now into little pockets. source
  • The thing I really believe deep down is that everybody has a gift for something. Our job as adults is to make sure all children have the opportunity to find their gift.
  • Men should always change diapers, it’s a very rewarding experience. It’s mentally cleansing. It’s like washing dishes, but imagine if the dishes were your kids, so you really love the dishes. source
  • The reason why I wouldn’t commit suicide… well, the main reason now is ’cos I have a baby and I would never commit suicide because of her. But to me, committing suicide from a nihilistic point of view is pointless, because we’re all gonna die anyway, so why not just hang around and see what happens? D’you know what I mean? If something is inevitable, why board the plane early? source
  • I've never hit anyone. I've tripped someone up, I got in trouble about that. He was chasing after somebody and I didn't like it, so we were running along together and he fell over. I wasn't put in a police cell, but I got fingerprinted. Police stations are terrifying. I'm petrified about losing any of the things I care about: family, band, hair, freedom. All I'll say is that they're fucking bastards - not the police, the paparazzi. source
  • I do an hour's yoga and go running every day. Then I see a picture of myself and I still look like a skinny, potbellied idiot - and I thought I had turned into this superhunk! source
  • Going through something difficult in your life, music for me is always a friend and something that helps you to figure things out. source
  • I love him, I really do. How much? Well, you know Leningrad in Russia. They should name it Lennongrad in honour of him.
  • A band's only unique thing is its chemistry, especially if none of you are prodigious players or particularly handsome, the one thing you have is your uniqueness, so we hold on to that. source
  • There’s an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm where they get the text of an obituary wrong, and instead of saying “beloved aunt,” it says “beloved cunt.” And I always think that would kind of sum up the two sides of my life, the two sides of the coin. I’d like that.
    • Talking about death, RollingStone Magazine 2008. source
  • She can turn anything into gold with that voice, here's the thing: if you speak to a good singing teacher about great opera singers, they will talk about consistency of tone. Or there's a book by Alfred Tomatis about why some people like certain people's voices and other people hate them, like Bob Dylan or me or whoever, some people say, 'Oh, I hate that voice', so there's a thing about people's frequency responses, what they are pleased by. Rihanna has this thick tone, so it's very hard to annoy anybody.
  • I’m never going to be as adept lyrically as Jay Z or Morrissey.
    • On a Zane Lowe interview, 2014. source
  • He (David Bowie) said, 'I'm really sorry, but it's not your best (song).' He was very kind about it. I was like, 'You know what? You're probably right'. It might have been written by sleeping pills so I wasn't too personally offended. source
  • Music comes from a place we don't know, it sort of comes through the fingers and toes.
  • Some people misconstrue our band just to be just a commercial venture, they question the soulfulness of Coldplay because we’ve done okay. Maybe it’s because I’m English, but in terms of how people perceive us I only pick up on the negative side of it. I always feel like the big bad outside world just fucking hates us.
    • Chris Martin to Spin Magazine, October 2011. source
  • Not cool. Ever. I’ve never been cool and I don’t really care about being cool. It’s just an awful lot of time and hair gel wasted. At school I was a medium-clever geek. If you’re at public school (Sherbourne) and you’re not that good at rugby, you spend quite a few important years of your life feeling like a real loser. We’ve never been about cool. What’s happened to us is more about showing that the geeks at school can get there in the end. And you have to stay true to who you are, the root of all this is to do with our friendship. source
  • What changed for me was – I don’t want to go through life being scared of it, being scared of love, being scared of rejection, being scared of failure.
    • On a Zane Lowe interview, 2014. source
  • Ever since our band came out, we have been a very polarising group because we do a certain thing very well.
    • On the Zane Lowe interview, 2014. source
  • I don’t think being 13 to 15 is an easy time for any boy. It’s like a big puberty race, and if you’re coming in last, it’s not such a great race to be in. I was a hyper-religious, quite naive and very judgmental kid. I was unpopular for three years, and then it all kind of switched when I was 16. But I had already been marked with the “I’m going to fucking get out of here and show you bastards what’s what” tag. So I’m very grateful for that period of challenge between 13 and 16, facing the blinkeredness of that kind of schoolboy mentality of, like, “You’re gay, you’re bad at sports, you’re this, you’re that.” Because it did make me think: «I don’t want to end up in some bank, where I’m going to have to take this kind of shit off these same people for the rest of my life. I need to get out of this fucking treadmill 'public school, into university, into a bank, into a summer house in France'».
    • On Rolling Stone Magazine interview 2008. source
  • [As a teenager] I felt like there must be more to life than rugby and cheap cider on the weekends.
    • On Rolling Stone Magazine interview 2008. source
  • If you don't let love really in then you can't really give it back.source
  • One of our big conversations that we always have in this band is, we don't see rock & roll as being about coke-taking, leather-trouser-wearing rebellion, because that to us is not rebellion anymore. The spirit of rock & roll is freedom. It's about following what you believe in and not caring what anyone else says. And if that means writing something on your hand, then you've got to write something on your hand. It doesn't matter if you don't look as cool as the Ramones - you're never going to, anyway. So I know that we'll be ridiculed for this and look stupid for that. But as long as we believe in what we're doing, we can't apologize for it.
    • On the Rolling Stone Magazine, 2008. source
  • No human being is only positive or negative. White or black, we all have both sides, the bright and the dark. There are no angels, it's a myth, nobody is a single thing, it's easy to fall into cynicism because wherever you look there are aggressions, war, destruction. I get it, ok? And it's true that for some Imagine [song by John Lennon] will tell you absolutely nothing. And if you have lost your cousin in an attack you would not want to hear it, you would be furious.
    • Chris Martin on interview with El Mundo, 2015. source
  • I guess it's maybe because the industry has been struggling and you don't sell 50 million in your first production, all the numbers are different from when we all started. I see that there's quite good camaraderie (between musicians). Obviously, there are those who want to stay out of it. I don't know about music, but in backstage or at airports, everyone seems to get along very well. source
  • I always felt that, as a musician, we show up for one day for a cause and we really believe in what we’re talking about, but then the next day we have our own concerns. I want to try to have a more long-term relationship between artists and people who are really trying to affect change in the world.
  • There is no music that has full meaning for everyone. It's what we have learned from the world: that nobody thinks the same, but that doesn't mean that we cannot play music to people who want to hear it.
    • On interview with El Mundo, 2015. source
  • As a rule, I take a piece of paper and a pencil and for 12 minutes nothing is written in your head without editing, without censorship, just to get it out of your mind. After that it gets read and the paper is destroyed immediately. It's very good to write a song with what has been left in your memory, without reading it again. It's as if you chose the best, the memory is that selective... Do you know what is also good for creativity? Write fast. Once a week, don't eat for 24 or 30 hours. Your brain becomes very lucid about ideas.
    • On interview with Wall Street Journal, 2015. [2]
  • I have been reading recently about synesthesia, in this case, the association of music and other sensory information with colors and I realized that I probably have a little or a lot of that current. I don't think it's unusual for composers. When I think of other people's songs or albums, a color often comes to my mind.
    • On interview with Wall Street Journal, 2015. source
  • If you can give someone the pleasure of not liking you, maybe that’s as valid as the pleasure of liking you, some people want to assert themselves by showing the things they don’t like. It’s a form of positioning yourself. We all do that. I get it. But I’m more focused on the people who do like what we do, and there’s a few of them. I like hanging out with those people. If you ever liked Coldplay, then we’re going to really deliver on our promise over the next year or so. It’s not guarded music. It’s about very open things and that might not resonate with some people. But I don’t want to obscure our music behind coolness or cynicism just to avoid criticisms. Because for some people it really connects, and I need it, too.
    • On interview with Wall Street Journal, 2015. source 
  • If I listen to a song that I like, my first instinct is to find out who made it. "Oh, these were the Sherman brothers who wrote 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' and a lot of Disney songs." That kind of thing. There is a part of me that wants nobody to know anything about me, but it is not realistic, what is even more strange to me is some things that are said about me. Because it comes from a fake quote or rumors. But I am guilty of it. If I listen (for example) to a new Rihanna song that I like, I want to know who made it.
    • On interview with Wall Street Journal about the connection between his personal life and songwriting, 2015. source
  • Every phrase can be a good lyric if it has the good rhythm.
    • On interview with Wall Street Journal, 2015. source

About Chris MartinEdit

  • Coldplay frontman Chris Martin has found his niche in making the sound of solitude a triumphant experience, like Good Will Hunting: The Musical.
    • John Mayer from his January 1, 2005 column in Esquire magazine.
  • He is a sensitive soul.
  • Chris's incredible creative force comes from what happens in the middle between his self-confidence and his self doubt.
  • In contrast to the soothing, warm-blanket vibe of Coldplay's music, Martin is almost unnervingly intense: He has an endearing, Hugh Grant-like stammer, but when he feels strongly about what he's saying, which is often, his eyes give off little sparks, like he's a mad scientist detailing plans for world domination.
  • Chris Martin can still seem embarrassed by his status as one of the planet's most recognizable rock stars. His band's music is completely and utterly grand in ambition and sentiment yet, offstage, Martin is mostly immune to the groan-worthy platitudes and shameless chest-puffing typical of his stadium-filling brethren.
    • Ryan Dombal from October 31, 2011 article on Pitchfork.
  • Bono: We were playing with (Every Breaking Wave) for the last album and Chris talked us out of it. He said, ‘That one deserves to be finished.’ The half-baked version would have denied us this, so we owe him for that… He's a genius and a very self-effacing guy. He's one of our bodyguards. source
  • Britain thought he could now go back to being just some English bloke and eating chips. It turns out this notion is utterly wrong, because when Martin walks into a room, I am rather startled to find that a stellar quality enters with him. His energy hits you from across the room: the intense stare, the piercing blue eyes, the feet that are usually barefoot nowadays.
  • In the British vacuum of passive-aggressive public transport and mumbled apologies, Chris Martin’s stomach-ribbing charisma on stage can be as nauseating as doing star jumps right after lunch, and it’s not hard to see how the everlasting hate for Coldplay was born. But when we hate on them, are we just acknowledging that we want to experience more from life? Or are we negating the fact we feel these everyday – average, yet no less meaningful – emotions deep down, too? I think it’s a bit of both.
    • Ryan Bassil, February 11 2016. source
  • Chris Martin of Coldplay was spot-on when he burst on to Graham Norton’s set and described the karmic moment represented by Donald Trump’s success in being elected President of the United States. Mr. Martin said, in terms, that Trump expressed the feelings of millions of people, and that doing so is a refreshing and crucial part of democracy. source
  • Liam Gallagher: I didn’t hang around the get my back patted, we were out of there. It was like, look, it was good to do. And Chris? I went, ‘listen, I'm sorry about all that shit, that I keep fucking slagging you off. You know I don’t fucking mean it’. He’s going 'nah, nah, no worries, we love it mate, carry on!' He was cool. But I’ve not heard fucking back from him since. He’s fucked me right off now. source
  • Jay Z: We are good friends, but what I got to say has nothing to do with our friendship. I have been in the industry long enough to know when I’m in the presence of a genius… and Chris Martin is just that. In years to come, Britain will look back at him as a modern day Shakespeare, he is an incredible recording artist, an incredible songwriter, but where he really comes alive is performing live. If you get the chance to see Coldplay live, do it, you ain’t gonna regret it. source

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