EXCLUSIVE: Chris Martin of Coldplay Shares the Unlikely Inspiration Behind 'Everyday Life'

How ‘Back to the Future’ and Frank Ocean helped the band’s eighth studio album
By , RADIO.COM

“Our whole philosophy on this record is like, f*** it, just do it and not be afraid of anything,” grins Chris Martin mischievously.

The record is Everyday Life, Coldplay’s eighth studio album, which Martin says is personal and unfiltered; gathered from voice memos and private recordings with the ambition to let things through that would normally be set aside. It’s this lack of fear and that knowing smile that allows doo-wop from Back to the Future and Rammstein by way of Bob Dylan to figure into the equation.

RADIO.COM’s Kevan Kenney joins Martin as he shares never-before-heard stories behind the making of their new LP and plays songs from the band’s first album in nearly four years. It’s all part of a one hour RADIO.COM Conversation with Coldplay special you can hear on all RADIO.COM Alternative stations this weekend. Times vary by station.

In the meantime you can get a preview in the exclusive video above, as Chris details some of the influences that crept into this adventurous new double album, from Frank Ocean to the “Enchantment Under The Sea” dance, all in the span of one song.

“It is doo-wop, yeah,” Martin says emphatically about the song “Cry Cry Cry.”

“I would say it started with the song ‘Earth Angel’ which I heard in ‘Back to the Future’ in 1985,” he says of the song’s earliest inspiration. “We love that kind of music. And then this song also came from listening to an old song called ‘Cry Baby’ from the 60s, sung by a singer called Garrett Mimms. I heard that song and then a bit of it stayed with me and then another song came around it.”

This one song with roots over 55 years deep, also found room for Frank Ocean in this anything goes approach to Coldplay. “That song ‘Nikes’ is probably an inspiration on that song,” Martin tells Kenney, speaking to the pitch of the singer’s voice. On the song, Martin backs himself at a different pitch, and it’s taken on its own persona. “That’s a new singing character that we call something, but yeah, it is originally me.”

“I just feel like, just mess around with things these days, and sound a bit different and that’s okay.”

It is how some songs like “Heaven” seemed to drop from the sky for Martin and company, and others like “Guns,” which typically would be left in the studio, made it to Everyday Life.

“The way that the band works 80 percent of the time is that for whatever reason, I get sent an idea for a song, like a skeleton idea. Then I take it to Johnny, Guy, and Will and if they like it then it passes that test and they will work on it and put their parts on, which makes it properly written,” Martin details. “There’s quite a few songs on this album which I thought would never be accepted by the rest of the band.”

The group’s willingness to be raw and open widened the gate for songs like “Guns,” songs that even Chris was nervous and unsure of. “Most of our songs that I really like just fell through in about five minutes, and it’s all the other ones that I work on for hours and hours that they never make it,” he laughs.

“Guns” also has the important distinction of being the only song in the Coldplay catalog influenced by both Rammstein and Bob Dylan. Martin is “obsessed” with the German heavy metal band and also the iconic style of Dylan, but how do those two fit together? “I was thinking, I wonder what would happen if Bob Dylan was playing one of their songs,” Chris chuckles. “And then the riff for ‘Guns’ came out.”

From city noises to heartbeats, there’s plenty woven into the fabric of Everyday Life. You can hear more about the making of this album in the video above, and this weekend during the RADIO.COM Conversation with Coldplay special on your favorite RADIO.COM station.

Everyday Life is now available everywhere.

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