Coldplay guitarist Jonny Buckland chatted to us from a hotel room in Singapore last week before flying in for the Abu Dhabi show. Here’s what he had to say… 1 Comments
Coldplay’s Johnny Buckland opens up as the British pop/rock legends prepare to take to the stage at Emirate’s Palace on Saturday…
Did you specifically request a gig in the Middle East?
Well we always try to play somewhere new when we’re on tour. We’ve wanted to come to the Middle East for a while as we’ve never been before. We’ve also never been to Africa or India either so there are quite a few places we are looking to go some day.
There was a rumour doing the rounds that you’d record the Abu Dhabi gig to give to fans who attended. True?
No [Laughs]. We are trying to do a live album but it’s not ready yet. It’s made up of different stuff from the last few years.
There was also talk of a quick follow up to Viva La Vida. Is that still on the cards?
No [more laughter]. We ended up doing much more touring than we originally planned so there’s no time to do proper justice to a new project. And anyway people may need a bit of a break from us!
What’s it like sharing producer Brian Eno with U2?
He also does so many other things that it’s hard to get five minutes with him. I think his influence was felt partially on our sounds - he played some keyboards and guitars on the record. But really it was his guidance on the song writing and arranging process that expanded our horizons and influences.
Did he give you a sneak preview of the new U2 album?
We tried not to as it’s more exciting to go out and buy the finished thing. I have heard it now and I think it’s great.
You’re often compared to them. Is that fair?
Well they want to be a great band and so do we - it’s as simple as that. There are a lot of similarities between us but they aren’t our only influence.
Who’s the next biggest band in the world?
I think the Kings of Leon are really huge in a lot of places - they could keep going forever. The Rolling Stones are still amazing, and The Beatles, if they ever reformed, would be the biggest band ever.
That’s not really likely though is it?
[Laughs] I guess not.
Do other big acts ever intimidate you?
Of course. When we first supported U2 in Ireland, we were just completely blown away by how good they were. It’s intimidating and inspiring at the same time.
What was the last thing that really impressed you?
There was this band called Naturally 7 - these seven guys who do everything by vocals alone. They came into our studio and started singing and it was incredible. The song was called ‘I built this wall’ or something like that. You should check it out on Youtube – it’s just brilliant.
Is social commentary really important for rock bands?
I think it’s important as a human; it’s not solely confined to musicians. Dentists and builders care just as much as we do. We just get asked about it more often than they do.
Do you all feel strongly about speaking out?
Yes we do. Chris has done a lot more, but then he talks a lot more than the rest of us! But yes we are all equally committed.
Speaking of Chris, do you like the fact that he gets all the tabloid attention while you get left alone?
Yeah, I don’t even think about it. I’m very happy with the way things are. There are definitely worse jobs.
Any surprises planned for the gig?
We like to move around a lot – especially out into the audience. These are big gigs and people can be quite far away from the stage so we like to pop up in unexpected places.
On a high wire over the crowd like true rock gods?
Perhaps not to that extent – we’re not The Darkness!
We are not the AC/DC explosion type band to be honest - though we do have these amazing balls [Laughs] - light balls - and there’s a lot of energy on stage.
What happens after the tour?
We’re taking a little break and let’s see where we get after that. We’ve got a lot of ideas but we want to find a new way to go and that may take some time.
Tell us about the 19th century military uniform style you’re rocking at the moment?
Guy [Berryman – Coldplay’s bass player] came up with the direction. Then we all got together in our studio to work on the outfits. We got this guy who helped us make the jackets and trousers.
You really made them yourselves?
Absolutely! We really wanted this whole album to be homemade again, we wanted to take it back and have it all come from us.
Have you apologised to Paul McCartney for twisting the St Pepper look?
We saw him at the Grammy’s, and Will said ‘Thanks for the idea’.
What’s it like hanging out with a Beatle?
Well you know we’re not quite equals, but he is a very genuine and lovely person. It’s great when you meet somebody like that and they turn out to be really nice.
Time Out Dubai,
- Atlantis Beach, The Palm(1)
- Bliss Lounge(1)
- Blue Marlin Ibiza UAE(1)
- Cavalli Club(1)
- Cirque du Soir(1)
- Crowne Plaza Dubai(1)
- Dubai Community Theatre & Arts Centre(1)
- Dubai World Trade Centre(5)
Time Out Dubai Music & Nightlife Awards 2013 The best nightlife in Dubai revealed
Time Out Dubai Restaurant Awards 2013 Revealed: The best places to eat in Dubai
Most viewed galleries
- Florence and the Machine and Keane in Dubai
- Martinez Brothers at Blue Marlin
- Funkagenda at XL Beach Club
- Blue Marlin’s first birthday
- Silent Disco at The Dek on Eight
Most viewed events
- Deep Crates
- 411 Saturdays
- Family Fun at Bidi Bondi
- The Act
- Ek Shaam Ghazal Ke Naam by Padmashree Pankaj Udhas
Our favourite features
101 best dishes of the year in Dubai Tastiest meals that have tickled Time Out’s taste buds in 2012
10 top Dubai beaches Grab your sunscreen and head for the city's best beach clubs
100 top brunches in Dubai Friday feasts plus evening and Saturday brunch for all wallets
55 ways to party in Dubai Celebrate our 11th birthday with an alternative activity
10 must-try nights in Dubai The ultimate checklist for the city’s party people
Best cupcakes in Dubai We give in to our cravings to taste the city’s sweetest offerings
14 Wi-Fi hotspots in Dubai Ditch the office in favour of these Wi-Fi cafés and venues in the city
24 top pizzas in Dubai We tuck into the city’s best slices of Italy
24-hour dining in Dubai We stay up to try 12 of the city's best round-the-clock eateries
Where to watch Premier League football in Dubai Great spots to catch the English Premier League soccer on TV
28 top Dubai takeaways We rate the city's best delivery food
Dubai's luxury hotel suites Live like a king at the city's most extravagant rooms
24 brunches to try in Dubai Time Outers share their favourite Friday feasts in the city
10 top Dubai breakfasts The best spots to enjoy the most important meal of the day
Pay less rent in Dubai The ultimate property guide to help you relocate and save cash