Chris Martin: Outtakes from November 2011 Issue


[Editor's Note: In the November 2011 issue, Chris Martin spoke to XXL about his friendship with Jay-Z, coming in between Hov and Kanye West's on Yeezy's "Big Brother" and being inspired by hip-hop. Here are some outtakes that didn't make the magazine.]

AS TOLD TO CARL CHERY @CCHERY

You and Jay-Z are friends. When did you two first meet?

2005 maybe?

So it was after you started listening to his music?

Yea, yea.

How did you meet?

That is a good question. For some reason I can’t remember. Sometimes I think I met someone and I’ve actually seen them on West Wing or something. And that becomes embarrassing, but with him it was around 2005 and I was as psyched then as I am now to be able to spend time with him.

Reports say you guys have become really good friends. How did you guys become close?

Well, just by… I guess sharing the same love of music and life. I think there’s probably an element of coming from such different worlds. It’s always interesting to hear the other’s perspective and experience. But really it comes down from the fact that I regard him as an awesome individual. What he’s doing with me I have no idea. [Laughs]

I remember in an interview with Gwyneth [Paltrow] she said that your kids call him Uncle Jay. How did that start?

I don’t know, man. I didn’t say that.

What was it like producing a hip-hop record when you did “Beach Chair” on Kingdom Come?

Well, [I produced] 50 percent of it. And then I let it go too soon. I regret that because it was a great rhyme. His words were great and I don’t feel like I quite delivered musically. It had a lot of potential but for some reason I lost confidence towards the end of working on it so I gave it away and I shouldn’t have.

It’s one of the most popular songs on that record.

It’s quite tender, especially at that time for him it was quite original. I don’t know. Anything we work on I can’t listen to so I have no idea what I would think about it now. But…it was a great…it’s so great when you get to get out of your musical compartment and work in someone else’s. You learn a lot. So I learned a lot from working on that.

I remember listening to A Rush of Blood to the Head and then listening to 50 Cent’s The Massacre. He has a song “God Gave Me Style” where he uses the lyrics from your hook on “Got Put a Smile Upon My Face.” Did you hear the 50 version.

I probably did. I had forgotten about that to be honest. But that’s cool, right? It’s funny. Coldplay is a band who a lot of people really fuckin’ hate and it always surprises me some of the people that like us. When someone like 50 quotes you it’s a very cool feeling.

Have you been listening to any hip-hop to inspire you for Mylo Xyloto?

The things I was really listening to. Of course, you know, Kanye’s 808s & Heartbreaks, which I love. That was quite formative. I’m a big fan of Rihanna. I know that’s not hip-hop enough for you, but… then a lot of old gospel music. But hip-hop exactly? We kinda went back a bit on trying to learn about earlier stuff. You know, listening to Run-D.M.C.

Gwyneth was on TV rapping “Gangsta Gangsta.” Very, very impressive.

She has that stuff really in her brain. It’s amazing. It’s an amazing unexploited talent.

Another person who sampled you was Swizz Beatz when he had that song “That Oprah.” It sampled “La Vida Loca.”

Oh yea , I love him. He’s a good guy. And I very much like to see him when I see him, you know what I mean? The rock community can be sometimes quite aggressive towards each other, not so much anymore because everyone has to stick together because the music industry is shrinking, but you know, in times past bands can be quite mean about each other. So it’s always surprising to me when someone like Swizz is like, “I like your record.” I take it as a big boost, but I also get happy if anybody tells me they like our music.

What was your reaction when you saw the “You know how I know you’re gay, ’cause you like Coldplay” scene in The 40-Year-Old Virgin?

I tell you what. It’s funny, but it was at a time where we were taking a lot of crap from a lot of people. And I was on an airplane and I was like, “You know what? I’m just gonna forget about all that nonsense and watch a Steve Carrell movie and just laugh.” So I was switching off from the world and then in the middle of that movie there’s that joke, but you know, first of all it’s funny and second of all it really is not much of insult. I’m comfortable with the fact now that, I mean, our music is like candy. You know we don’t all have to like the same things. We try and make what we do as great as we can. It’s there if you want it. And If you don’t want it then don’t worry about it. But fuck you. [Laughs]