When Coldplay frontman Chris Martin gave Nickelback props in a recent British radio interview, the Canadian group’s leader, Chad Kroeger, called it a compliment of the highest order.
“That was very, very flattering — and very well-received,” Kroeger said. “We’re big Coldplay fans. We think they’re an amazing band.”
He’s hardly alone.
Since it emerged from London’s University College in 1998 and began releasing albums two years later, the U.K. quartet has made a smooth and steady ascent to the top of the rock echelon. Boosted by hit singles such as “Yellow,” the Grammy Award-winning “Clocks,” “Speed of Sound” and “Viva La Vida,” the group has sold more than 40 million copies of its four albums worldwide.
Its latest release, this year’s “Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends,” debuted at No. 1 in June — not just in the U.S. but in 35 other countries. It’s already platinum on these shores and ranks as the most downloaded album in British music history. It also won Q magazine’s award for best album.
Coldplay is up for four American Music Awards, including Pop or Rock Artist of the Year and Favorite Pop or Rock Album. The group plans to perform at the televised ceremony on Nov. 23 in Los Angeles.
“Our mission always is just to write songs that we want to whistle and present them in as interesting a way as possible,” explains Martin, 31, who has two young children with his wife, actress Gwyneth Paltrow. “That’s been the goal for awhile, and nothing's really changed in terms of that.”
Coldplay — which also includes guitarist Jonny Buckland, bassist Guy Berryman and drummer Will Champion — is prolific, too. On Nov. 25 the group will release “Prospekt’s March,” an eightsong EP of songs from the “Vida la Vida...” sessions and remixes, including the new single “Lost+” with rapper Jay-Z.
And the band is already talking about having its fifth album ready for release by the end of 2009.
With a big chunk of the world still ahead on the “Vida la Vida...” tour, that means Martin and the rest of Coldplay have been and will continue to spend a lot of time together. But, he contends, that’s not a problem in Coldplay’s world.
“We’ve just been getting closer and closer,” Martin says. “I think because we’re in this thing together, we’re becoming more and more connected and more and more ganglike, to the point of even starting to wear the same things!
“First of all, we’re each other’s family, really, ’cause we know each other really well. And second, we go through everything together. To me it’s the most safe environment I can think of, within the band.”
Coldplay and Sleepercar perform at 7:30 p.m. Monday (Nov. 3) at the Palace, Lapeer Road at I-75, Auburn Hills. Tickets are $97.50, $77.50 and $49.50. Call (248) 377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.
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