Coldplay Front Man Scribbles Ideas onto His Piano

February 9, 2009

Chris Martin's Piano scribbles 60 Minutes interviews Coldplay's front man Chris Martin about how he writes hit songs. Being "openly neurotic," Martin makes sure he captures song ideas the moment they strike him--even if it means scribbling them onto his piano with a Sharpie. He's got a marker holder mounted to his whitewashed piano for just that purpose, as shown. In the video below, reporter Steve Croft asks about it.

Croft: You have notes written on the piano?
Martin: Yeah, look, but this is just the beginning. In six months, this will all be covered.
Croft: And you have to repaint the piano?
Martin: Yeah. When we finish something, we repaint.

While I have mixed feelings about Coldplay, I love that even though Martin is rich and famous, he's a "compulsive worrier and list maker." He's even got band rules posted to the studio wall. (Rule #6: Don't do too many interviews; always keep mystery.)

Here's the whole video; the piano bit is at around minute 7:30. (Thanks, TB.)

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Talent + humility = an inspiring group of young guys. I love the “silhouette factor”!

drmelho [+28]
Feb 9 09 at 6:08 pm

I love Coldplay and the 60 Minutes before the Grammy’s was really cool too. Chris seems to be infinitely uneasy about his place in rock history. I feel like he thinks they should be better than they ever will be.

I’m a total sucker for this stuff… I loved the line about them being “confident that they’re not as good as they’re going to be.” We should all have that confidence.

Gina Trapani [+195]
Feb 9 09 at 8:33 pm

He needs a whiteboard piano!

My favorite part is how he repaints when he’s done, kind of like cleaning off your desk when you finish a project. But in an insanely cool and creative way.

wewillchange [+3]
Feb 9 09 at 9:56 pm

i love the tag IDEA CAPTURE and want to see more . . there is an amazing video from the TED conference where Elizabeth Gilbert talks about this so eloquently & so auspiciously . . . . thank you so much for this

Feb 10 09 at 4:17 am

I totally thought of the Elizabeth Gilbert (TED) talk as well! “Creative Genius”. Thanks for posting this – he sure is one of a kind!

Feb 10 09 at 3:51 pm

Yeah…it bothers my that he doesn’t just white board up the piano…but I am no artist so I must not get it!

Very cool to see how these guys capture their ideas. Ideas and good thoughts can be very perishable; capture is key.

tmalone [+4]
Feb 16 09 at 9:16 am

Silly boy, don’t repaint your piano, buy a whiteboard marker – I have been known to use them to draw web designs right on my monitor!


Feb 24 09 at 5:29 pm

Thanks for this post. I’m fascinated by the creative process, and I’m appreciative that Chris Martin thinks enough of it that he makes sure he can capture inspiration at a moment’s notice.

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