Coldplay have sold more than 50 million albums. They headline festivals all across the globe and their 2008 LP Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends was the year’s best-selling album in the entire world. Part of the British rockers’ appeal is their ability to be so huge while managing to feel small. And while the universal sense of yearning evoked by their songs is one way Chris Martin and Co. convey intimacy, a string of comments that constantly play down their successes is certainly another.
The quartet of Martin, guitarist Jonny Buckland, bassist Guy Berryman, and drummer Will Champion stopped by The Colbert Report on Thursday night to face one of host Stephen Colbert’s infamous inquisitions and play songs off their new album, Mylo Xyoloto (out on October 25): R&B-tinged single “Paradise” for the TV audience, and the stripped-down “Up in Flames” as a Web exclusive. As usual, they were in extremely charming “aw shucks” mode, cheerfully replying “Yes, sir” and “No, sir” even as Colbert gave them a pretty rough time. After all, as the faux-conservative host was quick to point out, when Radiohead came on the show they got a special full-hour episode.
You can watch the clips below, but in the meantime, here are Martin’s five most self-deprecating remarks. If Coldplay’s fellow zillionaires knew how to act this humble, Occupy Wall Street might be history.
1. On simply being present:
“It’s an honor to be here, thank you.”
(Colbert: “Oh, well, I understand that.”)
2. On averaging four Grammy Awards between Martin and Colbert:
“The importance of your Grammy is more than the weight of our seven.”
(Colbert: “You know what, I’m not going to fight you.”)
3. On selling 50 million albums:
“Not the million, just the 50 … the million is a typo.”
(Colbert: “That’s this year, 50.”)
4. On how they manage to still be deemed “alternative”:
“By not looking as handsome as, you know, Ricky Martin or something.”
(Colbert: “I don’t mix you up!”)
5. On Radiohead:
“We’re not as good musically, but we’re much more attractive.”
OK, that last one was only half-self-deprecating.
Watch the videos to see Martin “lie” about Coldplay’s feud with U2, predict a “global band of the future” that may surprise you, and force Colbert to beg. Also, a scoop: Coldplay are working on a Christmas album!