So we couldn't get Coldplay to talk to us, but luckily Toronto has the next best thing: Coldplayers. Billed as "North America's most comprehensive" Coldplay tribute band, this four-piece sound-alike pride themselves on their meticulous attention to detail in recreating the live Coldplay experience. After only playing two shows, the band already has an agent, a hit YouTube video and a headlining gig at the Opera House (795 Queen East) on August 1, 8 pm, $20. Frontman Chris Martin, er, Colin Jennison agreed to fill us in on the obsessive art of the tribute band. Oh, and FYI: Coldplay hit the Air Canada Centre (40 Bay) Wednesday-Thursday (July 30-31), 7:30 pm, sold out.
How did Coldplayers form?
We started as a top-40 cover band, but friend of ours, Shawn Brady (who plays Bono in a U2 tribute band called Elevation) inspired us to form a tribute. We loved Coldplay's music - songs like Politik and Square One are really intense musically, and they're a lot of fun to learn and play.
What's the difference between a tribute band and a cover band?
Doing a tribute is more than just playing the songs. We work hard to have the same stage show as them and at least appear to look a little like them, too. I studied the way Chris Martin moves onstage and how he sings, our drummer shaved his head to look more like Will Champion, and our guitarist got the same guitar and hat as Jonny Buckland. Anything that's doable, we've done.
Do you ever get mistaken for the real Coldplay?
Way too many times, especially on YouTube. We've got over a million hits on our Viva La Vida tribute video. I wanted to be the first to get a cover of Viva La Vida on YouTube, so the day it came out on iTunes we learned it, rehearsed it, recorded it and posted the video online. It still gets five to six thousand views per day.
Would Chris Martin have any issues with you playing his songs?
No, I don't think so. Seeing the way Chris is in interviews, I think he'd be totally supportive. We're getting their music out there and giving fans another way to appreciate their songs.
Do you play any lesser-known Coldplay songs or just stick to the hits?
We play for an hour and a half, so we like to squeeze in b-sides like See You Soon and Brothers And Sisters. They're great songs that often get overlooked, and I know that real Coldplay fans love to hear them.
With all the lights, lasers, costumes and gear you employ, is this an expensive venture?
We have definitely spent more than we'll make back for a long while - possibly ever - but it's okay because we do it for fun. I really enjoy playing the music of Coldplay, so If I have to spend some money to put on a good show and have other people enjoy themselves, it's well worth it at the end of the day.