The Reason Coldplay Has Never Been Considered A Rock Band


There aren’t many bands as successful as Coldplay in the 2000s with their music career that spans over 25 years including monumental albums such as ‘A Rush of Blood to the Head,’ ‘Mylo Xyloto,’ and ‘Everyday Life’ as well as numerous chart-hits, and live performances all around the world. However, fans still argue over Coldplay’s music genre since many of them cannot decide if they should be referred to as a rock band or simply a pop band mainly due to their hybrid sound that infuses many genres.

There’s no doubt that Coldplay managed to become one of the world’s best-selling music bands, selling more than 100 million albums worldwide throughout their music career, as well as winning countless awards including nine Brit Awards, seven MTV Video Music Awards, eight MTV Europe Music Awards and seven Grammy Awards from 35 nominations total. The band was a success right from the start since their first three studio albums, ‘Parachute,’ ‘A Rush of Blood to the Head,’ and ‘X&Y’ are among the best-selling albums in the UK chart history.

Despite being in the music industry for more than two decades and releasing a number of the greatest albums in the world on top of being voted the fourth-best artist of the 2000s by Rolling Stone readers in December 2009, Coldplay fans still cannot decide if they can be included among best rock bands of this century. Let’s see what the band members have to say about this as well as fans’ comments about the matter.

What Does Coldplay Have To Say About Rock Music?


In order to hear from the band members themselves, let’s travel back to the time when Coldplay opened up about rock music during an interview with Telegraph in 2015, and frontman Chris Martin revealed his own opinion about the notorious ‘rock is dead’ statement by agreeing with it. Apparently, rock music is pretty much done according to Martin, and the future of music holds new sounds and techniques on which they will be focusing.

In addition to this, Coldplay’s lead singer stated that the band has probably never performed rock music for over ten minutes and that not many people ‘would throw up the devil horns’ to any of their big hits. Thus, he revealed that the band members don’t necessarily see themselves as a rock band.

During the interview with The Telegraph, Chris Martin said:

We felt like rock music has been done. The future of music is in new sounds and new ways of treating vocals. We wanted to add those colors to our palette. No one would ever put us in a list of the top 10 rock bands. We’ve maybe rocked out once, for 10 minutes. I don’t think anyone would throw up the devil horns to any of our major works.”

His bandmate Guy Berryman agrees:

“There’s an awful lot of rock music already out there. I’m not sure there is anything left to add.”

It’s fair to say that Coldplay members mainly consider themselves to be a band that is experimental with their music. Furthermore, they mostly focus on the future sounds that tend to be mainstream and liked by the fans rather than creating the classic rock sound to which they have already referred to as dead.

Is Coldplay A Rock Band According To Fans?


While the band members have pretty much revealed which genre they identified with, fans have still been arguing over their music for years now. According to many, Coldplay isn’t a rock band, and being referred to as an alternative rock band doesn’t mean they make rock music. While there’s a majority of fans who consider the band alternative rock, there’s also an undeniable number of people who think Coldplay is simply a pop band.

A fan comment about the matter on Quora follows:

Coldplay is alternative rock. Yeah, yeah, it’s got the word ‘rock’ in it. No, alt-rock is not the same as ‘rock,’ The two phrases invoke very different images and emotions, much less the music itself.”

Another agreed with this comment:

“Coldplay is Alternative. They mix Euro Pop, Rock, Electronics and the top-notch sound produced with instruments make them Alternative band.”

On Quora, a fan commented:

“Cold Play is not a rock band. Rock bands have an edge and are a bit nasty and against the grain. Coldplay is 100 percent pop.”

Regardless of the clashing ideas, Coldplay is undoubtedly a band that isn’t concerned about its label or genre, they rather focus on the current music genres and the future of the music. Therefore, it wouldn’t be fair to say Coldplay is a rock band, according to many music critics, fans, and band members themselves as well as my personal opinion which is based on the band’s evolving music throughout the years, especially towards more pop and alternative sound rather than rock.

You can listen to two of Coldplay’s most well-known tracks ‘The Scientist’ and ‘Clocks’ below to decide for yourself.