Chris Martin's Run-In with Death
Originally posted on January 17, 2005 8:23 PM
Coldplay frontman Chris Martin has revealed how a brush with death has made him more determined than ever to make "the best album of all time".
The singer claims that he nearly died when his plane hit a dust storm during a trip to a remote part of Africa.
Martin, who was on his way to Ghana with Oxfam to publicise fair trade issues, was coming into Tamale Airport when disaster struck.
"It was so terrifying, the plane was all over the place. Once a year, for a week, all this dust blows over from the Sahara Desert. You could not see a thing," he told today's (January 17) Sun newspaper.
He added: "I couldn't see the ground and as it turns out, nor could the pilot. I found out we were about 200 metres up. The plane dropped off violently to the right then way over to the left it. It was lurching all over. But somehow the pilot pulled it off and landed. I don't know how he did it. I was convinced he wasn't going to. Did the pilot know Chris Martin was on board? I don't think he gave a flying f**k."
The singer said the first thing that popped into his head during the traumatic affair in the 30-seater-twin propeller jet was his eight-month-old daughter Apple and finishing Coldplay's forthcoming as-yet-untitled album.
"My mind was racing and I thought, 'My daughter will have to get a stepdad.' I also thought, 'I've written a will. The band have finished the album but they know how I want to finish certain songs.'"
He added: "There is a Radiohead song called 'Airbag' which says that every time you get out of a car you should celebrate that you are alive. I felt that getting off the plane. But it fired me up for the trip. I thought, 'I'm going to learn as much as I can and meet as many people as possible.'"
Martin revealed that the incident has made him more determined to make Coldplay's next album their strongest yet.
"It's always good at the beginning of a trip to remind yourself to be motivated. As we came so close to crashing I promised that when I got home I was going to make the best album of all time," he admitted.
During his five-day trip, the singer met peasant farmers, visited markets selling cheap food imported from the EU and US, and he campaigned against the global trade system which cripples millions of people in the Third World to poverty.
"They grow cheap tomatoes in Ghana," Martin said. "But I saw market stalls stacked high with cheap tinned tomatoes shipped in from Italy. If Ghana tries to export to Italy they are whacked with tariffs. It doesn't make any sense. We are making money out of these people and they can't afford to send their kids to school.
"We've got to keep banging on about fair trade. If people knew what misery these trade laws created they would be shocked."
Coldplay's forthcoming album is due out of the spring.
"I'm inspired by everything at the moment – life is tremendously short," he added.
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