Will Champion

Last updated

Will Champion
Coldplay - The Rose Bowl - Friday 6th October 2017 ColdplayRoseBowl061017-41 (36987265334).jpg
Champion performing with Coldplay in 2017
Background information
Birth nameWilliam Champion
Born (1978-07-31) 31 July 1978 (age 40)
Southampton, Hampshire, England
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Musician
  • songwriter
Instruments
  • Drums
  • percussion
  • vocals
  • guitar
  • piano
  • keyboards
Years active1995–present
Labels
Associated acts

William Champion (born 31 July 1978) is a British musician and songwriter. He is the drummer and backing vocalist for the rock band Coldplay.

Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, and developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and later, particularly in the United Kingdom and in the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style which drew heavily on the genres of blues, rhythm and blues, and from country music. Rock music also drew strongly on a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical and other musical styles. Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass, drums, and one or more singers. Usually, rock is song-based music usually with a 4/4 time signature using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political.

Coldplay British band

Coldplay are a British rock band formed in London in 1996. The four members, lead vocalist/pianist Chris Martin, lead guitarist Jonny Buckland, bassist Guy Berryman and drummer Will Champion were at University College London and came together from 1996 to 1998, during which time the band changed names from Pectoralz, to Starfish, then Coldplay. Creative director and former manager Phil Harvey is often referred to as the fifth member by the band. They recorded and released two EPs: Safety in 1998 and The Blue Room in 1999. The latter was their first release on a major label, after signing to Parlophone.

Contents

Early life and education

William Champion was born in Southampton, Hampshire, England, and was brought up in the Highfield suburb of the city, close to the University of Southampton, where his father, Timothy Champion, is a professor of archaeology; his mother, Sara Champion, was also an archaeologist. [1]

Southampton City and unitary authority area in England

Southampton is the largest city in the ceremonial county of Hampshire, England. It is 70 miles (110 km) south-west of London and 15 miles (24 km) west north-west of Portsmouth. Southampton is a major port and the closest city to the New Forest. It lies at the northernmost point of Southampton Water at the confluence of the Rivers Test and Itchen, with the River Hamble joining to the south of the urban area. The city, which is a unitary authority, had a population of 253,651 at the 2011 census. The city's name is sometimes abbreviated in writing to "So'ton" or "Soton", and a resident of Southampton is called a Sotonian.

Highfield, Southampton human settlement in United Kingdom

Highfield is a suburb of Southampton, England. The suburb is situated to the north of the city centre, and is bounded by Southampton Common, Bassett, Swaythling and Portswood. Highfield is home to the main campus of the University of Southampton, which is built on a former brickfield.

University of Southampton research university located in Southampton, England

The University of Southampton is a research university in Southampton, England. The university's origins date back to the founding of the Hartley Institution in 1862. In 1902, the Institution developed into the Hartley University College, awarding degrees from the University of London. On 29 April 1952, the institution was granted full university status, allowing it to award its own degrees.

As a youth, Champion's musical influences included Tom Waits, Nick Cave and traditional Irish folk music. He learned to play piano and violin when he was 8 and he learned to play the guitar when he was 12. He also has experience on the bass, and tin whistle. Before he joined Coldplay, Champion performed in a band called Fat Hamster.

Tom Waits American singer-songwriter and actor

Thomas Alan Waits is an American singer, songwriter, musician, composer, and actor. Waits' music is characterized by his distinctive deep, gravelly singing voice and lyrics focusing on the underside of U.S. society. During the 1970s, he worked primarily in jazz, but since the 1980s his music has reflected greater influence from blues, vaudeville, and experimental genres.

Nick Cave Australian musician

Nicholas Edward Cave is an Australian musician, singer-songwriter, author, screenwriter, composer and occasional actor, best known for fronting the rock band Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Cave's music is generally characterised by emotional intensity, a wide variety of influences, and lyrical obsessions with death, religion, love and violence.

Tin whistle six-holed woodwind instrument

The tin whistle, also called the penny whistle, English flageolet, Scottish penny whistle, tin flageolet, Irish whistle, Belfast Hornpipe, feadóg stáin and Clarke London Flageolet is a simple, six-holed woodwind instrument. It is a type of fipple flute, putting it in the same class as the recorder, Native American flute, and other woodwind instruments that meet such criteria. A tin whistle player is called a whistler. The tin whistle is closely associated with Celtic and Australian folk music.

Champion attended primary school at Portswood Primary School, secondary school at Cantell Maths and Computing College, and college at Peter Symonds College. He attended Highfield Church. As a youngster he also played cricket for Chandler's Ford CC along with his older brother.

Peter Symonds College

Peter Symonds College is a sixth form college in Winchester, Hampshire, in the south of England. Founded as a boys' grammar school, it is one of the few specialist sixth form colleges which is also a boarding school.

Highfield Church Church in Southampton, United Kingdom

Highfield Church is a parish church in the Highfield district of Southampton, England. It is an Anglican Church in the Diocese of Winchester.

English comedian Ricky Gervais is Champion's former boss. [2]

Ricky Gervais English comedian, actor, director, producer, musician, writer, and former radio presenter

Ricky Dene Gervais is an English stand-up comedian, actor, director, screenwriter and singer.

Career

Coldplay

Champion was the last of the four band members to join the ensemble on 31 July 1997. He took up the position as drummer with no prior experience, but quickly adjusted to fill the role. [3] In 1999, lead singer Chris Martin sacked Champion, but the band asked him to return soon after. [4]

Chris Martin British pop-rock artist

Christopher Anthony John Martin is a British singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, and philanthropist. He is the lead singer and co-founder of the rock band Coldplay. Born in Exeter in Devon, Martin went to University College London where he formed a rock band with Jonny Buckland in 1996 called Pectoralz, which was eventually renamed Coldplay in 1998.

In Coldplay, Champion is often regarded as the rationality of the band. They say of him: "Will does have a very sensible head on his shoulders and when it comes to making band decisions he's really good at putting valid points across and keeping everyone focused. He frequently has the casting vote and his decision can sometimes override the consensus!" [5] As Chris Martin has said in multiple interviews, "We [Coldplay] are all just working for Will Champion."

While all four members have sung backing vocals, Champion has been the most prominent. During the Viva la Vida Tour, Champion sang and performed an acoustic version of the song "Death Will Never Conquer". A version of the song was included on Coldplay's live album LeftRightLeftRightLeft . He has also performed lead vocals on a live version of "Til Kingdom Come" and the Life in Technicolor II B-side "The Goldrush".

Other projects

In the autumn of 2004, Champion and Coldplay bassist Guy Berryman guested on A-ha keyboardist Magne Furuholmen's first solo album Past Perfect Future Tense. Champion made a cameo appearance in "The Rains of Castamere," an episode of the HBO series Game of Thrones, where he portrayed a musician during the Red Wedding.

Personal life

Champion's mother, Sara, a doctor of prehistoric archaeology, died from cancer in 2000. The album Parachutes was dedicated to her. In 2003, Champion became the first Coldplay member to marry after becoming engaged to Marianne Dark, a teacher. The first child of the couple, a girl named Ava, was born on 28 April 2006. On 7 May 2008, Marianne gave birth to fraternal twins Juno and Rex. [6] Champion is a lifelong fan of Southampton F.C. and has had a season ticket for many years.

According to an article released by Quartz in May 2018, Champion has an estimated wealth of £82 million. [7]

Equipment

Champion currently uses a Yamaha drum kit [8] with Zildjian cymbals. [9] In the music video for "Christmas Lights", he uses a Slingerland drumkit and Ludwig Supraphonic Snare 14x6.5 inches. For sticks, Champion looks to Pro-Mark's American Hickory 5A stick with a wooden tip.

It hasn't been until A Head Full Of Dreams Tour (which started in March 2016 and concluded in November 2017) that Champion has owned his own drum kit, as all the other drum kits he used were either from the band or from the company.

Discography

With Coldplay

With Brian Eno and Karl Hyde

Notes

Related Research Articles

Jimmy Chamberlin Drummer, songwriter, Producer

James Joseph Chamberlin is an American drummer and record producer. He is best known as the drummer for the alternative rock band The Smashing Pumpkins. Following the 2000 breakup of the band, Chamberlin joined Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan in the supergroup Zwan and also formed his own group, the Jimmy Chamberlin Complex. In 2005, Chamberlin joined Corgan in reforming The Smashing Pumpkins; he eventually left the group in March 2009, though he returned again in 2015 for a summer tour. He performed in the group Skysaw until 2012. He is currently active under the Jimmy Chamberlin Complex name. In addition to his current work as CEO, Chamberlin has joined Chicago jazz saxophonist Frank Catalano for a string of 2013–15 performances in the Chicago area. An EP by Catalano and Chamberlin Love Supreme Collective - EP was released on July 29, 2014.

Matt Cameron American drummer

Matthew David Cameron is an American musician who currently serves as the drummer for Pearl Jam. After getting his start with the Seattle, Washington-based bands Bam Bam and Skin Yard, he first gained fame as the drummer for Soundgarden, which he joined in 1986, appeared on every studio album, and remained in until the band's break-up in 1997. In 1998, Cameron was invited to play on Pearl Jam's U.S. Yield Tour. He soon became a permanent member and has remained in the band ever since. In 2010, Soundgarden reunited, and Cameron remained with them until the death of Soundgarden's lead singer Chris Cornell on May 18, 2017.

Shiver (Coldplay song) song by Coldplay

"Shiver" is a song by British rock band Coldplay. British record producer Ken Nelson and Coldplay produced the track for their debut album Parachutes. Lead singer Chris Martin admitted that "Shiver" was written for a specific woman, from whom the media has generated several speculations. The song contains influences attributed to American singer-songwriter Jeff Buckley, whom Coldplay's early influences were drawn from. The song's lyrics are a reference to the band's lead singer Chris Martin's unrequited love.

Guy Berryman bassist

Guy Rupert Berryman is a British musician and photographer best known as the bassist for the bands Coldplay and Apparatjik. Though Berryman is left-handed, he plays the bass right-handed.

Steve Gadd American drummer

Stephen Kendall Gadd is an American drummer, percussionist, and session musician. Gadd is one of the most well-known and highly regarded session and studio drummers in the industry, recognized by his induction into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 1984. Gadd's performance on Paul Simon's "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover", "Late in the Evening" and Steely Dan's "Aja" are examples of his style. He has worked with popular musicians from many genres including Simon & Garfunkel, Steely Dan, James Taylor, Eric Clapton, Kate Bush, Joe Cocker, Grover Washington Jr., Chick Corea, Lee Ritenour, Paul Desmond, Chet Baker and Al Di Meola.

Jonny Buckland Guitarist, musician

Jonathan Mark Buckland is a British musician and multi-instrumentalist. He is the lead guitarist and co-founder of the rock band Coldplay.

Yamaha Drums is a subsidiary of the Yamaha Corporation founded in 1967. The company manufactures acoustic and electronic drum kits as well as percussion instruments, marching band equipment, and drum hardware.

Akira Jimbo, also seen as Akira Jinbo, is a Japanese musician who combines electronic drum technology and acoustic drums. Aside from his solo work, he is the drummer for the Japanese jazz fusion band Casiopea and has participated in side projects with Keiko Matsui, Shambara, and Brian Bromberg.

<i>Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends</i> 2008 studio album by Coldplay

Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends, often referred to as simply Viva la Vida, is the fourth studio album by British rock band Coldplay, released on 12 June 2008 on the Parlophone label. The album was named after a Spanish phrase that best translates into English as "Long live life", or simply, "Live life". Lyrically, the album contains references to love, life, death and war.

Viva la Vida Coldplay song

"Viva la Vida" is a song by British rock band Coldplay. It was written by all members of the band for their fourth album, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends (2008), and was released as the second single from the album. On the album, this song segues directly into the next track, "Violet Hill".

Lost! Coldplay song

"Lost!" is a song by the British rock band Coldplay. It was co-produced with Brian Eno and Markus Dravs for the band's fourth album, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends. The song was released on 10 November 2008 as the fourth overall single from the album to generally positive critical reviews. A live version was released via digital download following a performance of the band and Jay-Z at the 2009 Grammy Awards, spurring high digital sales and giving "Lost!" a new peak at number 40 in the United States.

Strawberry Swing 2009 single by Coldplay

"Strawberry Swing" is a song by British rock band Coldplay. On 13 September 2009, it was released as the fifth and final single from the band's fourth studio album, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends (2008). The song was written by the members of the band and was produced by Markus Dravs, Brian Eno, Jon Hopkins and Rik Simpson. The track received mostly positive reviews from music critics who praised the infectious melody, the vocal performance of Chris Martin and the tribal influence of the production.

Glass of Water Coldplay song

"Glass of Water" is a song by British alternative rock band Coldplay. Included on their 2008 EP Prospekt's March, it was written by all members of the band during recording sessions for their fourth album, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends (2008). The song starts with and is built around a repeating guitar riff, with additional instruments added to the song's mix over the course of its duration.

Yes (Coldplay song) song performed by Coldplay

"Yes" is a song by British rock band Coldplay. It was written by all members of the band for their fourth album, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends. A hidden song, entitled "Chinese Sleep Chant", shares this track with "Yes", bringing the length of the track up to over seven minutes.

Death and All His Friends song performed by Coldplay

"Death and All His Friends" is a song by British rock band Coldplay. It was written by all members of the band for their fourth album, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends. The song begins with Chris Martin singing softly to a piano accompaniment before morphing into an uplifting arrangement featuring drums, chiming guitars, and a choir recorded in an art gallery in Barcelona. A hidden song featured on the album, entitled "The Escapist", shares this track with "Death and All His Friends", bringing the length of the track up to over six minutes. A brief 40 second section of "The Escapist" is what begins "Life in Technicolor" making the album cyclical.

<i>Mylo Xyloto</i> 2011 studio album by Coldplay

Mylo Xyloto is the fifth studio album by British rock band Coldplay, released in late October 2011. The band worked closely with producer Brian Eno following their successful collaboration on Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends, the band's previous album.

<i>Someday World</i> 2014 studio album by Eno • Hyde

Someday World is a collaboration album by British musician Brian Eno and Karl Hyde, of British electronic group Underworld released on 5 May 2014. The album features a number of supporting musicians, including Coldplay's Will Champion, John Reynolds and Andy Mackay of Roxy Music, and was produced by Brian Eno with 20-year-old Fred Gibson.

"Fun" is a song by British alternative rock band Coldplay, featuring Swedish singer Tove Lo. It is the sixth track from their seventh studio album, A Head Full of Dreams (2015). The song was produced by the band's long-time record producer Rik Simpson along with Norwegian production duo Stargate.

References

  1. Chris Martin: ‘Coldplay are saying the opposite of walls and Brexit’ | Music | The Guardian
  2. "Ricky Gervais revealed to be Coldplay drummer Will Champion's Ex-Boss in recent Chris Martin Interview".
  3. Weiss, David (March 2003). "Will Champion: Just Right For Coldplay". DRUM! Magazine (March 2003). Retrieved 4 August 2012.
  4. "Chris Martin: 'I punish myself with lemonade'". Digital Spy. 14 September 2009. Retrieved 25 November 2010.
  5. Slender Fungus (20 November 2008). "Oracle question". Coldplay.com. Archived from the original on 27 September 2010. Retrieved 9 October 2011.
  6. McLean, Craig (1 June 2008). "'We're about to be fed to the lions'". The Guardian . Retrieved 18 March 2009. Will Champion (father of a two-year-old and three-week-old twins)
  7. Brinded, Lianna; Brinded, Lianna. "Paul McCartney remains the richest person in the music industry in Britain". Quartz. Retrieved 19 December 2018.
  8. Yamaha Drum Artists , retrieved 22 July 2009
  9. Zildjian.com – en-US, archived from the original on 3 January 2010, retrieved 22 July 2009
  10. "Eno • Hyde: 'Someday World' a new Collaborative Album from Brian Eno and Karl Hyde will be released in May" . Retrieved 25 February 2014.