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
Born (1978-07-31) 31 July 1978 (age 41)
Southampton, Hampshire, England
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Musician
  • songwriter
Instruments
  • Drums
  • percussion
  • vocals
  • guitar
  • piano
  • keyboards
Years active1995–present
Labels
Associated acts

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

Contents

Early life and education

William Raymond 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]

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.

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. He studied anthropology at University College London, where he met his future bandmates.

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

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] His previous experience on other instruments has been praised by Martin: "Will is like a human jukebox. He knows more songs than anyone. You name it, he'll play it." [5]

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!" [6] 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 the "Life in Technicolor II" B-side "The Goldrush", on a live version of "Til Kingdom Come" and on the live version of "In My Place" performed during the A Head Full of Dreams Tour and included in Live in Buenos Aires .

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. [7] 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. [8]

Equipment

Champion currently uses a Yamaha drum kit [9] with Zildjian cymbals. [10] 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 wasn't until A Head Full Of Dreams Tour (which started in March 2016 and concluded in November 2017) that Champion 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

Coldplay British rock band

Coldplay are a British rock band that was formed in London in 1996. Vocalist and pianist Chris Martin, guitarist Jonny Buckland, bassist Guy Berryman, and drummer Will Champion met at University College London and began playing music together from 1996 to 1998, first calling themselves Pectoralz and then Starfish before finally changing their name to Coldplay. Creative director and former manager Phil Harvey is often referred to as the fifth member by the band. After changing their name to Coldplay, they recorded and released two EPs: Safety in 1998 and The Blue Room in 1999. The latter was their first release on a major record label, after signing to Parlophone.

Jimmy Chamberlin American drummer and record producer

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Yellow (Coldplay song) 2000 single by Coldplay

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<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". Lyrically, the album contains references to love, life, death and war.

Viva la Vida 2008 single by Coldplay

"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).

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 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.

Yes (Coldplay song) song performed by Coldplay

"Yes" is the sixth track from Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends, the fourth studio album by British rock band Coldplay. The track actually consists of two songs: the eponymous "Yes" (0:00–4:04) and the hidden "Chinese Sleep Chant" (4:04–7:06). Both compositions were written by all band members.

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", a sample from 'Light Through the Veins' by Jon Hopkins, is what begins "Life in Technicolor" making the album cyclical.

<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. Roach, Martin (16 May 2011). Viva Coldplay: A Biography. Omnibus Press. ISBN   9780857125941.
  6. Slender Fungus (20 November 2008). "Oracle question". Coldplay.com. Archived from the original on 27 September 2010. Retrieved 9 October 2011.
  7. 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)
  8. Brinded, Lianna; Brinded, Lianna. "Paul McCartney remains the richest person in the music industry in Britain". Quartz. Retrieved 19 December 2018.
  9. Yamaha Drum Artists , retrieved 22 July 2009
  10. Zildjian.com – en-US, archived from the original on 3 January 2010, retrieved 22 July 2009
  11. "Eno • Hyde: 'Someday World' a new Collaborative Album from Brian Eno and Karl Hyde will be released in May" . Retrieved 25 February 2014.