F1 Tracks: Listen to Coldplay bassist Guy Berryman's playlist takeover
This week’s F1 Tracks takeover has landed with Coldplay bassist and F1 lover Guy Berryman providing his soundtrack to the Eifel Grand Prix from the legendary Nürburgring.
Owing to his background in engineering, almost all mechanical objects hold a huge fascination for Guy. His impressive personal car collection comprises of mainly 1960’s European sports cars as well as a few vintage racing cars, including a very rare Alpine A220 that raced at Le Mans in the late 1960s.
In the Q&A below, Guy highlights Charles Leclerc as a a Coldplay fan and that he has seen him play piano "very nicely". Noting the similarities between F1 and live music, Guy notes that just like races, live shows are full of pressure, excitement and, sometimes, drama.
Guy’s playlist includes Kanye West’s Flashing Lights, Dua Lipa’s Be the One, The Weeknd’s Blinding Lights and My Number from Foals. His favourite track from his takeover is José Gonzaléz’s cover of Teardrop.
The full Guy Berryman F1 Tracks playlist can be found on Spotify, Deezer and Apple Music.
Q&A with Guy Berryman
If one of your songs was to be the new theme tune for F1, which would it be?
That's a tough one! For me the theme song of F1 will always be Fleetwood Mac’s The Chain as that's what I remember it being when I was a kid. John McVie’s bassline is just so menacing and iconic. It’d be hard to decide which Coldplay song I’d choose to pair with F1 - maybe God Put a Smile Upon Your Face as it's a bit menacing too - or perhaps Adventure of a Lifetime as Jonny’s guitar riff is so catchy too…. But they’re really just a couple of random choices. It’d be interesting to know what others would choose…
We know you’re a big F1 fan, what are your favourite memories from following Formula 1?
I remember those hazy Sunday afternoons as a kid watching the races on TV - I grew up in Scotland and have fond memories of F1 as being a backdrop to my life growing up there. Later in life I remember attending the British GP at Silverstone which was taking place before our headline slot at the Isle of Wight festival. Richard Ashcroft was on the bill before us and so we had a full on rockstar day together, choppering into the GP then onto the festival… that was pretty special! And, of course, I just love good close races where there are battles going on until the end of the races - these are moments in time where the competition is just so close and I love the thrill of real battle on the circuit.
What is something F1 and your music have in common?
Well there’s a similarity in the sense that when we go on tour it's like a huge moving circus. When we go out on tour it's like a giant touring family and I feel F1 is like that too. It's like a big family moving around the world together, sharing experiences and the camaraderie is ever present. In the same way as F1 drivers like to put on a show with close racing, we are always trying to give people who attend our shows the best possible experience.
What is your favourite song from your takeover and why?
I’m really loving the Jose Gonzalez version of Teardrop at the moment. I love the original Massive Attack song but this version is just a great acoustic interpretation of it.
Tell us more about your new clothing range 'APPLIED ART FORMS' and the inspiration behind it?
I’ve always been passionate about music and cars - but I’ve also always collected vintage military, utilitarian and workwear garments - such as nylon flight jackets and cotton field jackets, etc. I’ve always wondered what I should do with my collection - so I decided to use the garments as the inspiration basis for my own designs. I tend to like designs when they follow a form-follows-function ethos and I just think vintage ‘workwear' garments contain a certain beauty as they have been designed for purpose, not for fashion. The first APPLIED ART FORMS collection will have cotton goods as well as some Japanese denim - and some really super cool jackets for winter. The label launches in October and we are messaging predominantly through Instagram - all the garments will be produced in limited editions and newsletter subscribers will get the ability to pre-order.
We hear you have a very impressive car collection, is that what sparked your love of F1 and do you have a favourite car?
My background is engineering. I was studying mechanical engineering and architecture at university when I met my bandmates and we formed Coldplay. Almost all mechanical objects hold a huge fascination for me - watches too. My car collection comprises of mainly 1960s European sports cars as I just find that era of car design so beautiful too. I do have a few vintage racing cars too, including a very rare Alpine A220, which raced several times at Le Mans in the late 1960’s. F1 is peak engineering - it’s everything pushed to the max and thrown onto a battlefield - what's not to love!
Any similarities between the buzz of F1 and buzz of live music?
Absolutely - live shows are full of pressure, excitement and, sometimes, drama!
Are you still racing and if so, who are you inspired by and why?
I haven’t raced at all this year - for the last few years I have been racing in Caterham championships which is brilliant fun. Caterhams are such simple race cars and the racing is close and sometimes brutal. I’ve seen a few too many mishaps and several Caterhams doing barrel-rolls in front of me for my liking - but I can’t wait to start up again sometime. I’d like to be a bit more competitive but I just don’t have the time to practice as much as some of the other drivers. Francois Cevert is a favourite driver of mine - a very tragic end to his life, as was all too often the way in motorsport in the 1960s and '70s but a truly charismatic and talented man.
If you could pick one F1 driver to join the band who would it be and why?
Well I know Charles Leclerc is a Coldplay fan - and I’ve seen him play the piano very nicely so I’d put my money on him being a good extra member!
Anything exciting in the pipeline for Coldplay?
We’ve always got exciting things in the pipeline! But there’s not much I can discuss at the moment. We are, of course, trying to navigate the waters as regards the Covid-19 pandemic, which is affecting live events. F1 races can go ahead and be televised - but a Coldplay stadium show isn’t much fun when there's nobody standing in front of us to watch! Hopefully we can all find a way forward again soon.