Martin's Brits Comment Perplexes Coldplay Fans

When accepting the best album prize at the Brit Awards last night (Feb. 15) in London, Coldplay frontman Chris Martin dropped a bomb. "Thank you. That's it," he said. "We won't see you for a very long

When accepting the best album prize at the Brit Awards last night (Feb. 15) in London, frontman Chris Martin dropped a bomb. "Thank you. That's it," he said. "We won't see you for a very long time."

Asked about the comment afterwards, he said only, "We need to go away. We've got a lot of work to do, that's all," according to the Hollywood Reporter.

That apparently isn't enough of an explanation for legions of Coldplay fans. The message board on the band's official Web site is abuzz with speculation.

Some feel the group is entitled to a rest following rigorous touring and promotional efforts in support of its Capitol album "X&Y." That, along with the personal lives of bandmembers -- including Martin, whose wife, actress Gwyneth Paltrow, is expecting a second child -- seem worthy reasons for a vacation.

"They need a nice, long break from the band, I think," one fan writes. "It'll do them some good, and they'll come back even stronger."

Some think it was an offhand remark not deserving of intense scrutiny, while others think it somehow plays into the U.K. commercial release of "The Hardest Part," the fourth "X&Y" single. "Maybe... the reason there (sic) next single is going to be 'The Hardest Part' is because there leaving us for a while."

No matter the reason, fans seem to agree that an extended break would lead to a quality new album, rather than one that is rushed to capitalize on the success of "X&Y."

"I for one would rather they waited four years and put out an absolutely killer fourth album than just go through the motions again," admits one fan on the board. "There's a world of great music out there if you look hard enough, much of it far richer than 95% of Coldplay's recent output."

Coldplay has been known to take its time crafting new albums. Initial recordings with producer Ken Nelson for the follow-up to its 2002 breakthrough, "A Rush of Blood to the Head," were scrapped in favor of a second round with Danton Supple that produced "X&Y." So great was the anticipation for the set that in February 2005 Capitol parent EMI blamed the delay of the album for lower than expected profits, after which shares in the company dropped 16%.

And although it was not the critical slam dunk that "Rush" was, "X&Y" certainly lived up to market expectations. Released in June 2005, the disc debuted at No. 1 on The Billboard 200 and has sold more than 2.7 million copies in the United States alone, according to Nielsen SoundScan. In this, its 36th week on the chart, the set rebounds 73-56.

The band's 2005 tour ranked No. 17 according to Billboard Boxscore reports, grossing more than $23 million and playing to more than 580,000 fans.

And, despite Martin's remarks, the band isn't exactly going away any time soon.

As previously reported, a North American Coldplay tour opens Sunday (Feb. 19) in Denver with Fiona Apple supporting. Former Verve frontman Richard Ashcroft will support latter dates on the run, which will end April 6 in Philadelphia. An April 2 appearance at Canada's Juno Awards ceremony is also confirmed.

In June, the group is slated to visit Australia for a string of shows, followed by July dates in Japan.

Nonetheless, Martin's comments have sparked a frenzy of sorts, with some media outlets claiming the group is headed for a break-up. "Coldplay are not quitting," a Capitol spokesperson tells Billboard.com, noting the upcoming dates that will be the conclusion of the band's 16-month world tour. "They will then continue working on new material."