Coldplay frontman Chris Martin says he had to reconcile his “very homophobic” past before coming to terms with his own sexuality.
The Grammy-winner sat down with Rolling Stone’s founder and editorial director Jann S. Wenner for a wide-ranging, in-depth interview released on Tuesday that touched on everything from his “brutal” British upbringing and his religious beliefs to his insecurities and global fame.
As a young teen, Martin was sent to an all-boys boarding school and recalls confronting “some stuff with religion and sexuality and everything” that informed his identity.
The singer explained that he developed a complex relationship with religion that made him feel both connected to humanity but also increasingly isolated over his fears of being gay.
“When I went to boarding school, I walked a bit funny and I bounced a bit and I was also very homophobic because I was like, ‘If I’m gay, I’m completely fucked for eternity’ and I was a kid discovering sexuality,” he said. ”Maybe I’m gay, maybe I’m this, maybe I’m that, I can’t be this.”
Martin revealed he was “terrified” due to the comments from his schoolmates, whom he described as a group of “quite hardcore kids.”
“For a few years, they would very much say, ‘You’re definitely gay,’ in quite a full-on manner, quite aggressively telling me that and it was weird for me for a few years,” he continued.
At the time, the “Yellow” singer admitted he didn’t know if he was actually gay, adding that it created “terrible turmoil.”
Martin would go on to marry actor and entrepreneur Gwyneth Paltrow, with whom he shares two children ― Apple, 15, and Moses, 13 ― before splitting with her in 2016. He’s since been linked to actor Dakota Johnson but remains fiercely private about his personal life.
Martin recalled later in the interview that eventually, something within him shifted as he came to reject the intolerance that had been ingrained in him.
“About 15 and a half, I don’t know what happened, I was like, ‘Yeah, so what?’ and then it all just stopped overnight. It was very interesting,” he said.
He attributes his changing outlook to “just growing up a bit” and recognizing that some of his own heroes were out gay men.
“[I had] a bit more exposure to the world, thinking, ‘A lot of my heroes are gay,’ or whatever. Whatever they are, it doesn’t really matter,” he explained. “So what that did was ease a big pressure and then made me question, ‘Hey maybe some of this stuff that I’m learning about God and everything ― I’m not sure if I subscribe to all of this particular religion.’”
Martin says he’s since established a different relationship with God that’s “not really any one religion for me.”
Religion is, however, a major theme in Coldplay’s new album “Everyday Life,” which Martin described as “very raw and pure.”
“It’s the first time we really said what we think about some things,” he said of the album. “And it’s trying to be empathetic and it’s a bit unfiltered.”
For the full interview, head over to Rolling Stone.