Coldplay are a British rock band formed in 1996 by lead vocalist and pianist Chris Martin and lead guitarist Jonny Buckland at University College London (UCL). After they formed under the name Pectoralz, Guy Berryman joined the group as a bassist and they changed their name to Starfish.
Will Champion joined as a drummer and backing vocalist, completing the performing line-up. Creative Director Phil Harvey is often referred to as the official fifth member by the band. The band renamed themselves "Coldplay" in 1998, before recording and releasing three EPs: Safety in 1998, Brothers & Sisters as a single in 1999, and The Blue Room in the same year. The Blue Room was their first release on a major label, after signing to Parlophone.
Coldplay started out as one of many earnest post-Britpop bands. In the late 1990s, the EPs released by the band had characteristics of dream pop, setting them apart from later studio albums. The tone of the band's first studio album, Parachutes, was described as melodic pop with "distorted guitar riffs and swishing percussion" but also being "exquisitely dark and artistically abrasive".
Such alternative rock style has been compared to bands like U2, Oasis, Radiohead and Travis.The band acknowledges the Scottish alternative rock band, Travis, as a major influence on their earlier material.