23 February 2015 / submitted by Marie, United States of America
Q.  Hi Oracle!
What determines a song having a music video or not??
Thanks in advance if you answer!
Marie, USA
Generally speaking, if a song is going to be released as a single, there will be a video. With Ghost Stories we had the opportunity to show 'videos' for more tracks taken from the Ghost Stories animated and live films.

23 February 2015 / submitted by Brianne, United States of America
Q.  Oh mighty Oracle. Seems to me like you're the best source for an answer to this question: When will Coldplay going on their Ghost Stories tour? I am a huge fan and I'm hoping that it's soon. Follow-up question: Could they please come and play in Buffalo, New York? It would make me extremely happy! ?
I'm a little confused as to why this question is being asked so regularly. I hate to break it to you (even though Chris did himself a while ago) but the Ghost Stories tour - albeit a very small tour in terms of dates and venue sizes - has been and gone. They visited New York too, oops.
We've no current tour news but hopefully you'll catch them next time round.

20 February 2015 / submitted by Ewart, United States of America
My family is currently going through a dire financial situation. My dad owns a business that barely pulls in any revenue, so he can't pay the business taxes to the IRS. We have encouraged him to get another job for years now, but he has been very stubborn. We have been barely making it by.
Recently, we discovered that my dad hasn't paid his business taxes since the 2011 tax day. Our mom has been going through lots of mental and emotional turmoil. She is an elementary school teacher with full credits and a dual Master's Degree, but as a teacher, she doesn't pull in much money. She actually also tutors on top of that.
I have two younger brothers, and this financial tension has been very hard on our family of five.
Recently, we received a voice mail from the IRS that said that they're going to file a law suit against us due the fact that my dad hasn't been paying his business taxes. My mother feels that a divorce is inevitable, but she doesn't know what to do. The IRS will take money out of her pay check, even though she doesn't own the business, or has never associated herself with it.
Oracle, I need advice terribly. I am still in high school. I am going to college in a few years, and this stress has been making my grades slip. Please provide advice not only for me, but for my entire family.
Oracle, I'm not allowed to ask anyone else for advice on this matter. I can't confide in my friends, the guidance counselor at my school, not even my Pastor. You're all I've got. Thank you.
This is tricky because ultimately this is not your problem but of course you are immensely affected by it.
I can't really offer the entire family advice because it's going to take specialist advice.
Your parents need to tackle the problem head on and sit down with someone to work out how they are going to pay the money and over what period. It doesn't matter whether your Mum has anything to do with the business directly; as his wife, they're in it together - that's the whole point of being in a marriage. Divorce might not change that financial obligation either but that's something your Mum needs to find out. It's her decision.
Please don't be too hard on your Dad. I know you think he's been stubborn but perhaps he was being passionate about his business and trying his best. He hasn't done this deliberately. Lots and lots of people have been in the same place as your family and they find solutions because solutions are available.
My concern here is you. You say you are not allowed to ask anyone for advice. I understand why your parents don't want their private financial situation discussed but you need to have the support you need. I suggest you DO talk to someone (other than me). Your school counsellor and pastor are bound by confidentiality so they wouldn't repeat what you discuss.
Worrying is not going to help anyone or anything so work on ways to stop. Concentrate on your studies. Write a schedule for your work and stick to it. Take regular breaks and perhaps use relaxation techniques to stay calm & focussed.
Talk with your family about how you feel - it's not healthy to keep it bottled up and will possibly cause more worry.
Hang in there because there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Over to you.

I'm so sorry that you seem to have the family's financial troubles on your shoulders. It's a lot to carry for someone so young, and you should not have to carry this burden. First off, the IRS does not call people. They send letters. There are many scams out there involving people making phone calls and claiming to work for the IRS.
I am older than you, and it's not easy to deal with financial troubles at any age. I know that you are worried about your parents, but worrying isn't going to help. The best thing that you can do is to get your grades back up, and let your parents deal with the money troubles. Your slipping grades will make your mom start worrying about you too. Your dad is probably feeling a bit stubborn to admit that his business isn't as successful as he'd like it to be.
You are not alone. There are many families having financial troubles. You would probably be surprised to know that many of your classmates may be in the same situation. My best advice is for you to concentrate on your grades. Let your parents worry about the money troubles. Find some ways to escape to relieve your stress. Music, reading, and exercising are great ways to relieve stress. You may want to try to talk to someone, you trust, about your worries. I wish you and your family the best. Cat.

I can't say I know exactly how you feel, but I can somewhat relate. My father spent his entire life spending all his income on his siblings rather than on us, and now he is regretting it, trying to make worth of the few years that he will remain employed before he hits the big 65. So we basically have to constantly worry about whether we will have enough money to pay for a proper college. With all this going on in your life, you really need to focus on your studies and try not to think about anything else. I know it is hard when realities are being shoved down your throat constantly, but your grades are the only thing that will get you places so that you don't have to worry about finance anymore. Try your hardest to be compassionate with your family, because someone has to be strong for all of you. Talk to your mother about their marriage, how they should stand together through thick and thin, and try and listen to your siblings if they have any complaints. It will be difficult, but the harder it gets, the sooner ease will come. You just have to let things run their course, and eventually you will adapt. You will be fine, just be strong and try and hold your family together. Love, Solaf.

I really must applaud you're commitment to your family, especially with keeping the affairs you're in quiet. God knows when I found myself in similar situations, I'd blabber about it to just about everybody and anybody I could. The thing is, I think talking about this is the best thing your family can do, now. Your biggest focus right now needs to be your studies, same for your siblings. And I think the best way you can refocus yourself is by telling your parents that this situation is distracting you. It may seem like it at times, but none of this is your fault, and your education isn't what's causing your family's difficulties.
I cannot give your family any financial advice, but looking at it from his perspective, I think your father is having a problem admitting he can't handle this situation himself. That's not a bad quality about him, at all, but it's extremely difficult to admit you need help, and I can only imagine how harder it must be when you're trying to support a family. My best advice for you would be to confront your family about how hard this is affecting you. You might feel like you're alone in this situation, but you'll always have your family, even through this dark time.
I'll pray for the best for you and your family during this hard time.
Bradley H.

I think I can relate to you problems because I work with people in financial troubles and I've been through the same thing recently. My mom also owns her own business and for years it went really well until a few years ago. Things went downhill and we had to put more money into the business then we got out of it. Please don't be too hard on your dad for not getting another job, when you've invested a lot of time and money into making your own business work, it becomes your project and itâ??s hard to let go. The reason the IRS can take money from your mom as well is because your parents are probably married 'in community of property' which means that everything they have/own is combined, including debts. When your parents were young everyone married in community of property, but I advise against it for obvious reasons. Your parents have to seek professional help from a social worker who specializes in finances. They will try to strike a deal with the IRS to pay off the debts gradually and avoid lawsuits. They will also help your dad with what to do next. Maybe your parents could also try marriage counselling? Most important of all, I know itâ??s hard but the best thing you can do to help, is not to add to your parents worries. That means try your best to improve your grades and to make it to college. Good luck! Amanda.

You are about to start your own life and now you have to deal with your parents problems. This is so hard, and I wish I could tell you it's going to get better, but I can't guarantee that. Here's the good news. You are going to college soon. There you can be whoever you want to be. Finances can work themselves out, but YOU have to take care of you. Whatever your parents decide to do, you have try as hard as you can to separate yourself from it. You are your own person, you do not have to let their decisions and mistakes control your life. I've been in a situation where I've had to separate myself from a parent. It's the hardest thing I've ever done. I love them dearly, but for my own well being, I had to step back and let them figure it out. It is not your job to fix them, although we want to try. Remember that they are your parents, and even though you don't have to like them all the time, they did raise you. You must acknowledge and appreciate that, okay? Take a deep breath, turn on some Coldplay (because love), and maybe take a walk. Journal. Do something to get your frustrations out, try not to take it out on them. They want to be perfect for you, but they're human. They more than likely love you deeply and care a lot about your future. I know you're probably feeling a lot, but try your best not to make them feel worse, because it will only help you for a little while, and it will just cut them deeper.
Stay strong, okay? You are amazing and you are going to make. Smile.
Sue USA.

Your situation is hard and complicated, but not impossible.
It must be hard for you as a child to go through stuff like that, I believe you. I myself know people in situations like yours and I know how it is for them and I truly understand how it must be for you.
The thing is, you are the kid in the family, so you can't do much, but to hope. In times of trouble hope is all you have and is all you need. Support your family if you can, try and make them laugh and be there for them when they need that.
You said something about a divorce, I had that fear too a few months ago, my parents were arguing all the time and I saw mom more and more, well not mom. I used to cry myself to sleep and that was not good. In this case, I advice you to talk to them, I did the same and they assured me that they would never divorce because they love each other and they love me.
This is my advice, talk to them about anything that makes you to worry, even though parents are parents, they can still be your friends. Another option would be a psychologist but I personally don't like them, but if it helps, then it must be good to you.
I hope my answer helped and I wish you all the love and luck in the world!
Lots of love from Romania.

You should open up to your parents. They've been taking care for you for whole life and they won't let you alone and homeless now. You are so scared, of course, maybe you've never experienced such problems before, but there is always some solution. Take courage and tell them your feelings. They'll try everything to help you and to see problems and solutions from your point of view. Many families face the same problems, just don't be frightened because it can't help you. Focus on your studying, let your parents be adults and solve things but also tell them your feelings and ask them how you can help them.
Think about finding some part time job and also open up to friends, teachers, pastors; many of them have faced the same sometimes in their life. They could give you smart advice. I wish you to be wealthy, but many countries, including mine, are poor and we are used to that way of life. You always find some way if your mind is clear and strong, so work on that and the rest will come to you! "I wanna live in a wooden house where making more friends would be easy, I wanna live where the sun comes out..." With love, Kamili.

It sounds like an overwhelming situation for someone your age, Ewart. It's very tough when you're that young and your family has the kind of trouble you cannot directly help to solve. There are some things you can do to help your family go through this and show them your support. Maybe you could get a part-time job (as far as it doesn't interfere with school). It could contribute to relieving your family's financial situation a little bit. As you are the eldest brother, you can also help your siblings with their homework in case they need it, drive them home, etc. (that would be very helpful for your mum). But most important: you can prevent your siblings and yourself from listening to your parents fighting by taking them to other room or outside.
You need to take care of yourself too. Don't interfere if your parents are having a discussion. Don't take sides with any of them, even though you may strongly feel like doing it. This is something that affects your entire family but that's up to your parents to solve. You can only do small things to help.
Regarding your friends, are you sure there's no one you can confide in? Maybe you're being hard on them. You need some emotional support to face this and having someone to talk to at times would be great.
Have faith that this situation will eventually be over. I wish you the best, Ewart. Noelia, Argentina.

Thanks to all those who replied to this week's question. Remember, Team Oracle is open to anyone so if you fancy replying, click to read this week's, and send us your answer.

20 February 2015 / submitted by The Oracle, United Kingdom

As you may know, we have a weekly feature, Team Oracle, whereby each Friday we open questions of a personal nature to all of you to answer too. Then, the following Friday, I post a selection of the best answers, alongside my own reply.

ANYONE can join in so, if you'd like to, please email your response to the following question, in no more than 250 words, to before midnight Thursday 26 February.

Have you ever wanted to express to someone how much they mean to you and how grateful you are for them but there just aren't words that exist that will properly convey what you feel? What do you do? Carrie. USA.

Look forward to reading your replies.

The Oracle.
Please email your replies with TEAM ORACLE in the subject line to
Including your twitter address may result in a follow back.

19 February 2015 / submitted by Wayne, United States of America
Q.  Dear Oracle,
The bells chiming toward the end of Oceans sound somewhat like the bells heard on Pink Floyd's High Hopes (Division Bell album). Any influence, am I hallucinating?
You're hallucinating, mate. Church bells are church bells the world over. They all have a similar sound given they're all church bells.
To me, Oceans' bells sound like wedding bells whereas the bells in High Hopes sound like chimes. Just my opinion.
Given Coldplay wrote a song called Wedding Bells, I don't think there's a Pink Floyd connection to bells. That's not to say they aren't a genius band but not an influence in this case.

19 February 2015 / submitted by Veronika, Germany
Q.  Dear Oracle,
I love reading your answers...
I am interested in your answer to a question. You posted a link but my PC warned me because of malware. Could you please post another link to another page?
Thank you :)
I'm sorry but I can't do that. Any hyperlink that I post is from a trusted source and is safe to open.

18 February 2015 / submitted by Ashlyn, United States of America
Q.  Where did the idea of the running man animation come from for Charlie Brown? I absolutely love it and I have always wondered!

Sorry if you have already answered this one.
much much love
The multicoloured fuzzy man (as he's often referred to) was one of the first graphics associated with Mylo Xyloto.
The original plan was to use "him" in a video for the first single but it just didn't quite work. Everyone liked the idea so much that when the opportunity to use him as part of the live shows came up, not only was it was a perfect solution but a perfect fit.

18 February 2015 / submitted by Conrad, Germany
Q.  Dear Oracle,

how is the lighting of the origami stars on stage working?

Thank you!
I wish you a merry Advent season
This may sound strange but when we gave the instructions of how to make the origami stars, we deliberately didn't mention the lights because it could have caused a plethora of fire hazards.
Paper is obviously highly inflammable & safety procedures must be adhered to.
Looking at the stage I assume in that case, they're illuminated by battery operated LED lights.

17 February 2015 / submitted by Faye, United Kingdom
Q.  Hi Oracle,
Just curious, generally (not specifically Coldplay) how long is there between an album being completely recorded (the last day in studio) and the release/the album going on sale to the public?

Thanks :) LOVE YOU!
It depends. As you can imagine there are many reasons that it can be faster or slower than average. The last day of recording in the studio, is followed by post-production, mixing, mastering and manufacture - there may also be (as is the case with Coldplay) late additions to the album.
It's usually been 2 or 3 months after the songs are recorded before album release but that's not set in stone.

17 February 2015 / submitted by Daniel, United States of America
Q.  I loved the gig that the band performed at the iTunes Festival in Austin last year. I really wish there were plans to release an EP or even a DVD of the performance. Are there plans for either of those?
I shouldn't think so. It's nothing to do with the artists who performed there as iTunes Festival own rights to those recordings. It's a question for them but they usually just have live streams which are available for a while after. They may make them available again but I can't see it being in a physical format.