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Coldplay goes primal in incredible new chimp-themed music video

Look out, Gorillaz. The chimp versions of frontman Chris Martin and his band Coldplay have come to life in full force. In the video promoting the group’s new single Adventure of a Lifetime, the magic of computer generated imagery turns the longtime British alt rockers into primate counterparts.

Mat Whitecross (Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll) directed the new video with noneother than Imaginarium Studios’ own Andy Serkis, known for creating realistic characterizations of primates in the Planet of the Apes franchise reboot, and King Kong (not to mention his critically-acclaimed turn as Gollum).

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The visually-stunning video took six months to make, but it sounds like the idea for the primate theme was spur of the moment. Whitecross, whose past credits include videos for Coldplay, The Rolling Stones, and Jay Z, explained to U.K. publication Creative Review that he originally wanted to use performance capture techniques to animate the band members as avatars like zombies or aliens.

“So we tried one take with the whole band as chimpanzees – and they enjoyed it so much we decided that was the way to go,” said Whitecross. “The incredible thing about performance capture is you can see the characters and the environment already on the screens around you, or through the camera viewfinder. So I wasn’t watching the band, I was watching a group of apes.”

In the video, chimps are shown hanging out before they find a (very obviously branded) Beats Pill speaker – and start dancing to the music. The characters then become a band: the chimp version of the veteran British rockers, putting on slick dance moves, and learning to use tools (i.e. music instruments) in the vein of Kubrick’s 2001.

Adventure of a Lifetime is the first single off of Coldplay’s seventh record, A Head Full of Dreams, which comes out this Friday. The band previously announced that the album features guest appearances from Beyonce, Noel Gallagher, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Tove Lo, among others.