Matthew Bellamy

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Matthew Bellamy

Muse member
Name Matthew James Bellamy
Born 9th June 1978
Hometown Cambridge, UK
Plays Guitar, piano, lead vocals, himself and your world
Band members Christopher Wolstenholme, Dominic Howard
Associated acts Carnage Mayhem, Gothic Plague, Rocket Baby Dolls and Muse

Childhood

Matthew Bellamy was born in Cambridge on the 9th June 1978 and moved to Devon with his family at the age of 10. Matthew’s dad, George Bellamy was in a band called The Tornadoes, who were the first band from the UK to get a US number 1 record.[source?] At the age of 13 Matthew’s parents got divorced.[source?] "It was ok at home, middle class, we had money.” Matthew says. “Well until the age of 13. I think I almost got everything I wanted until the age of 13, yes. Then, everything changed, parents got divorced, and I went to live with my grandmother, and there wasn't that much money. I have a sister who's younger than me, she's actually my stepsister: my dad had her from another marriage, and also an older brother. Until the age of 14 music was part of my life since it was part of the family circle: my dad was a musician, he had a band, etc. But it's only when I moved in with my grandparents that I started playing music myself. It was like a need to me."[source?]

Matthew started playing piano at 6 when his brother influenced him to play a soundtrack from a TV series by holding him in front of the TV and then putting him in front of the piano. Matthew managed to play the song and his brother used to make him play it in front of his friends for show off. At the age of 11, after seeing Jimi Hendrix putting his guitar on fire, he decided he wanted to buy a guitar, which he asked from his grandmother.[source?] His parents and older brother also used an Ouija Board to contact the dead, which Matt discovered when he was wandering downstairs late at night. He then became interested in it after the divorce of his parents. “It was exciting to go to school and to tell 10-year-old kids all about it, as they found it all quite scary and I was quite impressed that I was doing something that was scary to other people but that wasn't to me. I did get quite into that.” His beliefs changed after one correspondence predicted the first Gulf War a year before it started. “My beliefs in the whole thing changed. I now believe that you’re contacting something in your subconscious, which is quite different. Something that you might not have known was already there. That’s probably more realistic than thinking you’re contacting somebody who’s already dead. And I do practice that".[source?]

Bellamy's first[1] memory is of breaking an expensive family heirloom[2] - a large mirror[2] - after letting go of a bucket whilst spinning around with it, as a result of which his mother proclaimed that he'd cursed the family for seven years.[1] This occurred in the year previous to the one during which his parents split up.[2] In December 1999, he claimed this was his most guilt-ridden memory.[2]

Music

Style

Matthew Bellamy is the driving force behind Muse’s lyrical and musical composition. Popular devices he uses are singing with vibrato and in falsetto ("Supermassive Black Hole," "Knights of Cydonia," "Ruled by Secrecy," "Micro Cuts," and "Showbiz," among others), arpeggiations ("Take a Bow," "Starlight," "Butterflies & Hurricanes," "Ruled by Secrecy," "New Born," and "Bliss," among others), and large or octave jumps in melody lines ("Map of the Problematique," "Stockholm Syndrome," "Butterflies & Hurricanes," and "Citizen Erased," among others). Some songs (most notably older ones) express a more esoteric side in terms of guitar riffs and vocals ("Execution Commentary," "Agitated," "Ashamed," and "Yes Please," among others). He also seems to pronounce clearly the hard consonant sound "n" at the beginnings of some phrases when he sings. This has commonly been interpreted as the word "and".

Lyrics

Bellamy's lyrical writing is relatively simple but his subject matters are usually not - world events, the end of the world, hyperspace, technology, religion, George Orwell's '1984' (for 'Resistance'), among other subjects. Many of his main ideas are set in a dystopian future, in which totalitarian governments control every aspect of private and public behaviour, maintaining their power with political and forceful tactics such as widespread surveillance, state controlled media, etc. Freedom is out of the question, and the idea of terrorism can be placed onto any individual regardless of age, etc.

Vocal range

Bellamy's displayed vocal range spans from F♯2 to C6. Throughout Muse's career, his singing voice has deepened and matured, with improved low-end, sustain and vibrato.

The lowest full note he has reached is a G2 which he hits 30 seconds into Follow Me. In an interview with KROQ, August 2010, he displays an F♯2 while impersonating growling vocals. A note that he also hits in Execution Commentary.

The highest note he has belted is B4, which has been hit on several occasions live. His highest studio note is B♭4. He hits this note at 2:08 in Feeling Good, at 5:52 in Unnatural Selection, at 1:26 in Survival, at 4:47 in Explorers, twice towards the end of Madness, three times at the end of Follow Me, several times throughout Futurism and the chorus of Big Freeze. He more commonly hits A4 in songs like City of Delusion, Cave, House of the Rising Sun, Sing for Absolution, Exo-Politics, Hyper Music and Survival.

The highest studio note Bellamy has hit is A5 at the start of Dead Star, and in Hyper Music at 2:53, both of which are backing vocals. His highest note in a lead vocal is the final scream in Showbiz, Micro Cuts, and Survival, all of which reach G♯5. Live, Bellamy occasionally hits B5 during Time Is Running Out. During Agitated [2] at the MCM Café in 1999, about 10 seconds after the first chorus, he approaches C♯6.

Whilst this is not out of the range of a male singer with due practice, Bellamy managed to reach these highs without the amount practice usually required, and before he developed his breathing technique. According to Howard speaking for an interview around Route du Rock 2001, a doctor once examined Bellamy's vocal cords and commented that they are unusually small, explaining how he managed to reach the high ranges that he does with relatively little practice or training. Bellamy also stated in said interview that he used to, sometime prior to that interview, attempt to sing lower due to being embarrassed about singing using high ranges. He doesn't anymore, however, as he has lost that inhibition.[3]

Pre-performance preparation

Bellamy uses an electric foot massager to prepare before shows. As well as treating nervousness, this helps him in regards to jet lag.[4]

He has also said that bubble baths are his favourite way to "warm up" prior to shows. [5]

It has also been said that Matt "can't play a gig" without eating a banana.

In an interview with NME, he has said that once he gets offstage the first thing he drinks is red wine. According to Bellamy, it's the only alcohol that doesn't make his throat dry and helps with his voice. [6]

Live action

Bellamy has several live regularities. One of the most prominent is repetitively walking back and forth, though pro-shot videos manage to mask this by changing angle often. Other regularities are song specific, for example in Plug In Baby he spins a few times during the final instrumental section. He has the world record at breaking guitars,[7] he smashed 140 guitars during the Absolution Tour in 2004.

Miscellany

Bellamy would rather artists not need the media to reach their audience.[1]

Bellamy could "vaguely" read musical scores during the OOS era. We can see him looking at a score in the Making of United States of Eurasia, making a funny face though. [1]

The first song that Bellamy learned to play was the theme tune to Dallas. His brother held him in front of their television, then held him in front of their piano and made Matthew work it out with one finger. His brother showed this off to his friends.[8]

Additional information

Family

Bellamy's father is George Bellamy, former rhythm guitarist of The Tornadoes. Bellamy's mother is Marylin Bellamy, who left Ireland for England during the 1970s.

George Bellamy's brother was shot and killed in Northern Ireland some time during the 1960s or 1970s under suspicious circumstances. He was a soldier of the British Army, but the IRA never owned up to his death (as they usually did) and no conclusion was ever came to. Rumours were abound that he was a member of the SAS, and the suspicion surrounding his death was one of the factors leading to Matt's 'obsession' with conspiracy theories.

He has an older brother called Paul, who bought Hulk comics during their childhood. Matthew came to like The Incredible Hulk as a result, but he never bought any of the comics - he took them from Paul.[9]

Bellamy's fiancee Kate Hudson, an American actress, gave birth to his first child, a boy named Bingham "Bing" Hawn Bellamy on 9th July 2011. Bellamy started dating actress Kate Hudson in Spring 2010. Hudson announced she was pregnant in January 2011. on April 27th, 2011, they announced they became engaged the prior week. She also has a son named Ryder with her ex-husband, the Black Crows singer, Chris Robinson.

Religion

Bellamy has shown signs of atheism: "Being an atheist means you have to realise that when you die, that really is it. You've got to make the most of what you've got here and spread as much influence as you can. I believe that you only live through the influence that you spread, whether that means having a kid or making music".[source?]

In 2000 Bellamy stated that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was "extremely cool" to have been able to deceive people into believing she remained a virgin after conceiving.[10]

Bellamy has also stated that God will never be cool due to Satan introducing rock 'n' roll first. He said that "all those cloaks and everything" are "not a good look".[10]

At Pinkpop 2004, Bellamy said in an interview that he hadn't anything against religion, he just didn't have one. He said that his dedication to music might serve as a replacement to religion.

Bellamy also stated in a 2007 interview that one of the weirdest gifts fans have sent him is the Holy Bible.

In a session where Matt and Dom answered questions from fans, Bellamy stated that the celebrity alive or dead he'd most like to meet is Jesus Christ (Dom answered Jimi Hendrix for this question). Matt: I'd like to meet Jesus Christ. Eh just because I'd be interested to know how he did it all. You know what I mean? You know... making fish out of bushes and stuff. Walking on water. I'd like to meet someone who can do that. I think that'd be uh, certainly one of the most interesting people to meet I'd say.[source?]

However, more recently Bellamy has shown signs of being an Agnostic or a Deist. In an interview with a Rock Music channel in France (2006), Bellamy states, "I believe in the God of the universe, definitely." In addition, he revealed in a 2007 video inverview that, "I don't believe in heaven or hell, I don't really believe in that version" [watch]. Bellamy's beliefs are therefore probably closer to the philosophical concept of "The Absolute" as opposed to the structures of organized religions.

Miscellany

Bellamy watched Road Runner when he was around 4 years of age. He claims that the way the Road Runner tortured the Coyote constantly without self consequence "got" to him.[9]

Bellamy avoids 'hard' drugs, due to his experience of their effects on those around him. Bellamy moved into a flat with a drug dealer at the age of 18. He described the flat as looking like "a scene from Trainspotting, white powders and mirrors and tin foil everywhere."[11] He did however use mushrooms containing psilocybin "to experience something that's not always on offer. I'm not afraid of seeing something horrible. It's a way of connecting with yourself in a way that you can't normally do."[source?]

During the early years of Muse, Bellamy became involved with some "dodgy" people, with which he stole and sold a Ford Escort for £500. After the owner of the scrap yard from where they stole said Escort threatened to burn Bellamy's house with his family inside it, Bellamy gave the man Muse's tour bus. Bellamy has stated that he'd like to exact revenge on this man by putting him into a car crusher.[source?]

Trivia

  • When asked, Bellamy once gave this advice on orgies: "It's very easy. Novelty items. It's so easy. All you need is masks or hats. Soon as people put on silly hats, they loosen up a little bit. Then you need a couple of friends who are very close to each other. Then people start bundling to each other and it just goes from there. It's as simple as that. Just bundling, tickling and novelty items."[8]
  • Bellamy shared a flat in London with Tom Kirk and Howard up until as recently as 2002.[source?]
  • Bellamy is able to tickle himself.
  • Bellamy contributed a page to the original website at http://www.muse-official.com (now defunct) titled "Matt's Rambling Page" (which also linked to his email address, qua@aol.com). The first incarnation of the website was ruined when Matt accidentally deleted the directory in which the website was stored when trying to learn HTML.[source?]
  • Bellamy occasionally posted on the old incarnation of the official site messageboard, more often than not on sexually themed threads.[source?]
  • Bellamy is able to say the alphabet backwards- ZYXWVUTSRQPONMLKJIHGFEDCBA. He has been made to repeat this party trick on several occasions (most recently in an interview with Zane Lowe following the release of BHAR in 2006).[source?]
  • Bellamy wishes that the gravity on Earth were weaker so that spiders would die.[9]
  • He is 5' 7" (1.73 m)
  • He has shoe size 8 UK and 9 US. [12]
  • Bellamy told one interviewer that he lost his virginity at Reading Festival when he was about 15 or 16. The interview can be seen here.
  • Matt would like to play a gig in the middle of Pleiades (the constellation, also known as the "seven sisters"), the star system which - according to one of his favourite conspiracy theories - aligns with the Egyptian and Cydonian pyramid systems.
  • Bellamy hates Marmite with a passion. Unlike Chris and Dom, who love it.
  • Matt used to live in Moltrasio, Italy. He now lives in North London.
  • Matt can make a whole pasta dish from scratch. [13]
  • When on a break at Chateau Miraval, Matt and Dom began to get a slight phobia of insects so they bought one of those rockets that you build from a kit with a camera on and fired it off with a Praying Mantis attached. When asked about it he said: "We expanded his mind and universe. It was probably a bit like going on holiday for him."
  • Matt has a dog. [14]
  • Insects are attracted to his bum and he sweats in there. Footage here
  • Around the time of 2002, Matt owned a black Lotus Elite sports car. This was the first car he bought from his own money. Previous to this he'd steal his Mom's.
  • According to Matt's Fiancé, Kate Hudson, Matt drinks PG Tips tea.
  • Matt has a Wine collection.
  • Matt once 'stole' a double bass from a school he attended to get lessons. Revealed in the Gonzo 2003 interview which can be found here.
  • In the Showbiz Tour Matt brought a Go-Ped.
  • His favorite car is the 1962 blue Ford Thunderbird, third generation of this famous american car.
  • Matt was not originally intended to be the vocalist of Muse, as the band were originally looking for a fourth member to sing. As Dom recalls, Matt came about becoming the vocalist after he "belted out" his voice at one of their very early gigs.

Previous jobs

  • Caravan cleaner[15]
  • Painter and decorator - with his mate Jake.[source?]

Words/phrases he overuses

References

  1. a b c d Sioban Crogan. (2000-02-02). On the Couch. New Musical Express. Retrieved 2006-11-26. [verify]
  2. a b c d Robin Bresnark. (1999-12). The Potholey Bible. Melody Maker. Retrieved 2008-02-15 from rocketbabydolls.com. [verify]
  3. Route du Rock interview 2001
  4. (2007-02). [Interview video]. ninemsn. Retrieved 2007-02-26. [verify]
  5. BBC Radio 1 Podcast, December 2006
  6. [Interview (NME Feature, 08/13/2008)]
  7. Guinness World Records[1]
  8. a b NME 20010616
  9. a b c Heroes and villains (2000-07-29). NME magazine. [verify]
  10. a b 8th Coolest person in rock (2000-06-15). Melody Maker. Retrieved 2007-03-21 from rocketbabydolls.com. [verify]
  11. The dark side of Matt Bellamy (2002-06-22). Kerrang, 909, 14. Retrieved 2008-03-11. [verify]
  12. From twitter: https://twitter.com/MattBellamy/status/311727587179241472
  13. Ben Jones. (2008-02-18). Most Wanted with Ben Jones. Virgin Radio. Retrieved 2008-02-18 from www.muselive.com. [verify]
  14. Dom & Matt "Speed Date Interview" (2010). Speed Date Interview. Retrieved 2010-11-14 from {{{dom}}}.
  15. X-Ray Magazine - The hates and occasional loves of Muse's Matt Bellamy. August/2003

See also


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