60 Seconds With Muse’s Christopher Wolstenholme (20080406 The Times online feature)
Generally, how big is Muse’s entourage? It’s usually about 20 people. But the truth is that all of them are here because they have a particular function, they’re not just along for the ride.
Of all the albums you’ve made, which is most memorable in terms of its creative process?
I would have to say the last two albums because we had time to put them together. Unlike the first album Showbiz, which was basically a collection of the songs we had created before we got signed. But with Absolution, we actually sat down and thought about the kind of album we wanted to create. And when we were in the process of putting Blackholes and Revelations together, we insisted that no bookings or tours be scheduled before we had wrapped the album up. Usually everyone just goes ahead and plans the tours before we actually finish an album.
If you had to be reincarnated as any musician, who would it be?
Definitely Jimi Hendrix.
What’s the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you guys on stage?
Jeez, loads of stuff goes wrong quite often. But I think that’s kind of what characterises live performances. One incident that does stick out is a gig in Paris. The venue we were playing in was small and our equipment was too heavy on its electrical system. So every five minutes all the power would just go off. Initially the audience was tolerant but at one point the power was out for about 45 minutes and we could feel the tension building. We decided to throw all the drinks we had in our backstage fridge into the crowd to appease them.
What have your impressions been of South Africa?
Honestly, we haven’t had time to explore but we did go to an African restaurant last night and I had ostrich. Damn, I can’t remember the name of the place though.
If you were a lecturer at the ‘School of Rock University’ what would you teach to the first-year students?
I would definitely teach them how to have a good party first, and maybe worry about the music later [laughs].
What song do you think has the best lyrics of all time?
Where’s the next Muse gig?
Would any of you ever consider going solo?
I think that we may do it one day, but the band is quite busy right now and it just wouldn’t be practical.
Do you still break stuff on stage?
No way! That was a long time ago and we stopped doing that. I think it’s because we’ve grown up.
— Ziphezinhle Msimango