Following amazes Muse vocalist (20070807 Deseret Morning News article)

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Following amazes Muse vocalist

By Scott Iwasaki
Deseret Morning News
Published: Sept. 7, 2007 12:46 a.m. MDT

Matthew Bellamy, who is the vocalist and guitarist for the band Muse, is amazed at the loyal following the group has so far away from his native Teignmouth, Devon, in the United Kingdom.

"Every time we come to Salt Lake City, we have a great show," Bellamy said by phone from a stop in Boston. "I am always shocked at how many people like us, even though they live so far away from my home."

Muse has a catchy and spacey Brit pop-rock sound that has been developed over several years. "I don't know exactly where the sound came from. I was raised playing piano and got hold of the blues and a lot of Ray Charles. When I was 13, I discovered Jimi Hendrix when I saw a video of the Monterey International Pop festival and decided I wanted to play the guitar."

But Bellamy didn't get involved in a rock band until sometime later. "I did a lot of different things and basically played in noise bands. I had a lot of fun making noise but didn't get real serious until a little time later."

While attending Teignmouth Community College in the 1990s, Bellamy hooked up with drummer Dominic Howard and bassist Chris Wolstenholme, and played a few college gigs and battle-of-the-band contests.

Then it got serious. "We wanted to start recording our music, and we happened to meet a guy who owned a recording studio."

A couple of extended-play CDs later, the band caught the attention of Maverick Records and released its first album, "Showbiz," in 1999. Two more albums followed — "Origin of Symmetry" (2002) and "Absolution" (2004). "'Absolution' was the pinnacle of the first three albums. The other two albums were basically the band trying to find our own sound. But 'Absolution' was our big success." It sold 513,000 copies in the United States, becoming a certified gold album.

While preparing to record its most recent album, "Black Holes and Revelations," Muse knew it had to be good. So, the band took a cue from the Beatles and began taking advantage of the recording studio's technology. "We deliberately abandoned the realization that the band was a three-piece and began working with the idea that this wasn't an album we recorded live. We focused on the production. We used the studio as an instrument on this album."

Although "Black Holes and Revelations" was recorded in that complex way, the band has made sure that it can play the songs in a live setting as well. "That's one of the beautiful challenges right now. We are transforming the songs from 'Black Holes' to the live environment. And we're still a three-man band. So that makes it a bit more difficult."

The work has paid off, however. Bellamy said the venues have gotten larger and the fans have taken notice. "We've played a show at Wembley Stadium. It was so big. And the thing on our minds the most was to get everyone in the audience involved, even though they were sitting so far away from the stage. That, to us, was the ultimate live act."

In addition, the band has, throughout its career, received many music awards. Earlier this year, New Musical Express (NME) named Muse the Best British Act in the United Kingdom. And the British Record Industry Trust (BRIT) awards named Muse the Best Live Band.

"The awards mean quite a bit to us," said Bellamy. "They're voted on by fans. And that tells us the fans really like what we're doing. And we wouldn't be anywhere without them."

If you go

What: Muse

Where: David O. McKay Events Center, 800 W. University Parkway, Orem

When: Wednesday, 7 p.m.

How much: $32

Phone: 467-8499, 800-888-8499


See also

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