Interview with Matthew Bellamy (200001 NME article)
This transcription may be inaccurate as we have not seen an original copy.
Muse frontman Matthew Bellamy to tell us how he's handeling success and to talk about plans for the second album
The maker's readers voted you second best new band, after Travis, what makes you the fans' big hope for 2000
"It's difficult to say -I'm not very good at complimenting myself. Erm, it's probaly because, maybe, I think we are probably about music. Playing live...... the variation between Muse live and the album is very different. Now we're looking forward to our first headlining tour of the UK in February.
Has Europe been good for you?
"It's been really nice, a new experience headlining gigs for 1000 and 1500 people, selling out shows, playing longer sets. We've just been in France where it's gone from nowhere to everywhere pretty quickly."
The last single 'Muscle Museum' just missed the top 40, will 'Sunburn' (released february) be a hit?
"I don't know. I don't care. It's just numbers. I don't really follow the charts. I think it would be better to stay out of it. Sometimes you can cut yourself off from your original people and just get fat. I think as a single, it's typical of where we are now. The reason I wanted to put it out is that it's one of the newer songs on the album. It's the way I see us moving."
Success is happening very quickly. How are you handeling it?
"Towards the end of last year, my vision was going a bit funny. It was blurry. I was spending a lot of time getting nervous before gigs. I felt less connected to the outside world. But this latest tour has been nothing like that. I'm starting to focus on our situation and understand it. Last year was like, 'Phew! What happened there?' Now I'm a bit more confident."
'Sunburn' is a bit creepy sounding. were you aiming for that?
"It's that piano bit. I was listening to a DJ Shadow track wich had this really edgy keyboard, and I really liked it. I wanted to create something a bit like that. I used this old microphone wich the army used in tanks. If you strap it around your neck, it picks up the vibrations from the throat. It's pretty scary-it sounds a bit like 'The excorcist'."
You always get compared to radiohead - are you looking forward to their comeback?
"Yeah, I think they are a good band. They're the only band who are close to what we're doing in England. I don't know where they are going to go with the next album. I liked them around the time of 'The Bends'., so yeah, I think theare all right."
When will that difficult second album appear?
"Well we're playing a few new songs in the set. There's one called 'Plug-in Baby', another one called 'Razorblades And Glossy magazines'. Up until recently, I was planning to record the album at the end of summer, but I think that's looking unlikely now. I definitely want to make an album at the end of the year though. We could do it now if we had to, but we want it to be different to the first one. If we went in now, we'd be halfway there."
How do you see Muse growing as a band?
"I think our concept and knowledge of music wil get bigger. I want us to use some bone percussion! I want to use voodoo instruments. I would imagine that the songs will be pretty simular, the lyrics a bit better hopefully!"