Life's a Mixtape (200612 unclesally*s feature)

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Muse are one of the most multilaterally influenced bands of the last years. Thus we expected a motley mixture when we asked their bass player Chris Wolstenholme to come to the Mixtape mic recently.

After all, we couldn't know then that Wolstenholme hardly gets round to listening to music. Nevertheless he told us his faves of course.

What are you listening to before entering the stage?
Chiefly Jimi Hendrix or Rage Against the Machine - in any case something arousing. The three of us have the strange habit to become dead tired for inexplicable reasons about fifteen minutes before entering the stage, you know. Probably our nerves.

Which song made you dash off and buy your first bass?
I became a bass player more by mistake, actually I played the guitar. I got my first one after hearing 'Nevermind.' The great thing about these songs was that they were simple and easy to learn but nevertheless absolutely brilliant. 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' was the booster detonation for many musicians I know.

Songs of your youth still meaning much to you?
I'm a lifelong Beach Boys fan. When I was eight, my father found an old record player in the loft of our new house and repaired it for me. After that, my mother gave me a Beach Boys album. I just used to like it then, only later I recognized the genius behind. Brian Wilson is one of those rare guys who can make something highly complex sound totally easy and emotional. Listen to 'God Only Knows' with this complex chord structure. Where does that come from, how did he do that? Damn genius!

Best fusion of classic and rock - no Muse songs please!
Probably too obvious but of course I have to give 'Bohemian Rhapsody.' To clash piano and rock instruments this way - as we like to do too - Queen were just the first. Not for nothing 'Bohemian Rhapsody' is named time and again when it comes to the best songs of all time.

You have children, do you sing lullabies to them?
That's my wife's job. I read out stories to them instead. After all, I don't want them to get nightmares. If at all, THEY sing lullabies to me. Roles are switched at our home: They don't listen to me making music, but I listen to them. My son plays the drums, my daughter sings. Only if one of our videos is on TV they all jump up and dance through the room. Very funny.

Do you give music to them pointedly to influence their taste?
You have to be careful with that! Recently I played the Streets album to them till I recognized what Skinner sings there: Always fuck here, fuck there. They're too young for it. So in general I have to wait until they go to bed if I want to listen to music.

You and your wife: Do you have your very own couple song?
No, for some reason not. For many people it is the song they have danced to at their wedding. When we married it was so hectic that there wasn't such a dance... Besides, I think 'our songs' are a bad omen. I had one together with my first girlfriend and our relationship broke up in a very unpleasant way. So guys: No common songs and everything will be fine! (laughs)

What do you listen to in these days?
I love the song 'Sleep' by Godspeed You Black Emperor - a brilliant 25 minute monster. Though it's already some years old. I fear I don't get very much of what's on nowadays.

Text: Torsten Groß Foto: Erik Weiss

Also good: Latest Muse album 'Black Holes and Revelations'

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