Studio Brussel 2007-06-28 – Werchter interview

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An interview with Matthew Bellamy during Rock Werchter. Broadcast over Studio Brussel.


[Belgian person speaking]
Matt Bellamy: We're doing lots of miniature round-the world tours, you know? We're kind of like doing, like a tour where we do, you know, Japan, then Australia, then USA and then like England and then like, you know, Korea, New Zealand, Mexico and Spain or something, you know? We seem to be going round in circles, but it's been very enjoyable, yeah. It's been great. This year's been one of the best years for us, touring, because we've gotten to play a lot of new places. It's been a long time since we've played in new places, like we did a whole tour of Asia, which was very interesting. We played in like, South Korea, and Malaysia, Taiwan and these kind of places. And later in the year... Well, actually we've got a day off tomorrow then we're playing in Poland and Latvia, and also we're doing a tour of Eastern Europe. So this year's really been about playing places outside of the normal places we'd play.
Interviewer: All over?
MB: Yeah, yeah.
I: Are there actually any places you haven't played yet?
MB: Yeah, yeah, no, we've never been to South America, so actually, I'd like to go there one day, very much. And also South Africa, maybe
I: Did you never get the feeling that it's getting too busy?
MB: [Laughs] I think we've kind of grown into it, you know? Like it's become a normal way of life for us. In the beginning I think it was very unusual to be travelling so much, but I think after a certain amount of time you kind of adapt to it, to whatever environment you're in. And I think that... I've always enjoyed travelling, you know, and I think so long as you can enjoy being the tourist for quite a long period of the year, then it's a good experience.
I: What do you like to do on tour, besides playing?
MB: It depends where you are, really. I mean, we'd go horse riding, or we'd go skiing if there's snow somewhere, go to the beach in Australia, try and surf but get, like, drowned in a wave or something. You know, just usual tourist things. If we have days off, generally on a gig day you just sort of concentrate on the gig, soundcheck and everything. Like, the Asian tour, for example, we had a lot of days off, you know, so we got the chance to do quite a few little things, eat some weird food and stuff.
I: Do you still have time to write music, when being on tour?
MB: It's difficult, really, to find time to really concentrate on writing, you know, I think a few bits come to you by accident, you know, and you sort of remember them for future reference. But it's not really until you stop touring and relax, you know, for a few weeks at least, that material starts to maybe naturally come, you know, out of nothing. I think that's... I'm looking forward to that time. I think we're going to be touring until the end of this year, but then I think we'll take a few months off, and I think next year sometime we'll just start concentrating on making new music, as opposed to touring.
I: So when can we expect some new material? Because the last album came out... last year?
MB: Yeah, maybe next year, sometime we'll release some digital material, you know, like some non-physical formats. I think in terms of doing another album, I don't know, it could be longer than that,I don't know.
I: In the last couple of months, I hear about artists like Justin Timberlake and The Killers saying things like "I think Muse is the best band in the world", how does it make you feel to get such admiration?
MB: [Laughs] Well, it's nice to get compliment for doing music, yeah. I wanted to make music for people to enjoy, you know, or to feel something when they listen to it, and it's very nice when you get any compliments, from anyone. It doesn't matter if they're famous or not, you know?
I: Do you still feel, as a band, that you're growing, or get better ?
MB: Yeah, I think so. I think we've managed to always make every album have at least one or two songs that are very very different to anything we've done before. I mean, I think there's a few songs that are consistent with the, kind of, rock sound. But I think there's always a few songs that veer very far away from that, and I think it's these songs that we use to kind of help us move into the next album. So for me, songs like Supermassive Black Hole, maybe, and also Soldier's Poem or Hoodoo, songs which are, to me, very different to what we've done before, they could be a window into the next album.
I: Talking about songs, are there limits to, talking about sounds, you know?
MB: I think the limits are your own abilities, you know, your own imagination, I suppose. I think that, obviously, depending on your life experience, maybe, depending on the things you're influenced by, you know. Those are your limitations, your own imagination, yeah.
I: Today we're at the Rock Werchter festival, you've played here quite some times before [sic]... How many times before?
MB: I'm not sure, maybe two, three maybe?
I: In the last seven years, you've played here five times.
MB: [Laughs] Five? Okay, maybe.
I: So that makes you practically a belgian man?
MB: Yeah, Belgium is a great place to play, and we've always loved a lot of the bands that come from Belgium, and I think this is probably one of the best festivals in Europe, because the backstage is definitely the best in Europe, you know, like compared to Glastonbury. Glastonbury's just like a mud bath, so coming here is like a breath of fresh air for everyone.
I: Is there something about Belgium that makes you want to come back?
MB: I suppose France and Belgium in particular were the two countries we had success in, probably before we became known in England, even, you know. I'm not sure why, I suppose when we were younger, there was obviously a lot of Belgian bands which we were influenced by, you know, the usual suspects, like Deus, Soulwax, Millionaire, you know, these sort of groups. And we kind of had, we came from the countryside in England, so it was like this little pocket where we got into this kind of music that I think was very different from what other people in England were listening to, so I think we have a sort of a more natural connection to a European interpretation of rock music rather than the typical English style that we probably have not very much in common with.
I: Do you know these people, Deus and Millionaire and...?
MB: We've toured with Millionaire and Soulwax, yeah, and I think I've done maybe one gig with Deus, in Spain I think we did a festival, yeah. They're nice guys.

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