NME 2001-06-16 – The fan-ish inquisition: Muse

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This transcription may be inaccurate as we have not seen an original copy.

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In Muse terms, it's been an average weekend. They spent Saturday morning smashing up the set at CD:Uk before heading up the M1 to play Leeds and have the mother of all parties. Then they drove back to London. through the early hours to show off new single 'New Born' on T4 before driving to Bristol to play another gig. They can't remember the last time they slept on a bed that wasn't on four wheels and their livers are groaning under the weight of paracetamol. They're having a great time. Come Bristol, drummer Dom Howard has a raging hangover, bassist Chris Wolstenholme has his family visiting and frontman Matt Bellamy's just got a new, fancy guitar he's dying to fiddle with. But they're still determined to find time to answer your questions. You wanted to know about Matt's hair dye and what really went on between them and Kelly Jones. He told you about his feet...

What is the cheapest/most expensive/weirdest present you've ever received from a fan?
Chris:I keep getting shoes thrown on stage at every gig. i don't know what that's about
Matt: Cheapest is sweets. Someone tried to give me their girlfriend once too. I think she was doing her head in. And someone gave me that stuff you dilute with milk to make yourself get fat, but I think they were genuinely worried.
Dom: We got real nice clothes in Japan. And Chris got given a load of stuff for Alfie (his son)
Matt: All the jewelery I'm wearing now is all gifts from this last tour.

What Is your favourite band at the moment and is there an upcoming band you'd like to spread the word about?
Dom:"Jimi Hendrix, Band of Gypsies. Look Out for them. Matt: "I like the new Weezer album. It's short and simple and I like that. When I first heard it, I didn't like it at all but it's really grown on me. I'm mainly saying that because it's been really slagged off in NME. I don't know. I'm looking Out for something explosive and exciting and new, but everything's all (pulls miserable face) English and self-conscious and can't let go. Know what I mean? I want something that rocks out a bit more."

Plug In Baby was quite a big hit. Do you think it will happen for you this yes and do you want to be a big rock band or stay cult and have a big fanbase like you do?
Matt I'd like to build up a cult and lead them all to a mass suicide... Er, it's difficult to say if you get too famous, the venues become cold. Of course you want the music to be... fucking massive! Er, what am I saying? Dom: "Most bands want to experience both in some way. But if ten million people were going, 'I want to buy a Muse record,' I'll sell it to them! Matt: We've already got bigger than I thought we ever would. It's difficult I think we want a solid fanbase, who are Into us playing live, which is how we got known anyway. What's the word...?" Dom: "Sell out?" Matt: "I don't think the sort of music we make - especially on the second album - is obviously trying to attain millions of sales We could have made an acoustic album and done that.I want to stay along the lines of what we're doing now. And do I think it will happen for us this year? It happened for me three years ago.

Why call the new album Origin Of Symmetry?
Matt: A lot of the songs on the album are about simplifying. About how all the exterior things you surround yourself with like possessions and your job make people feel trapped. For me making music all my life from when I was very young, put me in a a blissful state of simpleness. Whenever I was playing the piano or something, all those other things would disappear and when those things are going away, you can objectively write about them. Throughout my life, the one thing that's stayed consistent has been that one thing in its simple form and all the other stuff doesn't matter. (Laughs) I've explained that better before! "It actually came from a book about the elegance of the universe and how it's all symmetrical in the 11th dimension. It says that all the rules of everything will simplify and unify in one higher dimension. You know you can work out the area of a cube on three dimensions, you can also work out the area of a fourth dimensional object, even though we don't know what one looks like. And they worked out that in working in 11th dimensional mathematics, everything becomes perfect and unified. Now they've have discovered that, they were saying the next question to be answered is the origin of symmetry; people trying to work out why there is that balance. So I didn't make it up, basically, it came from that book.

Matt tell me something about yourself so I can stop having all those sex fantasies about you
Matt: "My feet absolutely stink and it's offensive for everyone to be around. On the rider I get a new pair of socks every day- and It throw away old socks every day' and I spray in my shoes and wash my feat." Dom: they really do stink Matt:also i am ridiculously thin. And short.

Chris, when are you going to cut your hair?
Chris: "It's taking over the bus anyway. I might cut it off. Someone put some good plaits in it and I need to do something good with it like that. Some sculpting." Dom:"I was gonna shave a lightning flash in it."

What do you have in your pockets right now?
Matt: "The key to the bus," Dom: "A lighter, a couple of pens... Chris: "Some passes. Dom: "Paracetamol." Chris: "The number for National Rail Enquiries."
Dom: "And �9.26 in change."

How would you describe the last year for you on a personal level?
Matt: "Complete, absolute change. I lost all my friends, lost my girlfriend and, wow, isn't life great? But i asked for it and I wanted to lose all those things. I didn't feel like I could be myself all the time and I feel I can now. People used to think I was a really quiet person and I'm not, I was just bored. I lust wanted people to loosen up a bit and have a good time. And now I've engineered my own life so I can live that way. We're more open with each other too. I've seen Dom's erect penis ejaculate on a girl's back. Can you believe I just said that7 It's not true. I just made it up." Dom: "It's a lie. But we have become more open-minded and more confident." Chris: "And I'm having another baby in December. Everyone keeps saying it might be twins too."

Will your roots always remain in Devon or do you think that one day you'll up sticks and completely relocate to London?
Matt: "I'm doing that next week." Dom "So am I." Matt: "We're not having so many parties in Devon now. We started to have a lot of parties on tour and collected a lot of numbers of people we've had good times with and now we're going to have lots of parties in London with them. . I'm constantly on the train back and forth so now we're going try live in a new city every six months. Well me and Dom . Chris will probably keep his roots where his family are. London for six months go to LA and get fake for six months. We're going to abuse what little fame we have while it lasts, really."

If you could be the reincarnation of any dead rock star who would it be and who would you punch or kill? Matt: "What a strange combination. I'd be Elvis Presley." Dom: "Jimi Hendrix." Chris: "Keith Moon or Dennis Wilson, because they were sort of the same person." Matt:"I suppose I'd kill Saddam Hussein. He's just getting on everyone's nerves."

How has your hair survived the immense toil of dye? Dom "Mine's gonna fall out I expect. That's what happens if you dye your hair too much. It's really thin already Matt: You let your wax and natural grease build up. You put a little bit of wax in it and that's what happens is it encourages natural grease, then it all mixes together, just don't wash it. Grease protects hair.

What do you say to all those people who compare you to Radiohead?
Matt: "Cheers. I'm more interested in the bit about hair than Radiohead. I don't really think about it." Dom:"I want to lay 'em out! Bang. On the floor."

What's your personal muse?
Matt: "(In faux-pretentious voice) The endless desire to consume as much as one can in the short space of time we have on this earth." Dom: "I'll go with that! I think to travel, see as much as you can and take ever"'thing you can." Chris: "Watching my boy grow."

Isn't that shirt with squares on very smelly by now?
Matt: "This one? (Sniffs) It's smelly, yeah. Very."

The title 'New Born' lug-s that you are broody. if you had children, what would you name them?
Matt: "Moses Kane, if it was a boy. If it was a girl....Alicia. I like that." Dom Judith maybe Matt Judith?"
Chris: "I've got one, but I'm not allowed to say. Apparently, it's bad luck to tell people what you're going to name your child before it's born.

What do you think of groupies - good or bed?
Matt: "Good. I have the highest respect for them. Seriously. It depends on what your definition of groupie is. I'm not talking about people who want sex, but people who just hang around and are up for a good time. Those people turn touring experiences into something that Is actually really fun. There's nothing uncool about it in any way. People have made it into something uncool in the last ten years. But I'm not talking about having sex here."

What was the first song you learned to play?
Matt: "The theme tune from Dallas. When I was about three, my brother used to hold me in front of the TV, and then put me at the piano and make me work it out with one finger. Then he'd show his friends and say, look, he's a machine! I remember being picked up and carried from the TV to the piano."

My grandma says you've (Matt) got an evil face. What's the most evil thing you've done?
Matt: "I persuaded all of my friends who had long-term girlfriends to go with prostitutes and I didn't. But I told them it was a cool thing to do and they did it. But I didn't. I felt bad about it afterwards. I think it fucked up a couple of them.

I guess you're not a fan of Stereophonics, Did you really ask for a lot of money to support them? And why? What was your reaction when you found Out that Kelly Jones had said you were up your own arse
Matt: "(Laughs) Laughter. Mostly a lot of a laughter. And a Sort of, 'Awww, Kelly, come on. Get a grip'. And no, we didn't ask for any money. They didn't even offer it to us an we couldn't have done it anyway because we have an exclusive thing with V2001 and T in The Park. it was never on offer. We don't know why he said that. It's quite strange."

What are each hand member's worst' habits?
Matt: "Mine is pacing up and down." Dom: "Matt's got Tourette's Syndrome. I diagnosed him." Matt: "It's mild. Sometimes. it's quite bad though. I'll be talking and I'll suddenly 'swear really bad and stutter. Chris: Dom's always last. In any situation or anything. Dom's always the last person to arrive or come out a building. Dom: "Chris drinks like a fish and looks like a teddy bear when he gets up in the morning."

What ringtone do you have On your mobile? Matt: "I used to have 'Revolver' by Rage Against The Machine. But then I threw it in the river so I threw it in the river so I don't have that anymore.
Dom: I did have New Born cos my fiend sent it to me. But then I lost my phone.

You said you were involved in some heavy partying on your last tour. What advice would you give to someone planning an orgy?
Matt (Sitting upright and suddenly looking interested) it's very easy. Novelty items. It's so fucking easy. All you need is masks or hats. Soon as people put on silly hats, they loosen up a little bit Then you need a couple of friends who are very close to each other. Then people start to bundling each other and it just goes from there. It's as simple as that. Just a bundle tickling and novelty items.

And with those (disturbingly) considered words, Muse are. ushered away to grab some dinner before the gig. They're buzzing from your questions and can't Wait to take the stage. Given morn time. they'd have loved to pore over every one of your queries. Knowing you're so interested reminds them why weekends like this are worth it. The orgies help too.

Siobhan Grogan

See also

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