Daily Mirror 2007-12-21 – Muse are on top of the world

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Muse are on top of the world

By Gavin Martin 21/12/2007

The Ticket’s Artists Of The Year, Muse, are the greatest world conquering award-winning power trio the UK has produced in the last three decades. And earlier this month, their two-year assault on the planet’s stadiums and arenas came to a temporary halt when they came off stage in Los Angeles.

That was when our award was presented to band’s drummer, Dom Howard. In his onstage Spiderman outfit, laughing like a horse, he was full of on-the-road euphoria.

“It was great knowing we’re going to have a little time to relax and go home,” Dom explains in London a few days later. “We’ve been on the road for 19 months.”

Safely back in the UK, he is contemplating a seasonal break before it all starts again with gigs in South Africa in the New Year.

So why the superhero outfit, Dom?“I wear it when I need a boost of some kind,” the 30-year-old admits. “It’s just for fun really. I first wore it on Halloween and it seemed appropriate then. The last US show seemed a good time to do it again.”

No doubt, but the tight nature of the outfit does tend to make Dom look a bit, er, proud. Had he perhaps been contemplating sneaking a salami or Christmas cracker past customs?

“Oh, well,” he laughs. “That’s the beauty of a one-piece, it shows you off!”

If spirits are high in the Muse camp it is understandable. Anyone who glances at the band’s international tour schedule for 2007 on their website will know why. Over a decade ago, when they were teens playing small bars in an obscure Devon town, did they envisage this future?

“Not at all,” laughs Dom. “We always had short-term goals and they were small-time. To think then that we would be hanging loose in Jakarta or playing onstage in Korea would have blown our minds.

“This year we’ve gone to places we’ve never been before. We followed the sun round the world and had summer everywhere we went, which was really nice. It just worked out that way, accidentally. South East Asia was crazy – thousands of people turning up, flying off the hook, going more mental even than in Britain.”

No strangers to award ceremonies, Muse added several more to their impressive collection this year.

“They are fun to go to,” concedes Matt. “You end up getting p****d with a lot of other bands. We just flew in for one night from Serbia for the Q Awards and then went straight back the next day. You get put in a little room to have your picture taken and you suddenly realise that Bono, Paul McCartney and Shirley Bassey – who pinched Matt’s arse – are all in there too. It’s all a bit bizarre. You’ve never met before but it becomes a big old knees up.”

Despite all the mayhem, Dom has had time to hear some new music, his favourite discoveries being the duo Shychild and electronic outfit Justice. He also thinks that Radiohead’s decision to initially market their In Rainbows album on a pay-as-little-as-you-like internet basis will have far reaching implications for the industry.

“They’re unsigned which means they are in a different position than [sic] us,” he says, “so they can do whatever the hell they want. It’s cool what they did. “Bands are constantly thinking of the best ways to release music and a band like that doing it on their own shakes up the record companies and helps them realise that they are gradually becoming more and more useless. It’s a great time for music and a great time for bands, but not for the record companies!”

Having conquered South East Asia in the spring, Muse moved on to the European summer festival circuit where the Spanish beachside Benicassim event was a favourite.

“It was like a four-day party,” enthuses Matt. “It’s a strange festival as it’s too hot to do anything during the day. So the action starts at 7pm and goes on all night.

“The Arctic Monkeys played the night before us and they were great, but all I can remember is that it is a festival full of hot looking women – everywhere you look.”

Footloose and fancy-free Dom is well placed to enjoy life on the road and takes to it naturally. So any travel tips from the long-distance rock road warrior?

“The trick is to travel light, take a small bag and your credit cards,” he advises. “If you only have a few items to care about, it’s a lot harder to lose stuff.”

And, of course, get a Spiderman outfit. You can always use it to secrete any items of value.

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