Herald Express 1999-09 – Ex-Teign band label their old town 'living hell' We are not a-Muse

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A Muse feature in the 'South Devon Herald Express'.[1]

Ex-Teign band label their old town 'living hell' We are not a-Muse-d.

Devon pop group tipped for stardom after a million dollar deal, have caused outrage by slagging off their home town. Muse have branded Teignmouth as a boring "living hell" full of drug takers. And one of them admitted that if he had not "escaped" he would probably be on drugs by now. Today the Mayor of Teignmouth, Vince Fusco, hit back and declared: "Thousands of inner city kids would loved to have been brought up in a living hell like this!" The trio, Matthew Bellamy, Chris Wolstenholme and Dominic Howard, all went to Teignmouth Community College, and had their big break earlier this year when they were signed up by Madonna's record label, Maverick, after she heard them in Los Angeles.

They are now based in London and their new single Cave was released on Monday. Next month their first album, Showbiz, will be in the shops and Muse have been getting good reviews in the national and music press for their live performances around the country. Describing one of the album numbers, Falling Down, songwriter and vocalist Matthew said it was about his teenage years growing up in "a boring little town that didn't have anything to offer me. "The only time the town came to life was during the summer when it turned into a vacation spot for visiting Londoners. When the summer ended they left and took all the life with them. "I felt so trapped there. My friends were either getting into drugs or music, but I gravitated towards the latter and eventually learned how to play. "That became my escape. If it weren't for the band, I would probably have turned to drugs myself."

And in a publicity biography of Muse, Teignmouth is described as a typical seaside town — "barely breathing in summer, stone cold dead in the winter. "And if you were aged between 13 and 18, a living hell the whole year round." Mr Fusco fumed: "To say I am upset and disappointed is an understatement. "Teignmouth is no worse than anywhere else as far as drugs are concerned, and a darn sight better than many. "To start being rude about their hometown, where a lot of people helped them with their music, now they are about to break into the big time shows a lot of ingratitude. "There are far, far worse places to grow up in and a lot of places do not have anything like our facilities. "It does not do our image much good when this sort of tripe gets dished out in the national media, but for all that I still wish the lads well and hope they reach the top!"

Local councillor and youth worker Mary Kennedy took a more laid back view of the outburst. "We shouldn't over-react — a lot of young people go through a phase of being unhappy at where they live. "It is all part of the growing up process and is quite normal. But it is surprising how many want to come back after they have travelled around a bit and seen other parts of the country. "I think we should listen to what young people say about the town and try and make it more appealing for them, rather than constantly criticising them as some senior figures in Teignmouth do".


See also

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