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Muse: Profile Of The Band


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Muse: profile of the band




Chris Wolstenholme, Matthew Bellamy, and Dominic Howard of Muse


Last Updated: 11:48AM GMT 02/12/2010

Muse, an English progressive rock band formed in 1994 in Devon, have been nominated for three Grammy Awards following their 2009 album 'The Resistance'.


The band, comprised of Matthew Bellamy, Dominic Howard and Chris Wolstenholme, blend classical, electronics, pop and metal into a guitar, bass and drums base.


The band met during their time at Teignmouth Community College in Devon and although known as a Devon band, Bellamy hails from Cambridge, bass player Wolstenholme is from Rotherham and drummer Howard comes from Stockport.


Their first name the band chose was Gothic Plague but they were later called Fixed Penalty and Rocket Baby Dolls. When they decided to quit college and become full-time musicians, the band changed their name to Muse (in 1994), The name was inspired by Bellamy's art teacher, Samuel Theoun, who mentioned the word "Muses". Bellamy shortened it to 'Muse', judging that it would have an impact used for promotional posters.


Matt Bellamy joked this week about the band's Devon links, saying: "I met Jay-Z briefly and the first thing he wanted to know about was Devon, which is where we're from. He's friends with Chris Martin, the singer from Coldplay - not many people know Chris is from Devon as well, he's from the place where I went to college. Jay-Z connected on that and said, 'What's going on down in Devon? Devon must be a really cool place'. I felt like saying, 'Yeah, come over for a cup of tea and check out the sheep and cows'. It was quite funny that from his point of view it seems like Devon is a happening place, when it's actually a bit of a rural backwater, really - in a good way!


"Actually, I've become a sheep farmer. I'm serious, I've got 50 ewes and two rams. As we speak, I'm letting the rams loose on the ewes. I got the sheep mainly because I've got a farm which has got a lot of steep hills, so the grass gets out of control unless you can get grazing animals in there, and it was too steep for cows. I've got Dorset Downs, they're pretty hardy, they can handle the weather.


"The main thing is they keep the land together. I don't live there, it's just land with a couple of jaded barns that need to be renovated. It's a nice place to camp. My long-term plan is to grow industrial hemp for making paper and material, but I haven't got 'round to that. When I stop touring I'm going to hang around there for a while and start shearing sheep."


Muse built a loyal fan base in Britain and the United States with their live concerts but have now sold sold more than 10 million albums worldwide and won numerous music awards including five MTV Awards, five Q Awards, eight NME Awards, two BRIT awards and four Kerrang! Awards. This is the first time they have been nominated for a Grammy Award - being shortlisted for Best Rock Performance Duo or Group, Best Rock Song for "Resistance," and Best Rock Album for "The Resistance."


The band's fifth studio album 'The Resistance' was released in September 2009. It is the first Muse album to have been produced by the band itself.


Muse, who were one of the hits at Glastonbury last summer, have a reputation as one of the premier live acts and are currently on tour in Australia. Wolstenholme said: "Records are secondary now. Touring is what it's all about. A lot of bands don't sell like they used to. If bands are going to build a reputation, you have to be good live and you have to play a lot. That's what we've done. The whole thing of having a radio hit and become famous through that is very fickle to me. You can sell a lot of one album from one song on the radio, but can you keep selling albums? People come to see us live, as long as you have the songs to back it up. Live is where people see the band in the flesh, get the textures."


Muse have released a number of live films, including Hullabaloo in 2002, Absolution Tour in 2005 and H.A.A.R.P, featuring footage of their 2007 Wembley Stadium gigs, in 2008.

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