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IRISH INDEPENDENT

 

http://www.independent.ie/entertainment/day-and-night/features/muse-we-thrive-on-demons-2234569.html

 

On a sweltering summer afternoon Matt Bellamy is coming to terms with a new sensation: life as a tabloid plaything. For years the world's most anonymous stadium rock star, the Muse frontman finds himself in the gossip headlights on account of his friendship -- and rumoured romance -- with actress Kate Hudson. The intrusiveness takes a little getting used to, acknowledges the singer, who last year split from his long-term Italian girlfriend.

 

"I didn't expect that," Bellamy (32) says of the attention his relationship with Hudson has attracted. "It's quite a surprise. It reminds me of when our first album came out -- suddenly we were hit with a barrage of negative reviews. You grow up and you're making art and intending to communicate with people -- and, for the first time, you have to take the opinions that are coming back at you. There was a barrage of negative comments and it was a big learning curve -- to understand and respect other people's opinions, whether positive or negative. I don't see any difference with this [the Hudson rumours] really."

 

A prominent student of conspiracy theories, Bellamy once told an interviewer 9/11 was an 'inside job' (an opinion he has since recanted). His treatment at the hands of the celebrity industrial complex certainly feeds into his dramatic world view.

 

"I've been close to a couple of people over the years who have had a genuine celebrity life," he says. "I'm glad I've avoided it completely. It's shocking how much of what you read is absolutely made up. It's never happened to me, I've never been part of that world. People genuinely make things up -- things which tend to be negative in their connotations. I can't say if it's a conspiracy. It's unquestionably a sign that people want to bring others down to a certain level. Which is part of human nature really."

 

Softly spoken, if a bit blunt, Bellamy will never be mistaken for Bono or Chris Martin. And yet, Muse are arguably as big as U2 or Coldplay. Jaws dropped when it was announced they were to headline Wembley stadium in London a few years back, but such was the demand for tickets, they were forced to tack on a second date. When their new album, The Resistance, came out last autumn, it went straight to number one in 16 countries (and to number three in the US); to date it has shifted a properly whopping eight million copies. Not too shabby for a trio who, early in their career, were disparaged as unimaginative Radiohead copyists.

 

"If you're trying to be cool, you're automatically not cool," says Bellamy of the group's fractious relationship with critics. "As I've said, when our first album appeared, we were hit with a negative response from the UK press, whereas in France we were seen as an exceptionally interesting new band and started to do really well. That changed our perspective. A lot of bands concentrate on their home territory first, but we actually got known in France before we did in the UK. Even at a very early stage, we started going to Italy, Germany, even Japan. So I'm probably thankful for the negative response the first album had."

 

Somewhere between a 70s prog LP and an L Ron Hubbard sci-fi novel, The Resistance is Muse at their quintessentially battiest. A blitzkrieg of guitars, synths and detonating drums, it explodes from the speakers like the soundtrack to the end of the world (or at least the end of the world imagined by Michael Bay). It is also a conduit for many of Bellamy's frankly rather loopy theories, as hinted at by Chomsky-esque, grandly paranoid song titles such as The United States of Eurasia (+Collateral Damage) and Exogenesis Symphony Parts 1 -- 3 (only Muse could christen a track Supermassive Black Hole and leave you feeling that they had undersold it a tad).

 

Not that the singer is completely away with the Cosmonauts. On the album's first single, Uprising, he has interesting things to say about the recent global economic implosion. Against a backdrop of caterwauling keyboards and gut-punch riffs, Bellamy urges the listener to "rise up and take the power back, it's time that the fat cats had a heart attack". You suspect he wouldn't approve of the Anglo bailout.

 

"I'm not a religious person. The one thing religion has got right is that usury is a fundamental problem with the worldwide banking system," he says, donning a tin-foil hat. "Lending money with interest is dependent on there being permanent economic growth. And permanent growth is only sustainable if the earth is endless, which it isn't. It's a finite resource. For that reason, the laws of physics will always kick in. The solution is to move away from usury, to a system in which the lender has to share in the profits of the company to which they are lending, so that they can't blithely depend on the interest."

 

Such unorthodox views undoubtedly add colour to Muse's bombastic pop -- especially as the band incorporate global conspiracy nuttiness into their shows via Bladerunner-style video montages. However, they have also made life difficult for Bellamy. Just this week, flying into New York, he was taken aside by Homeland Security for a prolonged grilling.

 

"I do get pulled to one side every single time I enter the country," he sighs. "And I get questioned for half an hour. I've asked them what it's about. They tell me the best thing I can do is contact the British Embassy and find out why I'm being flagged."

 

Surely he has his own thoughts as to why he's a target? "I don't know. I've tried to get to the bottom of it. They say it's because I've got two passports. Well, all my band members have two passports. That doesn't make sense. They always question me, whether I'm working or not. There was one time I got taken off a plane 'cos I made a bad joke [in a row with a stewardess, he quipped that it wasn't as if he had a bomb in his luggage]. This was in England, actually. It probably has something to do with that."

 

One of Bellamy's great unfulfilled ambitions is to sit down for a cup of tea with David Icke, the conspiracy theorist's conspiracy theorist. In addition to believing a cabal of lizard men pulls the levers of world politics, Icke, a former professional goalkeeper, is of the opinion the earth will shortly will be ripped asunder by earthquakes and that he is the son of God. Bellamy, who once tried to arrange for Icke to come on stage at a Muse concert and deliver a spoken-word piece, suspects they'd get on swimmingly.

 

"I'd love to meet him and have a chat. A lot of things he writes are very, very far out -- very much on the fringes of journalism. I'd like to find out what I'd think of him face to face. Whether he's normal or, you know, a crazy person -- or where he'd fall in between."

 

On the subject of public figures with messiah complexes, Muse toured with Bono and U2 last year. Their stint on the road afforded Bellamy a close-up glimpse of the U2 machine and he was struck by what he saw.

 

"Those guys treat their crew very, very well. They are very good to the people around them, both personally and business-wise, and there's something to be learned from that. They have a great gang of support around them. A lot of the people close to them have been there for 20-odd years. They seem really nice guys. I was surprised -- the energy level they have for partying is quite high. I would have thought when you reach your older years maybe you calm down a bit. Definitely not -- they were having some pretty raging parties after most of their gigs."

 

Of course, along with France and Germany, Ireland was one of the earliest territories to fall for Muse in a big way. The band recorded their third record, Absolution, here, assembling it in the far reaches of rural Westmeath, at Grouse Lodge Studio. "We've always thrived on the madness that descends when you're on your own and there's nothing around," says Bellamy. "Our first album was made in a residential studio in Cornwall, about as remote as you can get. A lot of our best recording experiences have been when we were in places like the studio in Westmeath, places where you are cut away from everyone. Some bands find it weird, I think, because you end up having to stare inside yourself too much. They self-destruct because they have to face too many demons. We thrive on demons."

 

At Oxegen, Muse will debut a new song, a characteristically understated piece called Neutron Star Collision (Love Is Forever) from the soundtrack to the forthcoming Twilight movie, Eclipse. They have contributed to all three Twilight films -- it turns out Bellamy was an early fan of the teen goth franchise and a friend of its creator, Stephenie Meyer. "I heard about it way back. Stephenie came to one of our gigs in Phoenix in Arizona. I was told there was this amazing new novelist. I did read the first one and quite enjoyed it. I met her and she said, 'I'd love to use your music in a film one day'. I didn't think anything would come of it. But I made a promise and when she sold the rights they contacted me and said, 'oh apparently you're going to give Stephenie some music'. So we did."

Edited by bunerz

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First reply :awesome:

 

Well, all my band members have two passports

Love how Matt says that as though its his band :LOL:

There's no I in team, Matteh :chuckle:

Edited by Elise<3sMuse

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nice article.

finally matt says something about the circulating rumour of his recent love life

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First reply :awesome:

 

 

Love how Matt says that as though its his band :LOL:

There's no I in team, Matteh :chuckle:

 

I don't get how they can have two passports though. None of them have dual nationality (that I know of) and I thought you could only have one at a time? :erm:

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The thought of Matt reading the meadow scene in Twilight makes me :LOL:

Edited by wondervale

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^ :facepalm:

 

well, there are people who have been speculating his life behind his back, i'm just glad that he finally comes out and has his say about it.

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It's weird because I was just looking at some KH interviews, really because all the stuff that I've seen about her apart from the recent tabloid articles have been here, and Matt's pages, that's it, and as that has done my head in a bit, I wanted to get a different perspective, and then I came on to post something about this and this interview was here. Actually she seems nice, pretty, bubbly, fun loving, and I have to say that judging her on interviews alone, I would say she seems quite a catch, and I can definitely see why anyone would enjoy her company. :)

 

One thing that touched me is that she spoke about her mother teaching her how to be joyful, and about Tuesdays with Morrie, a book I have read which is about finding the good in the bad things (really bad things as Morrie is dying from a terminal illness but nevertheless manages to find some positivity in just having the experience) and it made me feel a bit weepy actually.

 

So I don't want to annoy anyone, or fall out with anyone, who has formed their own conclusions from their own experiences, but poor Matt has received a lot of aggravation and he has been judged over this by fans (and KH is being judged) but the majority of people do not know the reality of situation and do not know Kate so, you know, let's be nice, and supportive of Matt (and KH:ninja:) at a time which must be difficult with all the additional media attention. :) I'm surprised actually that Matt wouldn't have expected it tbh.

 

Anyway hope it's okay to say that and not against forum rules.;)

 

Nice interview.:)

Edited by CarrieB

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It turns out Bellamy was an early fan of the teen goth franchise and a friend of its creator, Stephenie Meyer.

 

Eh? :erm:

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Well he said he read the book. I read the book too. It's the sort of thing you do when you want to find out what everyone is talking about. I wouldn't describe myself as a fan though. :chuckle: The book has some good things but a rather ridiculous ending. I can see him reading it and saying he quite liked it though, in the circumstances.:)

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First reply :awesome:

 

 

Love how Matt says that as though its his band :LOL:

There's no I in team, Matteh :chuckle:

 

Talk about nitpicking! :LOL: Don't people young enough talk about "my school friends"? Doesn't mean they think they own the school! :LOL: Anyway he's said "our" and "we" throughout the interview.

 

I wonder why he is being flagged up at the airport. :stunned: I hope does contact the embassy to ask about it. That's a bit worrying.

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Talk about nitpicking! :LOL: Don't people young enough talk about "my school friends"? Doesn't mean they think they own the school! :LOL: Anyway he's said "our" and "we" throughout the interview.

.

 

But that's not the same at all :LOL: My refers to friends and 'friends' is modified by 'school'.

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But that's not the same at all :LOL: My refers to friends and 'friends' is modified by 'school'.

 

It is his band though, as it is Chris' and Dom's band too. People have it in for Matt at the moment for no reason, and frankly it's pathetic and, as he says, "human nature" to try and bring other people down.

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It is his band though, as it is Chris' and Dom's band too. People have it in for Matt at the moment for no reason, and frankly it's pathetic and, as he says, "human nature" to try and bring other people down.

 

I don't 'have it in' for Matt at all :erm:

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to date it has shifted a properly whopping eight million copies. Not too shabby for a trio who, early in their career, were disparaged as unimaginative Radiohead copyists.

No way TR has already shifted eight million copies!

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No way TR has already shifted eight million copies!

 

 

Worldwide including digital downloads, I'd say it's more than likely, especially with the worldwide tour and festivals.

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I don't 'have it in' for Matt at all :erm:

 

I'm not referring to you personally. Generally there has been some of that though.

 

There was a barrage of negative comments and it was a big learning curve -- to understand and respect other people's opinions, whether positive or negative.

 

Just adding that he comes over as so lovely, Matt, in that he's trying to understand and respect negative opinions as well. A lot of people wouldn't be like that.

Edited by CarrieB

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Great interview! And :LOL: I can totally picture Matt getting kicked off a plane. Looks like that stewardess didn't have much of a sense of humor though :p

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Well he said he read the book. I read the book too. It's the sort of thing you do when you want to find out what everyone is talking about. I wouldn't describe myself as a fan though. :chuckle: The book has some good things but a rather ridiculous ending. I can see him reading it and saying he quite liked it though, in the circumstances.:)

 

there's certainly enough cheeeeese in it for him to enjoy it! :chuckle:

 

Great interview! And :LOL: I can totally picture Matt getting kicked off a plane. Looks like that stewardess didn't have much of a sense of humor though :p

 

that made me :LOL: so much!

 

I'm wondering which passports they have though:stunned: Matt probably has an Irish and British passport, but what about Chris and Dom? Hmmm...

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