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Interview with Matt in Time Out Magazine - 'Muse go galactic'


NicoleW

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Nice interview, thanks for posting. :)

 

The worse that can happen is that the whole place get's wiped out

 

:LOL: Made me laugh. Oh nothing to worry about then! :rolleyes::chuckle:

 

I get what he means though in his explanation of exploration.

 

One thing, I don't know where Matt gets this ageist idea that young people are more aware than older people of the power relationships within politics, he described. I don't think it has any bearing on age or generation. I think some older people are more aware and some younger people, but a lot are not, both older and younger.

 

If anything I think it likely that the reverse is true as materialistic concerns have had more and more impact on our lives and the way we live them, and kids today being more susceptible than ever to fashions dictated by conglomerates, plus the increased flooding of the market with more and more choice in material goods.

 

I think if anything younger generations are maybe more disillusioned with party politics than in the past, some of that through lack of interest, but I don't see how that lines up with having greater understanding of underlying mechanisms.

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Well, I suppose he can only compare it to his own experiences, and he's still quite young himself (no matter what he may think ;)).

 

Yes I think you're right. I think he may well be sort of referring to himself, in that he says that the only difference is that he's expressing it publically. :) Maybe he's felt that he has a different outlook than older people around him. But I'm not sure Matt's outlook is totally representative tbh which, of course, is one of the reasons I like him so much! :D

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From the article:

‘And I’ve always liked the idea of reinterpreting old songs to fit more intimate venues.’

So will we ever see Matt Bellamy sitting on a stool with an acoustic guitar? ‘Jaded, with a glass of whiskey, singing Tom Waits songs? Yes, definitely!’ he laughs. ‘That’s very much on the horizon.’

 

Oh ma ga. Want this. And I actually don’t think he’s talking shit this time. Does this mean we will see live Hyper Chondriac Music (not exactly acoustic, but sorta close)?

 

And also very cute how he gets all nervous & shy talking about Kate.

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Also, even though it kinda wasn't necessary for this one, here's the transcription:

 

 

Muse go galactic

Britain’s biggest band just keeps getting bigger. Ahead of Muse’s shows at Wembley Stadium this week, frontman Matt Bellamy talks to Sharon O’Connell about success, maximalising and the truth about extraterrestrial life

 

Pompous. Overblown. Bombastic. Pretentious. These perjoratives—and plenty more like them—seem to glom on to Muse more readily than barnacles latch on to a baleen whale. For some, the Teignmouth trio's blend of operatic alt. rock, gloomily epic synth pop and baroque metal is so ridiculously OTT it makes Queen sound like timid minimalists. Factor in frontman Matt Bellamy's well-known sci-fantasy fixation (Muse's songs have titles like 'Supermassive Black Hole' and 'Knights of Cydonia'), his New World Order conspiracy interests and the giant satellite dishes, barrage balloons and revolving laser-imaged cages that have featured in their live shows, and you have… well, what exactly do you have?

 

For a musician who's often faced almost as much critical ridicule as he's enjoyed acclaim, and who's now experiencing increased media attention due to the fact that he's dating an extremely famous Hollywood actor (more of which later), the tiny (we guess barely 5ft 6in), reed-slim Matt Bellamy seems remarkably sanguine, sane and centred. When presented with that list of less-than-favourable adjectives and asked why he reckons some people take against Muse so violently, his reaction is a warm, generous chuckle.

 

'I think some people think that it might not be personal enough,' he reasons. 'They don't like any element of a performance which is not "honest", or there being any element of theatrics which is not the core of what that person is. I love both sides; I love the down-to-earth performer with an acoustic, like Bob Dylan, and I love Hector Berlioz's crazy, large-scale theatrical creation, which is designed to take you outside everyday experience, outside of reality.'

 

How is it that no one accuses, say, Rufus Wainwright of not being '4 real', despite his mannered and theatrical image? Is the distaste for anything de trop maybe part of the British psyche?

 

'I've always felt that a theatrical expression is very English,' Bellamy says. Be it David Bowie, or Queen, or Led Zeppelin, even The Beatles…all these groups were experimenting and stepping away from the realm of reality, just to see what was out there. Then in the '90s, when I was a teenager, it seemed like everything got quite conservative, less experimental, less confident and bold. I felt like the international reputation of the Britpop "scene" was of something too much looking in at itself, rather than looking outward. In the early years of Muse, we were perceived negatively in our own country, but internationally we were perceived as a typically English band.'

 

Muse are surely maximalists to a man. Are they ever likely to scale down in the future, or is that unthinkable?

 

'Definitely. I'm thinking about it right now, in fact. There's a combination of things that have led to Muse being maximalists. Partly, it's the kind of venues we've been put into—forever expanding slightly ahead of what we were able to keep up with. We'd be playing a large theatre like the Astoria at around the time we were just bout comfortable playing in pubs. Then the Astoria would sell out and we'd think: Okay, we've got to up our game. The live success caused the venues to get bigger, beyond what we could keep up with, so we made the shows—and the music—more spectacular. Which meant that we had to play bigger venues. It was a bit of a Catch 22 that's ended up taking us to places like Wembley.'

 

Not that Muse have ever seemed remotely intimidated by the exponentially increasing size of venues. They played the brand new Wembley Stadium in 2007 (pipped at the inaugural post by George Michael—how annoying must that have been?), selling out its 75,000-capacity twice. And at this year's Glastonbury, Muse pumped out their widescreen, quasi-classical anthems in front of what looked like half the gobsmacked nation, neatly seeing off the U2-or-Muse-to-conquer-Glasto? debate by inviting The Edge on stage with them for a cover of 'Where the Streets Have No Name'. To make that kind of grand, diplomatic gesture, you have to be a very big band indeed, or risk looking like a bunch of twazzocks. Muse made it look not only effortless, but also incredibly good fun.

 

'Glastonbury felt amazing,' Bellamy says. 'In the last year, though, something's changed, whereby I feel like we can't go much bigger in terms of the kinds of concerts we're playing. Weirdly, that seems to have coincided with my personal life destablising about a year ago. I split from a relationship of eight years and had been living in Italy for about six. Suddenly, I was homeless and not with someone, so I was doing lots of sef-analysing and getting to know myself again. I sense that that's going to lead to a writing project that will be more personal, rather than talking about grand political concerns. That itself might lead to material that's more suitable for smaller venues. And I've always liked the idea of reinterpreting old songs to fit more intimate venues.'

 

So, will we ever see Matt Bellamy sitting on a stool with an acoustic guitar?

 

'Jaded, with a glass of whisky, singing Tom Waits songs? Yes, definitely!' he laughs. 'That's very much on the horizon.'

 

As anyone who hasn't recently emerged from a coma will know, Bellamy is now stepping out with Kate Hudson and the pair are rumoured to have been real-estate hunting together in New York and LA. If life in a hugely successful stadium rock band involves some media scrutiny, then this has surely seen him enter a whole new, amped-up level of celebrity experience. How is he coping?

 

For the first time, Bellamy looks slightly uncomfortable and tugs nervously at his hair. There's a lengthy pause and it seems he might decline to comment, but no. 'Things are going well,' he smiles shyly. 'We're getting on very well. And there's nothing really, in that way…"

 

No phalanx of photographers waiting when you leave a café together, or trailing you on shopping trips?

 

'No, it's been…lovely. There's been nothing like that and I kind of thought there might be. Occasionally, you'l walk out and someone will take a snap, but it's like…whatever. You get in a car and you're off. Honestly, nothing like that has bothered me. It's not been hard at all.'

 

Bellamy might believe in panspermia theory (that suggests an extraterrestrial origin of life on Earth), and that the alignment of the contours of Mars's Cydonia region with the position of the Avebury circle and and Stonehenge is no coincidence, but he's as interested in politics and society as he is in conspiracy theory and extraterrestrial possibilities. The lyrics of 'Uprising'—with its order to 'rise up and take the power back/it's time the fat cats had a heart attack' (written around the time of the G20 protests)—from 'The Resistance' are only a hint. Is it galling that despite your well-articulated political views, to many people you're just 'the mad bloke from Muse'?

 

'I think young people tend to see certain things much more clearly than older generations can,' says Bellamy, 'regarding how the world is structured around the banking system, how democracy is not as pure as it's made out to be, how ideologies clash and how they're manipulated by corporations to fight each other in order to make money… I think everybody goes through that stuff when they're younger, to an extent. It's just that I've expressed it in public.'

 

Considering the coalition government that's flopped unconvincingly into power, how do you feel now about the possibilities of 'uprising' and 'resistance'?

 

'Good question. I think the powers that be—corporate owners, government spin doctors, the media in general—are teetering on the edge, in that it wouldn't take much for what happened in Greece to happen in other countries.'

 

Next week, Muse will play their second two-night stand at Wembley and the expected gee-wow elements are obviously in place. The set design is a collaboration between the band and set designer Ez Devlin, whose background is in contemporary opera and theatre. If it looks as impressive as it sounds, then Muse have clearly refused to acknowledge the sky as a limit.

 

'I've attempted to throw in some referenes to "1984", in particular The Ministries, which Orwell describes as being pyramid-like office buildings,' says Bellamy. 'So we've created on of those and are basically playing inside it. There's this technology called projection mapping that's been around in advertising for a while, and we open that up on this Ministry building, so it looks like all the windows open and there are people walking around… I'm hoping the set design, the video content and the music together will be impactful enough to fill up a stadium like Wembley.'

 

Bellamy once said he'd love to meet David Icke. Wouldn't he rather meet a brainiac like Stephen Hawking? The two of them could have a good yak about contacting extraterrestrial life. Does Bellamy agree with Hawking that—as it's highly likely that any such life will be both more intelligent than us and extremely hostile, viewing Earth simply as a resource to be stripped—we should steer well clear?

 

'The current theories—based on the anthropic principle—suggest that there should be loads of life out there. Should we shy clear of it? No, I don't think we shold. The worst that can happen is that the whole place gets wiped out!' Bellamy cackles. 'But that's going to happen in the next few billion years anyway, so I'd b a risk-taker, like all the best adventurers. They just went out there in a boat and, for all they knew, they were going to fall off the end of the earth, but they ended up discovering new lands. It's exciting and it's part of our genetic makeup, to explore and expand. Whether you like it or not, the desire to expand and move forward is fundamentally ingrained in all living creatures.'

 

The thrill of expansion. The excitement of exploration. The risk of spectacular implosion as you grow bigger and bigger. Some killjoys' idea of pomposity and bombast, maybe. But watching Muse rise to their own challenge is entertainment of a curiously compelling, uber-impressive kind.

 

 

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Matt was "homeless" after Gaia? Is that literally or figuratively?

 

I mean, surely it was he who paid for the house in Italy right??

 

That's what I thought, but maybe he gave it to Gaia? I mean, without her there's no reason to live in Italy, really, I guess, and I've been getting the impression that he misses England.

 

/speculation

 

on the other hand, Matt Bellamy, sitting on the stool with a guitar, jaded, whisky, Tom Waits... I just keep thinking of him as a little old man wafting in the breeze... :chuckle:

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That's what I thought, but maybe he gave it to Gaia? I mean, without her there's no reason to live in Italy, really, I guess, and I've been getting the impression that he misses England.

 

/speculation

 

on the other hand, Matt Bellamy, sitting on the stool with a guitar, jaded, whisky, Tom Waits... I just keep thinking of him as a little old man wafting in the breeze... :chuckle:

 

 

Isn't their studio in Italy though?? The Matt Cave?

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Also, even though it kinda wasn't necessary for this one, here's the transcription:

 

 

Muse go galactic

Britain’s biggest band just keeps getting bigger. Ahead of Muse’s shows at Wembley Stadium this week, frontman Matt Bellamy talks to Sharon O’Connell about success, maximalising and the truth about extraterrestrial life

 

Pompous. Overblown. Bombastic. Pretentious. These perjoratives—and plenty more like them—seem to glom on to Muse more readily than barnacles latch on to a baleen whale. For some, the Teignmouth trio's blend of operatic alt. rock, gloomily epic synth pop and baroque metal is so ridiculously OTT it makes Queen sound like timid minimalists. Factor in frontman Matt Bellamy's well-known sci-fantasy fixation (Muse's songs have titles like 'Supermassive Black Hole' and 'Knights of Cydonia'), his New World Order conspiracy interests and the giant satellite dishes, barrage balloons and revolving laser-imaged cages that have featured in their live shows, and you have… well, what exactly do you have?

 

For a musician who's often faced almost as much critical ridicule as he's enjoyed acclaim, and who's now experiencing increased media attention due to the fact that he's dating an extremely famous Hollywood actor (more of which later), the tiny (we guess barely 5ft 6in), reed-slim Matt Bellamy seems remarkably sanguine, sane and centred. When presented with that list of less-than-favourable adjectives and asked why he reckons some people take against Muse so violently, his reaction is a warm, generous chuckle.

 

'I think some people think that it might not be personal enough,' he reasons. 'They don't like any element of a performance which is not "honest", or there being any element of theatrics which is not the core of what that person is. I love both sides; I love the down-to-earth performer with an acoustic, like Bob Dylan, and I love Hector Berlioz's crazy, large-scale theatrical creation, which is designed to take you outside everyday experience, outside of reality.'

 

How is it that no one accuses, say, Rufus Wainwright of not being '4 real', despite his mannered and theatrical image? Is the distaste for anything de trop maybe part of the British psyche?

 

'I've always felt that a theatrical expression is very English,' Bellamy says. Be it David Bowie, or Queen, or Led Zeppelin, even The Beatles…all these groups were experimenting and stepping away from the realm of reality, just to see what was out there. Then in the '90s, when I was a teenager, it seemed like everything got quite conservative, less experimental, less confident and bold. I felt like the international reputation of the Britpop "scene" was of something too much looking in at itself, rather than looking outward. In the early years of Muse, we were perceived negatively in our own country, but internationally we were perceived as a typically English band.'

 

Muse are surely maximalists to a man. Are they ever likely to scale down in the future, or is that unthinkable?

 

'Definitely. I'm thinking about it right now, in fact. There's a combination of things that have led to Muse being maximalists. Partly, it's the kind of venues we've been put into—forever expanding slightly ahead of what we were able to keep up with. We'd be playing a large theatre like the Astoria at around the time we were just bout comfortable playing in pubs. Then the Astoria would sell out and we'd think: Okay, we've got to up our game. The live success caused the venues to get bigger, beyond what we could keep up with, so we made the shows—and the music—more spectacular. Which meant that we had to play bigger venues. It was a bit of a Catch 22 that's ended up taking us to places like Wembley.'

 

Not that Muse have ever seemed remotely intimidated by the exponentially increasing size of venues. They played the brand new Wembley Stadium in 2007 (pipped at the inaugural post by George Michael—how annoying must that have been?), selling out its 75,000-capacity twice. And at this year's Glastonbury, Muse pumped out their widescreen, quasi-classical anthems in front of what looked like half the gobsmacked nation, neatly seeing off the U2-or-Muse-to-conquer-Glasto? debate by inviting The Edge on stage with them for a cover of 'Where the Streets Have No Name'. To make that kind of grand, diplomatic gesture, you have to be a very big band indeed, or risk looking like a bunch of twazzocks. Muse made it look not only effortless, but also incredibly good fun.

 

'Glastonbury felt amazing,' Bellamy says. 'In the last year, though, something's changed, whereby I feel like we can't go much bigger in terms of the kinds of concerts we're playing. Weirdly, that seems to have coincided with my personal life destablising about a year ago. I split from a relationship of eight years and had been living in Italy for about six. Suddenly, I was homeless and not with someone, so I was doing lots of sef-analysing and getting to know myself again. I sense that that's going to lead to a writing project that will be more personal, rather than talking about grand political concerns. That itself might lead to material that's more suitable for smaller venues. And I've always liked the idea of reinterpreting old songs to fit more intimate venues.'

 

So, will we ever see Matt Bellamy sitting on a stool with an acoustic guitar?

 

'Jaded, with a glass of whisky, singing Tom Waits songs? Yes, definitely!' he laughs. 'That's very much on the horizon.'

 

As anyone who hasn't recently emerged from a coma will know, Bellamy is now stepping out with Kate Hudson and the pair are rumoured to have been real-estate hunting together in New York and LA. If life in a hugely successful stadium rock band involves some media scrutiny, then this has surely seen him enter a whole new, amped-up level of celebrity experience. How is he coping?

 

For the first time, Bellamy looks slightly uncomfortable and tugs nervously at his hair. There's a lengthy pause and it seems he might decline to comment, but no. 'Things are going well,' he smiles shyly. 'We're getting on very well. And there's nothing really, in that way…"

 

No phalanx of photographers waiting when you leave a café together, or trailing you on shopping trips?

 

'No, it's been…lovely. There's been nothing like that and I kind of thought there might be. Occasionally, you'l walk out and someone will take a snap, but it's like…whatever. You get in a car and you're off. Honestly, nothing like that has bothered me. It's not been hard at all.'

 

Bellamy might believe in panspermia theory (that suggests an extraterrestrial origin of life on Earth), and that the alignment of the contours of Mars's Cydonia region with the position of the Avebury circle and and Stonehenge is no coincidence, but he's as interested in politics and society as he is in conspiracy theory and extraterrestrial possibilities. The lyrics of 'Uprising'—with its order to 'rise up and take the power back/it's time the fat cats had a heart attack' (written around the time of the G20 protests)—from 'The Resistance' are only a hint. Is it galling that despite your well-articulated political views, to many people you're just 'the mad bloke from Muse'?

 

'I think young people tend to see certain things much more clearly than older generations can,' says Bellamy, 'regarding how the world is structured around the banking system, how democracy is not as pure as it's made out to be, how ideologies clash and how they're manipulated by corporations to fight each other in order to make money… I think everybody goes through that stuff when they're younger, to an extent. It's just that I've expressed it in public.'

 

Considering the coalition government that's flopped unconvincingly into power, how do you feel now about the possibilities of 'uprising' and 'resistance'?

 

'Good question. I think the powers that be—corporate owners, government spin doctors, the media in general—are teetering on the edge, in that it wouldn't take much for what happened in Greece to happen in other countries.'

 

Next week, Muse will play their second two-night stand at Wembley and the expected gee-wow elements are obviously in place. The set design is a collaboration between the band and set designer Ez Devlin, whose background is in contemporary opera and theatre. If it looks as impressive as it sounds, then Muse have clearly refused to acknowledge the sky as a limit.

 

'I've attempted to throw in some referenes to "1984", in particular The Ministries, which Orwell describes as being pyramid-like office buildings,' says Bellamy. 'So we've created on of those and are basically playing inside it. There's this technology called projection mapping that's been around in advertising for a while, and we open that up on this Ministry building, so it looks like all the windows open and there are people walking around… I'm hoping the set design, the video content and the music together will be impactful enough to fill up a stadium like Wembley.'

 

Bellamy once said he'd love to meet David Icke. Wouldn't he rather meet a brainiac like Stephen Hawking? The two of them could have a good yak about contacting extraterrestrial life. Does Bellamy agree with Hawking that—as it's highly likely that any such life will be both more intelligent than us and extremely hostile, viewing Earth simply as a resource to be stripped—we should steer well clear?

 

'The current theories—based on the anthropic principle—suggest that there should be loads of life out there. Should we shy clear of it? No, I don't think we shold. The worst that can happen is that the whole place gets wiped out!' Bellamy cackles. 'But that's going to happen in the next few billion years anyway, so I'd b a risk-taker, like all the best adventurers. They just went out there in a boat and, for all they knew, they were going to fall off the end of the earth, but they ended up discovering new lands. It's exciting and it's part of our genetic makeup, to explore and expand. Whether you like it or not, the desire to expand and move forward is fundamentally ingrained in all living creatures.'

 

The thrill of expansion. The excitement of exploration. The risk of spectacular implosion as you grow bigger and bigger. Some killjoys' idea of pomposity and bombast, maybe. But watching Muse rise to their own challenge is entertainment of a curiously compelling, uber-impressive kind.

 

 

 

Well, I appreciate the transcription! Much easier to read. Thanks! :D

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please, please make it about the music again :$

 

I get the impression that it's always been about the music with Matt. There may have been different ways of expressing it such as aiming it for large venues and bringing in theatrical elements to support it, but he has said he believes in the music they are doing and I believe him.

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