Muse – 25 Awesome Photos

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A career-spanning look at some of our favourite ever pictures of the mighty Muse.

Photo: Eva Vermandel/NME
This very early shot of the band was taken for NME in 1998 in Kensal Green. Photo: Eva Vermandel/NME

Photo: Hamish Brown/NME
Photographed in NYC in 1999, this was used for Muse’s very first NME feature. Photo: Hamish Brown/NME

Photo: Andy Willsher/NME
This picture was snapped at Exeter Cavern Club on 23 June, 1999. Photo: Andy Willsher/NME

Photo: Hamish Brown/NME
This picture was taken in 2001, the same year the band recorded ‘Plug In Baby’. They’ve since said of it: “We were all off our faces on mushrooms when we recorded ‘Plug In Baby’.” Photo: Hamish Brown/NME

Photo: Dean Chalkley/NME
Matt Bellamy is a keen scuba diver, and claims that on one excursion an instructor tried to kill him by only filling his oxygen tank halfway because he fancied Matt’s girlfriend. Photo: Dean Chalkley/NME, 2003

Photo: Perou
During the recording of Muse’s third album, 2003’s ‘Absolution’, Matt Bellamy became so stressed that he had recurring nightmares about being hung upside down and beaten on his feet. Photo: Perou, 2003

Photo: James Looker/NME
During the 2004 Big Day Out tour, Metallica set up a rehearsal tent next to the main stage. Often Muse would come offstage to hear Metallica warming up by playing ‘New Born’. Photo: James Looker/NME, 2004

Photo: Dean Chalkley/NME
Since the very first Muse recordings, Matt has never allowed anyone other than the record’s producer to hear him sing without musical accompaniment. (Not even his bandmates are allowed to stay in the studio when he’s recording his vocal tracks.) Photo: Dean Chalkley/NME, 2004

Photo: James Looker/NME
Matt’s villa on Lake Como in Italy was once the painting retreat for Winston Churchill. Photo: James Looker/NME, 2004

Photo: Dean Chalkley/NME
Matt Bellamy (5’7″) used to have silk shirts specially tailored for him whenever he visited Japan. Photo: Dean Chalkley/NME, 2004

Photo: Andy Willsher/NME
Matt Bellamy performing at Reading Festival 2006. Photo: Andy Willsher/NME

Photo: Andy Willsher/NME
Another snap from Reading ’06, taken in the band’s dressing room. Photo: Andy Willsher/NME

Photo: Andy Willsher/NME
Muse practicing in their studio in 2006. Photo: Andy Willsher/NME

Photo: Ed Miles/NME
Muse have cited Queen as an influence, particularly with ‘United States of Eurasia.’ Brian May has since called them “extremely talented” and “extraordinary musicians.” Photo: Ed Miles/NME, 2006

Photo: Andy Willsher/NME
The band are keen poker players and once fleeced Robert Smith of The Cure for a hefty wad of cash. Photo: Andy Willsher/NME, 2006

Photo: Andy Willsher/NME
In 2007, Muse turned down an offer to play at the Live Earth concert, since their schedule would have meant hiring a private jet to get them there on time. Photo: Andy Willsher/NME, 2007

Photo: Andy Willsher/NME
Muse performing at Wembley Arena in June 2007. At these shows, Matt’s guitars were brought to him onstage by a remote-controlled robot. Photo: Andy Willsher/NME

Photo: Andy Willsher/NME
At these Wembley Stadium shows, the band had plans to fly onto the stage in jet packs, but they fell foul of Health And Safety regulations. Photo: Andy Willsher/NME

Photo: Dean Chalkley/NME
In 2008, Muse were awarded with an honorary doctorate from the University of Plymouth for their contributions to music. Photo: Dean Chalkley/NME, 2008

Photo: Dean Chalkley/NME
The band in Devon in August 2009. Photo: Dean Chalkley/NME

Photo: Dean Chalkley/NME
Drummer Dominic Howard has a penchant for dressing up behind the drumkit, and has played gigs dressed as Spiderman and Gandalf. Photo: Dean Chalkley/NME, 2009

Photo: Danny North/NME
Many of Matt’s guitars are designed by Devon’s Hugh Manson in order to incorporate revolutionary technical elements into the body of the instrument. Photo: Danny North/NME, 2009

Photo: Dean Chalkley/NME
In his time off from Muse, bassist Chris Wolstenholme plays drums in a local pub band in the Devon town of Teignmouth, where he lives with his wife Kelly and their children. Photo: Dean Chalkley/NME, 2009

Photo: Danny North/NME
The band performing at Glastonbury Festival 2010. Photo: Danny North/NME

Photo: Andy Willsher/NME
In 2010, Matt Bellamy made it into the Guinness Book of World Records, as he currently holds the world record for the most guitars smashed on a tour – 140 of them. Photo: Andy Willsher/NME, 2010

Photo: Dean Chalkley/NME
Muse pose with their prize at the NME Awards 2011. Photo: Dean Chalkley/NME

Photo: Amy Brammall/NME
Muse playing ‘Origin Of Symmetry’ at Reading Festival 2011. Photo: Amy Brammall/NME

Photo: Danny North/NME
Muse at Leeds Festival 2011. Photo: Danny North/NME, 2011