Muse's Dom Howard: 'We gave Chris Wolstenholme an ultimatum to quit drinking'

Drummer reveals band had to be tough with bassist to help his drinking problem

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Muse's Dom Howard has revealed the band gave Chris Wolstenholme an ultimatum in order to force the bassist to sort his excessive drinking habit.

The drummer told The Observer that he and singer Matt Bellamy had to be tough with the bassist, as his heavy drinking was threatening the future of the band.

Howard said: "For some reason he could still play the bass, even though he was shitfaced. He was drinking on stage. I started counting how many drinks he was having during the set and I could see him getting more and more glazed. By the point we came off stage he'd be fucked. It just got too weird."

When asked if the Devon trio had given the bassist an ultimatum to help solve his alcoholism, Howard confirmed: "Yeah, a few times. Chris now says things like, 'I can't believe they put up with me for 10 years'. Which is true. I can't believe we did. But we did. I've always believed in band integrity and sticking together."

Wolstenholme admitted he has had a drinking problem for the majority of his time in Muse, and said he had managed to keep it a secret to most people, including his band mates, as he "wasn't a nasty drunk".

On April Fool's Day 2009, after a period of heavy drinking, Wolstenholme "had a bit of a meltdown" and made a decision to fight his addiction and stop drinking alcohol.

He explained: "Everything I should have dealt with in the previous 10 years suddenly hit me in the face. There are some things I regret. There are probably moments I should have enjoyed more than I did and that's a bit upsetting. With the mess I was in you don't feel any intense emotion any more.

"You're just subdued all the time. But the upside of that is I'm enjoying it now. I threw myself into music in a way I hadn't done for 10 years. It sounds corny but it was the only thing that made me feel peaceful."

'The 2nd Law' is released on Monday (October 1) and the following day in the US. It includes new singles 'Madness' and 'Survival' as well as dubstep-influenced track 'The 2nd Law: Unsustainable'. The 13-track album is the follow-up to 2009's 'The Resistance' and has been recorded in London.

The Devon trio will also tour the UK in October, playing five shows. The gigs begin at Glasgow's SECC on October 24, before the band move onto London's O2 Arena for two shows on October 26 and 27. They then play Birmingham LG Arena on October 30 before finishing up at Manchester Arena on November 1.

The band will also play the iTunes Festival this month, headlining London's Roundhouse tonight (September 30).


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