Muse are set to headline Glastonbury 2016! To celebrate, here’s 50 facts you might not know. The band went through a series of names, including Gothic Plague, Fixed Penalty, Rocket Baby Dolls, before settling on Muse.
For example, did you know that, at the end of ‘Space Dementia,’ Matt Bellamy’s trouser zipper was used as an instrument?
A confession from Matt Bellamy: “We were all off our faces on mushrooms when we recorded ‘Plug In Baby’.”
On the Big Day Out tour of 2004, on which Muse played down the bill, Metallica would set up a rehearsal tent next to the main stage in which to warm up before they went on. Often Muse would come offstage to hear Metallica warming up by playing ‘New Born’.
Being such a small lad – he’s 5’7″ – Matt Bellamy used to take advantage of his trips to Japan to have silk shirts specially tailored for him.
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 Kelly and their three children Alfie, Frankie and Ava-Jo.
The band are keen poker players and once fleeced Robert Smith of The Cure for a hefty wad of cash.
After Matt was famously shocked to be given a painting of himself naked with a heart covering his privates and with a crow on one shoulder, Russian fans made it up to him on his next visit to the country by presenting him with a full-sized astronomer’s telescope.
When requesting permission to play one of the biggest church organs in Europe in order to finish recording ‘Megalomania’ from ‘Origin Of Symmetry’, the priest at the church asked to see the lyrics to the song to ensure the band weren’t devil worshippers.
Matt on the first love of his life: “My babysitter. She saved my life when I was choking once and after that I loved her.”
On their American tour early in 2005 Muse ran a competition whereby fans solving anagrams of new song titles on their setlists would be led by cryptic messages to a series of prizes – bikes left in cities that the tour visited.
‘The Resistance’ was the first Muse album to have been produced by the band themselves.
At their Wembley Stadium shows in June 2007 the band had plans to fly onto the stage in jet packs, but they fell foul of Health And Safety regulations.
Muse appear in Guitar Hero 5, and their music is also used in ‘Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock’ and ‘Guitar Hero: World Tour’.
Drummer Dominic Howard has a penchant for dressing up behind the drumkit, and has played gigs dressed as Spiderman and Gandalf.
Apparently drummer Dominic Howard once revealed that the band used llama toenails as an instrument in the song ‘Screenager’.
A major inspiration for Stephenie Meyer’s ‘Twilgiht’ series, Muse have a new track, ‘Neutron Star Collision (Love Is Forever),’ appearing on the next film soundtrack.
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 Matt is recording his vocal tracks. Pic: Ed Miles
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, such as touch pads and whammy pedals. At Wembley Stadium in 2007 the guitars were brought to him onstage by a remote-controlled robot.
Matt’s villa on Lake Como in Italy was once the painting retreat for Winston Churchill.
Matt Bellamy started playing the piano at the age of 6 and guitar at age 14.
Apparently Dom has been injured on three separate occasions after having guitars thrown at him by Matt. Unintentionally, we’re sure.
At one point during recording Muse considered making ‘Black Holes And Revelations’ a triple album, with the song-based album sandwiched between two discs of experimental electronica and rock.
Matt Bellamy won this year’s Hottest Male Award at the Shockwaves NME Awards, beating out Arctic Monkeys’ Alex Turner, Liam Gallagher and Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong.
During the ‘Black Holes And Revelations’ sessions the band began playing jazz versions of their classics for fun and briefly considered becoming a jazz band.
In addition to their eight NME Awards, the band have received five MTV Europe Music Awards, five Q Awards, two BRIT awards and four Kerrang! Awards.
Matt Bellamy wrote the music for the end credits of the 2009 film ‘The International.’
Muse have won eight NME Awards.
Matt Bellamy also wrote ‘Soaked,’ a track on Adam Lambert’s debut album, ‘For Your Entertainment.’
NME named Matt Bellamy the 14th Greatest Rock ‘n’ roll Hero of all time, ahead of John Lennon and Bob Dylan.
Muse turned down an offer to play at the environmentally aware Live Earth concert in 2007 since their schedule would have meant hiring a private jet to get them there on time.
Bellamy made it into the Guinness Book of World Records 2010. He currently holds the world record for the most guitars smashed on a tour – 140 guitars.
When they first headlined the second stage at V, Muse were introduced onstage by Coldplay’s Chris Martin in a hoodie. Since then Matt and Chris have regularly sent each other tongue-in-cheek ‘abusive’ text messages.
Back in 2002, Matt Bellamy told NME about his greatest fear: “Being impregnated by an alien and giving birth. It’d be awful to give birth to a freak so you’d have to hide it away from everyone but still bring it up as your own.”
In 2008, Muse were awarded with an honorary doctorate from the University of Plymouth for their contributions to music.
The bouncing Muse moons used in their live shows were originally planned to be used as spherical side-of-stage screens showing patterns and footage from the show, but they burst too often.
Drummer Dominic Howard’s earliest memory is of being on a rubber ring at the beach as it burst.
After spending much of his twenties collecting gadgetry such as an MP3-playing watch and a jet-pack, Matt has since got rid of most of it since he lost his mobile phone a few years ago and realised that life was so much better without it.
At Reading 2002 Muse took to the stage several minutes late – risking a £1,000-per-minute fine if their set over-ran – because Matt had lost his ‘lucky’ belt with elephants on it, a gift from a fan which he liked to wear for the most important gigs.
Muse frotman 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.
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.
On September 10, 2001 Muse played a gig at New York’s Mercury Lounge and went straight to the airport to fly to Boston after the gig. Had they stayed overnight and booked a flight in the morning they would have been staying in a hotel on Manhattan’s Lower East Side when the hijacked planes hit the World Trade Centre.
For two years around the ‘Origin Of Symmetry’ tour Muse spent £150 per show on guitars which Matt smashed onstage. The costs came directly out of his own pocket.
Muse have cited Queen as an influence, particularly with ‘United States of Eurasia.’ Brian May has since called them “extremely talented” and “extraordinary musicians.”
The shadows of flying people on the cover of ‘Absolution’ are real – art director Storm Thorgerson refuses to reveal how the shot was taken. He also shot this photograph, which was used for he cover of the band’s 2006 album, ‘Black Holes and Revelations’.
For a while, Muse’s TV appearances were famous for the appearance of the ‘mystery breakdancer’ – their tour manager Glen, who would breakdance on every show at the behest of the band.
In 2005 drummer Dominic Howard took part in the London to Brighton bike ride for charity. He made it back to London in time to watch Motley Crue the same night.
During writing sessions for ‘Absolution’ in a warehouse space in East London, bassist Chris Wolstenholme, who was staying at the warehouse, was provided with an inflatable bedroom to sleep in.
Muse wanted to play at the Royal Albert Hall in 2008 because Matt’s dad, who was a member of 60s guitar band The Tornados (of ‘Telstar’ fame), had always told Matt it was his favourite venue to play.
Finally… Frontman Matt Bellamy’s drink of choice, while on tour, and sometimes on stage is a nice glass of red wine.