Muse frontman Matt Bellamy has claimed that the band have had to offer bribes in order to stage their extravagant live shows.
According to the Sun, Bellamy said that representatives for the band had had to offer backhanders to people at various gigs so they could use their pyrotechnics and explosive effects. “Everywhere you go there are problems,” he said. “We have accountants and lawyers arguing with all sorts of local councils and police and promoters.”
He added: “In Rome, we had to bribe people with thousands of euros just to be allowed to blast our fire effects. We had to phone the British Embassy in Rome and argue with some official. If you want to do things like this on the move, it’s quite a big deal. It’s pretty bloody expensive, though. It’s mind-boggling how much, actually.”
UPDATE: The band have since issued a statement (July 29) on Bellamy’s comments. It reads: “Contrary to what has been reported, Muse would like to confirm that no bribes were made in order to stage their show in Italy. Statutory fees were paid for work done by third party engineers and technicians in order to obtain the appropriate permits issued by the relevant departments of the local authorities. This related to issues including pyrotechnics and crowd safety certificates and is completely standard for any group mounting this size of show in Italy. These were in addition to the certificates that were already in place and accepted by the authorities in the other European countries visited by Muse this summer.”