Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Struck by the Muse

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Struck by the Muse

Article excerpt

Byline: SIOBHAN GROGAN

YOU wouldn't know from looking, but Matt Bellamy - a skinny, five-foot-notvery-much 24-year-old with a shock of spiky black (sometimes red, sometimes blue) hair - is one of Britain's greatest, unlikeliest, new rock stars. His band Muse are signed to Madonna's Maverick label, have been called the new Radiohead and released their second brutally hypnotic album, Origin of Symmetry, earlier this year. Few would bat an eyelid when Bellamy walks down the street, but his last record sold a million worldwide.

While the likes of Coldplay grabbed the headlines last year, Muse toured the globe with their blazing live set, played more than 50 festivals and saw the size of the crowds grow dramatically as word got out. Next Tuesday, they play Docklands Arena.

So it's official: Muse have made it.

All it means," shrugs Matt, slumped on a sofa backstage in Bristol, "is it's like school, only amplified. More people like you and that has loads of advantages. But also more people dislike you. There are some people who want to kill me!" One thing's for sure, Matt's no Fran Healy. You either love him or hate him, think he's a brooding genius (he is) or you don't. "Someone tried to beat me up the other day outside the Astoria. This guy who was about 6ft 5in was pushing me, calling me a pompous t***. It got to me, but only because he was big and could have beaten me up." What is it about Bellamy that causes such an extreme reaction? "I don't know. I suppose I have one of those faces. The people

who hate us seem personally offended. People seem to think I've got this massive, obscene, out-of-control ego and take it upon themselves to reduce it."

Jealousy is unavoidable when Bellamy and his bandmates - drummer Dom Howard and bassist Chris Wolstenholme - so openly love every second of their life. They can barely remember the last time they slept in a bed that's not on four wheels, but they wouldn't dream of complaining. "Life has got difficult moments for everyone, and to try to make out that it's difficult living on a [pound]400a-day tour bus just seems impossible. …

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