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Tom
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« on: Feb 16, 12:23:25AM »

I wasn't sure where to post this so I started this thread for old transcripts.

On the 3rd of November 1999, Muse were doing PR in The Netherlands. The Dutch magazine "Music Minded" got an interview with them that day. I don't have the article which was published, but I found the authors immediate and casual impressions from the interview:
 
 3/11/99 - Music Minded
 
 Before the interview some girl called Kate (is she from the record company, or maybe the manager? I forgot) came up to me and told me the guys were out for a photo session in Amsterdam. When they returned, she went to see them first, and then she returned, telling me they were a bit "giggly", and that I should slap them in the face if they weren't paying attention. Being in Amsterdam, of course I wondered if they had taken drugs or anything, but when I arrived in the hotel room where the three of them stayed, they were actually quite nice.
 
 At first, Chris and Matthew were still a bit giggly alright, and fooling around as well, but then Dom gave them a 'sign' that they should stop doing that. Anyway, the interview was approx. 30 minutes. Of course I had more time, but in those 30 minutes, I guess I got all the answers I had expected really.
 
 Matt said he was enjoying the succes immensely, he liked travelling an meeting new people and visiting new places. When I asked him if he didn't miss his friends and family, he said that that was something he wanted to take care of after his career.
 
 He said the album was called Showbiz because he wanted to give that particular song on the album a bit more attention than the others. He said Showbiz is probably the song that is the most reperesentative of how he wanted Muse to sound.
 
 Dom told me about how they got several offers from big record companies in the US, but they decided to sign for Maverick because it is a relatively small label with some good bands.
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Tom
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« Reply #1 on: Feb 16, 12:27:07AM »

8/3/01 - Telegraph

Pushing music to the limit:
 
They wreck their instruments on stage, yet they are inspired by Debussy and Berlioz. And now the young British trio Muse plan to shrug off comparisons with Radiohead and take their sound to further extremes. Neil McCormick reports
 
MUSE are one of those bands that seem to attract an extra level of devotion from their fans, many of whom follow them around on tour, attending as many shows as they can. As singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Matthew Bellamy observes, "We might not appeal to everybody, but the people who like us seem to really like us."
 
Muse: their growing band of devoted fans includes rock heavyweights from Nirvana and Bush
 
The young British trio were named best new band in last year's NME Carling Premiere Awards, their fast-growing reputation built on live performances of such musical virtuosity, emotional intensity and physical recklessness that you can never be quite sure what is going to happen next. They count among their admirers such rock heavyweights as Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl and Bush vocalist Gavin Rossdale (who has commented, "I don't think they could ever do a bad set"), while Red Hot Chili Peppers singer Anthony Kiedis has been
 spotted stage-diving at a Muse concert in LA.
 
Bellamy reveals that his favourite fan, however, is an elderly man from Exeter who turned up at so many shows that the band eventually befriended him. "He's a very eccentric geezer who had never listened to rock music before," says Bellamy. "He really thinks we're like a modern classical outfit. He says he can hear bits of Bach and Berlioz and Beethoven. We've
 gone round his house and he played us loads of records, pointing out pieces that we remind him of."
 
Although Muse's latest single (released next week) bears the distinctly unclassical title Plug In Baby and is produced by American Nu Metal aficionado Dave Bottrill, this notion is not quite as outlandish as it may first seem. Although a self-taught rock musician ("I can read music and I can play music," he says, "just not at the same time"), Bellamy admits to
 being fascinated by the composers of the late-19th and early-20th centuries.
 
"What intrigues me is the level of genius, I don't think you see that in music anymore," he says. "In classical music, you hear almost unbelievable balance and symmetry but in the late-Romantic and early-modern stuff the rules are starting to be broken - there's a touch of anarchy in the formal perfection. My favourite music is by people such as Debussy, Rachmaninov and late Berlioz, who I'd say was the peak of that period."
 
The influence of such composers on Bellamy's writing can be detected in complex song structures often underpinned by elaborately arpeggiated riffs and scales played on piano, organ and guitar, adorned with Eastern European-flavoured instrumental flourishes and lent an almost operatic quality by the singer's tremulous high-pitched vocals. But Bellamy is understandably wary of stretching the classical comparison too far. "I think that stuff's a little bit better-played than ours," he grins.
 
There is another more contemporary comparison that has dogged Muse since the release of their debut album, Showbiz, in October 1999. Produced by John Leckie, the man behind Radiohead's breakthrough, The Bends, the combination of punky energy and progressive rock with Bellamy's emotionally overwrought choirboy vocals owed an obvious allegiance to Radiohead themselves. Indeed, with all three members in their early twenties, Muse are young enough to have grown up with Radiohead's music and could hardly fail but to have been influenced by their uncompromising approach and emotional intensity.
 
While the trio are forging a distinctive identity of their own, with an edge that is at once quirkier, more ragged and yet more glamorous than early Radiohead, a point that should not be overlooked is that - perhaps alone among their contemporaries - Muse actually bear comparison with their elders. And, with Radiohead taking an increasingly esoteric and subdued path, we should be grateful that there is still a band capable of reaching the same awe-inspiring heights of ecstatic agony.
 
Bellamy acknowledges his teenage debt to both Radiohead's Thom Yorke and to another high-voiced musical maverick, the late Jeff Buckley. "It was the first time I heard blokes that sang rock music in the same sort of range as me. Up until then I thought I had a terrible voice. The cool thing was that gruff Kurt Cobain growl, so it was quite liberating to hear contralto singing with lots of falsetto. I realised that was something I could do."
 
Whatever their influences, Muse are undoubtedly one of the most exciting bands in the country. Sadly, however, it was America that noticed them first. Hailing from the small town of Teignmouth in Devon, drummer Dominic Howard, bassist Chris Wolthenstone and Bellamy joined forces upon leaving school. They released a couple of self-financed, independent EPs before catching the attention of A&R men with a revelatory performance at 1998's "In The City" music-business conference.
 
In the chilly post-Britpop climate, however, British labels appeared more concerned with dispensing with many of their existing guitar bands than with signing more. America proved more welcoming, and the group were offered a (US-only) deal by Madonna's Maverick label. Regional deals fell into place, with Muse signing to Mushroom in the UK.
 
As their live reputation grew, Muse were tipped by many in the industry to be the big success story of the year 2000. But, while their album eventually sold more than half a million units worldwide, their thunder was stolen by the the drearily introspective and musically unchallenging Coldplay. Live, the two groups certainly make an interesting contrast. While Coldplay perform with such tremulous sensitivity that they barely break a sweat, Muse look capable of breaking just about anything that gets in their way (indeed, they have been known to smash all their instruments, although Bellamy insists that this is something they have put behind them ever since he got completely carried away one night and broke his favourite guitar).
 
Muse are a multi-dimensional band with an impressive musical and emotional range. They encompass the tender acoustic fragility of last year's minor hit single Unintended (one of the most beautiful ballads in recent memory) and the apocalyptic nausea evoked on their new single (which Bellamy reveals is about "the effect on a generation of atheism and existentialism" and how, in a Godless universe, "we project our emotions into objects and technology, becoming detached from our humanity").
 
The track bodes well for Muse's sophomore album (due in the summer), which Bellamy promises will reflect the character of the band's live shows. "We want to take everything to greater extremes," he says, "both lighter and darker."
 
In the vast market of the US (where Muse have a steadily growing reputation), rock bands are encouraged to develop long-term careers. The British music scene, by contrast, is fixated on novelty, with a tendency to hype things before they are ready, only to dismiss them when they fail to live up to expectations. At 23 years of age, Bellamy and his colleagues are still young and still developing. Last year's great white hopes could yet
 turn out to be this year's model.
 
"We're trying to do something a bit special," says Bellamy. "I don't know if it's fashionable. Maybe fashion will have to come to us."
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thomasvz
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« Reply #2 on: Feb 16, 08:40:56AM »


Thanks for these interesting ntervieuws!

But, while their album eventually sold more than half a million units worldwide, their thunder was stolen by the the drearily introspective and musically unchallenging Coldplay.


Damn you, coldplay.... ;)
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« Reply #3 on: Feb 16, 03:23:45PM »

Thanks Tom!!!
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