The in­cred­i­ble, amaz­ing Muse

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - PLAYCONTENTS -

MUSE are in the throes of their big­gest tour ever. Why? Be­cause af­ter mil­lions of al­bum sales, they can.

‘‘You look at some of the big­gest bands play­ing the big­gest shows, they stem from the late part of the 20th cen­tury when oil was cheap and there was no guilt,’’ Muse front­man Matt Bel­lamy says.

‘‘Like the ’80s, Es­pe­cially the ’80s. We’re try­ing to fly the flag for not giv­ing up on striv­ing for some­thing big­ger. Striv­ing for a lit­tle progress. We could al­ways whip out the acous­tic gui­tars, get around a camp­fire and start singing about how we should all start be­com­ing hip­pies, smok­ing spliffs and grow­ing veg­eta­bles. Which I’m to­tally in favour of – I do most of those things on a reg­u­lar ba­sis. But I think there’s still a side of me that was into the science fic­tion dreams grow­ing up that doesn’t re­ally want to let go of that.

‘‘I think that’s re­flected in this tour. We’re at a point where we don’t need to hold back. We can do some­thing that might bank­rupt us all. Metaphor­i­cally or creative speak­ing, it’s good to take risks some­times.’’

The Un­sus­tain­able world tour for last year’s The 2nd Law al­bum started in­doors in Europe, went out­doors in Europe and winds up in Mex­ico in Oc­to­ber be­fore the elab­o­rate power sta­tion-themed stage be­gins a sea jour­ney to re­turn in­doors in Aus­tralia in De­cem­ber.

‘‘There’s 25 ship­ping con­tain­ers. They take five weeks to get down to Aus­tralia,’’ Bel­lamy says.

‘‘There’ll be a ship float­ing around some­where in Novem­ber with all of our gear on it. Hope­fully it won’t cap­size or we’ll be bug­gered down there. It’ll def­i­nitely be the big­gest show we’ve ever brought to Aus­tralia by a long, long mar­gin.’’

The su­per-sized tour hasn’t been with­out dra­mas. A con­cert in Rome (cap­tured for a live DVD) al­most saw the fire that punc­tu­ates the show ex­tin­guished. Luck­ily, money talked.

‘‘Every­where you go there’s prob­lems. We have ac­coun­tants and lawyers ar­gu­ing with all sorts of lo­cal coun­cils and po­lice and pro­mot­ers. In Rome we had to bribe peo­ple with thou­sands of Eu­ros just to be al­lowed to blast our fire ef­fects. 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 mind­bog­gling how much ac­tu­ally. But it’s worth it. If peo­ple en­joy them­selves, who cares?’’

The tour will also see Muse get on board with the b-stage craze; mak­ing arena shows more in­ti­mate with pop-up stages that turn the back rows into the front rows for a few songs.

‘‘We’re re­ally get­ting out and about, in with the au­di­ence. It’s the first time we’re con­nect­ing with the au­di­ence, lit­er­ally touch­ing the fans, shak­ing hands, singing songs in and around the crowd. It’s bro­ken up the show for us. We’re hop­ing to con­tinue that way of play­ing on the in­door side.’’ Bel­lamy says he is en­joy­ing the hu­man con­tact. ‘‘We’ve al­ways been a bit dis­tant. I’ve never been a big talker on stage. We al­ways tend to have a lot of vi­su­als and con­cep­tual things go­ing on where it hasn’t al­ways been about con­nect­ing us to the crowd. That’s why this tour has been quite dif­fer­ent to us.’’

Bel­lamy and his wife, Hol­ly­wood star Kate Hud­son, have a two-year-old son, Hud­son. He made his first mu­si­cal ap­pear­ance in utero – his heart­beat used on two The 2nd Law songs.

‘‘It’s on Fol­low Me, but it’s more prom­i­nent on Iso­late Sys­tem, which ended up get­ting used in World War Z, so that was good to hear it up on the big screen,’’ Bel­lamy says.

While he’s be­come a re­luc­tant tar­get of pa­parazzi (‘‘I don’t see them at all, Kate spots them a mile away’’) Bel­lamy says Muse’s tour­ing sched­ule has now changed to ac­com­mo­date he and bassist Chris Wol­sten­holme’s chil­dren.

‘‘Chris brings his kids out, we bring ours out. Most legs of the tour are two weeks. The Aus­tralian one will be the long­est – three weeks – but we have a week or two off be­tween each leg. So I move be­tween be­ing on stage and be­ing a house hus­band.’’

– CAMERON ADAMS

Muse play the Bris­bane En­ter­tain­ment Cen­tre on De­cem­ber 10. Tick­ets go on sale on Mon­day.

Muse (from left): Christopher Wol­sten­holme, Matt Bel­lamy and Dominic Howard.

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