October 1, 2012


Muse Bassist Opens Up About Alcoholism

Kevin Winter
Kevin Winter

Adhering to the old maxim I just made up, "Alcohol is fun until it's not," Muse bassist Christopher Wolstenholme came clean about his decade-long battle with alcoholism in a new Guardian profile of the band.

"I kept my guard up," Wolstenholme said. "I was quite crafty about how I drank and where I did it. [Bandmates] Matt [Bellamy] and Dom [Howard] probably didn't realize how bad it was because I wasn't a nasty drunk. I didn't cause anybody any problems. I just retreated."

Wolstenholme revealed that his father, also an alcoholic, drank himself to death by 40, and as Muse's success grew, the bassist was drinking a pint of liquor, two bottles of wine and numerous beers daily. How bad did it get? Bandmates were forced to issue a "booze or band" ultimatum, eventually causing Wolstenholme to give up drinking in 2009.

"Everything I should have dealt with in the previous 10 years suddenly hit me in the face," admitted Wolstenholme. "There are some things I regret. There are probably moments I should have enjoyed more than I did and that's a bit upsetting. With the mess I was in you don't feel any intense emotion any more. You're just subdued all the time. But the upside of that is I'm enjoying it now. I threw myself into music in a way I hadn't done for 10 years. It sounds corny but it was the only thing that made me feel peaceful."

So yeah, when they're not fighting lawsuits or playing at the Olympics, Muse are fighting the classic "internal demons" and pressures of being in a band. But hey, it led Wolstenholme to write "Save Me" and "Liquid State" off the band's new album The 2nd Law, so at least there's a happy ending, right?