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Interview: Muse Talks Paparazzi, Kanye West and Being Together for 20 Years

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(Gavin Bond for Warner Bros. Records)

(Gavin Bond for Warner Bros. Records)

By Scott T. Sterling

Following the September 2012 release of the band’s most recent album, The 2nd Law, Muse has toured the globe relentlessly while singles like “Madness” and “Follow Me” ruled the radio airwaves to the point that the U.K. power trio landed at No. 17 on the most recent Forbes list of the world’s highest-paid musicians with $43 million, ahead of such stars as Jay-Z and One Direction.

During a recent interview with Radio.com, band members Matt Bellamy and Dom Howard held court on a range of subjects, including the band’s current DVD release, Live at Rome Olympic Stadium, and their thoughts on Muse turning 20 years old next year.

“Those first years were like crazy times,” remembered Bellamy of the band’s nascent stages back when the members were still teenagers. “We were like playing around people’s houses and weird little sports halls and things like that. Early experiments with drink and other things was what I kind of remember from that period of time. Mainly we were doing it to get girls which worked, I’ve got to say. At ages 15, 16, we had some good times,” he added with a laugh.

Bellamy’s star power also finds him the subject of paparazzi photos and tabloid stories more than your average rocker, thanks in large part to his relationship with actress Kate Hudson and their two children, Ryder and Bingham.

“I tend to not read that stuff,” Bellamy said. “If you’re the kind of person who consumes that stuff and then you saw yourself being put in it, I think that would do your head in. But it’s just very easy to not pay attention to any of that stuff. You realize that in reality it doesn’t really mean much to anyone.”

While he’s never had a full-on meltdown with paparazzi, the frontman admits that he’s come close to losing his cool when they encroach on his family.

“Ive had a couple of moments,” Bellamy admits. “I think when kids get involved, that’s when you’re most likely to get a bit [taken aback]. When we first had a baby, and you get these camera people pushing into [the stroller], that’s when you’re like, come on, there must be some rights we can create for children to not be invaded. It’s clearly not their fault that the parents are well-known…it’s generally quite creepy. But if you’re in the public eye as an adult, I don’t think there’s much you can do about it.”

Related: Muse Eyes 2015 for ‘Rawer’ New Album

When asked about music they’ve been tuned into this year, Howard was quick to cite Kanye West‘s Yeezus, while Bellamy shouted out the Arctic Monkeys and their most recent full-length, AM. Both had kind words for The 1975, who Muse played with on tour.

“That ‘Royals’ song, that’s pretty interesting,” Bellamy added in regards to Lorde‘s breakout single. “Lorde have mercy, yeah. That’s pretty good.”

The mention of Yeezus lead the conversation to Kanye West and his recent proclamations of being a “creative genius.”

“I’ve got to admit, I don’t know much about Kanye,” Bellamy said. “I’ve heard bits of that new record, I like some of the sounds on it. Some of the lyrics of those artists sort of throw me off a little bit. It’s very full on, it’s very in your face, it’s very like ‘me, me, me,’ and all that. But it’s cool, the music’s good.”

“He did this interview with Zane Lowe of BBC Radio 1, and it was great,” Howard chimed in after explaining to Bellamy West’s recent run of headline-generating chats. “It starts off with him kind of gradually working himself up and ranting and you think, ‘what the f*** is he talking about?’ But by the end of it, he kind of justifies his comments…I kind of like Kanye because he’s giving (a middle finger) to the man and to the kind of standard public way of doing things with the music.”

Still, it was Bellamy who had the last word on the subject: “I’ve got two cats named Kim and Kanye.”

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