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“I ate an entire chorizo sausage and woke up covered in sick”: Matt Bellamy looks back on Muse’s lowest point

Muse were struggling on their debut and a nasty encounter with a spicy sausage made Matt Bellamy determined to change their fortunes



It’s almost 20 years since Muse blew up big with their bombastic third album Absolution, which was released in September 2003, but it was almost all over before it started. The trio from Teignmouth, Devon, hadn’t quite hit the ground running with their 1999 debut Showbiz, an album that had the big ideas they would later refine but not quite the songs. Looking back to that era a few years ago, frontman Matt Bellamy told Classic Rock’s Niall Doherty how they almost packed it in but a disastrous evening involving a spicy Spanish sausage helped them turn the corner.

“The most difficult period for the band was actually the first album to the second album,” Bellamy said in 2015. “Chris [Wolstenholme, bassist] was having his first baby at that time and it was very difficult for him to be away from touring and we were struggling at that point. We weren’t really doing well on the first album in terms of touring itself, it was hit or miss, gear would go missing or stuff wouldn’t work, sometimes venues where people wouldn’t be there.”

It was during the Showbiz tour, Bellamy recalled, where he was on the cusp of saying, ‘I can’t do this, I’m done’. “I think the low point was I was drinking more than I should have and I ate an entire chorizo sausage in Spain and woke up in the middle of the night in the bunk just covered in sick. I got up on the bus, it was two or three in the morning, and you realise there’s no shower, there’s no real change of clothes, they’re all sweaty and dirty, I’ve gotta sit like this and smell like this for at least six hours and then try and do a gig.”

He got home from the chorizo/vomit saga, he said, and decided that if Muse were going to stay together, it had to become more fun. “I came back from that tour and said, ‘If we don’t start having a good time, I don’t really wanna do it’,” he said. “So when we did the second album, it was all about having a good time. We all vowed to really enjoy ourselves. Not drink so much, have more parties. And we just started to have fun, meet people, have parties all the time. The second album was the biggest laugh ever. Musically it changed because of that, everything changed, the way we were onstage changed. Everything got a bit more fun. I think that’s why we’re here because we made that decision not to mope around.”

And so the origins of Origins Of Symmetry were cast in an over-eating of chorizo, never again to be repeated. Their second album put Muse on the path to stardom, and it might never have happened if Matt Bellamy hadn’t sicked up all over himself.