Muse gave alcoholic bassist final warning
Muse issued Chris Wolstenholme with a final warning to deal with his alcoholism or he’d be kicked out the band.
The bassist had struggled with the illness for ten years before his bandmates discovered he had a problem – then bandmates Matt Bellamy and Dom Howard ordered him to clean up or leave.
Wolstenholme tells the Guardian: “I kept my guard up. I was quite crafty about how I drank and where I did it. Matt and Dom didn’t realise how bad it was because I wasn’t a nasty drunk. I didn’t cause any problems – I just retreated.”
Howard says: “He could still play the bass even though he was shitfaced. It went wrong two or three times in ten years, which is nothing.”
Things came to a head when he started drinking on stage. “I started counting how many he was having during the set, and I could see him getting more and more glazed. By the the point we came offstage he’d be fucked. It just got too weird.”
But Wolstenholme didn’t quit drinking because of the threats. Instead, he made a decision after a series of panic attacks which started in 2008 culminated in a “meltdown” the following year.
Then he had to contend with all the emotions he’d been blocking out for a decade. “Everything hit me in the face,” says the bassist. “There are some things I regret, moments I should have enjoyed more than I did, and that’s a bit upsetting.
“The upside is, I’m enjoying it now. I threw myself in to the music in a way I hadn’t done for ten years. It sounds corny – but it was the only thing that made me feel peaceful.”
Muse’s new album The 2nd Law was released last week, including controversial dabblings with dubstep music.