Muse Forced to Offer Bribes for Use of Special Effects at Shows

Pyro costs band thousands in bribes.

Ultimate Guitar

Speaking with the Sun newspaper, Muse front man Matt Bellamy has noted how the band often has to bribe local councils, police and promoters thousands of euros so that they can use elaborate pyrotechnics in their stage show.

"Everywhere you go there are 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. We had to phone the British Embassy in Rome and argue with some official.

"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 mind-boggling how much, actually."

As Bellamy notes, the band is at a place in their career where they are willing to take the financial risk to put on an impressive show.

"We're at a point where we don't need to hold back. We can do something that might bankrupt us all. Its good to take risks sometimes."

The band - completed by Dominic Howard and Chris Wolstenholme - are known for making their live show even bigger each time they tour, and Matt sees it as his duty to push the limits in the name of science fiction.

Bellamy said: "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 creatively speaking, it's good to take risks sometimes."

23 comments sorted by best / new / date

    As much as Muse aren't my cup of tea I truly respect Matt for everything he has said here. The reason I would still happily pay money to see Muse is because I know I would get a ****ing awesome live show! Which is what it's all about at the end of the day. Live music.
    How do Rammstein get away with it then?
    They pay bribes as well?
    also the singer from rammstein is a certified pyro-technician. i also believe other members of the band are too. maybe they get away with it because he has a license. who knows. both bands live are insane!!!
    Was in Paris for stadium show. Best. Fucking. Gig. Ever. Matt's still smoking weed ?!
    Several friends of mine whom are PRO level engineers and producers swore up and down it was the best show they had every seen. Since then they've been on my "to see" list!
    I don't really like Muse but I would consider seeing them live just because their shows are supposed to be batsh*t-crazy.
    No fire at the Quebec City show this year, but there was those air cannons, Muse certainly put on a great show and it's good to see that they will go the extra mile.
    The higher costs of the tix are easily reflected in the copious pyro, massive screens and visual effects, Charles the Robot, characters bringing the visuals to life and walking among the audience....I tells ya, Coventry was an amazing gig. Even without all the bells and whistles, they still sound top-notch. Amazing.
    Lol Natures
    Maybe they remember that little accident that Great White had with their pyro, or James Hetfield getting a little crispy in '92 during Fade to Black.
    Or maybe all the times people have used pyrotechnics and nothing went wrong?
    Aren't bribes usually performed in secret? Matt, you've probably pissed off your bribe-ees that you named here. --- (I don't know why this is a reply. I hit the button on the side, and wrote my comment on the very bottom of the page like I would for any non-reply.)
    The same thought occurred to me, but it's not like he named names. He seems like a good guy trying to do what he does in places where corruption is rife, and that's just a part of life. People are gonna respect him even more after reading this, and I'm looking forward to when I get the chance to see them live.
    sometimes they should reflect how they were used to be a great band EVEN without those costly stage productions.
    I don't remember any pyro at their St. Louis show earlier this year. In fact, they seemed kind of bored through most of it...maybe it was just an off night. I've seen HAARP and heard so many good things about their live work that I can't complain yet.
    you only saw videos from the Arena Tour for sure. Try to see videos from The Unsustainable Tour (Stadium TouR), in Europe, and you'll see a lot of pyro
    They don't play stadiums outside of Europe (headlining) which is where the flam chimneys were used. The rest are arena shows. The only arena show to have pyro was in Las Vegas and that's cause they borrowed from the Mandalay Bay.