Muse Threatened To Fire Bassist Over Boozing

Bassist Chris Wolstenholme stopped drinking in 2009, but now the band reveal that they almost fired him for threatening their future as a band. Is alcoholism a bigger problem than we realize in the rock world?

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Muse have revealed how they once threatened to fire bassist Chris Wolstenholme if he didn't overcome his drinking habit.

The revelation comes shortly after their set at the iTunes festival, which you can see in the player below.

Wolstenholme managed to keep his alcoholism secret from the band for years as he "wasn't a nasty drunk" - but finally went public with his problem in 2009 after a meltdown on April Fool's Day:

"Everything I should have dealt with in the previous 10 years suddenly hit me in the face. There are some things I regret", said Wolstenholme at the time. "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".

Drummer Dom Howard said the band didn't realise there was a problem until they started counting how many drinks Chris got through on-stage.

"For some reason he could still play the bass, even though he was sh-tfaced", Dom told NME. "He was drinking on stage. I started counting how many drinks he was having during the set and I could see him getting more and more glazed. By the point we came off stage he'd be f--ked. It just got too weird".

Dom and frontman Matt Bellamy gave Chris an ultimatum "a few times", but ultimately stayed together.

Dom continued: "Chris now says things like, 'I can't believe they put up with me for 10 years'. Which is true. I can't believe we did. But we did. I've always believed in band integrity and sticking together".

Watch Muse (and a sober Chris Wolstenholme) playing at the iTunes Festival here:

Can you imagine Muse without their original bassist? Do you think alcoholism is a problem in the rock world? Share your opinion in the comments.

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    Alcoholism is a problem anywhere & everywhere, not just the "rock world", but yeah, you should see some of the LIQ these bands consume in their trailers before & after a show. It's something that is easily habit formed & has subjective effects from one person to the next. I quit drinking a ways back, I wont take the blame for everything that happened during that time, but I did burn a lot of bridges in the process of my alcoholism, have plenty of regrets there but to me it's messed up how other alcoholics will be quick to jump on you the moment you make a mistake instead of looking in the mirror & realizing they're no better or different than you, I look at my "friends" that I used to drink with now & it's terrible, they'll triangle the problem directly to you or anyone else so that attention is solely on someone else & they can continue their addiction. If I dont drink, the drama cant be pushed at me & used as a smoke screen; no one can point a finger at me for something I am not doing. It's like drugs, how it effects our brains is subjective from one person to the next, hence why some people are raging on the drink & others become docile & introverted. Don't let it get its claws in you, be responsible, drink to enjoy it, not to get shitfaced. Sadly, our world encourages drinking, but the minute you have problem theyre all over you like flies on shit, yet theyre the same people that encouraged the binge in the first place Id rather smoke a joint, thank you.
    I couldn't agree more.. I'm turning 22 in a week and I don't drink. I've sampled beer and wine and it all tastes terrible to me. My friends and family give me so much shit for not being interested in getting wasted, then they complain about horrible hangovers. I just don't get it.. It's just not something I want to start. I guess I'm just weird.
    There will be some alcohol you enjoy the taste of. It annoys me when people say "I don't like beer" when all they've tried is Carling and Fosters. I grew up in the north of England and love me some real ale regardless of alcohol content, and wine is something that you grow to appreciate if you give it a chance. Regardless props to you for not bowing to peer pressure. I like to drink but people who just get rat-arsed every week and make complete morons of themselves and think they're cool do my head in.
    Agreed. You don't have to write yourself off, you can just enjoy good beer.
    Tell them you like being in control of the way you feel when they give you shit for not drinking, tell them that you'd rather not wake up the next day feeling like you we're dropped into your house from 10,000 feet in the air. It's a good to be weird.
    Just remember... ...BOOZE AINT FOOD.
    I'd rather chop off my ding-dong than admit that
    Why would you even suggest chopping your schwanz off? thats just ridiculous! No dick for the rest of your life because you don't want to admit booze isn't food? Thats a bit drastic..
    You have stated the exact reason why I as a 19-year-old have no desire to ever drink or do drugs. I want to be in control of my own body, not the other way around.
    Good call, man. All it takes is a little Radiohead reference to stave off the downvotes.
    The funny thing is that it wasn't a Radiohead reference. I meant what I said.
    Do you actually get shit for it? Must be the sort of people you hang out with. When I drink, I mostly drink with the same group of mates, and two of them don't drink alcohol at all. No one minds, and they still have fun and don't detract from the experience. Maybe you need to find some people who are a bit less judgmental
    >Implying that cannabis isn't as harmful as alcohol Thanks for the laugh.
    It's not as harmful as alcohol. Laugh away.
    Would you like to show me some legitimate proof for that statement?
    I'm not gonna research for you, do your own. Or use your head. What kill more people, alcohol or marijuana? Man you people are stupid.
    Well, that pretty much says it all. If you really stand up so much for your thesis, you should be able to back it up with some evidence if you want to be seen as somewhat credible.
    ok so what posting a link or something makes it more credible? you're not worth the time, if you don't wanna use your head and fight for the sake of fighting blah blah blah blah whatever im not interested in teaching you anything. group of drunk people are walking down the street at night and on the other side a bunch of stoned people are walking. which side would you feel safer on? go and die
    Trying to have a serious debate =/= fighting for the sake of fighting. Besides, "go and die" clearly shows which intellectual level you are at. Present some trustworthy evidence for your claims, otherwise you're just going to look stupid.
    i dont care what you think or want mate, i dont know you its the internet. obviously you dont smoke or drink, i have tried both and its obvious which one is more harmful. you win you sound so intelligent on the internet. go and live.
    it's believed pot is the best treatment for many conditions, where as alcohol is only a cure for being sober
    As an analgesic (painkiller), yes, which is the only area I think it should be employed.
    I can't imagine Muse without their bassist. I know all the members of Muse are really talented, but he really separates them from other rock bands. He is easily one of the bassists to come out in the past decade.
    *best bassists, I assume you meant haha. I agree though, his bass work carries all of the songs in OoS, he has a beastly tone which does the work of a rhythm guitar and a bass guitar creating an awesome backbone that Matt can wank around on top of with his guitar haha. "Citizen Erased" is the best example of that in my opinion.
    Joke, "For some reason he could still play the bass, even though he was sh-tfaced"... Punchline, "It's cuz he was playing bass"
    1 word: Hysteria
    The Resistance has such a better bassline than hysteria! And also Hysteria is generally early on in the set so he wouldn't be smashed at that point.
    But Resistance is relatively easy to play - even I can play it fairly accurately. Hysteria is a bit tougher.
    Yeah Hysteria and The Resistance aren't as tough as people might think. New Born is a bitch though, simply cos your fretting hand starts cramping up.
    I screw up that intro on guitar every time, particularly if I try to play it the way Matt plays it. He makes some really odd stretches.
    I really can't imagine Muse without any of their members, all of them are so integral to their sound.
    "For some reason he could still play the bass, even though he was sh-tfaced" Chris really is one hell of a bad ass pro
    It's funny because Matt was either completely wasted or on something during the Roundhouse performance.
    personally i just want to know how many drinks he got through... out of interest
    Apparently he was waking up and having a whole bottle of wine in one go... And would have two whole bottles of vodka/whiskey some days.
    So glad Chris was able to get out of it. Alcoholism, like other addictions, is a prime example of ways to ruin your personal relationships, and it takes pure determination to be able to break it off. Besides, it would have sucked if he got fired, his playing is one of the key structural parts of their music and he's a master at writing basslines. If you haven't checked out the track 'Save Me' from The 2nd Law, make sure you do it, it's a truly beautiful one that Chris wrote about his alcohol addiction and sings on. One of the best on the album for sure.
    I actually am not surprised. Chris was kind of bad with his drinking.
    I think that was tough to deal wit. Major respect to the Muse lads who stuck together.