EXCLUSIVE: University honour for rock stars Muse
HAVING scooped Brit awards and countless trophies from MTV Europe,
Q, Kerrang and NME – not to mention performing to millions of adoring
fans around the world – what more could a rock band want?
An Honorary Doctorate of Arts from the University of Plymouth of course.
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rock trio Muse revisited their old stomping ground yesterday to accept
their latest honour on Plymouth Hoe.
Standing shoulder to
shoulder with thousands of university students, the lads wore full
graduate dress, including gowns and hats.
And before they
stepped forward to accept their doctorates, the Teignmouth trio sat
down with The Herald for an exclusive chat about the honour, their
fears and the amount of time they have been spending in Devon recently.
pretty sure we're not worthy," said lead singer and guitarist Matt
Bellamy. "It's nice to be part of something down here in the
"We never went to university so it really means a lot to us."
He joked: "Maybe now we can go around describing ourselves as doctors."
about how the presentation of the doctorate compared with being
presented with a Q or Brit award, drummer Dom Howard said: "Admittedly
it's a bit different from the Kerrang Awards."
Matt chipped in while devouring a Belgian iced cake: "There's a lot less booze.
continued: "It's definitely very strange. It's kind of hard to get your
head around. Any excuse for us to dress up in funny clothes and we're
Bass guitarist Chris Wolstenholme added: "It is great,
it's an honour really. For us to have a degree or a doctorate is quite
"It seems that Plymouth is the place to come to study for arts."
whether they were nervous before the presentation, in front of 1,400
students and their family members, Matt said: "Playing is easy really,
it's the speaking parts which freak me out.
Stadium [they were the first band to perform at the new venue last
year] was pretty scary, I'll admit that, but my worst nightmare would
be to speak at a wedding.
"The thought of that petrifies me."
Chris and Dom met at Teignmouth Community College in the early 1990s.
They formed their first band in 1994, and – encouraged by their success
in a local battle of the bands competition – decided to pursue careers
Ten million album sales later, they have also
headlined everything from Glastonbury, Madison Square Gardens and this
year's V Festival, but it doesn't mean they have forgotten their roots.
"The last time we were up on the Hoe we were playing the Soundwaves Festival in the 90s," Matt said.
"We also played the Cooperage a few times which was a great little venue.
just great to come home. Fortunately we've had a bit of a break and
we've had the opportunity to get back in touch with old friends.
"We've been spending a fair bit of time in Devon and we've found a new rehearsal space down here so we've been fairly busy."
were nominated for the doctorate by Lou Ramsay, entertainments manager
at the Students Union and Joff Cooke, general manager of the Students
David Coslett, the Dean of the Faculty of Arts at the
University of Plymouth, said: "Muse are recognised as being not only
one of the most exciting live bands in the world, but also a band which
pushes musical boundaries and they have won many awards reflecting
this, including five MTV Europe Music Awards, four Q Awards, four NME
Awards and two Brit awards.
"The University of Plymouth is
delighted to be able to give its public recognition of their
achievements by awarding them honorary degrees."