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Muse Bassist Says He Had to Stop Drinking or Die

Kevin Winter, Getty Images

We already know that the new Muse album marks a creative milestone for the band, which found itself at least in part inspired by the dubstep sounds of artists like Skrillex — but for the band’s bassist, Chris Wolstenholme, it marked a new personal beginning as well.

The new album, ‘The 2nd Law,’ found Wolstenholme working clean and sober — a marked contrast from their last release, during which his bandmates were often forced to work on their own to get around his inability to function during their sessions. “Drinking all day every day is pretty bad,” he admitted during a new interview with NME. “It’s when you start getting to that point where you realize you can’t function without it, where you wake up in the morning shaking and the first thing you do is go to the fridge and down a bottle of wine. That’s how bad it was. I was incredibly unhealthy, overweight, a mess.”

Wolstenholme was forced to confront his alcoholism — and his father’s. “There was only two ways to go: die in a few years or stop. The same happened to my dad, he was 40 when he died. I’d just turned 30 and it was that realization that if I go the same way I could be dead in ten years. Ten years is not a long time.”

Ultimately, he was able to move beyond his addiction, which ended up inspiring a pair of songs on the new album: ‘Save Me’ and ‘Liquid State.’ “Both of those lyrics were written at that time when I’d stopped drinking,” Wolstenholme reflected. “‘Liquid State’ was written about the person you become when you’re intoxicated and how the two of them are having this fight inside of you and it tears you apart. ‘Save Me’ was about having the family, the wife and kids and, despite all that crap that I’ve put them through, at the end of it you realize they’re still there and they’re the ones who pulled you through.”

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