Muse in Singapore

(c) 2007 Singapore Press Holdings Limited

Muse frontman Matt Bellamy says the English rock trio is on a stopover here so he could buy rugs from Arab Street

THERE'S something about Matt Bellamy that endears him to you the moment he says 'hello'.

Bearing no rock-star airs, the 29-year-old frontman of the English rock trio Muse immediately engages you in friendly banter, transfixing you with his piercing blue eyes.

Speaking to Life! in an exclusive interview at a business lounge in Raffles The Plaza earlier this month, he is relaxed and chirpy - a stark contrast to his intense and energetic onstage persona.

Bellamy and drummer Dominic Howard, 30, were in town on a four-day stopover enroute to Australia for gigs there as part of their current world tour.

Bassist Chris Wolstenholme, 29, was in Britain and planned to meet his bandmates in Australia.

Formed in 1997 in Devon, England, the band had performed here for the first time in January to a massive crowd of more than 7,000 people at Fort Canning Park.

Their fourth and latest studio release, Black Holes And Revelations, topped the music charts in Britain, Europe and Australia when it was released last year and has sold over two million copies worldwide.

He is the son of George Bellamy, rhythm guitarist for 1960s British rock group The Tornados, and currently lives in Italy with his psychologist girlfriend Gaia Polloni, 26.

He gives Life! an update on himself and the band.

1. What brings you guys here again?

I wanted to buy some Kashmiri rugs for my house. In England, it costs thousands of pounds to buy one, so after this interview, I'm going to Arab Street to buy five rugs. Also, we just wanted to recuperate because I don't like doing two plane rides on the same day.

2. What was your impression of Singapore from your debut performance?

That show was crazy. It was a very nice compliment and surprise to see so many people at the concert. We went to a few bars last night and we met some people who recognised us. We feel very welcome here. ...