Music has the unrivalled power to create communal bonds that stand the test of time. Two fans are intrinsically linked the moment they hop in the queue to watch their favorite artist. The connections run even deeper from the perspective of the people on stage that everyone is filing in to see. These shared experiences in the name of music can drive a group closer together as bandmates become family who are dedicated to a common goal.
As part of Jim Beam’s mission to inspire this sense of belonging in others, we continue to celebrate the unique brotherhood and bond behind internationally renowned rock band Muse. In fact, whether bourbon or music, both of their own successes run family deep.
Muse has been perched at the peak of rock music’s mountain top for the better part of two decades and the run is due to their brotherly bonds. “The band is like a second family,” explains front man Matt Bellamy, who co-founded Muse alongside bassist Chris Wolstenholme and drummer Dominic Howard when they were all teenagers. “When life-changing things have happened to either of us, we’ve always come together to help each other through it,” says Wolstenholme. “As individuals, all three of us are very different people, but we’ve always been there to support each other.”
It’s their investment in brotherhood and community that made the trio the perfect headliners for Jim Beam’s Welcome Sessions—a series of intimate shows that spotlights the importance of belonging and Muse’s special relationship with their community of fans.
The band’s success—which includes multiple number one albums, a pair of Grammys and a plethora of sold-out tours all across the globe—epitomizes the mantra that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. In Muse’s case, their “whole” includes family members, childhood friends, schoolteachers, club owners and the passionate fans that have followed their journey every step of the way. Which speaks to Jim Beam’s DNA, Jim Beam® Bourbon has long celebrated the belief that you only truly feel connected when belonging to a community – a sentiment rooted in the brand’s two-century history of bringing people together
They’re the first to tell you that without the backing of their wider community, they wouldn’t have made it far and that’s a truth most people can relate to. Regardless of your chosen path in life, making it without support is virtually impossible because in a lot of ways we’re a culmination of the people that’ve influenced us.
It’s a view that’s shared by Freddie Noe, Master Distiller of the Fred B. Noe Distillery, Freddie, son of Fred Noe, Jim Beam’s 7th Generation Master Distiller of the James B. Beam Distillery. Noe speaks earnestly about the pivotal role that Beam’s family ties have played in his life. “Two of those who have helped me are my dad and my grandad who I’ve learned from and leaned on. Also, the community in Kentucky, many who work at the distillery, and I count as family. And that has been true since we came here way back in 1795 and were some of the first people to establish a life in the area. And I can tell you; we wouldn’t have even made it off the ground if Jim Beam and his son, T Jeremiah, hadn’t had the help of the community. That community built the first distillery in our backyard, brick for brick by hand. A lot of people say it takes a village to raise someone. It also takes a village to run a distillery.”
For Muse too, it has always felt like family. Each member contributes to the success of the whole. “It’s been a wild ride,” Howard states. “It’s an incredibly close, family working type relationship that we have.”
Banding together for one common goal isn’t always about pushing someone or something to new heights. The role sometimes requires administering a reality check. Bellamy knows this all too well. “Being with a couple of school friends that knew you before any kind of success, we can always keep each other in check—especially in terms of ego,” he admits. “When you start to think, ‘I might be something important here,’ they go, ‘No, you’re not. Don’t forget, we remember when you were some little skinny kid in school.’ I think that really helps us.”
There aren’t many bands that can say they’ve remained together for over two decades like Muse, with their original lineup still intact and taking no hiatuses. The trio has managed to do it thanks to their genuine love and appreciation for each other and the communal spirit that’s been a cornerstone of their success. “The enjoyment we get from being on stage and watching people jumping up and down and having a great time to our music, it’s too important to let go of,” Wolstenholme says before asserting: “We have to stay together.” Thankfully, it sounds like Muse has no plans of slowing down anytime soon.