Chris Wolstenholme

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Chris Wolstenholme
Wolstenholme performing with Muse in 2018
Wolstenholme performing with Muse in 2018
Background information
Birth nameChristopher Tony Wolstenholme
Born (1978-12-02) 2 December 1978 (age 41)
Rotherham, South Yorkshire, Yorkshire and the Humber, England
Occupation(s)Musician, multi-instrumentalist
InstrumentsBass, vocals
Years active1991–present
Associated actsMuse

Christopher Tony Wolstenholme (born 2 December 1978) is an English musician. He is the bassist and backing vocalist for the rock band Muse.[1]

Early life[edit]

Chris Wolstenholme grew up in the English town of Rotherham before moving to Teignmouth, Devon. There he played drums for a post-punk band. He met Matt Bellamy and Dominic Howard from another band, Gothic Plague, while both bands rehearsed in the same building. Bellamy and Howard convinced Wolstenholme to take up bass and start a new band with them, initially called Rocket Baby Dolls. The band was renamed Muse in 1994.[2]


The members of Muse played in separate school bands during their stay at Teignmouth Community College in the early 1990s. Guitarist Matt Bellamy successfully auditioned for drummer Dominic Howard's band, Carnage Mayhem, becoming its singer and songwriter. They asked Wolstenholme, at that time the drummer for another band, to join as bassist; he agreed and took up bass lessons.[3][4]

Wolstenholme's basslines are a central motif of many Muse songs; the band combines bass guitar with effects and synthesisers to create overdriven fuzz bass tones.[5] Both Bellamy and Wolstenholme use touch-screen controllers, often built into their instruments, to control synthesisers and effects including a Korg Kaoss pad or Digitech Whammy pedal.[6]

Other work[edit]

Wolstenholme featured on bass for Moriaty's 2015 single "Bones".[7] He contributed to Rick Parfitt's posthumous solo album Over and Out, which was due to be released in March 2018.[8][9]

Personal life[edit]

Wolstenholme married his girlfriend, Kelly, on 23 December 2003.[10] They have six children.[11] In April 2010, Chris and Kelly moved to Foxrock, County Dublin, Ireland.[12] In 2012, they moved to London while Muse recorded.[citation needed]

After Wolstenholme and Kelly divorced, Wolstenholme married Caris Ball on 1 December 2018, the day before his 40th birthday.[13] The couple have one child together, a daughter named Mabel Aurora Ball Wolstenholme, born in March 2020.[citation needed]

Wolstenholme is a supporter of Rotherham United, his hometown football team. He holds an honorary doctorate of arts from the University of Plymouth.[14]

In 2010, Wolstenholme told The Times that he had been a "raging alcoholic".[15] In an interview with Q, he said he would drink so much he would vomit blood, but did not grasp the severity of his situation. His bandmates had tried to broach the subject of his drinking several times without success.[16] He eventually realised that drinking would kill him, as it had his father.[17] Bandmates Bellamy and Howard explained that it took some time for them to notice how severe Wolstenholme's problem was because it did not affect his playing ability until the recording of Muse's fifth album The Resistance,[18] at which point he went into rehab.[19] Wolstenholme wrote two songs, "Liquid State" and "Save Me," about his experiences with alcoholism for Muse's sixth album The 2nd Law.[20]


  1. ^ Barrett, John. "The 20 Most Underrated Bass Guitarists". Paste Monthly. Archived from the original on 16 March 2016. Retrieved 13 October 2020.
  2. ^ "Bass Players To Know: Chris Wolstenholme". 24 June 2016.
  3. ^ Buckley, Peter (17 November 2003). The Rough Guide to Rock. Rough Guides. ISBN 1843531054.
  4. ^ International who's who in popular music, Volume 4 p.37. Routledge, 2002
  5. ^, Electric & Acoustic Bass Gear, Lessons, News, Video, Tabs and Chords -. "Too Much Is Never Enough: Muse's Chris Wolstenholme Reinvents Art-Rock Bass For The 21st Century". Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  6. ^ "Muse Gear Guide – Matt Bellamy's FX Pedals". Dolphin Music. 1 October 2009. Retrieved 26 January 2014.
  7. ^ Belton, Emily (27 January 2015). "Moriaty – Bones (Single Review) | Pure M Magazine". Pure M Magazine. Archived from the original on 6 April 2015. Retrieved 9 March 2018.
  8. ^ Nerssessian, Joe. "Muse's Chris Wolstenholme in his own words: a personal essay about Rick Parfitt –". Retrieved 9 March 2018.
  9. ^ "Status Quo – The Official Site – Rick Parfitt". Retrieved 9 March 2018.
  10. ^ "Ava Joe Wolstenholme". Twitter.
  11. ^ Lynskey, Dorian (29 September 2012). "Muse: 'We like pushing it as far as we can'". the Guardian. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
  12. ^ "Eminem to close Oxegen 2010", The Irish Times, 11 July 2010.
  13. ^ "Muse frontman Matt Bellamy interview: 'There's a time-lag with fans, where five years later they get it'". The Independent. Retrieved 10 November 2018.
  14. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: University honour for rock stars Muse". Thisisplymouth. Archived from the original on 6 October 2009. Retrieved 24 August 2014.
  15. ^ "Newspaper Large Muse Feature from The Times – Muse Messageboard". Retrieved 13 September 2011.
  16. ^ "Muse's Dom Howard: 'We gave Chris Wolstenholme an ultimatum to quit drinking'", NME, 30 September 2012.
  17. ^ "Muse's Chris Wolstenholme on alcohol battle: 'I had to stop or die' | NME". NME Music News, Reviews, Videos, Galleries, Tickets and Blogs | NME.COM. 26 July 2012. Retrieved 21 May 2020.
  18. ^ McAlpine, Fraser. "Muse's Chris Wolstenholme: 'I Was A Secret Alcoholic'". BBC America.
  19. ^ Madora, Ryan. "Bass Players To Know: Chris Wolstenholme". No Treble. Retrieved 9 March 2018.
  20. ^ Levine, Nick (26 July 2012). "Muse's Chris Wolstenholme on alcohol battle: 'I had to stop or die'". NME.

External links[edit]