Dominic James Howard (born 7 December 1977) is an English musician, best known as the drummer, percussionist and co-producer for the rock band Muse. He also contributes to the synthesizer and electronic-based elements found in their music.
Dominic Howard performing at Air Canada Centre, 2013.
|Birth name||Dominic James Howard|
7 December 1977 |
|Instruments||Drums, percussion, synthesizer|
Howard was born in Stockport, Greater Manchester, in England. When he was around 8 years old he moved with his family to Teignmouth, a small town in Devon. He began playing drums at about the age of 12, when he was inspired by a jazz band performing at school.
Howard's first band was named Carnage Mayhem, which he was in at school. Meanwhile, he befriended Matt Bellamy, who played guitar but did not have a stable band. Not long after, Bellamy was offered the chance to join Howard's band. After two years of drop-outs, Bellamy suggested that they write their own songs, and only Howard and Bellamy remained. Chris Wolstenholme, who played drums in "Fixed Penalty", then entered the scene and with a great "spirit of sacrifice" he began to play bass.
In the first months of 1994 Gothic Plague was born, followed by Rocket Baby Dolls and then finally Muse.
Howard is left-handed and drums on a left-handed drum kit. He also played drums in Vicky Cryer with Jason Hill from Louis XIV.
Muse released their debut album, Showbiz, in 1999, showcasing Bellamy's falsetto and a melancholic alternative rock style. Their second album, Origin of Symmetry (2001), expanded their sound, incorporating wider instrumentation and romantic classical influences, and earned them a reputation for energetic live performances. Absolution (2003) saw further classical influence, with orchestra on tracks such as "Butterflies and Hurricanes", and became the first of five consecutive UK number-one albums.
Black Holes and Revelations (2006) incorporated electronic and pop elements, influenced by 1980s groups such as Depeche Mode, displayed in singles such as "Supermassive Black Hole". The album brought Muse wider international success. The Resistance (2009) and The 2nd Law (2012) explored themes of government oppression and civil uprising and cemented Muse as one of the world's major stadium acts. Their seventh album, Drones (2015), was a concept album about drone warfare and returned to a harder rock sound.
Muse have won numerous awards, including two Grammy Awards, winning the Grammys for Best Rock Album for The Resistance and Drones, two Brit Awards, winning Best British Live Act twice, five MTV Europe Music Awards and eight NME Awards. In 2012 the band received the Ivor Novello Award for International Achievement from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors. Muse have sold over 20 million albums worldwide..
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Described as an alternative rock, space rock and progressive rock band, Muse mix sounds from genres such as electronic music, progressive metal and art rock, and forms such as classical music, rock opera and many others. In 2002, Bellamy described Muse as a "trashy three-piece". In 2005, Pitchfork described Muse's music as "firmly ol' skool at heart: proggy hard rock that forgoes any pretensions to restraint ... their songs use full-stacked guitars and thunderous drums to evoke God's footsteps." AllMusic described their sound as a "fusion of progressive rock, glam, electronica, and Radiohead-influenced experimentation." On the band's association with progressive rock, Howard said: "I associate it [progressive rock] with 10-minute guitar solos, but I guess we kind of come into the category. A lot of bands are quite ambitious with their music, mixing lots of different styles – and when I see that I think it's great. I've noticed that kind of thing becoming a bit more mainstream."
For their second album, Origin of Symmetry (2001), Muse wanted to craft a more aggressive sound. In 2000, Wolstenholme said: "Looking back, there isn't much difference sonically between the mellow stuff and the heavier tracks [on Showbiz]. The heavy stuff really could have been a lot heavier and that's what we want to do with [Origin of Symmetry]." Their third album, Absolution (2003), features prominent string arrangements and began to draw influences from artists such as Queen. Their fourth album, Black Holes and Revelations (2006) was influenced by artists like Depeche Mode and Lightning Bolt, as well as Asian and European music such as Naples music; additionally, the band listened to radio stations from the Middle East during the album's recording sessions. Queen guitarist Brian May has praised Muse's work, calling the band "extraordinary musicians", who "let their madness show through, always a good thing in an artist."
Muse's sixth album, The 2nd Law (2012) has a broader range of influences, ranging from funk and film scores to electronica and dubstep. The 2nd Law is influenced by rock acts such as Queen and Led Zeppelin (on "Supremacy") as well as dubstep producer Skrillex and Nero (on "The 2nd Law: Unsustainable" and "Follow Me", with the latter being co-produced by Nero), Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder (on "Panic Station" which features musicians who performed on Stevie Wonder's "Superstition") and Hans Zimmer. The album features two songs with lyrics written and sung by bassist Wolstenholme, who wrote about his battle with alcoholism..
In 2004, Howard's father, William Howard, came to watch Muse's performance at Glastonbury Festival. Just after their performance finished, William died from a heart attack. The band then cancelled other shows including an Italy tour. The band released a statement "In this dreadfully difficult time, we request that the privacy of Dom's family and friends is respected".
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