Heroes and villains (20000729 NME article)

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A 2000 article with Bellamy where he mentions what he considers his heroes and villains and elaborates.

Heroes

Tom Waits

He's someone I've only got to know over the last couple of years. I saw him play live in New York, and it was one of the best gigs I've ever seen. While we were making our album, John Leckie turned us on to him. Him and Captain Beefheart. But with Tom Waits, it's really been the first time I've had that level of admiration for someone of that generation. The way he keeps his cool such old age is very sane. Has he inspired us? I think he's an inspiration that you can go on and make important music that touches people regardless of ages.

The Incredible Hulk

I never had the comics myself, but my older brother had lots of stuff like that when he was younger, and I picked them up off him. The Hulk is like this schizophrenic weirdo, but he's generally good-hearted. Even when he's lost of control, he's still got his instincts towards justice. And I liked his hair, as well. He had green skin, and blue hair, I've got blue hair right now, actually. Why? I don't know, really, it was kind of spur-of-the-moment thing. It doesn't even look very good, but I don't care. I got bored of my hair, so I just thought I'd do something different.

Music Journalists

Again, I can't really name names. We've had our share of bad [...], but you've got to not let it bother you. I think that sometimes when you get knocked it's like a [...]. And some things that people have said, I think, are actually a sort of inspiration to go back and try again, an inspiration to make mostly good music.

Rage Against The Machine

They're so pure, you know? I've know them since they first came out, and they were the first band that crossed metal with rap, and do it really well. I've seen them live about eight times this year, at festivals and I can't get enough of them, really. I think their purity, their belief in what they do, makes them seem so untouchable. At festivals, there are all these other bands - I mean, I don't want to name names, but you know what I mean - who turn up backstage and get fucked up on drugs, really out of it. But Rage Against the Machine, they arrive at these gigs minutes before they're due to play, and they just blow everything away, then they got back in these vehicles and disappear.

Ripley

Dom, our drummer, has just get hold of the Alien box set, and we've had it on the tourbus just recently, so we've been watching them a lot, and Sigourney Weaver's character in Alien has become a bit of a hero. It's like she's fighting against the human design to become like a perfect organism, to spread throughout the galaxy like a virus. Also, it was - what? - 1979 when the first Alien film came out. And she's fighting aliens with this shaved head, and this great pair of knickers. It was quite cool to see a woman, a heroine, dressed like that.

Villains

Roadrunner

When I was about four, I always use to watch that programme, and it really got to me. You see the roadrunner just torturing this coyote. The coyote dies in a horrible way every day - he gets blown up, or crushed by a rock, or something - and I just used to think it was unfair. Didn't I want the roadrunner to get away? No, because it's the coyote's right to eat the roadrunner - he's higher up the food chain. I think if they'd made the roadrunner a bit more friendly, or a bit more human, I would have understood. But I didn't ever relate to the roadrunner, I never actually wanted him to get away.

Galileo

He's the person that discovered that the earth revolves around the sun, when everyone thought that the sun revolves around us, and that the Earth was at the centre of the universe. The reason I think he's a bit of a villain is because he's taken away humanity's sense of our importance, it's that thinking that leads to the fact that our bodies have only revolved to suit the habitat that we live in, so everything loses the sense that it's unique. All question can be answered by science - there's no religion, no magic, no sense of wonder - and that's the kind of thinking that makes people wonder if their existence is worthwhile.

Joe Pesci

Joe Pesci, I think, is the ultimate actor at playing villains. As the guy in Goodfellas, and in Casino as well, he's just the perfect bad guy. It's his face that I think of, whom I think of the definition of the word villain, a really interesting character to watch. It's the gangster films that he's best in, but even in that awful Macaulay Culkin film - what's is called, Home Alone? - he [...] the show as the perfect cartoon villain.

Bent Coppers

Well, I've had experiences with the drugs squad, although I don't really want to get into that, exactly. They must have such a laugh, though, getting fucked up on all these drugs for free. But the thing that really bugs me is that they sell it back. They do sell it back. Especially down where I come from. You see the police bust it from all the things that come in, they get all these massive hauls, and it's always on the evening news. But a few weeks after it happens, you actually start buying it. And it's corrupt policemen that are making loads of money from it.

Bill Gates

Just for inventing all that shit that we don't need - although somehow, he's managed to do it so it seems like our lives depend on it. My computer keeps crashing. And no one seems to know what's going on. I've had a look in all the manuals, but it seems like they've written so you can't understand them. So inevitably, I've just spent loads of money on getting my computer fixed. Is it a conspiracy? I don't know. But I just think that our lives would probably be so much better off without them.


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