Christopher Tony Wolstenholme or Chris Wolstenholme is not only best known as an English musician, multi-instrumentalist and the bassist, but also famous as a backing vocalist for the English rock band, “Muse”. Today, he is recognized all over the world for his playing styles of alternative rock, space rock, progressive rock, symphonic rock, and progressive metal and classical.
Chris Wolstenholme was born on 2nd December, 1978, in Rotherham, England. But later on, at the age of 11, he moved to Devon with his family. He started to grow interest in music at an early age, and during his teenage, he began to play guitar first before drums. He then played drums for a post-punk band. Matthew Bellamy (lead singer and guitarist) and Dominic Howard (drummer), the other two important band members of “Muse”, used to play together before playing with Chris. But one day, they approached Chris and asked to play bass and join their band “Rocket Baby Dolls” which later renamed as “Muse”. After Chris joined “Rocket Baby Dolls”, the band played one gig which was a battle of the bands contest at Broadmeadow Sports Centre in Teignmouth and they finally won the contest and decided to continue their career in music. Before joining “Muse”, Chris also played drums for a band named “Fixed Penalty” which was a band that covered songs by “Mega City Four” and “The Wonder Stuff”.
In December 2003, Chris married his long time girlfriend, Kelly, and they have six children: Alfie, Ava-Jo, Frankie, Ernie, Buster, and Teddi. He sang many backing vocals to most of the band songs and on Muse’s latest album, “The 2nd Law” which was released in July 2012, and also sang lead vocals on two songs, “Liquid State” and “Save Me”. Sometimes he is also seen playing guitars instead of bass in live shows (on Hoodoo, Unintended, Blackout and Guiding Light). He is also seen playing a keyboard but that too not in any shows. His favorite album is “Helmet’s Aftertaste”. Chris is a fan of Status Quo and Rotherham United. He is also seen in “Millers Colours” very briefly on the “Hullabaloo” documentary.
Chris’ bandmates have quoted many times that he is the reason for bringing rock into the band “Muse”. His biggest influence on the band is his love for heavy rock music. Paul McCartney complimented Chris as one of the highly regarded bassist in the music industry after their headline at Glastonbury Festival set in 2004. In 2011, readers of Gigwise named him the best bassist of all time. Not only this, he also holds an honorary doctorate of arts from the University of Plymouth.
Wolstenholme is seen using a Fender Precision Bass Excalibur 50 in the “Uprising” music video, a Rickenbacker 4001 Bass with a plectrum for live performances of Knights of Cydonia and Map of the Problematique, a Fender American Standard Jazz Bass Sunburst since the recording of Absolution(2003), a Gibson Grabber Bass in his studio recording for “Unnatural Selection” as well as for a live performance of “Exogenesis Symphony Part-1”, a Fender American Deluxe Jazz Bass in almost every Muse’s live songs, a Fender American Deluxe 5-String Jazz Bass, a Fender American Vintage ’75 Jazz Bass in “Blackout”, “Megalomania”, “Soldier’s Poem” and “Unintended”, a 1977 Fender Jazz Bass in his “The 2nd Law” tour, a 1973 Fender Jazz Bass for performing “Panic Station”, a Status Original Series II for “Guiding Light”, “Resistance”, “Popcorn”, “Unnatural Selection” and “Uprising”, a Status S2 Classic, a Status The Kingbass Mk II, a Mo Clifton Electric Upright Bass for recording “Unintended” and “Falling Down”. Chris also launched a Status Chris Wolstenholme Signature Bass in 2012 which is similar to Status S-2 Classic. He is also seen playing a Pedulla Rapture Bass live from 1999 to 2007.
For effect pedals Chris has been seen using a ZVex Hand-Painted Woolly Mammoth Fuzz Bass, a Korg DTR 2000 Tuner, an Electro-Harmonix Russian Big Muff Pi, an Akai Deep Impact, a Crowther Audio Prunes and Custard and a Human Gear Animato. Considering the guitars, he is seen playing a Danelectro 59 DC Black in “Unintended”, a Fender Stratocaster Electric Guitar Sunburst in live performing for “Unintended”, “Hoodoo”, “Blackout”, “Guiding light” and a Status Graphite Slipstream since 2013 to perform “Blackout”, “Unintended” and “Guiding Light”. Chris used Elites Stadium 40-100 Bass Strings during the Showbiz and Origin of Symmetry eras. He also uses the Misa Kitara to perform “Madness”.