Muse have "always looked up to" Iron Maiden.

The 'Won't Stand Down' hitmakers - comprising Matt Bellamy, Chris Wolstenholme, and Dominic Howard - "connected" over 90s American bands such as Nirvana, but always admired the "punk rock" attitude of the heavy metal veterans.

Matt told Classic Rock magazine: "Metal has always been around for us.

“When we were growing up we were listening to bands like Iron Maiden.

“And though we connected more through Nirvana, Rage Against The Machine and the Smashing Pumpkins, we always had this love for eighties metal. Metallica were also a big one for us, but Iron Maiden were the British band and also felt a bit more punk rock in ways.

“The song ‘Phantom Of The Opera’ [from Iron Maiden’s self-titled debut album] doesn’t feel as bloated or overtly classical as other metal songs. There’s still something quite angry and scary about it. That’s why Maiden are a band we’ve always looked up to.”

Matt also spoke of his admiration for Swedish guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen but admitted when he realised he'd never attain his technical mastery of the instrument, he opted for "noise, chaos and carnage" instead.

He said: “Yngwie was one of those people I got into in the early nineties when I first started playing. Clearly back then, I thought there was a chance! After a while I realised I simply couldn’t get to where he was, and sort of veered off towards more classical and flamenco guitar styles.

“Then I started listening to players like Hendrix and Cobain and felt: ‘You know what? I can do chaos. I can’t do this unbelievable technical precision, but what I can do is create a mess.’ So I went down the road of noise, chaos and carnage…. and little elements of the other things stayed with me.”