The members of Muse played in separate bands during their stay at Teignmouth Community College and Coombeshead College in the early 1990s. The formation of Muse began when Bellamy successfully auditioned for the part of guitarist in Dominic Howard' band. They asked Chris Wolstenholme, who played drums at the time, to learn to play bass guitar for the band. Wolstenholme agreed and took up lessons.

In 1994, under the name Rocket Baby Dolls and with a goth/glam image, the group won a local battle of the bands contest, smashing their equipment in the process. "It was supposed to be a protest, a statement", Bellamy said, "so, when we actually won, it was a real shock. A massive shock. After that, we started taking ourselves seriously". Shortly after the contest, the three decided to forego university, quit their jobs, change the band name to Muse, and move away from Teignmouth.