Great Marmite Bands Part #493298: Muse.
In a world of safe, predictable, eagerly-devoured playlist fodder, you always need that other option. Love them or hate them, that Muse provoke such polarised opinions warrants respect alone. In fact, the very reason they're collosal rock stars now is because they shake things up so much; if you've heard the new single, you'll surely know that they're anything but predictable.
Ahead of the release of their fast-approaching fourth album Black Holes And Revelations, DiS grabbed five minutes with bassist Chris Wolstenholme.
What are your thoughts and feelings on your new album?
“We’re really pleased with it. With this album we set out to really try and achieve something and make every song as good as it could be. We had a little more time than usual to mull over the tracklisting and which songs we wanted to use or cut (about four weeks) so it all had a little time to settle in and we each got the chance to take the album home and listen to it in its entirety before making any big decisions.”
Having heard the single, a lot have been taken aback by the new sound; can we expect this across the album?
“The album will certainly shock a lot of people, but not for the same reasons (as the single did). Overall the sound is very, very different to a lot of our back catalogue – it’s a definite move on from Absolution. In retrospect there were always one or two songs we weren’t entirely satisfied on that release, but given the extra time we know we have made the right choices with this one.”
How do you feel about the album leaking last week?
“It’s not really that big a problem; record companies make a big deal about ‘stamping it out’, but it’s a big help to artists – we have certainly noticed an increase in our fanbase since the internet has been used for music distribution. Especially among people who, like us, grew up in small, quiet areas of the UK and don’t have easy access to good record shops. It’s just a shame the leak was so low quality – we heard something about it being a mono recording, which obviously wont showcase all the hard work we’ve put in in the studio.”
What have you been listening to recently and who has influenced you on this album?
“To be honest, we’ve been more influenced by film soundtracks than we have by other bands. Obviously a few influences have crept in – we’ve noticed a few tracks coming out sounding very Queen-esque. But yeah, mostly we’ve gone for film score music, especially Westerns.”
Muse shows have always been unrelentingly ambitious; I remember when you wanted to drop huge weather balloons on the audience from a helicopter at V2001. What can people expect from your live show this time around?
“Our shows have always been very much a visual experience as well as the audio. We have a few days coming up when we’re going to rehearse the show and talk about what we’re going to try and achieve. This summer will be mostly spent playing festivals, doing the regular circuit and you can’t really expect to come in and make all these demands about your stage show when so many other bands are playing so it always ends up quite toned down visually – something we aim to amend with some spectacular solo shows towards the end of the year”