Someone interviewed Chris and it legit just turned into a set list discussion, here's your answers angry MUSE MU users - shame nothing will change tho, it's Matt's decision.
We had the chance and the honor to interview Chris, here is the contents of our interview! It is with apprehension and a lot of excitement that our admin met Chris, ready for the interview. He was really welcoming and made our admin feel very comfortable from the outset of the conversation.
We started by talking about Simulation Theory. In three words, Chris described the album as: “uplifting, positive, and very 80s”.
Muse France : We currently know 5 songs from the new album, can you describe the others?
Chris : It’s really hard to describe really, there’s a lot of different influences on the album but I think that the 80s kind of anchors everything. What we tried to do and think I have already noticed is to mix the theme of the 80s with many other things. The 80s were really great, it was actually about taking things to different areas and putting them together to create something a little bit more timeless, particularly with the films, I think we did that a lot with films. There are a lot of styles on this album, there are things more electronic, there are stuff more rock, it’s a real mixed bag. There might possibly be one of the song that comes out before the album is out.
Muse France: What is your favorite song on the album, if there is one?
Chris: I really like Something Human, it’s a really great song, I think it’s really different you know. The lyrics, its acoustic nature make it does not sound like a traditional Muse song. It’s not what I would call a typical muse song at all. There’s also a song called « Algorithm » which is the first track on the album, I think it’s pretty awesome.
Muse France: We cannot wait! There are bonus tracks on the album, including acoustic versions. Do you think you will play them in their acoustic form or even do an entire gig in acoustic?
Chris: We definitely thought about it, I don’t know if we will do an acoustic gig.
Muse France: You know fans would love it! * Chris laughs *
Chris : When we first went to America, all of the radio stations wanted us to do acoustic sets to play live on radio and we did quite a lot of them in the early days and I don’t know…I don’t know if it really worked, but we were younger then and maybe the way that we would do it would be different now. We are talking about it for the next tour. I think there will be a small part of the concert dedicated to acoustic songs. To be honest, I think some of the music that we do now sound better to be performed in acoustic, not like the music we were doing during the Showbiz and Origin of Symmetry eras. I do not think Plug in Baby goes well in acoustics. It just does not work * laugh *. But, if we look into the latest albums, I think we can find songs that go well acoustically speaking. So, we’ll probably integrate that within the setlists. It’s something that we would like to incorporate within the live sets but wether we actually go and do a full unplugged tour, I don’t know.. Maybe one day, maybe when I’m old !
Muse France: It’s a suggestion ahah * Both of them laughted *
► We then discussed a little bit more about the gigs. In November, the band will have 8 albums to their credit. We asked Chris how the band makes a setlist with so many albums.
He explains that it is not easy to do. When the band had only 1 or 2 albums it was quite obvious, and even had to add B sides at the time to be able to reach the 2 hours of concerts requested by the festivals. It was from the fourth album that they had to make choices in their discography:
“So it was like great we got 4 albums, we can pick the perfect setlist and make changes around. And then you go on for maths, and you’re just like “shit, we got to match” ? How do we not put Plug In Baby in the set ?”
He then explained his vision and especially why some new songs do not stay for a long time in the setlists. According to him, today people do not necessarily listen to new albums in full. They listen to the songs that go on the radio, the top tracks on Spotify … He noticed during the Drones World Tour that everyone knew Psycho and the atmosphere on this song was great, then when playing a title a little less known as Reapers, this atmosphere was coming down. However, he qualified his words, stating that obviously hardcore fans of the first rows know everything but having an overview of the venue, he realized that some songs arouse less enthusiasm than others when we take the entire audience in account.
Muse France: So, it’s important for you to play songs that the whole audience will know?
Chris: No, not necessarily, but when you play in arenas, stadiums or festivals, you want to keep some energy during the whole concert. Generally speaking, if we feel that one of our songs makes the atmosphere going down, we wonder: “Maybe this song is not in the right place or maybe we should not play it and replace it with another “. So it’s very difficult because we are really connected with our fans, especially our hardcore fans and we know what they want. During the by-request concert at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire we knew what people would choose, there were 1 or 2 surprises, but I could guess the setlist easily, because I had seen on Twitter and Instagram which songs people were waiting for. But we don’t want to forget any fan and we try to take into account the opinion of everyone, although it is not easy, to offer what seems to us to be the best solution to keep a very energetic atmosphere throughout of the concert. So, we did this concert at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire, where it was the first time we played old songs. It was really one of the funniest shows we’ve done in years and playing songs like Easily … well … when I saw it on the setlist, I thought, “I don’t even remember this song. I literally could not remember it because we had never played live. I had to listen to it to remember it.”
In conclusion, the group really wants to forget none of their fans and really take the time to compose the setlists to create the best gig possible. He added, “With the new album, there will be 11 more songs to pick from. I don’t know, maybe we’ll have to play longer sets. “
► Then we ask him if there are some songs they have never played live and that the band would like to perform.
He explained that in the end, very few songs have never been played in albums and that many B-sides have also been played.
Chris: “There are some songs like Butterflies and Hurricanes for example, which is my favorite that I would play well every night with pleasure. By the way, I think Butterflies & Hurricanes came back from time to time.
Muse France: Yes, yes, you played it at Bercy in 2016.
Chris: oh yes that’s right! But I think we will do more rotations in the setlists and they will be longer.
Muse France: To finish, would you like to say a word for your French fans?
Chris: Well, you know, France has always been a very special place for us. The first time we came, we felt a special connection with French fans, I don’t really understand why or how it happened. It was also the first time someone asked me for an autograph.
Muse France: Oh really?
Chris: Yes …. * Laughs *. When we did our first concert in 1999 in Paris, it was the first time that we really felt like a band. Because among all the places we played before, people did not care. And then we came to France, and to Paris in particular, where the fans seemed to love us. We were really surprised that so many people came to see us play. I think that, since that time, we have always had this very special connection with the French public and it has been an awesome journey … really! * Laughs *
Now it’s time to leave Chris, he agreed to take a picture and we offered him a small package with typical French gifts: Macaroons and French tea, Chris was happy and laughed saying “Good! I like food ” !