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About Unidentifiable

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  • Birthday 09/03/1993

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  • Interests
    Piano, long-distance running, tennis, science
  • Occupation
    chemical engineer
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  • Favourite Bands
    Maximo Park, Foxy Shazam, Everything Everything, The Darkness, Marina & The Diamonds, RATM, Mika, The Hoosiers
  • Favourite Films
    District 9, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Toy Story 2
  • Favourite TV Shows
    Psych, Breaking Bad, Black Books, The IT Crowd, Peep Show, Top Gear
  • Favourite Books
    The Spirit Level; anything by David Baldacci; Thinking, Fast and Slow. The Great Gatsby
  • Muse Releases Owned
    All studio albums + HAARP
  • Muse Concerts Attended / Attending
    T in the Park 2010, Brighton Dome 2015

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  1. 1. Black Holes and Revelations 2. Origin of Symmetry 3. Absolution 4. The Resistance 5. Simulation Theory 6. Drones 7. Showbiz 8. The 2nd Law
  2. The main riff sounds very like RATM’s Microphone Fiend cover, listen from about 2:45 in that song
  3. Agreed - this is from their (4.2, worst rating for a Muse album) BH&R review: Black Holes was created in all earnestness by three dudes in Hot Topic shirts advancing a vision of rock music that operates on three fundamental assumptions: 1) distortion is always better than no distortion; 2) every measure of music should contain at least one drum fill; and 3) the future will be dominated by robots. Muse leave no room for compromise on these points. 😂
  4. Get Up And Fight is way more similar to Follow Me than Revolt IMO, especially the chorus which is super-derivative of it. It and Dig Down are probably the only ones I dislike though, album sounds really decent on first listen.
  5. Transcript part 2: He says he prefers to play a Star Trek video game plugged into people all over the world, and his point, I guess, is that if we build up relationships from the ground, the future may be kinder. That is nice, but optimistic. Does he actually encourage disengagement from reality? “I don’t encourage disengagement for the sake of disengagement,” he says. “But I’d encourage people to remind themselves what it is to have fun with others that has nothing to do with tribal mentality.” The problem with this positive vagueness is that Muse songs have a tendency to be co-opted by those they disagree with. Bellamy is a “left-leaning libertarian”, but a few years ago his strident anthem Uprising was picked up by the right-wing political pundit Glenn Beck for his own neocon purposes. Get Up and Fight could go the same way, despite being about Bellamy’s uncle’s cancer, but that is always a risk when a pop star challenges political thinking, yet doesn’t pin their colours to any actual political mast. Couldn’t he be more specific? “I would never affiliate myself with any particular group,” Bellamy replies, as expected. “Fundamentally, I am against party politics. The concept of a party is a hijack of democracy.” What is the alternative? “Exactly. Do I have the alternative? I don’t know.” And from there he launches into a sort of economic wish list for Britain: how we must think of politics three-dimensionally; the Nolan Chart; oscillations; meta-modernism; abolition of the Lords; how “the concept of nature should be state-owned, activated via land value taxation”. Agree or not, you just don’t get this from the Kooks. Does he vote? “Yes, but I vote for the underdogs,” he says, smiling. “I’ll give you a clue — I tend to vote in the environmental direction.” Dom Howard is dressed in scruffy black, with a semi-directional haircut. He is the sort of rock star who physically points when making a point, which is rather David Brent, but he’s a man clearly living his best life, and that enthusiasm is quite infectious. I ask if he ever understands what his old friend Bellamy is going on about. “I’ve got no idea!” he says, and I’m not sure how much he’s joking — but they are close, having grown up together in the weirdest job possible. “What’s changed?” Howard asks of their move from the album Showbiz to actual showbiz. “We were naive, introverted kids. Self-conscious, figuring stuff out. We took everything too seriously and, in hindsight, life’s too short. We went into the second album needing to be a bit more elaborate, and since we opened that door, well...” He laughs. Their most recent album included one 10-minute song with a co-writing credit for Edward Elgar. “I was in a darker space back then,” Bellamy says of their breakthrough. “Then I went through some violent, quick changes — because, during the touring of the second album, I had to meet strangers all the time, and people would tell you they hate you or love you. You have to find yourself in that somehow, and confront thousands of people expecting you to be great all the time on stage. It was sink or swim and I managed to stay afloat, basically.” Live, Muse are loud, terrific and undeniable: three men and a lot of special effects wowing stadiums worldwide. When I saw them in 2007, at the new Wembley, it was a blast, and the show has only got more complex since. Bellamy says there is something addictive about trying new things, and that is why Muse in 2018 are nothing like the moping indie heroes — Sonic Youth, Ned’s Atomic Dustbin, the Wedding Present — they worshipped in 1998. When, I ask, was the turning point to this extremity? “It was gradual,” he says. Wembley, he argues, was absurd to them, then they got hooked on finding the limit. They originally aimed for sweaty clubs and sweaty vibes, but once you’ve pranced around a stadium in an LED suit on building-sized bright pillars, it’s hard to go back to playing Plymouth Uni. It seems funny, perhaps, when Bellamy tells me that he stays hidden in the background on family occasions, and that he never really wanted to be a rock star, but Devon didn’t have many singers, so he had little choice. What’s left to do? He shakes his head at the idea of the absolutely unexpected: an acoustic record. “I’d love to play the Egyptian pyramids, though,” he says. “That would be interesting.”
  6. Transcript: Twenty-odd years ago, when Muse emerged, their songs were concise — four minutes of hard indie rock with a big chorus. There was nothing to scare the horses in the excellent Plug in Baby or Time Is Running Out, but then in rode Knights of Cydonia (Bohemian Rhapsody for Morricone nuts) and a three-part symphony called Exogenesis — not to mention gigs with drones — and things got ridiculous. “I can generally say,” says Matt Bellamy, their lead singer, who talks at a reckless pace, “that whenever we go to an operatic sphere and the lyrics get conspiratorial, spacey — well, that stuff gets slagged off.” Does he enjoy that, given that his music is about testing boundaries? “Nobody enjoys being slagged off,” he says, baffled to be asked. “But we have a complicated relationship with both our detractors and hardcore fans. Even they hate certain stuff. This love-and-hate thing is just something we’ve learnt to accept.” I wonder if he and his bandmates, Chris Wolstenholme (bass) and Dom Howard (drums), who met at school in Devon, go into each album and guess which songs people will say “Oh, they’ve really done a Muse there” about. Bellamy laughs. A short, thin man in a red and black biker jacket, he is great company. Honest and humorous about his outlandish rock band (Spinal Tap for Radiohead fans), he has a pleasing self-awareness, despite being the sort of bloke you imagine will be hugely disappointed to go through his entire life without meeting an alien. Muse’s new album, their eighth, is Simulation Theory. It is the simplest they have sounded for 15 years, with tracks such as Get Up and Fight and The Dark Side recalling the immediacy of their first records, a rush almost entirely absent on their 2015 outing, Drones. One song is military disco rock, another a lot like Prince. They are still the world’s least subtle band, with lyrics largely about humans as cogs, but this was a conscious effort, Howard says, to “trim fluff”, and the results only embellish the idea that Muse don’t so much fit into a genre as are one. It’s impressive to have that heft two decades in. In an interview for their debut album, Showbiz, Bellamy said the substance of his lyrics — anguish, mostly — came from dealing with the death of relatives and his parents’ split. What, then, I ask this 40-year-old millionaire rock-star dad of one who lives in LA, is the substance behind Simulation Theory? “It’s almost a wonderful lack of substance!” he says, bursting out laughing and continuing to cackle. At one point in the interview, he turns down a second cup of coffee because “I’ll get all jittery”. Bloody hell. Anyway, the “lack of substance” line was only half a joke, given that, during the making of Simulation Theory, he not only bought a VR headset to play games with, but went to Nevada’s festival of nudity and niceness, Burning Man, four times. “It’s the feeling,” he continues, far more seriously, “of reacting to the political landscape and realising I don’t really want to know about the world any more. It’s about wanting to escape. It’s a desire to find the fun and the point in my own brain when I was a child, and things just seemed wonderful and easy.” What in particular is he trying to retreat from? “The inability to find common ground,” he says. “When you switch on the news, you see people arguing all the time, and it’s a turn-off. People are retreating from engaging because it’s unpleasant. One of the political statements on the album is the fact that wanting to disengage with debate is becoming more attractive than engaging with debate.”
  7. Tbf, there’s a generous way you can interpret smoledman’s comment whereby they’re not being racist, just implying Matt is. But let’s be honest, that’s not much better.
  8. I honestly consider Dig Down my least favourite Muse song. The vocal melodies are literally the first thing you’d think of over a gospel-y chord progression, the guitar solo is laughable noise and there’s that “when God decides to look the other way / and a clown takes the throne” bit that’s just the KoC lyrics rewritten (more clunkily, of course).
  9. Well, there’s a trumpet backing the guitar riff in the verses
  10. Well, at least it's not going to be as self-serious in tone as Drones (which was kinda ridiculous for an album that had Psycho on it). This reminds me of the cover for Owl City's latest album
  11. This song is miles better than Dig Down, as the vocal and instrumental melodies are way more like Abso-era Muse (and not ripped off from another song!). The mixing and overall tone is a lot more poppy, but I don't mind that. It's probably the closest I've felt to when I heard Supermassive Black Hole for the first time. The worst aspect is the "woah" and that the chorus is just a long drawn-out "thought contagion".
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