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Rock&Folk: In what way is this album different from The Resistance?

Matt: The songs, most notable altered by the birth of my first child (Le Bingham), are more personnel than before. That’s the case with Madness and Follow Me. Certain songs talk about love and relations between people. Others continue where The Resistance left off, but I think that the division between genres is more noticeable : There are songs that are classic rock and others that are totally electro-pop. “Supremacy” and “Survival” are songs made for stadiums, while Madness and Panic Station are for the radio. Without forgetting the songs that Chris sings!

Chris: It is certainly the album the most rich in terms of ambiance and genres. The pieces are very different and risk surprising people. “Panic Station” is essentially funk and there is even dubstep on certain pieces (laughs).

 

R&F: Chris, will it be difficult for you to sing and play bass for the song Liquid State live?

Matt: Ya, good luck with that!

Chris: Honestly, I have no idea how I will do it (laughs). I will just have to practice.

 

R&F: When do you know you have to start writing new songs?

Matt: On my part, I write bits and pieces and I am almost always writing. But at the end of the day, I want to play with my two friends ( I think he means Chris and Dom). We need to isolate ourselves from the normal world.

 

R&F: What is the “normal world” ? The life of a young father or of a musician?

Matt: Woah. Vicious question … (laughs). In fact, I think it is better not to establish a separation between the two. Chris has six children and knows exactly what I am talking about. Over the course of the last few years we’ve had to mix those two lives and now they are just one.

 

 

Just the first few questions.

I might be off on certain things. A very rough translation.

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She didn't...but i still find that hilarious because of the connotations of the phrase 'groupie' :LOL:

 

Well there were rumours at the time (most likely false) that she did know...but I won't go there. :p

 

It is quite funny in any case. Naughty Matt. :chuckle:

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Rock&Folk: In what way is this album different from The Resistance?

Matt: The songs, most notable altered by the birth of my first child (Le Bingham), are more personnel than before. That’s the case with Madness and Follow Me. Certain songs talk about love and relations between people. Others continue where The Resistance left off, but I think that the division between genres is more noticeable : There are songs that are classic rock and others that are totally electro-pop. “Supremacy” and “Survival” are songs made for stadiums, while Madness and Panic Station are for the radio. Without forgetting the songs that Chris sings!

Chris: It is certainly the album the most rich in terms of ambiance and genres. The pieces are very different and risk surprising people. “Panic Station” is essentially funk and there is even dubstep on certain pieces (laughs).

 

R&F: Chris, will it be difficult for you to sing and play bass for the song Liquid State live?

Matt: Ya, good luck with that!

Chris: Honestly, I have no idea how I will do it (laughs). I will just have to practice.

 

R&F: When do you know you have to start writing new songs?

Matt: On my part, I write bits and pieces and I am almost always writing. But at the end of the day, I want to play with my two friends ( I think he means Chris and Dom). We need to isolate ourselves from the normal world.

 

R&F: What is the “normal world” ? The life of a young father or of a musician?

Matt: Woah. Vicious question … (laughs). In fact, I think it is better not to establish a separation between the two. Chris has six children and knows exactly what I am talking about. Over the course of the last few years we’ve had to mix those two lives and now they are just one.

 

 

Just the first few questions.

I might be off on certain things. A very rough translation.

 

Thanks James. Sounds like it might be an interesting interview. Btw that stuff about more personal songs, and songs about love and stuff, Matt was saying that last promotion as well. I distinctly remember it. :chuckle:

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Did you not understand what she said or something? "wat" doesn't really mean anything.

 

I thought what Hannah said was quite obvious.

 

The lack of punctuation and weird sentence structure made me not understand properly. Plus english is not my first language

Edited by fabripav
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The lack of punctuation and weird sentence structure made me not understand properly. Plus I'm english is not my first language

 

I think she was saying that The 2nd Law will be similar to Absolution and TR in terms of mixing political/apocalyptic songs and personal songs. Not sure though.

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There were quite a few love songs in the resistance, I'm pretty sure, like absolution and TR the 2nd law seems to be following that balence of end of world/war/economic energy mess whatever and relationship songs again

 

Yes this is true. Undisclosed Desires was definitely personal because Matt said so.The other two love songs, may or may not have been personal, but that still makes the same number of relationship songs. I suppose we have the two personal songs from Chris as well this time. Additionally, I've just thought, perhaps he is referring to there being more overlap in the themes this time between personal issues and world issues.

 

In The Resistance, there could be no personal element, by any stretch of the imagination, in songs like Uprising or Unnatural Selection for instance. Survival on the other hand, could have a personal element.

 

PS I forgot, Resistance, as well, was claimed by Matt to have a personal element.

Edited by CarrieB
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My lovely friend translated this for us!

“There is even dubstep”

 

MUSE

 

The British trio has definitely imposed their law with a six album that explores all the facets of ‘grandiloquence’.

 

It hasn’t been twenty years that they’ve played together, but almost. In retrospect, in a big decade, the three of Muse reign as small masters over a sort of outrageous prog-metal like glam; they know to be open to other influences. Because they no longer frolic in the same court as Coldplay or U2, their new CD ‘The 2nd Law’ often makes you think (Follow Me, Big Freeze), Matt Bellamy, Chris Wolstenholme and Dom Howard have decided to give it their all. This sixth album could well be that which finally breaks America. Metalomanie, hip-hop, classic music, disco beats, allusions to Queen, sounds of guitar pilfered from Robert Fripp and fragments of trippy riffs, you find it all in Muse’s arsenal, and especially when the world is at their feet. One problem, a part of the musical press (and their readers too) have disliked Muse and, in their native England, their Olympic song Survival has ‘spilled gallons of ink’, none of it very nice. Muse, with their fifteen million sold albums, their numerous awards and good fortune know this. But they don’t suffer. More than ten years after the first meeting, we find ourselves once again in a Parisian palace with Matt and Chris, trying to answer their question of the year: what is the point, in 2012, of psychedelic rock?

 

Rock&Folk: how is the new album different to The Resistance, the previous album released in 2009?

 

Matt Bellamy: The songs, notably those altered by the birth of my first child, they are more personal. It’s the case of Madness or Follow Me. Some talk about love or relationships between people. Others join in with the continuity of The Resistance, but I think that the division between the styles is more visible: there are songs very classic rock and others totally electro-pop. Supremacy and Survival are made for stadiums, unlike Madness or Panic Station which are for the radio. With forgetting the songs Chris sings!

 

Chris Wolstenholme: It’s certainly our richest and most diverse album. The pieces are very different and may surprise people. Panic Station is squarely funk, and there is even dubstep in some [laughs].

 

R&F: Chris, it’s going to be difficult to play the bass part in Liquid State and sing at the same time…

 

Matt Bellamy: yes, good luck!

 

Chris Wolstenholme: Seriously, I don’t know how I will do it [laughs]. I will have to practice it to death.

 

R&F: At which point did you feel it was time to start writing new songs?

 

Matt Bellamy: for my part, I write odds and ends of songs all the time, but, after a while, the want to play them which my two friends takes over. You want to escape normal life.

 

R&F: What is normal life? That of a young dad or that of a musician?

 

Matt Bellamy: Oh! Vicious question [laughs]… In fact, the thing is to not establish a separation. Chris has six children and he knows very well what I mean. Over the course of the last year, we have been able to mix the two lives up to a point that there is no more than one.

 

R&F: It is no longer the era of Led Zeppelin, when the party was on the tour and boredom at home…

 

Matt Bellamy: no, and also my fiancée (actress Kate Hudson) loves the music [laughs]. She is the best groupie in the world.

 

Chris Wolstenholme: It isn’t a type that has disappeared completely. After an 18-month tour, you take a break, but it never lasts too long.

 

R&F: Muse has always been criticised as the pompous side of music but, more so than its predecessors, the new album seems to reflect what is happening in the world today: giddiness of the moment and pronounced decadence…

 

Matt Bellamy: I try to always understand the meaning of things, those that happened behind the economic crisis, conflicts… The title The 2nd Law is a direct reference to the energetic dependence which is the nerve of the war. Animals and Unsustainable talk about it. It is about equally a quest for our own ‘energy’, which allows you to postpone the inevitable, our death and the end of the world.

 

Chris Wolstenholme: Our personal battles are present in the music and lyrics, which are witness equally to all that happens around us, even that which is less obvious.

 

Like a concerto

 

R&F: What in your music some controversies, born to a press not always receptive of your music, that qualifies it as arrogant?

 

Chris Wolstenholme: I can understand why they think that, but these people said the same think about Pink Floyd, no? Muse is not an easy-to-like group. The worst critiques especially give us the need to be better.

 

R&F: Living on this planet is becoming less and less cool…

 

Matt Bellamy: The differences are more and more important and life is brutal for too many people. After a while, the salvation of man does not lie with intelligence, culture or social success, but more with the chance to be born in the right place. Man doesn’t want the flame of energy to extinguish itself and it’s equally valid for a couple, which I evoked with Madness. To live as two is the more formidable thing in the world, and also the most complex.

 

R&F: On this subject, Muse has existed for a while: eighteen years! Do you have a secret?

 

Matt Bellamy: Yes, you must adapt to the evolution to others. Ditto for the music: on this CD there are songs that I could never have imagined writing at the start of the era.

 

Chris Wolstenholme: We don’t exactly come from a place known for its rock and roll and we had to fight to impose ourselves, and it has notably tightened the bonds between us all. That’s not to say that you don’t ever fight, but you’ve grown up together and you’re proud of what you’ve accomplished.

 

R&F: Are you the type to have it all written out before you enter the studio?

 

Matt Bellamy: Yes, although Madness and Chris’ songs were practically born the moment they were recorded.

 

Chris Wolstenholme: Origin of Symmetry is still our last CD we wrote on the road. But since, we compose without submitting to the limitations of live music. The rock trio is the essence of our sound, but we play about in the studio.

 

R&F: and you sound like you are 25…

 

Matt Bellamy: Effectively, but if we collaborate with an orchestra or a choir, it is an honour to record them live as soon as you can. On this album, the most sophisticated songs, like Survival that I approached like a concerto, have been played in a trio, in a very ‘rock-ish’ way. And then on stage, we have Morgan Nicholls with us, a multi-instrument-man who is a bit like the fourth member of Muse.

 

In the mind

 

R&F: ten years ago, you were three reserved types who made rock of madness, of the genre no need for delirium in life, we do that in our music. Today, nothing has changed, on the contrary…

 

Matt Bellamy: There is truth in that, and it verifies itself notably with Madness, with is truthfully something crazy, a sort of mad conversation with myself. Our music is surging theatre and the dramas that I don’t experience elsewhere. And this is because it is our nature that we don’t get bored.

 

R&F: Muse is one of the major groups in the rock world nowadays: what is missing from your list of conquests?

 

Matt Bellamy: on the musical side of things, I hate that we don’t have many acoustic albums, more calm ones.

 

R&F: In fact, some start out chilled, but you always finish with a mounted piece.

 

Matt Bellamy: You’re telling me! When I left the studio after having thrown out the foundations of Madness, it was a tranquil piece, minimalist. When I’d returned, two days later, Chris and Dom have put everything in it and I said to myself: again failed! [laughs]

 

R&F: And America, you fantasise about it like it was fantasised about by English groups in the 60s?

 

Matt Bellamy: Oh, yes. You like to think you’ll be as popular as U2, but for fifteen years now, Coldplay is the only English group that have had success there.

 

Chris Wolstenholme: It’s not a thing that you think about when you start, you’re already very content that you’re known on home soil. To go everywhere in the world, you are surprised but then you want something more. To be in a group, it’s also the best way to travel [laughs]. It is what more people dream about, and they pay us for it. It’s crazy, no?

 

R&F: At a time, your music is very ambitious, and you are not obsessed by being on TV. We say that Pink Floyd deserves more merit for ‘breaking America’ with their music rather than with songs made with autotune…

 

Matt Bellamy: Yes, and that’s the reason why we have always considered the conquest of America like the ultimate challenge.

 

R&F: And Survival, the song for the Olympic Games, how did that come about?

 

Matt Bellamy: In truth, it had been part written when it we chose it. But some of the elements, it addresses the notion of competition, that corresponds the spirit of it well.

 

Chris Wolstenholme: Me, I am very into sport: I adore football and I was delighted when London was chosen as the Olympic city. But that seemed distant. Suddenly, here it was and you understand the importance of its creation and its stakes. And necessarily, you write the song more.

 

R&F: And it was a good way to watch some matches for free, no?

 

Chris Wolstenholme: Absolutely, it’s included in the package [laughs].

 

R&F: More seriously, in which regard do you see the evolution of the CD industry?

 

Chris Wolstenholme: It’s quite terrible, that CDs no longer sell. Music has become easy to throw away or even forgettable. My generation made the effort to buy CDs and when we were a little disappointed with our purchase, you forced yourself unconsciously to like it, because you had paid for it… And you nearly always discovered formidable things. Sadly, people download things, sometimes blindly, and they forget them in the corner of a hard drive.

 

R&F: it’s also the end of the pockets with so many things to read, stickers to peel…

 

Chris Wolstenholme: Yes, it’s a shame. We have worked with Storm Thorgerson and understand the importance of the visual.

 

R&F: The fall of sales explains in part the rise of ticket prices at a concert. Do you think the groups are responsible to give more to the public live?

 

Chris Wolstenholme: In the past, a group’s career may have been marked by albums. Today, it’s marked by the tours. Musicians must offer a spectacle of quality. Muse has always held that the public should leave out concerts with the image of the stage imprinted in their mind.

 

Matt Bellamy: You will verify all that at Bercy in October. You won’t wait ten years to see us again this time?

 

R&F: Er, no. Promise.

Edited by Livs
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