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Answers from Matt


What's your favorite Manson guitar out of the ones you've played and what's the one you've had the most fun with?

The plain basic black ones are still my favourite, they just feel solid but lightweight and can take a beating. On the tech side, the Kaoss pad has been fun but I probably haven't utilised it as much as I could.


Matt do you still think it's weird to record vocals in front of a lot of people and if not, could it be part of a Making Of-release in the future?

I'm obviously fine on stage and with small crowds etc, but I'm not comfortable performing vocals in front of people in a studio environment because I'm trying to focus on stuff and often I make changes to lyrics midway through, so for me it's best to be alone or maybe with an engineer/producer so I can concentrate as the songs are not necessarily finished and 'performance ready' yet.


When you have the melody of a song in your mind, how do you communicate this into bass, drums and symphony arrangements for everyone?

When I'm writing sometimes the bass lines and grooves come first e.g. with Uprising, Hysteria, Time Is Running Out and Madness. I actually wrote the melody and lyrics after coming up with the bassline/groove concept. Other songs like The Globalist and Supremacy I actually start with the symphonic arrangements and everything else is added afterwards. I communicate it to the others either by humming, beat box, playing on guitar/piano or sometimes programmed demos with orchestration or drum grooves etc.


What did the composing of The International End Titles look like? Matt is credited for that along with several other composers, so it would be interesting to hear who did what.

The film composers sent pad like chords morphing across a 10 minute or so piece. I pulled out a bit that had some structure and made it repeat, added other layers/textures, rhythm and the string melodies.


Pre-release you talked about The Globalist being a sequel to Citizen Erased, and that you tried to get back into that sort of mindset while writing it. Could you elaborate on that? What were you trying to recapture, why Citizen Erased specifically, and what drove the decision to include rearrangements of several existing pieces of music into the song?

I guess Citizen Erased is loosely about a person disappearing into nothing, declining to take control/power and choosing to fade from memory rather than embrace the chaos; feeling trampled and bowing away. The Globalist is the opposite: a person taking their power/control to disturbing ends. Both could be the cause/result of the other. Both have similar progressive arrangements, both involve piano/guitar transitions and both have a big heavy low A riff. The Globalist is the dictator that rises up will certainly erase any citizens in their way!


What is your favourite classical piece to play on the piano?

I don't really have the dexterity to play complex classical pieces. I can do vague impressions. I tried a couple of Chopin pieces like ‘Raindrops’ (the prelude one) but forgot it when I tried to play it recently. I can't sight read, so it takes me ages to memorise stuff. I've not been very focussed on piano in recent years, mainly guitar, I probably need to get back on it.

How are the sheep doing?

Good! Happy enjoying the sea views.

Have you ever considered making a full classical album?

I have written standalone classical stuff, but I always manage to find a way to incorporate it into Muse. Survival was based on an entirely classical piece I wrote with no vocal or band. Same re Exogenesis, Unsustainable and Globalist to some degree. Maybe it would be fun to release an album of the original arrangements for those pieces before I attempted to make them work in a rock band context. I'm unsure there is enough material to fill a whole album yet but maybe in the future.


When you finish recording an album, is there any special ritual you always do to celebrate?

Not really. Mainly a big sigh of relief and then panic about how I'm going to explain it in interviews!


Lets think the unthinkable and say what if Muse threw in the towel, had enough and called it a day as a band. If you had the opportunity to join a band that exists today which band would you join and what instrument would you play?

Hmmm not sure. I would probably enjoy a break from being the 'front man' and just be a guitarist in someone else's dream/vision. I can't think of an example. Maybe if Chvrches wanted a guitarist that would be interesting, but for now I'm definitely happy where I am!


If you could change something in the music industry, what would it be and why?

Record labels should probably downsize to just being marketing companies who help artists for a period of time, for a %, rather than being music copyright owners who take the lion's share of things like streaming income for eternity.



What's your favourite sci fi film?



What would your Showbiz era selves say about the music you make now?

Wow, weird.


What's the first thing you do when you get home after a long tour?

Relax, play with Bing, relax, try to find some sun to lie in, play with Bing, relax.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Answers from Dom.


The question for Dom. In one of the interviews you said you love cooking. When was the last time you cooked something other than sandwich or a snack? What was it?

I do love cooking and cook all the time when I’m home. The last thing I did would have been a beef roast dinner about three weeks ago, before we were out for the UK tour. I BBQ a lot as well.


Is there any plans for Vicky Cryer to reform or what is just a one off project?

I feel like this was a bit of a one-off, but you never know. Trying to get everyone’s schedules to line up was the tricky part.


Considering how many times Matt has chucked a guitar in your direction, have you ever felt like throwing something back?

All the time! Normally just verbal abuse rather than drum sticks!


How do you feel about fans constantly asking song request or questioning setlist choices?

It’s great! The fact that some people really care about what the setlist is is amazing and we do take note of what people are talking about and asking for; then we attempt to play them!


Do you think you guys will ever reach the point of doing longer—2 and a half to 3 hour—shows like Bruce Springsteen and the Foo Fighters?

I’ve always felt like two hours is the max for me. Both viewing and playing.


Where do you store gifts that you received from fans especially the one you receive on tour? What has been your favourite gift?

I have a dressing room case with my clothes in it that gradually fills up with stuff like that over the tour. At the end of the tour I’ll have a good route through and take home the best stuff!

What's been holding you back from playing "Aftermath" and "Defector" from Drones?

We played Defector recently in a sound check and it was good. Sometimes the planets need to align for everything to feel right for us to play something and also it can be nice to save a couple of tracks to look at down the line. I think we will play them both one day!


As Drones is a concept album that is telling a story, have you thought about doing a one off show to play it in its entirety or perhaps commission a Broadway style show that follows the story of the protagonist?

I’ll go and see the Green Day one first!


Which rarity do you most enjoy playing?

Anything off the first album is a bit of a rarity these days. We played Sunburn recently which felt good. I want to play Glorious and Matt is always like ‘fuck off’...


How would you describe your fans?

Cool as fuck.


Have you ever sit back and go 'That was utterly insane! Why did we do that? What were we thinking?!’

I think we’ll say that after this Drones tour is done! An acrobatic alien dropping out of a UFO above the crowd was pretty insane. Looked cool though!


Do you guys have any music recommendations for your fans? What are you listening to right now?

Run the Jewels.


Have you ever consider making gigs audio and/or video available for download to your fans for a fee?

Yes we have been thinking about this and working towards it for years. I think there is something slightly daunting about the spontaneity of it all as we’d only ever want it to be great, which is generally the main aspect of pressure we are applying to ourselves all the time. It’s hard for every gig to be amazing, but we do try.


With the backlash over the "loudness war" and vinyl records regaining popularity, it seems there is a growing number of music fans that are paying much closer attention to audio quality. Remasters of classic albums also seem to be very prominent recently. With that in mind, would you ever consider remastering some of your albums in the future?

Yes I think this is inevitable as technology moves forward and formats evolve. Its nice to see vinyl having a resurgence, but digital music is reaching a very high standard these days. It used to suck when it first appeared!

How do you think your musical taste have changed with age?

This is something I’ve noticed and thought about over the last few years, but if anything they have broadened a lot and I tend to listen to more genres. Rock music used to be the only thing I needed when I was in my teens and maybe early twenties, but now I need a lot more to be really inspired. So I listen to hiphop, pop, electronic, metal or whatever is good!


Your fans seem to crave smaller shows - would you ever consider doing a small venue club tour (on a bigger scale than the Psycho Tour)?

Yes the Psycho tour was really good to play. The energy in the small place is so obviously different than somewhere big, which we definitely enjoy. It’s also nice that it's more about the music rather than production, so I think we will always go back to playing smaller places every now and then to feel that energy.


When writing new music for an album, do you ever think about exploring specific types of genres, or do you let the creative process take you wherever it takes you?

The tracks typically take on their own journey in the studio and can radically change, sometimes completely change genres. But I’d say when this is happening the tracks can get inspired by certain genres rather than attempting to make a track in a specific genre. If that makes sense!

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  • 1 month later...

Answers from Chris:


How did you enjoy playing football with fans? Is it something you will consider doing again in the future?

Definitely. It was great fun to get the fans involved. Although the problem was that more people turned up to watch than actually play. Will do it again sometime for sure.


You've commented on the changing face of music releases and the decreasing relevance of albums. Part A: Would a piecemeal approach mean more frequent release of new music in the form of singles? Part B: Would you consider releasing the odd acoustic track in this manner?

I don’t think you could ever rule anything out in the future. It’s very clear that the music industry has changed massively and I think artists have to adapt to that. If that means releasing more individual songs than albums then I think that’s fine. I do feel we will still do albums, but maybe not quite as frequently. Who knows. The whole industry changes so fast these days!


Was it tough for you mentally to be so popular in Europe but then come to the U.S. and still be relatively unknown? Or did you kind of enjoy being able to have two different identities, so to speak?

To be honest I quite liked it. One of my favourite tours was our first proper tour in the USA. We had just come off the back of the Absolution European arena tour and went into two months of playing small club shows in the USA. It was like experiencing being a new band again. There was something really refreshing about selling out Wembley Arena and struggling to sell 800 tickets in New York.


When you complete an album do you ever feel like a song still needs to be edited or tweaked? If so, which ones?

I don’t think a song is ever really finished. There are always things that could be done differently, but I think sometimes you just have to draw a line under things and move on. You could drive yourself crazy thinking about all of the things that could have been done better. It’s better to learn from things and try to do them better next time.


What advice would you give to any young musicians trying to start a band or writing music?

I’ve always said that the main reason to make music should always be for pure enjoyment. If a hobby can turn into a career than it’s fantastic, but even if it doesn’t you should still be able to enjoy the music making process.


Any plans on recording or working on film scores?

There are no solid plans at the moment. We still have a fair few gigs to do and after that I think we will take a bit of a break.


If you had to do a show for people who have never heard about you which 5 songs you would choose to represent who you are as a band?

Plug in Baby

Stockholm Syndrome

Knights of Cydonia




Muse have a large variety of music videos. Some have more imagery and seem to be taken more seriously than others. How much direction do the band members give for the videos and what is the filming process like? Do you guys enjoy making them in general? Are there any videos that stand out to you (from Muse or others) as well executed?

Making videos has always been a pretty painful process if I’m honest. You spend most of the day sitting around waiting for something to happen. I think that’s why we did things like the Panic Station video. Something that we pretty much shot ourselves with some friends and had a good time doing. In terms of direction, I think sometimes Matt has a very strong idea as he may want something that ties into the meaning of the song. Other times we can be quite open to input from directors.


Have the inner band relationships changed over time? Of so, in what way? Do they keep in contact when not on the road or in the studio?

I think the relationships have changed a bit but only in the sense that we aren’t kids anymore. When we started we hung out a lot together, but as you get older and start to have families then you tend to spend more of your personal time away from the band. We spend so much time on the road together anyway.


During Muse's early days, the band did acoustic renditions of their album songs. Do any of you think about doing any additional acoustic work in the future, or does the band feel that doing acoustic work is something that's already been experimented with enough?

I think the only time we ever really did acoustic stuff was on our first couple of trips to the States. We used to do a fair few acoustic sets at various radio stations. The last acoustic set we did was for Jo Whiley on the radio the morning after headlining Docklands Arena. It was a bit of a mess if I remember rightly and from that point onwards we never really did them.

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