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Muse France Interview

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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 ” !

 

http://muse-france.com/interview-de-chris-par-muse-france/

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I'm still puzzled by this argument that they pick the songs based on crowd enthusiasm.

 

I've never seen a crowd go nuts for the ever-returning Resistance, for example.

 

Unfortunately when I saw them in Philly for the Drones tour people were pretty amped for the chorus, and I desperately want that song to be dead on this upcoming tour

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Longer sets, more rotation, there ya go (terms and conditions, aka Matt agreeing, apply).

 

Slates PIB acoustic though and I ain’t on that :phu: nice to know the alt. versions are being considered for live play

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"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 era"

 

Muscle Museum, Falling Down, Sunburn, Hate This & I'll Love You, Unintended and Cave all work great acoustic, wtf you on about Chris

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Literally can’t even think of a naff one tbh.

 

Actually, maybe Space Dementia was a bit weird.

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I kind of agree with him. What makes these songs epic is their sound and they would be pretty generic or boring if you took away the electric guitar, synth etc. We like acoustic renditions but that's partly (I would say mostly) because we already like the song in itself, I'm pretty sure that if we had heard the acoustic version first we wouldn't have cared for it much.

 

For instance, I love piano Cave, but if I'm honest it's mostly because I just love Cave and I have it somewhere in my head when I hear the piano version. I think if I'd heard the piano version first I wouldn't have given it a second listen.

 

And yeah, PIB would simply not be PIB without the fuzz and the power it has as it is. Same with New Born, Bliss, etc. I can't even imagine what Micro Cuts or Showbiz would sound like.

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PIB acoustic is legit great, has a qaint, happy MOYH-ish vibe.

 

Feeling Good acoustic is also maybe better than the original for me

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Acoustic Muscle Museum is still my favorite. Though like most of them, only really suitable for intimate or radio gigs.

 

Then again, Unintended was a Wembley highlight for me (on the DVD anyway).

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I kind of agree with him. What makes these songs epic is their sound and they would be pretty generic or boring if you took away the electric guitar, synth etc. We like acoustic renditions but that's partly (I would say mostly) because we already like the song in itself, I'm pretty sure that if we had heard the acoustic version first we wouldn't have cared for it much.

 

For instance, I love piano Cave, but if I'm honest it's mostly because I just love Cave and I have it somewhere in my head when I hear the piano version. I think if I'd heard the piano version first I wouldn't have given it a second listen.

 

And yeah, PIB would simply not be PIB without the fuzz and the power it has as it is. Same with New Born, Bliss, etc. I can't even imagine what Micro Cuts or Showbiz would sound like.

Well they're only playing the acoustic versions to people who already know them. It's not like they have to release them as singles. Pretty much all artists who do acoustic versions have to sacrifice detail, and that's pretty much the point. Acoustic versions are MEANT to be stripped down. And I wouldn't say that Muse are only epic because they use synths and electric instruments. Personally I love their melodies but hey, maybe that's just me

 

Oh and

I can't even imagine what Micro Cuts or Showbiz would sound like.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TyDGnQxLrZg

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W48pirvuXsA

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Tbf the Drones tour had a couple of rotations here and there. Not as many as it could've done, but enough to keep it fairly interesting.

 

Hopefully the lack of a 12 minute Globalist+Drones will allow the setlist to lengthen a little.

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Tbf the Drones tour had a couple of rotations here and there. Not as many as it could've done, but enough to keep it fairly interesting.

 

Hopefully the lack of a 12 minute Globalist+Drones will allow the setlist to lengthen a little.

 

That should free up two songs at least. I still can't believe they played Drones twice at every gig.

 

Chris' words are quite encouraging, the band getting so burnt out on the Drones tour could have been so easily avoided if they had more faith in their back catalogue and varied things for those multiple night venues, could have been done even without any b-sides or ultra rarities as well.

 

If the summer gigs are indeed stadiums shows I'd like to think they'll be doing 20/21 songs again, I've always thought they tend to get the balance pretty spot-on with the bigger gigs.

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Ideal world, 22 minimum.

 

17 main set

3 encore one

2 encore two

 

7-8x ST

7-8x 'Classic' singles - Plug In Baby, Time Is Running Out, Hysteria, Starlight, Supermassive, Knights Of Cydonia, Uprising, Madness, Psycho, Mercy.

3-4 'Niche' singles - Sunburn, Muscle Museum, New Born, Bliss, Map, Undisclosed Desires, Follow Me, Supremacy, Dead Inside.

2-3 fan favourites - Showbiz, Citizen Erased, Dead Star, Butterflies, Stockholm, Ruled By Secrecy, Take A Bow, Assassin, MK Ultra, Unnatural Selection, Reapers.

1-2 deep cuts - take your pick

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Ideal world, 22 minimum.

 

17 main set

3 encore one

2 encore two

 

7-8x ST

7-8x 'Classic' singles - Plug In Baby, Time Is Running Out, Hysteria, Starlight, Supermassive, Knights Of Cydonia, Uprising, Madness, Psycho, Mercy.

3-4 'Niche' singles - Sunburn, Muscle Museum, New Born, Bliss, Map, Undisclosed Desires, Follow Me, Supremacy, Dead Inside.

2-3 fan favourites - Showbiz, Citizen Erased, Dead Star, Butterflies, Stockholm, Ruled By Secrecy, Take A Bow, Assassin, MK Ultra, Unnatural Selection, Reapers.

1-2 deep cuts - take your pick

 

Exactly , this is so simple and everyone will be happy.

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I predict they will settle on 24 full songs during stadium tour, with at least three-four "big breather" moments for Matt (unless he starts doing goddamn cardio again).

 

A "sample" setlist:

 

1. Intro of some sort + Algorithm

2. Thought Contagion

3. Hysteria

4. The Dark Side

5. MOTP

6. Pressure

7. Panic Station

8. Jam 1

9. Propaganda

10. SMBH

11. Dig Down

12. Space Dementia (lol)

13. Jam 2

14. Starlight

15. Dead Inside

16. TIRO

17. Break It To Me

18. Reapers

 

19. Jam 3

20. The Void

21. Blockades

22. Stockholm Syndrome

 

23. Soldier's Poem

24. Something Human

 

25. Mercy

26. Survival

27. KOC

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I don't get how Muse don't understand the problem with Reapers. I remember Tom also tweeting about it, wondering why nobody moshed to it.

 

It's in my top 10 Muse songs but live, it's not provoking much of a reaction. The way the song is structured, it hasn't got that tempo that gets people jumping up and down. It's just one of those songs you just have to watch and admire. It's only at the end when the crowd reacts and the mosh pits start. I'm sad they've stopped playing it, and it doesn't look like it'll be coming back any time soon... :(

Edited by Picko

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I wish they could have heard after that interview how generally satisfied people were during The 2nd Law era. That was the same conundrum of multiple albums and a mostly casual audience but whatever they did seemed to work at pleasing the hardcore fans.

 

Or who knows, maybe from their perspective it didn't work for everyone.

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