Drones (album)

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Cover art
Muse.mu Deluxe box set
Muse album
Name Drones[1]
Tracks 12
Total length 52:40
Recorded 2014–2015
Writer/composer Matthew Bellamy, Dominic Howard, Christopher Wolstenholme
Producer Muse and Robert "Mutt" Lange[2]
Art work Matt Mahurin[3]
Publisher Helium 3, Warner, A&E Records
  • CD, CD+DVD, 2LP, download »
  • CD+DVD+2LP (Muse.mu Exclusive Deluxe Edition)
Catalogue №
  • 825646121250 (CD) »
  • 825646121236 (CD+DVD)
  • 825646121229 (2LP)
  • 825646121212 (CD+DVD+2LP Deluxe Edition)
Release date 8th June 2015[4]
Chart position
  • 1 (GB, US, IT, DE, FI, AR, BE, HK, IL, PT, RU, UA) »
  • 2 (CA, EE, NO)
  • 3 (AU, AT, BR)
  • 23 (PL)
album chronology
The 2nd Law
Eighth Album
Psycho Artwork.jpgDEADINSIDEARTWORK.jpgMercyPicture.jpgRevoltBookletArtwork.jpg

The Beginning

Muse at 4th Street Recording Studios - March 8th, 2014

Matt began to write songs in 2013 in "The Unsustainable Tour" with matt trying to write it "spontaneously as possible" in soundchecks and in hotel rooms because he wanted to be "meticulous" to make it sound good and to do it all without a hurry and to slow down the whole process. [5]

In a interview at Pure FM, the broadcaster said that Matt has been rehearsing a new "riff", and asked to Dom if that "means that a new single will be released sometime soon before the new album", to which replied Dom saying that they are not going to release something brand new this year 2013 and that they are going to be back into the studio in 2014 to record their seventh album. [6]

After playing Agitated and Yes Please at Helsinki Olympiastadion Matt said; "We haven't played those songs in like 6 years... Something like that. That was a rehearsal. That's what the next album sounds like, okay?" [7] Matt said to Billboard after the iHeartRadio gig, that they are going to play in few festivals because they will be recording the seventh album in 2014 he said: "At the moment I’ve got lots of vague ideas, but writing on the road always tends to sound like what you’re touring at that point so I try to wait until we’re away from that. There might be one or two special festivals. Maybe one in America and just one in Europe. The idea is to make an album next year." [8] Matt also said at the Green Room Interview at iHeartRadio: "This most recent album is quite electronic in sound, the album before is very progressive and have a lot of classical music on it, I think the next album we might return to more so straight rock sound, kinda sounding to early albums I think"[9].

In November 2013, Matt met Rich Costey; Since The Resistance Muse has self produced their own work, this suggests that maybe a "Producer" can come back.

Sounds & Themes

Matt with Rich Costey - November 26th, 2013

In fall of 2013, Matt said that the album maybe could be a "conceptual album" but because the music industry is moving so fast, they don't know how it will end and that in early 2015 they could be releasing the new album. According to Matt, the new album will have more "rock" focusing more in traditional instruments (Guitar, Bass and Drums) [10]

An article published by NME on 16th December 2013 suggested that the new album could be ready by early 2015. "I've written some good tracks, actually" Bellamy told Triple J. "We haven't had a chance to rehearse them out yet. We'll take a break next year for a little few months and then we'll get in the studio. If it all goes very well, the new album could well be early 2015 or late 2015. Christmas 2014 might be [when we release] our next single." Bellamy said he wants to "reconnect" with the oldest elements of Muse and that he is keen to experiment less on the new songs. "I've got a pretty good picture of what I'd like the next album to be like," he said. "It's the comedown and the sort of waking up the next day being like, 'What the fuck? What the fuck? That was crazy'...I kind of feel like it will be nice to reconnect and remind ourselves of just the basics of who we are." He continued: "I have this strong feeling that the next album should be something that really does strip away the additional things that we've experimented with on the last two albums, which is electronics, symphonics and orchestral work and all that kind of stuff."

According to Matt Bellamy's interview with a German magazine, the album its a concept album with superordinate themes (such as the deep ecology, the empathy gap, world war III, the east-west conflict), that together form one, main theme of the album. [11]

According to Chris, the main focus of the album is the rocky guitar, bass and drums sound, while some songs still include synth elements, as he mentioned in an interview with xFm "It's important we went back to being a rock band. It was fun exploring the electronic side of things, and we do on this album, but most of what you hear is the guitar, bass and drums." [12]

Judging by recent interviews and reviews of the album, the album is still a very diverse album. The only difference, opposed to previous albums is that there is a return of more guitars, bass and drums on the album, which took the style of the album back to Absolution and Black Holes & Revalations, with some synth and electronic elements still on it. With Mutt Lange as their producer, all three of them could spend more time outside the control room and be together in a live enviroment after making most of their previous album, The 2nd Law by themselves, in a control room, behind different synths, therefore not being able to spend much time together in the live room.

Rehearsals and recording

On the 22nd of February, Dom updated his Twitter bio to "Raring to go on album no 7..", suggesting studio time was imminent. On the 8th of March, an Instagram photo was posted, with a description saying that Muse had started writing for their next album and that they were working at 4th Street Recording Studios[13]

However, interviews with the band during April revealed that they had not yet started recording anything for the album. Howard stated, "We're going to start this year. [Coachella] is our last two gigs, then we're completely done for touring this album. We're going to go back in May and start working on some new stuff, so I think we'll start making it this year. If we can get something out this year, that would be great, but definitely next year."

By the end of May, fans who spoke to the band revealed that they still hadn't started recording material.

On 3rd September, a tweet by @JAiggins showed a couple of Muse flight cases, accompanied by the message "Not a bad way to spend a evening working@AIRStudios @muse". It was assumed recording had begun at AIR studios in Hampstead, London, however it was later confirmed by @JAiggins that they were only rehearsing, not recording.

A Twitter used, @zzzJustinS met the band after a Royal Blood concert. Dom Howard told him that they had finished writing all the songs for the new album, and they will enter a studio in Vancouver to begin recording next week. The band subsequently began preparing to record on the 3rd October. Dom informed fans by uploading a picture to his Instagram account accompanied by the caption "The set up has started!".

On the 3rd/4th of October (time differences cause discrepancies) the official Muse Instagram account uploaded a picture of the band playing/recording in Studio 2 at The Warehouse Studio in Vancouver Canada.

Between Oct. 18th and Nov. 5th, Muse took a break from recording. As of November 5th, Muse have started working on the album again.

On his birthday, December 7th, 2014, Dom Howard mentioned on his Twitter that the album is nearly done and that "it's fucking awesome". You can see the tweet here [1]

During December 2014, Muse went to Milan, Italy to record strings.[14]

In January of 2015, Muse went to the studio and recorded additional instrument parts and finished the album. They also posted a video of Matt Bellamy recording on their Instagram.

On February 5th, 2015, Tom Kirk posted a new Tweet about the new album, implying that the recording of the album is already finished. You can see it here.

Chris Wolstenholme has updated his Twitter description on February 7th, 2015, and it says that the new album "Drones" is coming out soon. You can see that on his Twitter account.

During March of 2015, Muse took over the spaces of Air Studios in London, UK, to finish up the album.

The album was mixed in Air Studios in London and in El Dorado Studios in Burbank, California.

The Story and the Protagonists

According to Matt Bellamy, ‘Drones’ is a conceptual album which explores the journey of a human, from his abandonment and loss of hope, to his indoctrination by the system to be a human drone and eventually defection from his oppressors.

The protagonist of the story is a woman called "Mary", Matt said: "I think women have a much harder time in the world. In my head, it’s a woman called… Mary."[15]

The First Story

The story of Mary.

In Dead Inside Mary loses the love of her life, her love is unrequited and she's left behind, loses hope and feels lost, she feels abandoned and vulnerable; loses the idea of love and it leads her to a dark place and meets the Drill Sergeant which tells her that "Love, will get her nowhere". (it's kind of strange that the lyric goes :'On the outside I'm the greatest GUY, now I'm dead inside'.)

In Psycho she gets brainwashed by the military, which turns her into a psycho killer and says that her "ass" or "soul" now belongs to him.

In Mercy Mary knows and recognizes that she has lost something, she has lost herself. She tries to fight against the people trying to control her mind and making her doing stuff they want to do and hopes that someone can "save her" because she has "fallen".

In Reapers Mary loses her empathy and goes to war using drones. She tells everyone that "they can run but they're never gonna hide"

In The Handler she realizes that she doesn't want to be under control of 'The Handler' and rebels, because she doesn't want her feelings to be controlled any more, she no longer feels "afraid to walk alone".

In JFK everything does a transition. John F. Kennedy, speaks about freedom and independence, making a reference to Mary's newfound freedom.

In Defector she's free again, defects from the system, takes again control of his life and that "they can't control her", she swears that she's going to overthrow the goverment and talks about the Dictator as a "Yellow belly" (coward), "Green minded" (dirty minded or greedy) and with "Blue blood", a reference to royal blood.

In Revolt she begins to believe in herself but she also tries to inspire condifence in other people, she tries to convince all the people around her that they can "make of this world what they want".

In Aftermath after all and being tired of fighting, she finally finds someone to love and he or she assures that "from this moment they will never be alone" and that they are now "bound together and forever", their loneliness has gone, The first story ends here.

The Second Story

According to Matt, the second story is made by another man, who just like "Mary" becomes Dead Inside and defects but instead of going through a internal journey of darkness and solving that and come back to discover love, he decides to become a dictator, a power hungry maniac to inflict his pain to the rest to the world.

The Globalist narrates the rise and fall of the Dictator; The second protagonist confronts the Dictator but he tries to convice him by saying that he "was never truly loved" and that he can be his "commander in chief" and decides to give all his power to the new Dictator and throws his bombs across the world and destroys it all; After all the mess he did, he and the protagonist are left alone in the world and says that it's time to "To hunt and gather memories of the great nation we were" and he tells him that "It's gone, you know it's gone for good", in the end the new Dictator excuses himself by saying "I just wanted, I just needed to be loved".

In Drones everything ends with the souls of the dead people killed by the new dictator judging him, everything ends with an "Amen".

The Message

Matt said that he wants people to take from the album that: "The power of an individual can overcome a complex system, a corrupt corporation, a corrupt government or technology as a whole stripping out humanity; That there's something inside of us that can overcome that, even just in one person"[16]


The album is set to release on June 8th, 2015, as confirmed by the band on their Facebook. [17]

Drones is avalible for pre-ordering as of March 12th of 2015. The pre-order was announced on March 11th, 2015, when Muse published a minisite with the adress 'drones.muse.mu', which announced the date and the time of the pre-order release. The site was removed after a short while, but came back a day later, as a site to pre-order the album from. The pre-order bundle also came out with their first revealed song, Psycho.

The first official single, entitled Dead Inside, was released on March 23rd. The physical copy of the single also includes Psycho. Following this, Mercy was revealed and released as a single on May 18 with a lyric video and announced music video.

Drones will be released on CD, DVD, Vinyl and Digital. There's also a deluxe version avalible to be pre-ordered, which will, alongside the usual track list on the CD and DVD, also contain pro-shots of live performances from songs of the album, filmed during Psycho UK Tour, as well as bonus studio footage.

There is a "treasure hunt" for exclusive content, surrounding the album, at the adress [drones.muse.mu], which was up on May 29th, 2015.

The next downloadable content was Reapers, released May 29th. Those who purchased the album got a redeem code to download the MP3 of the song, while the lyric video was released on youtube (watch). While it has been released, it is not yet certain whether or not it will be the next single.

The next song that was released before the complete album will be released is The Handler, released on June 1st, 2015. This also marks the first half of the album being released before the full version, which is a first for Muse.

The album was predicted to leak very quickly, with word of a leak spreading rapidly in early May 2015. One Muser rode on this success when they released the leaked album. However, this "album" only contained the songs released up until that point and several renditions of Guiding Light afterwards. The album eventually leaked on June 2nd, 2015, just days before the release, after a shipping error, when a Muser got hold of the physical copy sent via mail.

Following the leak, Muse released an official lyric video for the next and the last song before the official release, JFK and Defector, on June 3rd, 2015.

The album was made avalible for everybody, including Spotify users, on June 10th 2015. According to Digital Spy, it is already the fastest selling album of the year and is set to be No. 1 on the worldwide charts.[18]


On January 26th, 2015, Muse uploaded a video to instagram suggesting that the album title is "Drones." [19]. On the same day (Jan 26th, 2015), Tom Kirk posted various Tweets about the topic 'Drones', such as this one and on January 29th, Glen Rowe posted this picture on his Twitter, suggesting that the album really is named "Drones".

Later, on February 5th, 2015, Muse finally confirmed the name via their Instagram account [20], as did Chris Wolstenholme on February 7th, in his Twitter description, saying that the new album "Drones" is coming out soon.

The term "Drone", in technology refers to radio-controlled pilotless missiles or aircrafts (such as military spy planes) and/or any sorts of remote-controlled robot vehicles.

From Matt: “To me, 'Drones' are metaphorical psychopaths which enable psychopathic behaviour with no recourse. The world is run by Drones utilizing Drones to turn us all into Drones. This album explores the journey of a human, from their abandonment and loss of hope, to their indoctrination by the system to be a human drone, to their eventual defection from their oppressors."[21]

Also for Matt 'drones' it's a modern metaphor about losing empathy and not care about what happens around the world[22]


On February 7th, 2015, photographer, illustrator and film director Matt Mahurin posted a picture on Instagram, saying that he's doing photography, illustration and design for the new Muse album, titled "Drones". You can also see his other work on his Instagram profile.

He finished his work in the beginning of March 2015, when he posted a photo of an external hard drive on his Instagram.

On 11th March, Muse confirmed the album cover by posting it on Instagram. The post can be seen by clicking on this link.

Psycho UK Tour

The tour was announced on March 11th, 2015 on their website. Members received a pre-sale on the same day, and general sale begins 9:30am on March 12th, 2015. The tour included dates from March 15th, 2015 in Belfast, around the UK to Brighton, Glasgow, Manchester, Exeter, and more, until March 28th, 2015.

More info on this page.

Drones festivals tour

The tour began on May 23rd, 2015 and ended July 24th 2015. To see more details about the Drones festivals tour, see this page.

Drones World Tour 2015/16

The tour will begin on November 17th, 2015. For more details about the Drones World tour, see this page

Track list


  1. Dead Inside – 4:23
  2. Drill Sergeant – 0:21
  3. Psycho – 5:16
  4. Mercy – 3:51
  5. Reapers – 5:59
  6. The Handler – 4:33
  7. JFK – 0:54
  8. Defector – 4:32
  9. Revolt – 4:05
  10. Aftermath – 5:48
  11. The Globalist – 10:07
  12. Drones – 2:51

Limited Edition Bonus DVD

Live from Psycho UK Tour

Bonus studio footage



Additional personnel

  • Robert "Mutt" Lange - Production, backing vocals (Track 10)
  • Tomasso Coliva - Engineering, production
  • Adam Greenholtz - Additional engineering
  • Olle "Sven" Romo - Additional programming
  • Eric Mosher, Tom Bailey and John Prestage, Giuseppe Salvadori and Jacopo Dorici - Assistant engineering
  • Rich Costey - Mixing
  • Martin Cooke, Nick Fourier, Mario Borgatta - Mix assisting
  • Giovanni Versari - Mastering
  • Bob Ludwig - Mastering (Track 1)
  • Alessandro Cortini - Modular synthesiser engineering
  • Durand Trench - Dialogue recording (Tracks 2 and 3)
  • Will Leon Thompson (Drill sergeant) and Michael Shiloah (Recruit) - Dialogue (Tracks 2 and 3)
  • Matt Mahurin - Art direction, illustrations, design
  • Alex Tenta - Package layout
  • Ryan Enockson, Daphne Chung - Runners in Vancouver
  • Audrey Riley - Conducting, string arrangements
  • Edoardo De Angelis - Concertmaster, string contractor

Edodea Ensemble:

  • Edoardo De Angelis, Gian Lodigiani, Valerio D'Ercole, Tomasso Belli, Ella Mariani, Gian Guera, Gianmaria Bellisario, Marco Corsini, Michelle Torresetti, Anna Minella, Freimerr Von Dellingshausen - Violin
  • Valentina, Emilio Eria, Serena Palozzi, Maria Lucchi - Viola
  • Eliana Gintoli, Francesco Sacco, Martina Rudic, Andrea Scacchi, Dellinghausen, Sarah Cross - Cello
  • Linati Omar, Massimo Clavenna - Contra bass

Seventh album recording gallery

"In the Studio" banner (via Muse's Facebook); 2 unseen pics from Instagram can be seen on it

Drones Songs Artworks Gallery

Spread Gallery

See also


  1. Muse. (2015-01-26). Instagram Video.. Instagram. Retrieved 2015-02-05 from instagram.com.
  2. Muse. (2014-10-24). Muse on Instagram: We are honoured to be making our new album with this legendary producer.. Instagram. Retrieved 2014-07-21 from instagram.com.
  3. Matt Mahurin. (2015-02-07). Matt Mahurin's Instagram post about the artwork. Instagram. Retrieved 2014-02-07 from instagram.com.
  4. Facebook. (2015-03-11). Muse announce official release date for Drones. Facebook. Retrieved 2015-03-11 from facebook.com.
  5. Ticketmaster. (2015-03-02). Die Ruhe Vor Dem Sturm. Retrieved 2015-03-02.
  6. Youtube. (2013-04-05). Dom Howard interview on Pure FM. Retrieved 2013-04-05 from Youtube.
  7. Youtube. (2013-07-28). Muse Blackout live@Helsinki 27.7.2013 [0:03-0:15]. Youtube. Retrieved 2013-07-28 from youtube.com.
  8. Youtube. (2013-09-21). Muse backstage Q&A at iHeartRadio Music Festival 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-22 from Youtube.
  9. Youtube. (2013-10-01). Muse Interview at iHeartRadio Music Festival Green Room. Retrieved 2013-10-01 from Youtube.
  10. Youtube. (2013-11-22). Muse To Focus On Real Instruments On 2015 Album. Youtube. Retrieved 2013-11-23 from youtube.com.
  11. Tumblr. (2015-03-03). Matts first Drones interview. Retrieved 2015-03-03 from Tumblr.
  12. http://www.xfm.co.uk/artists/muse/songs/dead-inside/#BG8oYL2KHEgrJ0AX.99
  13. Instagram. (2014-03-08). Instagram photo by sejonavajas. Retrieved 2014-03-08 from Instagram.
  14. Instagram. (2014-12-16). Instagram Video. Retrieved 2014-12-16 from Instagram.
  15. Matt Bellamy: "Drones is semi-autobiographical" (2015-06-10). Xfm. Retrieved 2015-06-10 from xfm.co.uk.
  16. Muse Matt Bellamy and Dom Howard Interview Sixx Sense 17-04-2015 (2015-04-17). Soundcloud. Retrieved 2015-04-17 from soundcloud.com.
  17. Facebook. (2015-03-11). Drones release confirmed by Muse. Facebook. Retrieved 2015-03-11 from {{{dom}}}.
  18. Digital Spy. (2015-06-10). Drones is the fastest selling album of 2015. Digital Spy. Retrieved 2015-06-10 from {{{dom}}}.
  19. Instagram. (2015-01-26). Drones on the Instagram video. Instagram. Retrieved 2015-02-05 from instagram.com.
  20. Instagram. (2015-02-05). Muse confirm album name. Alternative Press. Retrieved 2015-02-05 from altpress.com.
  21. Muse. (2015-03-11). Muse - Drones. Retrieved 2015-03-11 from Muse.mu.
  22. Matt Bellamy. (2015-03-23). Matt Bellamy on BBC Radio 1 - Dead Inside Premiere. Retrieved 2015-03-23.