Simulation Theory (album)

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Cover Art by Kyle Lambert
Alternative Cover Art by Paul Shipper
Muse album
Name Simulation Theory
Tracks
  • 11 »
  • 16 (Deluxe Edition)
  • 21 (Super Deluxe)
Total length Unknown
Recorded 2017–2018
Writer/composer Matthew Bellamy, Dominic Howard, Christopher Wolstenholme
Producer Muse, Rich Costey, Mike Elizondo, Shellback and Timbaland
Art work Kyle Lambert, Paul Shipper
Publisher Helium 3, Warner, A&E Records
Format(s)
  • CD, CD (Deluxe), 2LP, download, cassette »
  • 2CD+2LP (Muse.mu Exclusive Deluxe Edition)
Catalogue № Unknown
Release date 9th November 2018
Chart position Unknown
album chronology
Drones
Simulation Theory
Singles
Muse-Dig-Down-2017.jpgThoughtcontagionartowk.jpgSomething Human cover art.jpg


Information

Muse's eighth studio album, nicknamed by Dom the 'I Don't Wanna Ruin It For Everyone' album, is the proper follow up to Drones, will be released in November 2018.[1]

The album deals with the themes of virtual reality, simulated reality and about 'the idea of fantasy becoming real', as mentioned by Matt in an interview, he also mentioned that another reason of writing this album was because 'simulations are becoming something that’s part of our everyday life.'. [2]

Background

The first time when Muse began to speak about the eighth album was in September 2015. According to Dom, they were discussing the direction for the new album and that this album must be really different from the other releases. Dom also said: «I think it's time to kind of lose our minds a little bit more in the studio and delve into some new areas of music that we're kind of not that used to or comfortable with. I think we should definitely do that and kinda go for it. Yeah, we've got small ideas about how we think we can evolve. That's the key thing: evolving.»[3]

In one of the interviews in 2016 Howard said that Drones might've been their last album as it is. As he said «The world is a very different place. And the way people consume music is very different than it used to be. So we've been talking about just releasing small groups of tracks, or just singles, for quite a number of years now.»[4]. In another 2016 interview for Virgin Radio France, Bellamy mentioned that they might start recording and working on new material by the end of 2016. He also mentioned that they might use more electronic elements or orchestral elements and take the experimental approach again for new material, as opposed to their recent album's more basic approach (using guitar, bass and drums).

At the 2016 Q awards, Bellamy said that they might release a song or two in 2017 but it's unlikely that a new album would come out that year, more likely in 2018.

On August 30th, 2018, an album pre-orderwas announced, along with an official release date of November 9th 2018. It also includes downloads of already released singles from the album, plus the song "The Dark Side" and early access to tickets for the upcoming tour.

The cover art for Simulation Theory was created by artist Kyle Lambert - best known for creating the illustrated posters for Stranger Things seasons 1 and 2, among other various film and TV projects. This is the first time that the band members have been featured on an official studio album art cover. An alternate cover art image by Paul Shipper was also released on the same day and features in the Super Deluxe version of the album. Shipper has created various art covers and movie posters, with an instantly recognisable art style - from Star Wars to a variety of Marvel Cinematic Universe films.

Recording

During 2017, both Bellamy and Howard posted several posts of themselves working in the studio as well as Dom liking some Instagram comments posted by fans, pointing out to new material, suggesting that they are probably working on new material. After a fan met both the band and Tommaso Colliva outside Air Studios, he cited them saying that they have recorded 3 new songs, one of which is presumably going to be a heavier song.[5]

On May 18th, 2017, Muse released a new song called "Dig Down", that they confirmed would be on the next album. It is probably not one of the original three songs recorded in March, as Dig Down was written in early April 2017.

On October 11th, 2017, the band announced that they were back in the studio in Los Angeles with Rich Costey, who previously helped Muse produce Absolution and Black Holes and Revelations. The band also teased instagram followers with a few photos during recording sessions.

During an interview with KROQ on December 9th, 2017, Bellamy revealed that they're mixing a new song called "Thought Contagion". The release date and artwork were subsequently revealed in ealry February of 2018 on Muse's Instagram before the song was released on February 15th, 2018.

When interviewed on KROQ's The Kevin & Bean show on February 15th, 2018, Matt said they are currently working on 10 songs for the album, and they have got "four or seven songs in the bag", but they might record a few more spare songs in the future. He mentioned they have plans to release three or maybe even four additional singles in this year before releasing a full album later this year/earlier next year. Additionally, he also said the new album was inspired by a British sci-fi series Black Mirror.

According to Howard, speaking to Matt Wilkinson on Beats 1 Radio, aired on February 16th, 2018, the upcoming album will be very different from the previous album having "a lot more weird synths and stuff". On the same day Bellamy, during an interview on The Woody Show on ALT 98.7 radio, also mentioned a possibility of the album being released in the fall of this year.

When speaking with a French Radio RTL2 on February 26th, Bellamy mentioned that they're going to try to produce one song with Timbaland in the first two weeks of March. He also mentioned, in the same interview, that Thought Contagion will likely be the most traditional style and that the next song they plan to release in the future will probably be a surprise in a very different style. In the same interview, he added that the main ideas and themes of the songs in the album will revolve around simulated reality and the idea that people in the future will be able to live in any point in the past with the help of VR.

Release

During an interview at the 2018 Rock in Rio festival in Lisbon, in June of 2018, Bellamy mentioned the July release of the new single titled Something Human. He also said that they are in the middle of finishing the album and that it'll be released in November, with another possible single release in Autumn, before the album itself drops.[6]

When interviewed on Kroq's The Kevin & Bean Show right after the Something Human premiere on July 19th, Bellamy mentioned that they're currently finishing mixing and they have 11 tracks in the bag, apart from one song, for which they'll do more recording in the upcoming two weeks. He also said that they're going to include 7-8 bonus tracks, all of which are going to be acoustic/alternate versions of the songs on the main tracklist (Dig Down featuring a gospel choir). In the same interview, a November album release was also mentioned.[7]

On August 30th, The Dark Side was released (not as a single). With it also came information about the track list, the album name and the album cover. Roughly 3 weeks later, on September 24th, Pressure was also released, but again not as a single.

During the taping of Taratata in September, a 30 second clip of Propaganda was played to the studio audience.

Album Name

The Badge

The first hints of the album title appeared on the Thought Contagion video, with a cassette dubbed 'Emotionality Rush' which was an anagram for the album.

At the premiere of the Drones World Tour film, some cinemas gave away some badges with some letters scattered around the Muse logo on which fans decoded as 'Simulation Theory'

Simulation hypothesis (the theory of simulation) proposes, that everything that exists in real world (including the Universe), is an artificial computer simulation and relies o development of simulated reality. This theory has been a main plot device for many sci-fi books, movies and tv shows.

Track list

Standard CD/Digital

Deluxe Edition CD

  1. Algorithm
  2. The Dark Side
  3. Pressure
  4. Propaganda
  5. Break It to Me
  6. Something Human
  7. Thought Contagion
  8. Get Up and Fight
  9. Blockades
  10. Dig Down
  11. The Void
  12. Algorithm (Alternate Reality Version)
  13. The Dark Side (Alternate Reality Version)
  14. Propaganda (Acoustic Version)
  15. Something Human (Acoustic Version)
  16. Dig Down (Acoustic Gospel Version)

Super Deluxe Edition CD/Vinyl

CD 1/Vinyl 1

CD 2/Vinyl 2

  1. Algorithm (Alternate Reality Version)
  2. The Dark Side (Alternate Reality Version)
  3. Pressure (Ft. UCLA Bruin Marching Band)
  4. Propaganda (Acoustic)
  5. Break It To Me (Sam De Jong Remix)
  6. Something Human (Acoustic)
  7. Thought Contagion (Live)
  8. Dig Down (Acoustic Gospel Version)
  9. The Void (Acoustic)
  10. The Dark Side (Alternate Reality Instrumental)

Cassette

Side A

Side B

Personnel

Incomplete

Muse


Additional personnel

  • Mike Elizondo - Co-Production, Keyboards, Drum Programming (Dig Down)
  • Adam Hawkins - Engineering (Dig Down, Something Human, The Dark Side)
  • Adrian Bushby - Engineering Assistant (Dig Down)
  • Tommaso Colliva - Additional Engineering (Something Human)
  • Tom Bailey - Additional Engineering (Something Human)
  • Mark 'Spike' Stent - Mixing (Dig Down, Something Human, The Dark Side)
  • Michael Freeman - Mixing (Dig Down, Something Human, The Dark Side)
  • Ted Jensen - Mastering (Dig Down)
  • Rich Costey - Production (Thought Contagion, Something Human, The Dark Side), Mastering (Thought Contagion), Engineering (Something Human)
  • Chris Gehringer - Mastering (Thought Contagion)
  • Randy Merrill - Mastering (Something Human)
  • Noah Goldstein - Additional Production (Something Human)
  • Collin Willard, Dylan Neustadter, Sam Grubbs - Production Assistants (Thought Contagion, The Dark Side)
  • Brent Arrowood, John Prestage, Laurence Anslow, Phillip Broussard Jr.- Additional Engineering (Dig Down)
  • Aleks Von Koff, Martin Cooke, Rob Bisel, Tyler Beans - Additional Engineering (Thought Contagion, Something Human, The Dark Side)
  • UCLA Bruin Marching Band - Percussion (Alternate Reality version of Pressure)
  • Timbaland - Production (Propaganda)

Eighth album recording gallery

Simulation Theory gallery

References

  1. Chris Moyles for Radio X. (2018). Chris Moyles meets Muse. Retrieved 2018-07-12 from Youtube.
  2. Bobby Olivier. (2018). Muse's Matt Bellamy Talks New Single 'Something Human' & 'Simulation' Themes on Upcoming Album. Retrieved 2018-07-23 from Billboard.
  3. Luke Morgan Britton. (2015-09-30). Muse will 'delve into new music and lose our minds a little bit more' on next album. nme.com. Retrieved "2015-09-30" from nme.com.
  4. George Varga. (2016-01-06). Muse may have made its last album, says drummer. sandiegouniontribune.com. Retrieved "2016-01-06" from sandiegouniontribune.com.
  5. Antonio Ludovico. (2017-14-03). Fan Instagram post. instagram.com. Retrieved "2017-14-03" from instagram.com.
  6. Blitz. (2018-06-25). Muse-Matt Bellamy dos Muse: “Portugal foi provavelmente o primeiro país a acolher-nos”.. blitz.sapo.pt. Retrieved "2018-06-25" from {{{dom}}}.
  7. KROQ. (2018-07-19). Muse on New Song 'Something Human': "It's Our Soft Side". youtube.com. Retrieved "2018-07-19" from Youtube.