Micro Cuts (song)
|Alternative titles||Bass Trem|
|First live performance||12th February 2001|
|Latest live performance||28th August 2011|
|Recorded||Real World Studio Wiltshire, 2001|
|Citizen Erased||<||Micro Cuts||>||Screenager|
A blend of baroque melody, high pitched vocals and metal. Matthew Bellamy uses falsetto vocals peaking at G5 during the chorus and Ab5 in descending vocals towards the end. Matt has said the song was inspired by a dream he had in which he was in desert and there were giant blades swinging from the sky.[source?]
"Micro Cuts" has been speculated to have been inspired by Prelude N°3 in D minor (BWV999) by Johann-Sebastian Bach.
Matthew Bellamy definition of Micro Cuts
"This stems from hallucinations I had of triangular blades cutting into the back of my head. It's a feeling that information is being infiltrated into your brain. I'd seen a TV programme about psychological warfare and how the government could be controlling us using a type of radiation, sending pulses to our brains. So micro cuts are cuts into your being that you can't see or avoid"
Micro Cuts is a metal song, with elements of baroque music. It's written in D minor, and moves at a very fast tempo of 160 bpm. The time signature frequently shifts between 4/4 and 6/4.
Bellamy's vocal range spans from D4 to A♭5, and shares his highest recorded note with Showbiz. Similar to Supermassive Black Hole, Bellamy never uses the modal register, even on lower notes where falsetto is difficult to maintain. His tone is very different in both songs, defying the common belief that the falsetto register is limited in tonal variation.
Live favourite on the 2001 and 2002 tours. The first time Micro Cuts was played live, it featured different lyrics in place of "Micro waves me insane, A blade cuts in your brain" and the chorus. Early live versions featured an extended outro that featured parts of the song "Execution Commentary", as well as extra lyrics.
The descending vocals towards the end of the song have been played intermittently through time. During early 2001 it wasn't sung at all, and post 2002 it wasn't usually sung, although one example of the descending vocals post-2002 was at The Mercy Lounge in 2004. In the latter half of the 2005 tour, the post-final-chorus section was used as an outro to "Stockholm Syndrome" on at least two occasions.
"Micro Cuts" made a return to set lists during the 2007 European tour. The first performance of 2007 featured a largely clean guitar (without effects), while further performances feature a "new effect", which mimics the layering on the album recording. The descending vocals have not returned, while vocals have been clean so far. After the final chorus and before the final decent, Bellamy has used the Kaoss pad to create a sound similar to the Kaoss pad solo and outro used with live "Supermassive Black Hole" performances.
Hands are red with your blame Megaphone screaming my name Whimpers someone I should've loved Souls weeping above I've seen What you’re doing to me Destroying puppet strings To our souls Micro waves me insane A blade cuts in your brain Sounds like forks on a plate Blackboard scratched with hate I've seen What you’re doing to me Destroying puppet strings To our souls
Early live version
Early versions included an extra vocal piece towards the end - though the wording is not known - and included sections of the riff from Execution Commentary.
Florence 2007 version
Souls screaming above
Souls weeping above