Progressive stadium rock three dream up album five (2009-07 Mojo article)

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Front cover

An article in the 1802 August 2009 issue of Mojo magazine, concerning The Resistance.


Caption: The Bellamy brother: Muse mastermind Matt prepares to conduct strings with (left) Dom Howard; (below) Howard pushes the faders.




Title: The Resistance
Due: Mid-September
Production: self-produced, with sound-engineering from Adrian Bushby and mixing from Mark 'Spike' Stent.
Songs: United States Of Urasia, Uprising, Undisclosed Desires.
The Buzz: "There's an emphasis on rhythm and contemporary R&B at the start. Then it gets epic and strange, then it becomes contemporary classical music. There are no guests, unless you count a bass clarinet solo and musicians who usually do opera at La Scala." Matt Bellamy

Planet Earth is collapsing, but don't worry.
Devon-Lombardy trio Muse are set to rescue the globe's rock resources with a new album full of geopolitics, football hooliganism and 21st century R&B. The album was prepared in the band's native Devon and recorded at singer/guitarist Matt Bellamy's home studio by Lake Como in northern Italy.
    "It's going well," says Bellamy. "There's one track called Uprising, which is like a heavy-rock take on Goldfrapp. It has football-style chanting, with all of us going 'Oi!' in time with the snare drum. It's meant to be football hooligans chanting in protest at the banking situation (laughs). There's also a song called United States Of Eurasia, which comes from a book called The Grand Chessboard by Zbigniew Brzezinski [Polish-born advisor to Jimmy Carter]. Brzezinski has the viewpoint that the Eurasian landmass, ie Europe, Asia and the Middle East, needs to be controlled by America to secure the oil supply. He talks very matter-of-factly about seeing the world as a chessboard. That, combined with the obvious Orwellian reference to the state of Eurasia from 1984, inspire the words on that song."
    Rather than temper the ambition shown over their four previous albums - which perhaps peaked with their two nights in 2007 at Wembley Stadium (as captured on the CD/DVD HARRP, named after the USA's High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program, a project designed to investigate the ionosphere and/or control Russia with space-rays) - the new Muse album raises the stakes further.
    "There are some tracks," says Bellamy, "that really take an influence from contemporary R&B, particularly Timbaland - heavy beats, syncopation, very melodic, rhythmic vocals. Dom [Howard, Muse drummer] has done all the drum programming. Undisclosed Desires is like that. It's the first song we've had where I don't play guitar or piano. By the end the album's almost purely classical in style. It's not orchestration you'd normally expect from a rock band and we've done all the arranging and scoring. We've just been in Milan doing the orchestral recording with about 40 musicians - great players and really up for experimentation."
Ray Wilkinson

See also

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