The Handler (song)

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Muse song
Name The Handler
Album/single Drones (6)
Length 4:33
Alternative titles
First live performance 13th June 2015
Latest live performance 21st September 2018 (full), 15th October 2019 (shortened)
Recorded 2014/2015 - The Warehouse Studio, Vancouver, Canada
Writer/composer Matthew Bellamy
Producer Muse, Robert "Mutt" Lange



According to Matt “The Handler” are those agents who try to control people, the song and especially the word “Trance formation” it’s a reference to “Trance Formation of America” by Cathy O’Brien, a book about 40’s to 70’s CIA experiments in brainwashing that matt read.[1]

It premiered on BBC Radio 1 on June 1st, 2015 and was later available to download for those who pre-ordered the album. It is a dramatic song with falsetto vocals, heavy octave/arpeggio riffage and an intense middle section.

The Handler features a middle section that harks back to In Your World, as well as the title track of Showbiz, and Matt says "The lyrics are almost a question-and-answer with that song."[2] This is most definitely a reference to the line "I won't let you control my feelings anymore", as a similar line can be found in the song Showbiz.

In this song, the hero of the story realizes that he doesn't want to be controlled[3] and begins to rebel. Matt makes frequent use of his falsetto in this song. It features a long a solo riff, and the drums have been described as slow and massive.[4]

According to interviews and conversations with Musers this is both Chris's and Dom's favourite track of the album. while Matt's favourite track is The Globalist.


The Handler is not only a fan favourite, but both Chris and Dom's favourite song off of Drones. As a result, after its debut at Download Festival 2015, it has been played routinely at nearly every gig since. Apart from promotional gigs and a series of four Asian gigs where the band could not perform the song for political reasons, it was played at every post-Download gig in 2015. Due to its high status with fans and the band, it is unlikely that The Handler will be dropped from setlists anytime soon.

More here


You were my oppressor And I, I have been programmed to obey Now, you are my handler And I, I will execute your demands

Leave me alone I must disassociate from you

Behold my trance formation And you are empowered to do as you please My mind was lost in translation And my heart has become a cold and impassive machine

Leave me alone I must disassociate from you

I won't let you control my feelings any more I will no longer do as I am told I am no longer afraid to walk alone Let me go, let me be

I'm escaping from your grip You will never own me again


  1. Interview: Muse on their new album, Drones (2015-06-10). Xfm. Retrieved 2015-06-10 from
  2. Matt Bellamy. (2015-03). Q Magazine: MUSE talk exclusively to Q about their back-to-basics approach for new album Drones.. Retrieved 2015-05-18.
  3. Claudia Rossi. (2015-05-19). Muse, ecco il nuovo ‘Drones': un’opera rock oscura, tra JFK e Orwell. Il Fatto Quotidiano. Retrieved 2015-05-19 from
  4. L'édition du Soir by Philippe Richard. (2015-05-18). Que vaut le nouvel album de Muse?. Ouest-france. Retrieved 2015-05-18 from

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