Muse is one of the most prominent bands in the English Alternative Rock Scene – after being active for almost a decade in their homeland – they achieved international success with their 2006 album “Black Holes and Revelations”. The band is known for dealing with complicated issues in their songs, alongside with highly energized and forceful performance, making them desirable headliners of leading festivals all around the world. As for today, the band sold over 20 million albums and earned the most luxurious awards in the world of music: 2 Grammy awards, 2 Brit awards, 5 MTV awards and 8 NME’s.
The formative years
The band was incepted as a trio and remained the same until today. The band members are:
- Matt Bellamy – the vocalist, guitarist, pianist and the main songwriter. His unique, high-pitched manner of singing is one of the most outstanding characteristics of Muse.
- Dominic Howard – Drummer and percussionist as well as a co-producer
- Chris Wolstenholme – Bassist and back-vocalist.
The band got together in the early 90’s after playing in different bands in Teignmouth Community School, where they all studied. First the band was named “Rocket Baby Dolls” and combined punk playing with goth-glam entourage. After winning a local contest while playing harshly, with heavy make-up and ending the performance by smashing all the instruments as an act of protest – the three realized they can make something of themselves and started working seriously, changing the name into something more catchy and moving away from their town. After gathering a fan base while performing in London and Manchester, the band was an opening act for Skunk Anansie. They released 2 EPs – “Muse” in 1998 and “Muscle Museum” in 1999. Although the latter reached 3rd place in the charts, the local record label were hesitant in the decisions to sign up the promising formation. The American executives, however, saw the opportunity and signed them for the first album – “Showbizz”, representing the melancholic mood of the group and relationship issues along with the difficulties of leaving the small town.
Musical stylistics and themes
The emotional aspect always was very dominant in Muse’s work, but the ways to achieve it were different. After a relatively minimalistic sound of the first album, relying mostly on Bellamy’s outstanding vocals, the second album “Origin of Symmetry” was defined by wider range of musical instruments and classical and romantic influence. The third album “Absolution” also included recordings of live orchestra – the first of 5 albums to reach No. 1 status in England. The album “Black Holes and Revelations” presented more electronic and pop elements, inspired by Depeche Mode – this allowed the band to extend its popularity even more. The next albums – “The Resistance” (2009), “The 2nd Law” (2012) and the latest one up to date, 2015’s “Drones” are all dealing with subjects of governmental oppression and civil rebellions. Although Muse posing themselves as apolitical group, they claimed that sometimes it’s just impossible to ignore what’s going on.