Muse and the NME summarise the new album, track-by-track. Source is Muselive.com, and all hail them for the pain of transcription - very thankless task - but I've subtracted their commentary as it's a little banal. Soz, Musers.
I've also reinstated the swearing. I hope nobody minds.
'Supremacy' sees the band going to "absurd levels", according to Matt. Spiralling swamp blues of the track builds to a climax of orchestral hysteria as Matt orates a terrifying scene of mankind losing its supremacy over the Earth as "the seas have risen up" and energy shortages cause global desperation.
The next single (released early August). An electronic cross between 'I Want To Break Free' and 'Faith'. "You've had a fight with your girlfriend and she goes off to her mum's house for the day and you're on your own going: "What did I say?"" says Matt, describing the song's inspiration. "I'm sure a lot of blokes have that experience in the early stages of relationships where you go: "Yeah, she's right, isn't she?".
According to Matt, in the Radio 1 interview after 'Survival', this track features brass. Muse have cited Prince as the inspiration for the 80's effects on the track. The song is describes as having a "hysteric" feel, which is reflected in demented 80's elements such as backwards 'Let's Dance' drumbeats and riffs reminiscent of INXS' 'Suicide Blonde'. More gasping vocally from Matt. "That's 'Scary Monsters' Bowie meets Primus", says Matt. "Doing a funk track was for us remembering Rush and Primus, the more slap-bass things we liked." "Those big, spacious, wet, massive drum sounds," adds Dom. "It started to conjure up memories of songs we'd listened to or grew up on in the 80's by Prince and Stevie Wonder and we wanted to take it in that direction."
You know this one.
"If [the fans] hate it, cool", says Dom. "At least it's provoking something. It's a pretty weird song for the Olympics to choose, but it's cool that they think the song can represent the enormity of the Olympics. It takes you back to Gladiator-style Olympics. Maybe they should bring some of those back, like fending off a tiger with a spiked metal ball."
The beginning of the track features Bingham Bellamy's heartbeat. An ode to fatherhood, by Matt.
Flamenco-flecked. 'Animals' is about economies collapsing under the weight of stock market savagery, of industries desperate to "advertise, franchise… kill the competition", and of the greed of bankers who Matt claims should "kill yourself, come on and do us all a favour". Matt says: "This song is conjuring up the rawest form of that feeling of "look what humans are capable of doing, it's shocking.'"
An elegant, choral pop vision of dying crops and abused nature, inspired by Matt's concerns of industrial greed and business monopolies. 'Explorers' is drenched in the sense of not feeling you belong on your own planet. Very nearly called 'Alien Explorers', Matt claimed, but "not in the way of aliens from outer space but in the way of feeling like an alien on your own planet. It's about the intense desire to grow and expand - at some point nature will become the minority. I'm not sure if I'm really coming from an environmental thing - [Explorers] is where I'm singing about my views on property rights. The idea that corporations can own vast tracts of foreign countries. I'm not sure if the deal went through but, I think it was in Paraguay or Uraguay, the Bush family bought something like a million acres of land, which underneath contains the biggest natural water reservoir in South America. At some point there has to be someone who says: 'That's not right.'. Can BP buy Nigeria? At the moment they can. They could buy it and they kick all the natives out, shoot them down or whatever and just say: 'We own this now'."
Written by Chris. The song details his battle with alcoholism, and was written at a time when he was sober. "It's about having the family, wife and kids who, despite all the crap I've put them through, at the end of it you realise they're still there and they're the ones who pulled you through," says Chris.
The second track on the record written by Chris, and again written about his alcohol addiction. "This one was written about the person you become when you're intoxicated and how the two of them are having this fight inside of you and it tears you apart," he adds.
The 2nd Law: Unsustainable / Isolated System
Doom-drenched operas full of newsreel reports from the end of civilisation, rapping Terminators, trumpets inflating like lifeboats and Exorcist piano pulses tinkling goodbye to the globe. "It's the noise of humanity on a tiny planet in the middle of nothing," says Matt. "Hanging around space would be so peaceful and quiet and suddenly you come to this little blip that's fucking chaos! I see it as drifting away from the planet and going into the peacefulness of what actually is gonna happen at the end of it all, which is nothingness."
I'll admit to being properly fascinated by Save Me and Liquid State. Chris has always been the quietest Muse, and Matt's always been such a dominant force in the songwriting - to me this is a bit like finding out two songs on the next DT album are gonna be written by John Myung. Can't wait, hope they're fantastic.
I love how hazy everything Matt says is. Barely lucid. Brilliant, rambling explosion of a mind. Only understand about half of it, mind.