Matt Bellamy thinks rock bands have ‘one foot in the past’

The Muse frontman has discussed his thoughts on keeping rock music interesting

Matt Bellamy has given his thoughts on rock music in the digital technology age, saying rock bands have “one foot in the past”.

With his band Muse, the frontman released new single ‘Thought Contagion’ last week (February 16), which saw the Devon band use drum machines and trap beats.

“The guitar has become a textural instrument rather than a lead instrument,” he told the BBC. “And I think that’s probably a good thing. What’s exciting about this period of music is you can mix classical with hip-hop and rock in the same song.

“As a rock band you’re slightly one foot in the past, playing instruments like guitar, bass and drums.”

Bellamy said that Muse’s new single was the “first time” they’d used “big 808 drops and stuff”, but the band have “always kept an eye on what’s going on”. “We’ve taken influence from things we think are cool in contemporary music,” he added. “It’s always been a theme.”

The musician said that he thinks “era-blending” in modern music is an interesting recent phenomenon. “It’s almost like genre was an aesthetic that people attached themselves to, not just in music, but also in the way they dressed and the kind of friends they hung around with,” he said.

“I feel like that age has come to an end,” he continued, before explaining what he meant about artists mixing different periods of time.

“You’ll have an artist like Lana Del Rey doing a song that sounds and feels like it’s set in the 1950s, but she’s singing about video games,” he said. “It’s an interesting time for era-blending and creating something which is timeless, and not particularly attached to any time. It becomes something ethereal and different.”

Last week, Muse revealed they are “working towards an album”. Drummer Dominic Howard told Beats 1’s Matt Wilkinson: “We’re still thinking about other songs and working on other tracks. I imagine at some point hopefully this year or next year – whenever – they will come out and be released.”