Frontman Matt Bellamy tells NME.COM "there's a lot of apocalyptic stuff" on the record...

MUSE have revealed to NME.COM how the recent conflict in Iraq changed the shape of their eagerly awaited new album.

The band have spent the last year locked up in recording studios across the world working on the follow-up to their massive-selling 2001 album ‘Origin Of Symmetry’.

With a working title of ‘The Smallprint’, the band originally planned to record an uplifting album with massive orchestration. Then the UK and US went to war with Iraq and everything changed.

Frontman Matt Bellamy told NME.COM: “We started off with a full orchestra, experimenting, pushing it right over the Queen mark – 98 backing vocals, 32-piece orchestra and all sorts! We did two songs like that and kinda lost our minds.

“We ended deciding to get back to basics. We re-recorded some of the stuff with the orchestra, toned it down a little bit. It sounds a lot harder now than I expected. In terms of general context, the world’s changed in the last year, the world events of the last year and a half. It’s not that we’re a political band but I think it’s impossible to avoid those things.

He added: “I think there’s a lot of apocalyptic stuff going on in a lot of the songs. While we were recording all the war (with Iraq) was coming out and we were in the process of recording while watching that. The direction definitely took a pretty harsh change in the middle of it all.

“In relation to the album it’s come across more as a general fear and mistrust of the people in power. It’s about moments of extreme fear, and a fair bit of end of the world talk.”

The band have decided to make the first single from the new album, ‘Stockholm Syndrome’, available as an official download via the band’s website [url=] from July 7. Fans are advised to check the website on July 1 for download details.

A single is planned for August, the album following that. Fanclub shows will take place in September, with a massive European tour in the autumn.