It’s official – Muse’s seventh studio album, ‘Drones’ is out on June 8. The 12-track release was co-produced by Robert John “Mutt” Lange and according to frontman Matt Bellamy is about “how the world is run by drones utilising drones to turn us all into drones. This album explores the journey of a human, from their abandonment and loss of hope, to their indoctrination by the system to be a human drone, to their eventual defection from their oppressors.” There’s still a lot of questions still to be answered about the record, however. Here’s what we know so far…
On April 28, the band posted the official video for ‘Dead Inside’, featuring the band performing alongside modern dancers in a powdery, chalk white room. Watch the video below.
For fans heading to see the band live, expect something spectacular: apparently Muse are planning on flying live drones over the crowd at gigs according to Matt Bellamy in a April 16 interview.
In an interview with Q Magazine, Bellamy opened up about the personal nature of some of the record and how “there isn’t a lot of love on this album”. He also noted that ‘Dead Inside’ was about “a relationship ending and a person becoming dead inside themselves”.
On March 23, Muse unveiled their new single, ‘Dead Inside’, with a official lyric video. Check it out below.
Speaking to Annie Mac on the same evening (March 23), Bellamy went into further detail about the message behind ‘Drones’. The album, he states, is “a modern metaphor for what it is to lose empathy.” He continued: “I think that through modern technology, and obviously through drone warfare in particular, it’s possible to actually do quite horrific things by remote control, at a great distance, without actually feeling any of the consequences, or even feeling responsible in some way.”
Muse gave live debuts to two new tracks from ‘Drones’ at Ulster Hall on March 15. ‘Reapers’, the fifth track on the album, was performed as the trio opened their UK tour at the Belfast venue to a sell-out crowd. Whilst the ‘Drones’ album artwork draped behind the band onstage suggested that the gig would be about showcasing the band’s seventh studio album, the audience were treated mainly to a wide array of old favourites with just two new songs in the set. Check out the video below:
Also performed at Ulster Hall was ‘Psycho’ – a track premiered on YouTube on Thursday March 12 at 6pm GMT. Fans of the trio were quick to point out the song’s guitar parts date back to 1999, and have often featured in the group’s live sets.
The full tracklist for ‘Drones’ looks like this:
On March 2, Matt Bellamy revealed that Muse’s new single, since revealed to be titled ‘Dead Inside’, is “too offensive for radio” during a brief question and answer session with fans on Twitter. A fan asked the frontman whether the rumours about Muse’s forthcoming single being aired on radio are true, to which he responded: “Too offensive for radio…” When asked whether the title of the first single was ‘Drones’, Bellamy said: “#psycho handler, brainwashing us to become human #drones”.
Also on March 2, Muse shared a new photo on Instagram teasing their new album. The photoshopped picture was of a drone that carried the band’s logo. It is the latest of a series of information to be shared by band, who have been releasing cryptic segments of their work in the studio through their Instagram account. These included clips featuring voice recordings of the band talking and experimenting in the studio over still images, which were all accompanied by the hashtag #musedrones.
On February 9, Muse revealed the artist who’s working on the artwork for their next album ‘Drones’: Matt Mahurin was confirmed to be collaborating on the visual aspect of the project. Mahurin, who has previously produced album covers for the likes of the Ramones, Marilyn Manson, Tom Waits and Ozzy Osbourne, revealed the news via Instagram.
Muse confirmed ‘Drones’ as the title of their forthcoming album with a series of creepy pictures on Instagram on February 5. The pictures were of magazine covers of Muse with the words and their eyes scratched out, with the accompanying hashtag #MuseDrones.
Muse shared a new in-the-studio video on January 26 this year that suggested the band’s forthcoming album is titled ‘Drones’. They uploaded a 10-second video onto Instagram that showed a blue and black screen with the following information: “Artist: Muse. Album: Drones.” The clip was backed by the sound of a sergeant shouting instructions. At that time, a spokesperson for Muse declined the opportunity to confirm the album title.
On December 17, 2014, Muse shared another clip from the studio on Instagram. In the latest clip, an orchestra is seen recording before the camera pans around to show frontman Matt Bellamy watching on. The caption accompanying the image simply says: “Milan strings.”
It was confirmed on October 24, 2014, that Muse were working with AC/DC producer Robert ‘Mutt’ Lange on their new album. The band confirmed the news on their official Instagram page, posting an old picture of AC/DC and Lange together along with the caption: “We are honoured to be making our new album with this legendary producer. #backinblack”
On October 19, 2014, Muse completed the first recording session for their new album. The band took to Instagram to share the news, posting a picture of the studio with the caption: “End of first session. It’s been emotional.”
On October 6, 2014, Muse joined Instagram and posted a video of themselves working on their forthcoming seventh album. Following a studio shot posted by drummer Dom Howard last week – the first glimpse of the band working on the release – Muse started their own account and posted three items detailing their progress. Two of the posts are photos showing the band recording and behind the mixing desk. The captions read “Day 1” and “listening to some FAT bass distortion.”
Muse drummer Dom Howard posted a picture from the recording studio on October 3, 2014, as the band begin recording their new studio album. The picture was posted on Howard’s personal Instagram and was accompanied by the caption: “The set up has started!”
On September 20, 2014, frontman Matt Bellamy hinted at some of the themes and sounds set to appear on the band’s forthcoming album. Answering fan questions on Twitter, Bellamy said that he might have to contradict comments he made about guitar solos in the past while also stating that the themes of the new material include “Deep ecology, the empathy gap and world war 3”. Additionally, it was suggested that a “sequel” to ‘Origin of Symmetry’ song ‘Citizen Erased’ could feature on the album.
Muse frontman Matt Bellamy revealed on July 29, 2014, that the band’s new album would be ready for release next summer. Responding to fans on Twitter, the singer also said that the album would be “heavy” and that recording sessions are “going well”. See the tweets below.
On April 14, 2014, the band said they would start work on the new album the following month. Speaking to KROQ that weekend at Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, the band revealed their plan to start on the follow-up to their sixth album ‘The 2nd Law’ in May. Drummer Dom Howard commented: “We’re going to start this year… (Coachella) is our last two gigs, then we’re completely done for touring this album. We’re going to go back in May and start working on some new stuff, so I think we’ll start making it this year… If we can get something out this year, that would be great, but definitely next year.”
On December 16, 2013, Muse suggested that their new album could be ready by early 2015. At the time, the band were touring their sixth album ‘The 2nd Law’ but had already started working on its follow-up. “I’ve written some good tracks, actually” frontman Matt Bellamy told Triple J. “We haven’t had a chance to rehearse them out yet. We’ll take a break next year for a little few months and then we’ll get in the studio. If it all goes very well, the new album could well be early 2015 or late 2015. Christmas 2014 might be [when we release] our next single.”
Bellamy said on December 3, 2013 that the band’s next album will see a change in tone from 2012’s ‘The 2nd Law’, describing it as a “comedown” from their previous sense of spectacle on record. Speaking to Rolling Stone, Bellamy said he wanted to “reconnect” with the oldest elements of Muse and that he is keen to experiment less on the new songs. “I’ve got a pretty good picture of what I’d like the next album to be like,” he said. “It’s the comedown and the sort of waking up the next day being like, ‘What the fuck? What the fuck? That was crazy’…I kind of feel like it will be nice to reconnect and remind ourselves of just the basics of who we are.”
Bellamy also added: “I have this strong feeling that the next album should be something that really does strip away the additional things that we’ve experimented with on the last two albums, which is electronics, symphonics and orchestral work and all that kind of stuff.”
On November 25, 2013, Bellamy said that he thinks the band’s next album will be a return to their roots, promising a “more rock” sound. Admitting that the trio didn’t expect to be in a position to release anything until 2015, he added that Muse had “veered away” from the style of music they made their name with on earlier albums and that this is something likely to change on the next album.
“The last two albums, we sort of veered away from our instruments a little bit,” Bellamy told Radio.com. “We sort of focused on things like synthesisers, drum machines and various electronics and stuff. I kind of feel like on this next album, we’re going to veer back towards musicianship again and focusing on our own instruments: guitar, bass and drums. It’s probably going to be a bit of a rawer album, and definitely a bit more rock.”
Bellamy also hinted at the possibility of an unusual release plan for the album. “How we release it is up for debate. The industry is moving so fast, you don’t really know… I don’t think we’ll be ready to put another album out until early 2015 or something, and I think around that time we’ll just look at what’s going on and make a judgement in the moment rather than thinking ahead, because things are changing so quickly.”
The first recorded mention of Muse’s seventh album came on October 18, 2013 when Bellamy revealed that he expected the band to start recording new material the following year. Bellamy said that the group were currently on their usual break between albums but that he expected them to begin initial work on the follow up to the 2012 album ‘The 2nd Law’ in 2014. The singer revealed the details while speaking to Billboard about the band’s concert film ‘Muse – Live At Rome Olympic Stadium’. “Early next year I think we’ll probably take a break for a few months and at some point next year we’ll start writing new music,” he said. “I think if everyone is up for it, we’ll start recording music sometime next year.”