Will Of The People

Will Of The People

“It was nice to actually find something that we weren't good at, and actually try and get really good at it,” Muse singer Matt Bellamy tells Apple Music’s Zane Lowe. “Because metal, it turns out these metal players are absolute geniuses.” He is, of course, referring to “Kill or Be Killed,” arguably the heaviest track in the English rock band’s 28 years and nine studio albums. In many ways, it sets the tone for Will of the People, Muse’s ninth full-length and first LP in four years: They needed to sound louder and angrier than ever before, because they’re no longer writing about future anti-utopias—the struggles are here, now. “It feels a bit closer to reality this time,” Bellamy says. “I think in the past, a lot of our stuff's kind of delved into fictional dystopia, like George Orwell.” Now we’re in it, and so are the songs: The Queen-esque “Compliance” takes aim at a culture of bad-faith actors; “Liberation” is glam rock against disinformation. Frustration abounds, and the band has never sounded so large. “If I had to pick one thing that I'm fighting for, it's can we create a revolution? Can we create change here, where it isn't violent and it doesn't lead to an authoritarian vision? We've still got ideas and things we want to do that we haven't done yet. So we're excited for the future.” Below, Bellamy talks through some of the tracks on Will of the People. “Will of the People” “Our generation has seen this huge change. Something’s going on in the West—a kind of collapse, a kind of division has been emerging. And now we're dealing with real external threats. We just feel like we're a part of this generation where something's going to go down in a major way.” “Liberation” “It’s idealistic, but I always try to have some hope that these two schools of thought, which are opposing each other in the US right now, can come together. The question is, is there any common ground here that can be found to bring these people together? I think the common ground is that there's a need for systemic change, like in the way politics is done, potentially. I think the democratic structure is amazing in [the US], but as everyone knows, the lobbyists, there’s so much corruption there.” “Ghosts (How Can I Move On)” “That one is an unusual one for us. I was surprised that [drummer] Dom [Howard] and [bassist] Chris [Wolstenholme] even wanted that on the album. During the pandemic, I did a couple things on my own, just on the piano, acoustic. This song was in my mind in that world: me on the piano, singing alone. It really is a direct expression of that loneliness, and also the tragedy of what was happening for so many people.” “Kill or Be Killed” “It's the first death growl ever on a Muse record. Well, the 'ugh!', it just came out like a high-pitched falsetto wail. Whenever I go loud, that’s where it goes. That is us going, 'Okay, if we're going to go heavy, let's go heavy.' Dom had a different kit for everything, pretty much. But I was really pushing him on the double bass drum stuff.” “We Are Fucking Fucked” “That's the anxiety. Right there. There you go. That song literally sums them all up, I think. I don't have it very often, but if I did ever have a moment where, late at night, I can't sleep, and all those thoughts start going around, like, 'What's going on? All these natural disasters, all this stuff that's happening, civil unrest, blah, blah, blah.' It puts you into a panic. That song was written literally at that moment.”

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