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Desconectado Beibi

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Entrevista: The Georgia Straight
« en: ſáb, 27 de Mar del 2010, a las 10:53:09 »
A Conspiracy of Rock 'n' Roll
Via word of mouth, not to mention an over-the-top live show, Muse is conquering North America, one fan at a time


By Adrian Mack
Transcripción: jebecca


Something happened at England's the Guardian last May that must have thrilled Muse singer-guitarist Matthew Bellamy. British writer-actor Charlie Skelton was sent by the esteemed newspaper to check out the Bilderberg Group conference in Athens. His mission? To investigate and perhaps bring a rational perspective to the mysterious annual meeting of the super elite while blogging a characteristically chucklesome hit piece on all those paranoid nut cases out there who think it's where lizard people gather to eat human babies.

By his ninth and last dispatch, Skelton was a wreck, having been chased, detained, and generally brutalized by Greek police and other shadowy figures who manifestly didn't give a flung shit about his rinkly-dink media credentials. "Believe me when I say," Skelton wrote, "I fell afraid. I've had my own little seaside dip into a police state and the water's coming over my head." He finished with an emotional plea for the media or "anyone" to shine some light on the clandestine and somewhat sinister summit. "that's how much my life have changed," he stated.

Four months later, Muse opened its highly anticipated fifth album, The Resistance, with the words, "Paranoia is in bloom…". It's the first line from "Uprising", a hefty and rousing chink of neo-glam adroitly fused to the Dr. Who theme, and probably the raddest song you'll ever hear about the banking crisis. And you've definitely heard it, because Muse in 2010 is like U2 in 1983 - a surging grassroots phenomenon poised to consume North America. And as Bellamy notes in a call to the Straight from his dressing room in Detroit, the odd little three-piece has gotten there through old-fashioned "word of mouth".

"I think we're one of the few band who are getting through to a wider audience without the use of traditional public relations," he offers. "it's quite exciting, actually, and it shows that it can be done." It's also tempting to wonder if Muse is riding the same Zeitgeist-y wave expressed Skelton's dramatic conversion. Bellamy's subject matter has long been drawn from Forteana and what we'll reluctantly call "conspiracy theory". But let's assume - just for now - that it's the music that comes first.

So far, The Resistance is the defying album of Muse's 16-year journey, wherein the band's thing for Queen - you would think a debt that big would have defaulted by now - is retrofitted to pro, electronica, '80s stadium rock, and a loose narrative about, um, encroaching world totalitarianism. All of which actually sounds comparatively sane by the time you get to the climactic symphonic piece, "Exogensis", which considers humankind's eventual exodus into space. In three parts, no less.

In other words, Muse is slightly fucking bonkers. Some might say gloriously so.

"if hey got to spend a week with us in the studio," start bassist Chris Wolstenholme, talking to the Straight from Montreal a few days prior to Bellamy, "I think the on thing people would be shocked by is how much we laugh at ourselves. When we were recording 'United States of Eurasia', it initially had a very '70s kid of ballad feel to it. And it wasn't really until we started recording it and playing it as a band that it kind of took on this form, and the backing vocals and everything came in and it turned into this ridiculously over-the-top, hilarious comedy number."

For the record, the six-minute "United States of Eurasia" is what you might get if you crash-landed "Bohemian Rhapsody" into a Turkish bazaar and then saddled it with a theme that's ever scarier than Freddie Mercury's '70s-vintage harlequin-pants-and-codpiece combo. Lyrically, it's based on Zbigniew Brzezinski's manual for American global domination, The Grand Chessboard. (Hey, Come back!)

"At the time," Wolstenholme continues, "we were thinking, 'This is too much,' because we couldn't listen to it without laughing. But then we though, 'Fuck it. It's what's come out of us. We shouldn't hold that side of us back,' you know?"

Bellamy echoes the bassist's feeling that Muse has an underappreciated sense of humor, saying with a chuckle, "People probably wouldn't know that we can see the funny side, especially with the melodrama and pushing the theatrical elements to the limit." Anybody who watching the "making of" ciders that accompanied The Resistance would have seen the bank cracking itself up during the recording of "Guiding Light", a synth-drenched break up song that trades sensitivity for operatic mega-emotion, like a throwback to Midge Ure's daft and pompous "Vienna"-era Ultravox.

"that was another moment when we were, like, 'Can we allow this to go on the album?'" Wolstenholme admits. And then they did.

Equally unlikely, at least in terms of the band's North American success - Muse has been enormous in Europe forever - is the sheet Britishness of what it does. "Uprising" seems to quote directly from an obscure 1974 cult item called "Rebel Rule" by Scottish glam rockers Iron Virgin, while "I Belong to You" bears a striking resemblance to the kind of spongy-sounding '80s TV themes oozed out by English composers like Alan Hawkshaw and Ronnie Hazlehurst. (Wolstenholme says that the band, which also includes drummer Dominic Howard, actually things the latter sounds like Cockney Rebel's mincing 1974 U.K. hit "Mr. Soft"/) more generally, he argues that Muse's American influences actually dominated the band, at least early on.

"When we started, we were listening to Nirvana, Rage Against the Machine, Smashing Pumpkins," he says. "Initially, I think we were very anti-England, and it was about four months after we started this band that Kurt Cobain died. One week on the front of the NME there was 'Rest in Peace, Nirvana', and the next week it was Oasis. Nothing against Oasis, but all of a sudden there was this Britpop movement which was obviously very, very British, and it was something we didn't relate to at all. We didn't like it in the slightest."

From Nirvana to The Resistance. THe mind boggles. What's unequivocal about Muse's American conquest, at least, is the role played by the live show. Aside form their miraculous chops as musicians, Bellamy and his coheres aren't exactly stingy with the grandeur, and the vocalist is tickled to finally export the arena experience stateside, noting: "You're getting to see the proper show, so it finally feels like North America has caught up with everybody else."

In the case of Muse 2010, the "proper show" includes individual collapsing tower structures for the three musicians, designed - after the albums's references to George Orwell - to look like somewhat ominous government "ministries". The very idea shows an admirable commitment to Bellamy's governing thematic interests. Here's a band that uses the place where vicil servants gather to make your life miserable as its ventral visual metaphor. Roger Walters would be proud, not to mention Terry Gilliam. In the end, it might be what makes Muse to fascinating and also so thorny to its circus. Asked about Bellamy's lyrics, Wolstenholme bristles a little, albeit politely. He must be used to it.

"He's probably better to comment on it than me," the bassist says. "When we're making music, everybody has a equal say on it. But the lyrics are the one thing that I don't feel like anybody else has the right to make a comment about. Because it's such a personal thing."

Far enough, but Wolstenholme might be ducking the issue, especially since he slips in: "I thicken the thing with conspiracy theory is that just because you're interested in them, it doesn't mean you believe them."

Okay, he was the one who used the term. For his part, Bellamy says with a sigh, "I think it's important to remember that's not all the bad is about. We have plenty of songs that are about other things." Which is true. However, in the U.K. The Resistance was met with mainstream reviews that routinely praised the music and sneered at the dominant subject matter. As in - ironically enough - the Guardian smugly upbraiding Bellamy for using the phrase "thought police" in the title track, "apparently in all seriousness". It much seem gauche to a 40-year-old Guardian critic, by why the hell wouldn't Bellamy mention thought police in a song that's explicitly based on 1984?

If Bellamy has promiscuously embraced some of the more lunatic fringes of the conspiracy-theory spectrum in the past - allowing the Times to fatuously dismiss the singer as a David Icke reader - then it must be said that The Resistance is refreshingly free of shape-shifting reptilians and much heavier than usual (for Muse) on reality. Reality as filtered through a synapse-frying and stratospherically over-the-top rock opera, yes, but still reality. If the album has a thematic touchstone, it's the ferocious U2-meets-Anthrax-meets-ELP mashup "MK Ultra", which refers to the CIA's notorious mind-control experiments. Would the TImes claim MK YUltra didn't happen?

"The 20th Century has basically been a major period of discovery of the human mind, and how the mind is easily manipulated, with images and key words, fear words, sex words," Bellamy states. "I think the majority of people are probably unaware of how much their decision-making is influence by hidden processes. You have to look at someone like Edward Bernays and these people who took propaganda and changed it into public relations and basically invented an industry that communicates directly with people's animal instances and irrational side."

That doesn't sound so crazy, does it? If anything, it appears that Bellamy has seized an ongoing dialogue between himself, his fans, and his critics to refine his critique of a world situation where, he say, "the inequalities are so blatantly obvious that you don't need to talk about fringe subjects."

He even allows that he's "moving toward a more different kind of rhetoric", which means we might yet hear a Muse album about the singer's latest and less fanciful obsession with Georgism - a 19th-century economic philosophy that agues for a single tax on landowners. "Basically the idea is that if it's a part of the Earth," he explains, "it can't be privately owned, and if it is privately owned, then the rest of the population myst be compensated. These are the kinds of issues I'm starting to think about."

Meanwhile, a scan of its message board reveals that Muse has aroused the curiosity of a generation that has inherited an authentically Orwellian world, where illegal occupation is called "war", the massive transfer of public wealth passes for "economic stimulus", surveillance and torture are normal and frantically strapped governments drop millions on perky airport scanners because of a hapless lone Nigerian with a bomb in his underpants.

As Wolstenholme says, after some gentle pushing, "Well, I think there's a lot that's happened in the last 10 years - like Iraq, and Afghanistan, and 9/11 - that's not been quite right, and people know that. People are sort of tuned into the fact that, 'What the fuck's going on?' And I thicken we live in a society where the trust we used to have has gone."

If Muse is speaking to that, it's probably because there's a void. And, yes, Bellamy tends to undermine the message a little as he belts out admittedly scattershot and somewhat nebulous lyrics about the evil corporatocracy from inside a state-of-the-art laser show. Especially since it's in partnership with Warner Music. But he's also groping as much as any of us, and perhaps Muse is getting the ball rolling the only way it can. We should b e grateful that Bellamy is setting it to such a decent tune, at least. No baby-eating lizard people necessary. Let paranoia bloom.

Muse plays at the Pacific Coliseum next Thursday (April 1).



Fuente: MMB

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Desconectado eola

  • La felicidad musera 2012
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Re: Entrevista: The Georgia Straight
« Respuesta #1 en: ſáb, 27 de Mar del 2010, a las 21:22:11 »
Chris hablando sobre USoE:
Citar
"At the time," Wolstenholme continues, "we were thinking, 'This is too much,' because we couldn't listen to it without laughing. But then we though, 'Fuck it. It's what's come out of us. We shouldn't hold that side of us back,' you know?"

Leyendo esto no entiendo que todavia haya quien se preocupe minimamente de que que con la fama puedan llegar a plantearse pararse a pensar mientras hacen discos en como hacerlo para gustar a mas gente. Queda claro cristalino que gustan porque se dedican a hacer lo que les sale de las bolas! jajaja!!

Spoiler: mostrar
me leo a mi misma y parezco un trabalenguas, pero la frase tiene sentido si se lee despacio :lol: encerio!
Santísima Compañía de la Adoración a La Glitter y Todas sus Hermanas
Oh Matt God! Absolution to us!

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Desconectado Beibi

  • Administrando muserismo con arte 2012
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Re: Entrevista: The Georgia Straight
« Respuesta #2 en: ſáb, 27 de Mar del 2010, a las 21:33:04 »
Te se entiende perfectamente :lol:

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Desconectado eola

  • La felicidad musera 2012
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  • somewhere between heaven and hell (must be earth)
Re: Entrevista: The Georgia Straight
« Respuesta #3 en: Lun, 29 de Mar del 2010, a las 12:48:24 »
Te se entiende perfectamente :lol:
Gracias por la confirmación. Así ya me quedo mas tranquila con mis dotes comunicativas. jajaja! :lol:
Santísima Compañía de la Adoración a La Glitter y Todas sus Hermanas
Oh Matt God! Absolution to us!

 

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