(from l-r) Dom Howard, Matt Bellamy and Chris Wolstenholme
Formed in 1994 in sleepy Teignmouth, Devon, Muse are now one of the most popular and energetic bands on the modern music scene, with six albums released, numerous awards won and hundreds of live shows which wow the watcher to the last moment. Some have claimed that Matt Bellamy, the charismatic lead singer and guitarist of the trio, is the ‘Hendrix of his generation’.
But others, including this writer, claim something else – that Muse are more akin to a modern version of legendary rock group Queen, who have disappeared from the major music industry since the death of Freddie Mercury in 1991.
Even Brian May, the former guitarist of Queen, has claimed that Muse are very similar to the his own former band. Some people may ask why, but there a lot of reasons why Muse are a modern version of Queen, molded and former to create one of the most exciting and energetic acts in the world today – just like Queen where all those years ago.
5. Musical Influences
Both bands have claimed similar, if not exact, influences on their work – including classical works.
It is obvious that not only is one bands influenced by another, but also both by classical music from the 18th and 19th centuries. The styles of writing, composition and performance, particularly on albums such as ‘The Resistance’ from Muse and ‘A Night at the Opera’ by Queen share a similar feeling and theme – the operatic, dramatic section in Bohemian Rhapsody springs to mind, and the 13-minute epic ‘Exogenesis’ at the end of the Resistance, all show the same sort of classical, more elaborate sense of musical production that both bands are famed for.
In particular, Matt Bellamy has claimed in numerous interviews that he enjoys studying, and to an extent copying, composers like Chopin in the style of his performance. He said in an interview with Yahoo! Music in 2009:
“I’ve always been quite into classical music and film music and that kind of stuff, and I’m always looking for ways to incorporate that into a rock band into what we do as a three-piece”
Freddie Mercury was a lot less open about his influences, but despite wanting to keep up with the times and arrange music which suited the audience, he wrote complex structures, and elegant chords which would not of been out of place in the music halls and concerts of the 19th century.
This is what makes both bands unique and interesting to listen to, in that influences as old and complex as these can be successfully engineered by all members of the bands to create sounds which are both comfortable in the modern eras and very hard to replicate.
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