Muse has become one of the biggest bands in the world over the last 20 years. Releasing seven studio albums in that time, the band’s sound has evolved drastically, favoring a more dramatic, emotional feel. Though it took them a while to catch on with audiences, the team of Matt Bellamy (guitar, vocals), Christopher Wolstenholme (bass, backing vocals) and Dominic Howard (drums, percussion, synths) has gone on to sell millions of albums and sell out arenas worldwide. Read on to learn more about Muse’s decades-spanning career, and look out for part two of our list, coming soon.
Number Fifteen: They Recorded in the Same Studio as Pink Floyd. While taking up residence in France during the writing and production of their fourth album, Black Holes and Revelations, the band recorded part of it at Super Bear Studios. This also happens to be the same place where Pink Floyd recorded part of The Wall.
Number Fourteen: Muse Was Not the Band’s First Name. They were originally called Rocket Baby Dolls until they won a local battle of the bands and started taking their music seriously. Though stories vary, it is believed that the name Muse was inspired by Bellamy’s art teacher, and stuck because it was short and looked good in print.
Number Thirteen: They Paid Their Dues. Though the band started in 1994 and released their first album in 1999, it wasn’t until the release of their third album, Absolution, in 2003, that the band would start gaining traction worldwide. It was the band’s first number one album in the UK. Even though the Absolution went gold in the US, it took a few more years and the release of their fourth album, Black Holes and Revelations, for them to break through stateside.
Number Twelve: The Band Wrote a Concept Album. It’s not uncommon for Muse to write albums with certain themes. But in 2009, the band took it a step further with the release of their fifth album, The Resistance, a concept album loosely based on George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. It follows the story’s plot and touches on its themes of government surveillance, nationalism, the future, and censorship.
Number Eleven: The Band Self-Produced Their Fifth Album. The Resistance was originally going to be produced by Rick Rubin but ended up being the first album of theirs that they produced by themselves. The album also led to the band’s first Grammy win for Best Rock Album.
Number Ten: Official Song of the Olympics. Prior to the release of their sixth album, The Second Law, it was announced that the album’s first single, “Survival,” would be the official song of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. The band even got to play the song during the event’s closing ceremony.
Number Nine: Matt Bellamy Is Sexy. Don’t take my word for it. He has been included in Kerrang! Magazine’s 2005 list of “50 Sexiest People in Rock,” and won the NME Award for Sexiest Male in 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2014. Watch for part two of our list of 15 interesting facts about Muse to learn even more about the band.