Simulation Theory (album)

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Simulation Theory
A neon-coloured portrait of the members of the band in 80s-style dystopian-themed costumes, with themed electronic imagery surrounding them.
Studio album by
Released9 November 2018
RecordedJanuary 2017 – August 2018
StudioAIR Studios (London)
Genre
Length42:12
Label
Producer
Muse chronology
Drones
(2015)
Simulation Theory
(2018)
Singles from Simulation Theory
  1. "Dig Down"
    Released: 18 May 2017
  2. "Thought Contagion"
    Released: 15 February 2018
  3. "Something Human"
    Released: 19 July 2018
  4. "The Dark Side"
    Released: 30 August 2018
  5. "Pressure"
    Released: 27 September 2018

Simulation Theory is the eighth studio album by English rock band Muse. It was released on 9 November 2018 through Warner Bros. Records and Helium-3. Muse coproduced the album with Rich Costey, Mike Elizondo, Shellback, and Timbaland. Following the darker themes of Muse's prior albums, Simulation Theory incorporates lighter influences from science fiction and 1980s pop culture, with extensive use of synthesisers. The contemporary political climate of the United States informed the lyrics.

Rather than working on the album as a whole, Muse focused on recording a single track at a time. Recording began at AIR Studios in London in early 2017 with Elizondo, before embarking on a tour of North America. Production restarted in Los Angeles in late 2017 with Costey, who had produced Muse's albums Absolution (2003) and Black Holes and Revelations (2006).

The album cover, designed by Stranger Things artist Kyle Lambert, and its music videos homage 1980s pop culture such as Back to the Future, Michael Jackson's Thriller, and Teen Wolf. Simulation Theory was preceded by the release of singles "Dig Down", "Thought Contagion", "Something Human", "The Dark Side", and "Pressure", along with a 2018 festival tour of North America. It was released in a standard edition alongside two deluxe editions featuring alternate versions of its tracks. A headline tour of North America and Europe in 2019 is planned. The album received mixed reviews.

Background[edit]

Following the conclusion of the Drones World Tour, Muse and tour director Glen Rowe expressed an eagerness to design a new more ambitious tour,[1][2] but with a different musical direction. Singer and guitarist Matt Bellamy entertained the possibility of experimenting with hip hop or making another attempt at creating a stripped-back acoustic sound.[3][4] Drummer Dominic Howard suggested that the band might release singles or EPs to target audiences who did not listen to albums.[5]

Composition[edit]

Musically, Simulation Theory has been described as featuring electronic rock,[6] pop rock,[6] and synth-pop.[7] Lyrically, it explores the role of simulation in society[8] and the simulation hypothesis, which proposes that reality is a simulation.[9] Biographer Mark Beaumont wrote that it would likely be songwriter Matt Bellamy's "dissection of the idea that we're all just lumps of code in the shape of unusually lumpy sims".[9] In contrast to the darker themes of Muse's previous albums,[10] Simulation Theory takes on a lighter science fiction theme, with "fantasy becoming real" cited by Bellamy as a core idea.[8]

The band wanted to blend elements of different eras, citing the music of Lana Del Rey, who mixes 50s-style music with lyrics concerning modern concepts in songs such as "Video Games", as an example.[11][12] The opening track, "Algorithm", features a musical juxtaposition between classical piano and 80s synthesizers and chiptunes.[13] "Something Human" is rock song inspired by folk rock[14] written to counteract the "dark vibe" of Drones and the Drones World Tour. Bellamy described it as a "tender, down-to-earth, simplistic song" that describes the burnout and homesickness he felt towards the end of the tour.[15] "Pressure" is a power pop track with contrasting horns and guitars, reminiscent of nerd rock.[16][17] The song features several interchanging riffs.[18]

"Dig Down", one of the first songs written, is a reaction to the social and political climate following the Brexit referendum and the 2016 US presidential election, hoping to "give inspiration, optimism and hope to people to fight for the causes they believe in."[19] "Thought Contagion" was written in late 2017 following the band's move to Los Angeles, California, and the restart of production.[20] The verses stem from Bellamy's anxieties observing American news at the time;[21][22] its chorus recalls Bellamy's concerns about the power misinformed or ideological people have over their audiences.[23][24] The track's title was inspired by scientist Richard Dawkins, who compared the spread of thoughts, "regardless of their accuracy and truth", to a viral disease.[25]

Recording[edit]

AIR Studios in London, England, where the first recording sessions for Simulation Theory took place in early 2017.

Muse began writing and recording their eighth studio album following the conclusion of the Drones World Tour in late 2016. The band spent time at AIR Studios in London, England,[26][27] with producer Mike Elizondo[28] until they left to embark on a tour of North America with PVRIS and Thirty Seconds to Mars in May 2017.[29] Three tracks were written and recorded during these sessions; information that had been relayed by the band to a fan that visited them at AIR Studios in March 2017.[30] One of the tracks, "Dig Down", was released following the conclusion of these sessions in May 2017.[31][32][33] At the end of the tour, the band moved to Los Angeles, California, to restart production, this time with collaborator Rich Costey, who co-produced Absolution and Black Holes and Revelations.[34][35][36]

I think for the last two or three albums, we've always been thinking about the whole. [...] It was nice to remind ourselves to just think about a song. What makes a song great?

Matt Bellamy, Rolling Stone[37]

Rather than concentrating on the album as a whole, as they had on previous albums, Muse focused on recording and mixing one track at a time.[38][39] The band hoped this would improve the individual quality of the songs, and they worked with no particular theme in mind, even halfway through its production.[40]

One of the first tracks produced with Costey was "Thought Contagion", based on a bassline and theremin melody conceived by Bellamy.[20] The band began recording it in November, and replaced the theremin with a ten-layer vocal chorus performed by Bellamy and bassist Chris Wolstenholme.[41] The verses were originally intended to be supported by a heavier, arena-style drum sequence, before experimentation with programming led to a trap-inspired drum sound that emulated the Roland TR-808.[42][43] The folk rock-inspired track "Something Human" was also co-produced with Costey.[14] Shellback and Timbaland also co-produced tracks.[44][45]

Artwork[edit]

The album cover for the "Super Deluxe" edition of Simulation Theory, illustrated by Disney collaborator Paul Shipper

The album cover for Simulation Theory was designed by British visual artist Kyle Lambert, who had worked on the television series Stranger Things.[35][46] It was created using Procreate on an iPad Pro with Apple Pencil,[47][48] and features a retro style focused on 1980s aesthetics, prompting comparisons by critics to Lambert's earlier work and similar aesthetics used in both 1980s and contemporary media.[49][50] The cover for the "super deluxe" version was designed by Paul Shipper, who had designed the Dolby Cinema posters for Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures films such as Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Avengers: Infinity War. It features an array of characters, including members of the band, in a stylistic arrangement similar to Shipper's previous work.[46][51]

Promotion[edit]

In April 2017, Muse shared footage from their early studio sessions on social media, with captions teasing new material "coming soon".[26][27] More cryptic teasers were published in the weeks following.[52][53][54] The first product of the sessions, "Dig Down", was released on 18 May 2017, along with a music video.[31][32][33] The song became the opening song on the band's 2017 North American tour.[55][56]

After the band's return to the studio, Muse teased "Thought Contagion" as their next release, and teased several more tracks to follow.[57][58] "Thought Contagion" was released on 15 February 2018 with its accompanying music video.[12][59][60] Muse continued to post in-studio footage on social media in the weeks following.[61] The band also headlined a number of festivals in the United States in 2018, including Bonnaroo, BottleRock, and Carolina Rebellion festivals.[61][62]

Muse announced the album release date on 20 July 2018, alongside the lead single "Something Human".[14][63][64] The title, tracklist and cover art were announced on 30 August 2018.[45][65] The "deluxe" and "super deluxe" editions feature alternative versions of songs, referred to as "alternate reality versions",[46] including a version of "Pressure" performed by the UCLA Bruin Marching Band, a gospel rendition of "Dig Down", a live version of "Thought Contagion" and acoustic renditions of "Propaganda", "Something Human", and "The Void".[46][66] A fourth single, "The Dark Side", was released on 30 August,[65] followed by "Pressure" on 27 September.[17]

Music videos[edit]

The album's music videos feature science fiction-themed, 80s-style visuals. The videos for "Thought Contagion" (top) and "Something Human" (bottom) are pictured.

Muse plans to produce music videos for all eleven tracks on Simulation Theory,[67] forming a narrative focused on "digital containment and escape".[44] Like the album, the videos are science fiction-themed,[68] with 1980s-inspired aesthetics and effects.[59][60][69] Each video was directed by American filmmaker Lance Drake, noted for his work with Miike Snow and Twin Shadow.[33]

The first video, "Dig Down", stars model and former athlete Lauren Wasser attempting to escape a high-security facility.[32][68] The action-heavy video is a literal interpretation of the song's lyrics, based on Wasser's publicised experience with toxic shock syndrome.[33] Drake had intended to film a video with Wasser starring prior to his involvement with Muse, and "Dig Down"'s themes of unity and survival inspired him to create a story centered around her.[19][33] Bellamy appears in the video through cathode ray tube television sets dressed as 80s cyberpunk character Max Headroom.[68] The second video, "Thought Contagion", references the 1983 music video Michael Jackson's Thriller, with a love story involving a vampire antagonist illustrated through choreography and neon lighting.[59][60][70] Muse held an open casting call for dancers and extras for the video, welcoming "super edgy" punk characters with "wild hair", tattoos, and piercings.[71]

The third video, "Something Human", follows Bellamy as he attempts to return a VHS cassette to a video rental shop before turning into a werewolf, while being chased by police portrayed by bandmates Dominic Howard and Chris Wolstenholme.[72] Drake aimed to create an "epic journey" out of a simple task, such as returning a tape, while continuing the narrative of the previous two videos.[73] Continuing the 1980s-inspired visual style, the video takes place in a simulation, and makes more direct references to 80s media, such as Back to the Future and Teen Wolf; films that Bellamy had enjoyed during his childhood and wanted to recall as part of the video's simulation setting.[73][74] The following video, "The Dark Side", continues where the ending of "Something Human" left off and features Bellamy driving through a simulated dystopian landscape populated by giant robots.[45][66] The video has invited comparisons to Cyberpunk and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City by critics.[67][75] The fifth music video, "Pressure", continues the 1980s pop culture references,[17][18] and stars the band as performing as Rocket Baby Dolls (Muse's original band name) at a homecoming dance akin to a scene from Back to the Future,[16] and Terry Crews as a chaperone who uses a Ghostbusters-esque proton pack to subdue an outbreak of gremlin-like creatures.[17][76] Critics also identified homages to Critters, the work of John Hughes, and Stranger Things.[17][18][76]

Tour[edit]

In September 2018, Muse revealed through a post on Twitter the name of twenty cities in North America and seventeen cities in Europe that the band intended to visit on their 2019 headline tour.[77] In the same post, the band promised early access to tickets for the tour for people who pre-ordered the album.[77][78] Technology will be a focus in the design of the tour, with an intent to showcase "something that no one's ever seen before".[77] Early ideas for the tour included a system of magnets that would allow the band to levitate without wires.[1]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic63/100[79]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[80]
Classic Rock4/5 stars[6]
DIY3/5 stars[81]
The Guardian3/5 stars[82]
Kerrang!4/5 stars[83]
NME4/5 stars[84]
Pitchfork6.0/10[85]
Rolling Stone2/5 stars[86]

Simulation Theory received mixed reviews. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, Simulation Theory has an average score of 63 based on 19 reviews, six of which were favourable.[79] AllMusic's Neil. Z Yeung praised the combination of electronic pop with "urgent, stadium rock foundation".[80] Andrew Trendell of NME described the album as a "Tron-style pastiche of [Muse's] own adolescence", adding that "you'll be ashamed to tell anyone how much you love it."[84]

The Guardian's Michael Hann wrote that the "less poppy moments are the most exciting", citing the arpeggios and power chords of "Blockades" and the "none-more-jackbooted" synth bassline and "urgent" strings of "Algorithm".[82] Christopher R. Weingarten of Rolling Stone found that the lyrical mix of relationships and political themes resulted in a confusing message.[86]

Yeung found Simulation Theory to be "the least complicated or overly conceptual [Muse album] in over a decade", and felt that "the orchestral and dubstep meandering of [Muse's] previous 2010s output" was absent.[80] Trendell wrote that Muse present their "bombast" by "indulg[ing] their guiltiest pleasures" rather than through the "operatic prog" found in their previous albums,[84] and Hann commented that producers such as Shellback and Timbaland found "a new face to Muse ... to a certain extent".[82] DIY writer Will Richards saw Simulation Theory as a continuation of the "absurdities" of Drones and concluded: "If a Muse album isn't meant to make you laugh, gasp and double-take in its ridiculousness, then we don't wanna hear it."[81]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Matt Bellamy, except where noted.

Simulation Theory[87]
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Algorithm" 4:05
2."The Dark Side" 
  • Muse
  • Costey
3:47
3."Pressure" 
  • Muse
  • Costey
3:55
4."Propaganda"
3:00
5."Break It to Me" 
  • Muse
  • Costey
3:37
6."Something Human" 
  • Muse
  • Costey
  • Noah Goldstein[b]
3:46
7."Thought Contagion" 
  • Muse
  • Costey
3:26
8."Get Up and Fight"Shellback4:04
9."Blockades" 3:50
10."Dig Down" 
  • Muse
  • Elizondo
3:48
11."The Void" 
  • Muse
  • Costey
4:44
Total length:42:12

Personnel[edit]

Muse

Additional musicians

Production

  • Laurence Anslow – assistant engineer (track 10)
  • Brent Arrowood – assistant engineer (track 10)
  • Tom Bailey – assistant engineer (track 6)
  • Tyler Beans – assistant engineer (track 2, 3, 7), assistant producer (track 6)
  • Jeremy Berman – "assistant" [sic] (track 2, 3, 7)
  • Rob Bisel – assistant engineer (track 2, 3, 7), assistant producer (track 6)
  • Phillip Broussard – assistant engineer (track 10), assistant producer (track 6)
  • Adrian Bushby – assistant engineer (track 10)
  • Tommaso Colliva – assistant engineer (track 6)
  • Martin Cooke – assistant engineer (track 7), assistant producer (track 6)
  • Rich Costey – producer (track 2, 3, 6, 7), engineer (track 6), mastering (track 7)
  • Mike Elizondo – producer and programmer (track 10)
  • Nick Fournier – assistant producer (track 6)
  • Michael Freeman – mixing (track 2, 6, 10)
  • Pete Winfield - additional mixing
  • Chris Gehringer – mastering (track 7)
  • Noah Goldstein – assistant producer (track 6)
  • Sam Grubbs – "assistant" [sic] (track 2, 3), assistant producer (track 7)
  • Adam Hawkins – engineer (track 2, 3, 6, 7, 10), mixing (track 3, 7)
  • Ted Jensen – mastering (track 10)
  • Aleks Von Korff – assistant engineer (track 2, 3, 7), assistant producer (track 6)
  • Randy Merrill – mastering (track 6)
  • Dylan Neustadter – "assistant" [sic] (track 2, 3), assistant producer (track 7)
  • John Prestage – assistant engineer (track 10)
  • Spike Stent – mixing (track 2, 6, 10)
  • Chris Whitemyer – "assistant" [sic] (track 3, 7)
  • Colin Willard – "assistant" [sic] (track 3), assistant producer (track 7)

Charts[edit]

Chart (2018) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[89] 7
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[90] 3
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[91] 2
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[92] 1
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[93] 3
Czech Albums (ČNS IFPI)[94] 9
Danish Albums (Hitlisten)[95] 16
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[96] 1
Estonian Albums (IFPI)[97] 3
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[98] 3
French Albums (SNEP)[99] 3
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[100] 4
Hungarian Albums (MAHASZ)[101] 4
Irish Albums (IRMA)[102] 5
Italian Albums (FIMI)[103] 2
Japanese Albums (Oricon)[104] 15
Mexican Albums (AMPROFON)[105] 10
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[106] 4
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[107] 17
Polish Albums (ZPAV)[108] 13
Portuguese Albums (AFP)[109] 2
Scottish Albums (OCC)[110] 1
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)[111] 4
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[112] 17
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[113] 1
UK Albums (OCC)[114] 1
US Billboard 200[115] 12

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
France (SNEP)[116] Gold 50,000*

*sales figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

Sources

  1. Bellamy, Matthew; Greene, Andy (1 September 2018). "Matt Bellamy on Muse's Rousing, Political New Song 'Thought Contagion'". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 15 February 2018. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
  2. Bellamy, Matthew; Olivier, Bobby (19 July 2018). "Muse's Matt Bellamy Talks New Single 'Something Human' & 'Simulation' Themes on Upcoming Album". Billboard. Archived from the original on 2 September 2018. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  3. Bellamy, Matthew; Savage, Mark (20 February 2018). "Muse: 'The guitar is no longer a lead instrument'". BBC News. Archived from the original on 2 September 2018. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  4. Beaumont, Mark (31 August 2018). "Muse's biographer: 'Simulation Theory' will find Muse going full 'San Junipero'". NME. Archived from the original on 1 September 2018. Retrieved 1 September 2018.

Citations

  1. ^ a b Hohnen, Mike (26 October 2016). "Muse Reach Peak Muse, Are Considering A Magnetic Stage So Band Can "Levitate"". Music Feeds. Archived from the original on 1 September 2018. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
  2. ^ Yoo, Noah (25 October 2016). "Muse "Want to Do a Stage Made of Magnets So the Band Can Levitate" On Next Tour". Pitchfork. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
  3. ^ Wilson, Zanda (8 November 2016). "Matt Bellamy Is "Going To Start Rapping" On Muse's Next Album". Music Feeds. Archived from the original on 1 September 2018. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
  4. ^ Britton, Luke Morgan (4 November 2016). "Muse suggest surprising new direction on next album". NME. Retrieved 1 September 2018. Asked by Absolute Radio if they could go acoustic, frontman Matt Bellamy said: "I feel like I say it every time with each album but I feel like it might be time to actually do something a bit more stripped down."
  5. ^ Varga, George (6 January 2016). "Muse may have made its last album, says drummer". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Archived from the original on 1 September 2018. Retrieved 1 September 2018. The way people consume music has changed so drastically over the past 10 years, it's insane," Howard continued. "And I'm the same. I certainly don't listen to albums all the way through now, like I used to. So we just thought, if we're going to release an album this time, we wanted to make it an album that makes sense from start to finish. It makes much more sense to go from start to finish, than just hear one or two songs.
  6. ^ a b c Beaumont, Mark. "Muse: Simulation Theory album review". Classic Rock. Retrieved 10 November 2018.
  7. ^ SowingSeason. "Reivew: Muse- Simulation Theory". SputnikMusic.
  8. ^ a b Bellamy & Olivier 2018, "...that’s really one of the themes of the album, the idea of fantasy becoming real, simulations becoming something that's part of our everyday life."
  9. ^ a b Beaumont 2018, "I confidently expect this to be Bellamy's dissection of the idea that we're all just lumps of code in the shape of unusually lumpy sims."
  10. ^ Beaumont 2018, "But after a long run of albums tackling some of mankind's most serious concerns – oppressive governments, energy depletion, remote control warfare – they've finally found a mind-bending sci-fi topic to have fun with."
  11. ^ Bellamy & Savage 2018, "...what's interesting about music now is not just the style-blending but the era-blending. So you'll have an artist like Lana Del Rey doing a song that sounds and feels like it's set in the 1950s, but she's singing about video games. It's an interesting time for era-blending and creating something which is timeless, and not particularly attached to any time..."
  12. ^ a b O'Connor, Roisin (16 February 2018). "Muse release new track 'Thought Contagion'". The Independent. Archived from the original on 2 September 2018. Retrieved 2 September 2018. and we're also interested in doing some genre-blending and era-blending.
  13. ^ Childers, Chad (16 February 2018). "Muse's 'Thought Contagion' Is Inspired by Trump Supporters". Loudwire. Retrieved 2 September 2018. Bellamy also teased a track called "Algorithm" that has "blended a bit of romantic classical piano with like '80s synth, computer game music."
  14. ^ a b c Schatz, Lake (19 July 2018). "Muse to release new album in November, unleash "Something Human" as first single: Stream". Consequence of Sound. Archived from the original on 31 August 2018. Retrieved 2 September 2018. "Something Human" finds the alt-rockers tracking a much more mellow route here, trading in crunchy prog-rock for — get this — something along the lines of folk pop. [...] The song was co-produced by the band with help from Rich Costey.
  15. ^ Bellamy & Olivier 2018, "The Drones Tour was amazing and we’re very happy with how it went, but at the same time it was quite grueling. [...] It had a dark vibe, which is good, but when you've been doing that for a while that natural result was that as soon as I came off the road, "Something Human" came out, which is a more tender, down-to-earth, simplistic song about what it feels like to be burned out and wanting to get home to a more normal life after being on the road for a couple years."
  16. ^ a b Trendell, Andrew (27 September 2018). "Muse go 'back to the future' in new video for their 'straight rock single' 'Pressure'". NME. Archived from the original on 28 September 2018. Retrieved 28 September 2018. "It's more like a straight Muse rock track," Bellamy told Radio X. "It's like a different riff every 10 seconds, basically." [...] the scene shifts to a high school prom – seemingly recreating the prom scene in Back To The Future, with Muse assuming the role of the band and the frontman appearing to be dressed as Marty McFly.
  17. ^ a b c d e Worthington, Clint (28 September 2018). "Muse premiere new single "Pressure" and Terry Crews-starring video: Stream". Consequence of Sound. Archived from the original on 28 September 2018. Retrieved 28 September 2018. ...driving power chords, catchy hooks, pure wall-of-sound nerd rock. The addition of horns to the song's central riff [...] the song’s power-pop sensibilities. [...] is a big, silly, over-the-top '80s throwback, featuring everything from a John Hughes-y school dance to Terry Crews zapping gremlins with a Ghostbuster-like proton pack.
  18. ^ a b c Marina, Pedrosa (27 September 2018). "Muse Goes Back to the '80s for Sci-Fi 'Pressure' Video: Watch". Billboard. Archived from the original on 28 September 2018. Retrieved 28 September 2018. ...their new '80s high school homecoming-meets-Stranger Things music video for "Pressure," [...] The multiple-riff, guitar-heavy tune features some impressive melodic arrangements and a full-bodied vocal attack by frontman Matt Bellamy.
  19. ^ a b Slingerland, Calum (18 May 2017). "Muse Return with "Dig Down"". Exclaim!. Archived from the original on 1 September 2018. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
  20. ^ a b Bellamy & Greene 2018, "It’s a pretty recent track, probably towards the end of last year is when I wrote it. I came up with the bass line and then I used a theremin, originally, to [create] this lead melody that went over the top."
  21. ^ Bellamy & Greene 2018, "Probably watching American news stations. We’re living in an age where these sort of ideologies, people’s belief systems, whether they are true or false, are getting a lot of air time, especially ones on the false side [...] The verses are me streaming off anxieties and feelings..."
  22. ^ Bellamy & Savage 2018, "Thought Contagion was inspired by watching rolling news in America, and seeing how it influenced voters."
  23. ^ Bellamy & Greene 2018, "The key line in the song [...] summarizes what I’m trying to get at here, which is sometimes in life you will come across situations where someone who is a bit ideological or believes things that are not true in any way will sometimes have more power than you, over you or get more airtime. I think that’s really what the song is about."
  24. ^ Bellamy & Savage 2018, "We're living in an age where truth is getting less airtime than falsities; and that's a scary thing," said Bellamy, who currently lives in the US. "When you live in that bubble, and see that bubble, the scariest thing about it all is you realise people's minds can be influenced by false belief systems or incorrect thinking."
  25. ^ Bellamy & Savage 2018, "The title of the song came from a Richard Dawkins book that suggested that thoughts can become contagious and spread like a virus, "regardless of their accuracy and truth"."
  26. ^ a b O'Connor, Roisin (6 April 2017). "Muse are back in the studio recording new music". The Independent. Archived from the original on 1 September 2018. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
  27. ^ a b Murphy, Sam (6 April 2017). "Muse Are Back In The Studio And Have A New Song "Coming Soon"". Music Feeds. Archived from the original on 1 September 2018. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
  28. ^ Schulz, Chris (3 March 2017). "Superproducer Mike Elizondo 'blown away' by Kiwi singer". The New Zealand Herald. Archived from the original on 1 September 2018. Retrieved 1 September 2018. ...and landed in New Zealand fresh from a songwriting session with stadium rockers Muse...
  29. ^ Cobo, Leila (20 May 2018). "Muse Dazzles at Stunning Summer Tour Kickoff in West Palm Beach". Billboard. Archived from the original on 1 September 2018. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
  30. ^ Trendell, Andrew (14 March 2017). "Muse have recorded 'three new songs' in a London recording studio". NME. Archived from the original on 1 September 2018. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
  31. ^ a b Leight, Elias (18 May 2017). "See Muse's Violent, Kung-Fu-Filled 'Dig Down' Video". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 1 September 2018. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
  32. ^ a b c Strauss, Matthew (18 May 2017). "Watch Muse's Video for New Song "Dig Down"". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on 1 September 2018. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
  33. ^ a b c d e Geslani, Michelle (18 May 2017). "Muse share action-packed video for new single "Dig Down"". Consequence of Sound. Archived from the original on 1 September 2018. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
  34. ^ Trendell, Andrew (12 October 2017). "Muse are back in the studio – with an old friend and collaborator". NME. Archived from the original on 1 September 2018. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
  35. ^ a b Connick, Tom (30 August 2018). "Muse's new album 'Simulation Theory' - everything we know so far". NME. Archived from the original on 30 August 2018. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  36. ^ Rockol staff (12 October 2017). "I Muse di nuovo al lavoro con il produttore Rich Costay". Rockol (in Italian). Archived from the original on 1 September 2018. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
  37. ^ Bellamy & Greene 2018, "I think for the last two or three albums..."
  38. ^ Bellamy & Greene 2018, "We’re doing the writing, recording and mixing process and even the video in this occasion before moving onto the next song. It’s nice for us to not be multitasking twelve songs at once and always thinking about the whole. "
  39. ^ Bellamy & Savage 2018, "Unlike previous projects, the band are releasing it one song at a time, rather than conceiving an overarching concept."
  40. ^ Bellamy & Greene 2018, "It remains to be seen whether the whole will have a concept to it, but I kinda think that we’ve done two or three concept albums in a row now. I think it'll be our greatest album in terms of the quality of individual songs."
  41. ^ Bellamy & Greene 2018, "It wasn’t until we started recording the song in November that it occurred to me that the theremin melody would be a cool, anthemic sort of vocal part, so [bassist] Chris [Wolstenholme] and I did about ten passes on that to create this sort of crowd effect on the vocal."
  42. ^ Bellamy & Greene 2018, "The verse of the song, originally, was probably a lot more heavy-sounding than it is now, in terms of [having a] much more arena sound, drum kit kind of thing. But we wanted to experiment with programming the verse and go for more of a slightly trap or 808 drum feel for the verses..."
  43. ^ Bellamy & Savage 2018, "On their latest single, Thought Contagion, the band have even used the skittish drum patterns of Trap. "That's the first time we've used something like that - big 808 [drum machine] drops and stuff," said Bellamy.
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