This was the year Muse finally grew into its sound.
The Britpop trio of singer-guitarist Matthew Bellamy, drummer Dominic Howard and bassist Chris Wolstenholme has always sounded "supermassive," specializing in stadium-ready anthems, including the recent record-breaking alternative rock No. 1 single "Uprising," with chiming guitar riffs and echoing drums. Now, in the midst of an American tour, which stops at Nassau Coliseum on Saturday, and with award nominations from MTV and the American Music Awards, Muse is playing arenas big enough to suit its music with a massive stage spectacle to match.
"We love big shows," says drummer Howard, calling from a tour stop in Los Angeles. "We've spent the summer playing stadiums for 70,000 to 80,000 people, and it was mind-blowing. The crowds were so loud and so up for it that it was overwhelming. Even for the spectator, being in that kind of environment, listening to music that you love with 70,000 other people, it's just crazy. It's like a football match."
Your music must work well in that kind of setting.
Our music is definitely quite large. The way it's presented and the kind of songs that we write are definitely kind of ambitious, so it suits those kind of venues. It suits the production that we do. There's lots of video stuff that happens during the show - all those artistic elements add to the music, back up the music in some way. I think our music could suit any place, but it definitely works in the big places.
The guitar riff from "Plug in Baby" was recently named the best guitar riff of the 21st Century , and NME voted your version of "Feeling Good" the best cover song ever. How do those accolades feel?
It's amazing. It still takes me aback, thinking about what we've achieved over the last 10 years. It's shocking to think that you might be influencing other musicians in that kind of way. It humbles you. We've played "Plug in Baby" at every gig for the last 10 years or so and it's definitely an important song for us. It's also the one song where Matt can play the guitar behind his head.
Is there anything that's too big for a Muse show?
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We wanted to fly some massive zeppelin over the audience at Coachella. But when you're flying anything over that big a crowd, there's a lot of red tape, so that never came out. We've gotten away with pretty much everything else, though.
WHEN | WHERE 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nassau Coliseum, 1255 Hempstead Tpke., Uniondale
INFO $53.50-$76.55; 800-745-3000, ticketmaster.com
"Map of the Problematique"
"Supermassive Black Hole"
"United States of Eurasia"
"Ruled by Secrecy"
"Time Is Running Out"
"Plug In Baby"
"Exogenesis Part 1"
"Knights of Cydonia"
'Twilight' author acknowledges band's influence
Stephenie Meyer, author of the "Twilight" saga, makes no secret about it: Muse is her muse.
In the acknowledgments of "New Moon," she writes that "there are emotions, scenes, and plot threads in this novel that were born from Muse songs and would not exist without their genius."
In "Eclipse," she acknowledges, "I am in your debt, rock gods of Muse, for yet another inspiring album. Thank you for continuing to create my favorite writing music."
For "Breaking Dawn," the final book in the series, Meyer moved Muse up to the dedication, writing, "Thanks also to my favorite band, the very aptly named Muse, for providing a saga's worth of inspiration."
However, it's the use of Muse's "Supermassive Black Hole" in the famous vampire baseball scene in "Twilight" that cemented the link between the band and millions of Twihards.
- Glenn Gamboa