Muse has been involved in three archetypal rock and roll stories. The first one occurred long before Muse concerts employed state-of-the-art effects and drew thousands of diehard fans. Shortly after forming in 1994, the group entered a local battle of the bands competition in which they concluded their set by smashing their equipment, a la The Who. The violence and destruction was meant as a protest but there was one problem. They won. From then on the band took themselves, and their music, much more seriously.
Let’s jump ahead to 2002. Muse is now an established band with two albums under their belts (Showbiz 1999 and Origin of Symmetry 2011). However, they have a problem. Celine Dion wants to call her new Las Vegas show “Muse.” Something like this was bound to happen. After all, the word “muse,” when used as a noun, means someone that inspires a creative artist.
Sooner or later a professional musician was going to use the word for a project. Muse took immediate legal action to stop the diva. Dion responded by offering them $50,000 to use their name. Muse said no. Dion gave up. The band later said they didn’t want Dion to use their name because they were afraid people would show up in Sin City and think Muse was her backing band.
In 2004, Muse tickets were collected for a performance at the Glastonbury Festival. Muse was on top of their game that day and said it was the best performance of their career. Sadly, drummer Dominic Howard’s father died an hour after the concert. Howard and his bandmates were devastated. The only solace anyone took from the tragedy was that Howard’s father got to see his son at the peak of his profession.
Muse was formed in 1994 in Teignmouth, Devon, England. The band consists of Matthew Bellamy, Christopher Wolstenholme, and Dominic Howard. As of 2012, they’ve released six studio albums and three live albums. Worldwide they’ve sold more than 15 million records. The band won a Grammy Award in 2011 for Best Rock Album (The Resistance) and has been nominated for two more. In 2012, they performed at the closing ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
Although the band eschews the description, Muse is a progressive rock band with roots in alternative music. They also use elements of hard rock, electronic music, classical, and rock opera. Many of their lyrics deal with themes from science fiction and fantasy.