The year was 2003. I was 18 years old and just beginning college. I also felt like I was beginning a new life. I had moved out into an apartment and also just gotten out of a long term relationship. I was truly on my own for the first time. Everything was new & exciting. Starting a new life, figuring out who I was and what I want to do with my life. It was an exciting yet scary feeling. I loved it.
To start off, I had never really loved one particular band. Everyone always spoke of their favorite band and their love for them. When I was asked, I never really had an answer. Sure, there were plenty of bands I liked. I loved music very much and enjoyed many songs, but I never really loved just one band. I always had to switch & change music. When I heard most band's albums, I liked a few songs, but none of them really captured what I wanted. None of them really explained what love of music could really do.
Then one day I heard it. It was during a really stressful week. School & life were getting to me. Jobs & finances were more of a burden than ever before. I became lost & confused, using my artwork as an escape. One beautiful crisp autumn morning, it happened. I had my alarm set to radio so I could listen to music upon waking up. Suddenly, I heard this magical strum on the guitar & I awoke to this heavenly voice singing "Yeah you, will suck... the life... out of me"... I was entranced. The sound was magic to my ears and the voice, so hypnotizing. The sound was unexplainable. Classical, yet slightly goth, hard rock, and a space-like feel. As a kid & still to this day I've been fascinated with space & flying. I also enjoy those genres and elements of music. This music that trickled into my brain had everything I was looking for. At least I hoped, I thought... I spent all day with that music echoing in my head. I had asked a couple of people if they knew about it, but they weren't sure. Then it came on the radio again and I jumped to the radio to listen. The entire song was amazing. Finally the DJ said what I was hoping to hear- "That was Muse, you're listening to...." , as the rest of the DJ's words faded away, I thought "Muse... so that's you are" with little hearts floating out of my head. It was starting. I asked a couple more people if they have heard of the band. One of my friends said he loved their music, and encouraged me to listen to their album "Absolution". I said that I would, but also added that I usually can't listen to whole albums. He said this one would change my mind. I took the album home, a little skeptical, yet hopeful. I put it in and heard the first tracks "Intro" (which was only a few seconds long), then Apocalypse Please. "Not bad" I thought. "Time is Running out" came on, and I jammed, since I knew the song so well. What happened next was like a dream...
Sing for Absolution came on. The song brought me into a dream-like state in outer space. It was so beautiful. The piano, the guitar, the hauntingly beautiful voice. I was hypnotized. I felt like I was floating. I felt all my problems melt away as I flew through the night sky. My heart just fell into a deep pool of music. I fell in love. The rest of the songs were just as amazing. I felt love & loss. I felt sadness & sheer happiness. I felt anger & revenge, yet calm & quiet. Each song had a special meaning & spoke to me. It made me feel passion. It made me want to create. It was during that album that Muse became my muse. I listened to that album over & over, loving it more with each musical note that danced in my ear. The album helped me through tough times. It pushed me, encouraged me, told me stories, gave me inspiration. It made me want to listen to more classical music, to study more about outer space, to create more beautiful works of art.
The years passed & my love for this band only grew stronger. I had a certain fear or darkness in my heart, as I've heard with most people when they spoke of their band. "They've sold out" or "They're not like the use to be". But every album that came out I just loved them more. Black Holes & Revelations. The Resistance. When Absolution came out, I asked many people if they've heard of Muse. "Who's that, is that a local band?" were many responses. As their later albums came out, the response became "Oh, those sellouts? You only like them because they're popular" I didn't care. I was happy for their success. I was happy they were learning and growing, as I was. I wouldn't care if they were the most well-known band in the world, or if they really were only a local band. I'm glad I came to know them & I'm proud to be growing up with them.
Time passed and I've gotten to know their older works, and I've waited patiently for their new music to come out. It's a love that can't be explained. Some people don't care for their music. That's okay. I know what I love, their music isn't for everyone but it's for me. I think part of why I love them so much is their passion they put into their music. You can feel it, through the album and at their concert. I could hear the love he pours into his song. The bassist rocking so hard. The drummer jamming and having a great time. You can see it in their videos and their concert. My first real concert was them was the Resistance tour. I had already seen them once, opening up for My Chemical Romance. A fun concert, but we were way in the back and I had really only came to see Muse. The Resistance tour would be my first real concert with them. General Admission and we had made our way through the front. I remember feeling the knot in my stomach as the videos played on the towers. You knew it was coming. Suddenly the curtains from the towers fell & there they were on the towers. Playing Uprising. The concert was unlike any concert I'd ever been to. Matthew Bellamy rocked so hard and sang his heart out. I could see Dominic Howard in the back drumming and smiling, beads of sweat pouring down. Chris Wolstenholme, the bassist, was so focused and concentrated on his music. You could feel their energy pouring from their music, and you could feel the crowd's energy pouring back. It was magical. This time, I was part of their 2nd Law tour. I saw them 3 times this year. Once when they came for a free concert, again in New York, and then my favorite, when they came back September 4th. The moment I'd been waiting for. I had general admission again. We made it close to the front. Close enough. Heads were in my way. I couldn't wait for them to start. Once they started, I immediately got tunnel vision. I didn't see the other heads of the people. I only saw the band I know & love. I took pictures, sang and danced with them. Every single concert they play is always amazing. Plus, lasers! When their new songs come out, I always get a little nervous, because I wonder "will this still be the Muse I know and love? I hope they don't change" but then I realized, without change, they wouldn't grow. People talk of loving "Old Muse" I've realized I love all Muse. From Showbiz, to The 2nd Law and everything in between, they're still Muse. This is true for all bands. They're artists. They're growing up with you. They're becoming inspired. Trying new things. Exploring, creating. Having fun. This is what we need to do as artists and as human beings. Don't be scared of change. Embrace it, have fun with it. Life wouldn't be life without it.
I think part of the reason my love for them grows more and more is because I feel like every song is speaking to me in some way. I'm sure many people feel this way. Here's a few of my favorites (even though they're all my favorite!) and what they mean to me:
Panic Station- I was confused about my career, Panic Station told me "Do just what you want to now stand up and begin!" I knew I had to take a leap and trust my instincts to change jobs or I'd be stuck day in and day out.
Starlight- "Our hopes and expectations, black holes and revelations"- Things don't always go the way you hoped, sometimes they turn to black holes. This can be a good thing, you can have a revelation about the problem you were having.
Resistance- "Love is our Resistance"- says it all. Love IS our resistance. Love is strong.
Invincible- "Whatever they say your soul's unbreakable"- Don't listen to what they say. You're strong and unbreakable. Keep going.
Butterflies & Hurricanes- Makes me become passionate- "Best you've got to be the best & you've got to change the world and use this chance to be heard"
Knights of Cydonia- "No one's going to take me alive" makes me feel powerful. The song also sounds like galloping horses, which make me want to run and be free.
Exogenesis 1-3- a three part song that sounds like you're in outer space and tells quite a story.
Dark Shines- This isn't a popular favorite but I love it. Makes me feel like your inner darkness shines through.
There are many many others. Just go through and check them out. Listen to a few from each album. They each sound very different and are unique. You can really see how much they've grown and changed with each one. I've heard many say they aren't fond of the singer's voice. Well, I know I am. Bellamy does love to sing. You can also listen to instrumentals of the song and really hear what each instrument brings. Muse is very talented. only 3 members. 2 of them sing (lead singer and backup singer). The lead singer not only sings, but can play guitar & dance at the same time, and plays piano. That's pretty awesome.
That's my story on why Muse is my muse. This year marks the ten year anniversary of when I fell in love with them. I have a feeling they're going to be part of my life forever. So this year I plan on getting a Muse-inspired tattoo. Most likely it will be a Knights of Cydonia horse on my arm- Knights of Cydonia is one of my favorites, and Black Holes & Revelations is a wonderful album. Plus, the horse looks pretty sweet.
I was also thinking 'Butterflies & Hurricanes' since that was from the first album I listened to, and the song is inspiring to me as well. Maybe I'll incorporate both somehow. Now you know a little background on why I'm such a huge Muse fan. You can definitely expect to see some Muse-inspired art, as most of you have seen already.
That's the story on why Muse is my muse :)