Muse Aiming For "Personal" Stage Show
January 31, 2013

Muse has just launched the North American leg of its tour in support of The 2nd Law, and this time around, the stage show features a huge pyramid of LED screens, lasers, customized video and other effects. But with a history of putting on concerts that are visually stunning, drummer Dominic Howard says it's getting difficult for the band to outdo itself.

"I think we always have to feel like we're doing something slightly better to what we did last time," Howard told "As far as just trying to make the show bigger and better and have more effects and be crazier than what we did last time, that's almost getting to the point where that's getting hard. I think in many ways the band is getting better all the time at playing and performing. I think as far as how we are on stage and how we are to the audience, it's getting better all the time. Somehow it's still moving forward. That's the main thing -- it`s still moving in the right direction."

The band also made an attempt this time to be closer to the audience, after The Resistance Tour had the trio playing on elevated hydraulic lifts. "The main thing I've noticed about this show, which we're really enjoying, is it's so much more interactive with the crowd," the drummer added. "I'm kind of stuck in one position, although I do spin around a bit, but Matt [Bellamy] and Chris [Wolstenholme] are definitely more interactive with the crowd. Just the way the stage is designed lends itself to those guys being down front a lot more. Matt actually does sing a couple of songs without his guitar, so he can actually get right down in the crowd and walk around. There's something that's much more personal about this particular stage and production."

Muse plans to be on the road for at least another year, so it will be quite a while before they start working on new music. Howard explained that he and Bellamy "have just been tentatively talking about what we're doing to do, how we're gonna do it, what we need to think about when we are going to do it -- not really discussing musical ideas so much as just how we're going to approach it and when we're going to do it. We've been having those conversations, but really we've just literally started touring. We're going to be on the road for another year or 14 months or whatever it is, so we've still got loads of touring to do. We tend to feel like we need to finish touring one album before we start anything else rather than starting an album on the road. We like to finish a chapter and start afresh, so it'll be a couple of years, probably."

Meanwhile, Muse is
 nominated for two trophies at the February 10 Grammy Awards, including Best Rock Album for The 2nd Law and Best Rock Song for "Madness."

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Mark Adams
San Francisco

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