Muse has been touring all over the world in support of their 2012 album, The 2nd Law, and the whole cycle is finally set to culminate with shows in Australia this month. The band also releases Live at Rome Olympic Stadium on CD and DVD/Blu Ray today. Next year, Muse may play one or two festivals, but they will mainly be focusing on writing a new album. 2014 also happens to mark the trio's 20th anniversary as a band.
"In some ways, the band has gone on this pretty insane journey since we formed as teenagers. Back then, we weren't very outgoing on stage. We were very sort of off to ourselves, hiding behind the music," frontman Matt Bellamy recently told Rolling Stone. "In some ways, the Rome gig almost represents a complete upside-down journey of personality from where we started. I want to bring it back to just being about the music that we are playing, about the instruments, the guitar, the bass, the drums and these personalities. I have this strong feeling that the next album should be something that really does strip away the additional things that we've experimented with on the last two albums, which is electronics, symphonics and orchestral work and all that kind of stuff. I kind of feel like it will be nice to reconnect and remind ourselves of just the basics of who we are."
Bellamy did clarify that he doesn't mean Muse wants to simply retread the past. "When I say I want to go back, I don't mean go back to the kind of music we made when we started. That would be disastrous," he added. "I mean, go back to the mentality that we had when we started, which was just us wanting to be good on instruments and wanting to play together and make music that was organic in nature. I think that will be where we set off on our next album."
While the band is known for their elaborate stage sets, Bellamy said that their 20th anniversary could find them going even bigger when it comes to visuals and presentation. "I think we can definitely improve the quality of the show. I went to see The Wall to think about what's possible," he explained to RS. "I'm already starting to think about going a bit more conceptual, not necessarily narrative-based, but certainly a bit more in the direction where we could do something in the arena that's another level of production. There's always new technologies coming out. Look at The Wall now as compared to what they did it back in the day. It's a massive difference, so in terms of bigness, we can go bigger. In Europe, I don't think there is anything we can do that's bigger. But I think in terms of what we can do in terms of the quality of the show, we can really refine that, for sure."