Muse are an English rock band from Teignmouth, Devon, formed in 1994. The band consists of Matt Bellamy (lead vocals, guitar, keyboards), Chris Wolstenholme (bass guitar, backing vocals), and Dominic Howard (drums). Muse signed to Maverick Records and released their debut album, Showbiz, in 1999, showcasing Bellamy's falsetto and a melancholic alternative rock style. Their second album, Origin of Symmetry (2001), incorporated wider instrumentation and romantic classical influences, and earned them a reputation for energetic live performances.
Muse have won numerous awards, including two Grammy Awards, two Brit Awards, five MTV Europe Music Awards and eight NME Awards. In 2012 they received the Ivor Novello Award for International Achievement from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors. They have sold over 20 million albums worldwide.
The members of Muse played in separate school bands during their stay at Teignmouth Community College in the early 1990s. Guitarist Matt Bellamy successfully auditioned for drummer Dominic Howard's band, Carnage Mayhem, becoming its singer and songwriter. They renamed the band Gothic Plague.They asked Chris Wolstenholme–at that time the drummer for Fixed Penalty–to join as bassist; he agreed and took up bass lessons. The band was renamed Rocket Baby Dolls and adopted a goth-glam image. Around this time the band received a £150 grant from The Prince's Trust for equipment, leading to supporting the Trust through a gig at the Albert Hall on 3 December 2018.
Described as an alternative rock,space rock and progressive rock band,Muse mix sounds from genres such as electronic music, progressive metaland art rock,and forms such as classical music, rock opera and many others. In 2002, Bellamy described Muse as a "trashy three-piece". In 2005, Pitchfork described Muse's music as "firmly ol' skool at heart: proggy hard rock that forgoes any pretensions to restraint ... their songs use full-stacked guitars and thunderous drums to evoke God's footsteps. AllMusic described their sound as a "fusion of progressive rock, glam, electronica, and Radiohead-influenced experimentation."
Most earlier Muse songs lyrically dealt with introspective themes, including relationships, social alienation, and difficulties they had encountered while trying to establish themselves in their hometown. However, with the band's progress, their song concepts have become more ambitious, addressing issues such as the fear of the evolution of technology in their Origin of Symmetry album. They deal mainly with the apocalypse in Absolution and with catastrophic war in Black Holes and Revelations. The Resistance focused on themes of government oppression, uprising, love, and panspermia. The album itself was mainly inspired by Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell. Their sixth studio album, The 2nd Law relates to economics, thermodynamics, and apocalyptic themes. Their 2015 album Drones, is a concept album that uses autonomous killing drones as a metaphor for brainwashing and loss of empathy. Books that have influenced Muse's lyrical themes include Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, Confessions of an Economic Hitman by John Perkins, Hyperspace by Michio Kaku, The 12th Planet by Zecharia Sitchin, Rule by Secrecy by Jim Marrs and Trance Formation of America by Cathy O'Brien.