Thanks to Musenewses for putting both halves together and onto soundcloud.
Jen:It's Jen and Nikki Sixx. It’s Sixx Sense. And we have the honor of having Matt and Dom from Muse in the studio!
Matt: The honor is all ours, trust me.
Jen: Um, okay. So, June 8th is the big day. Right?
Matt: Yeah, yeah. That’s when the album comes out pretty much everywhere. I think. Yeah.
Matt: Drones, yup.
Jen: Seventh album.
Matt: Yup. That]’ it.
Dom: It is.
Matt: It’s up there.
Jen: Now, you guys, you produced the last two by yourselves, right? And this time you were like, ‘Hey Mutt. Come on in.’
Jen: How come?
Matt: Well, we did two in a row and I guess, uh… y’know, we worked with producers up until the fourth album, and then, what was it… The Resistance, wasn’t it, was the album where we said, ‘We think we’ve learned enough to do it on our own here. And then we did it again on The 2nd Law. And I kinda felt, I think we felt sort of, um, you know, had our time as producer. Y’know, and it might be time to get some outside input again, y’know? ’Cause when you work with outside people, they always bring suggestions and ideas you wouldn’t think of yourself, y’know? And I guess we kind of expressed ourselves as what we can do as a producer last two albums. We felt like it could be a good time to get somebody else in.
Mutt Lange, obviously, is like a legendary geezer in the, in the, in the production world. I mean, he’s… And the fact that he was up for it, and he actually contacted us and said he’d love to do it… we just couldn’t believe it. So we thought, ‘we can’t say no to that’, d’ya know what I mean? ’Cause it’s an opportunity that probably won’t ever come again, y’know? So we thought we should do it.
Jen: It surprised me to see his name. I feel like, y’know, that doesn’t happen everyday and with you guys, especially. Just seeing the two of you together.
Matt: Yeah, he’s a really interesting, eccentric person, y’know? He’s very occlusive, y’know, he doesn’t really come out of his shell. He lives in sort of unusual world. He owns like literally half of New Zealand, like forests and everything, and he just like roams around there. And uh, that’s not a joke. I’m not… [Jen laughing hysterically] it’s actually true. To put in perspective, I’ve got a little farm in England with sheep on it, yeah? And I thought I had a big farm; I’ve got like 150 sheep or something. And I go, he goes like, ‘I got some sheep.’ Y’know, that’s what Mutt said to me. And I go, ‘So how many have you got?’ and he goes, ‘I think it’s like 110,000 or something?’ [laughs] I was like, ‘What are you talking about?’ He owns—I’m not joking—a million acres in New Zealand. I’m not sure why we’re talking about this. Anyway, my point is, my point is he’s a very eccentric, eco—he’s a full, like eco guy, y’know?
Jen: Does he wear a backpack all the time?
Matt: Yeah. He’s like, he literally is a real hippie from that— he’s a real hippie type, y’know. Indian stuff and Buddhism and eats his mango all day (that’s what I’m heard. someone please help on this —Tofu) And he only produces like one album every like, ten years or something. And so, it’s really just, it was really enlightening working with him. And uh, we had a great time. I mean it’s exhausting, y’know, ’cause he’s so focused and he’s so, such a perfectionist.
Jen: We’ll talk more about Mutt Lange when we come back with you guys. It’s Dom and Matt from Muse on Sixx Sense; we’ll be right back.
Jen: It’s Jen and Nikki with Matt and Dom from Muse. New record, Drones comin’ out. Where’d you guys make this one?
Dom: In Vancouver. Mostly. In Vancouver in a studio. There’s a really great sounding studio up there with some decent gear. [laughs]
Matt: Well it’s actually what Mutt loves, doesn’t he, ’cause he’s actually, it’s Bryan Adams’s place, and he did that song with Bryan Adams years ago and they’re good buddies and stuff. And uh, [husky singing voice] ♪Everything I do, I dooooo with you.♪ Yeah.
Dom: The album doesn’t sound like that, though.
Dom: Matt won’t do that voice.
Matt: He does do that voice.
Dom: No I said you don’t do that voice.
Matt: He’s got like a husky voice, don’t he.
Jen: Oh god.
Matt: That’s what happens when Mutt writes a song.
Jen: Right. He brings it out of the um.
Matt: When Mutt writes a song it’s like number one around the world for a million years. He’s one of those guys. No one really quite understands it. He’s got more like, diamond… What was it, what’s a record that sells like a billion records. Called like a diamond record or something? He’s got more of them than any producer in the world. And so. It’s weird.
Jen: It’s Jenn, Nikki Sixx, Sixx Sense. The guys from Muse in studio. Dom and Matt. I read a story—I don’t even know if this is true, but I was just kinda, ’cause I feel like I know enough about you to not have to do any kind of y’know, intense research. But I read the story about the a talent show or something when you were… Can you tell that story ’cause I want our listeners to hear it. I think it’s really a fantastic story.
Matt: Well, we um…
Dom: The Battle of the Bands</b>
Jen: Yeah, yeah, the Battle of the Bands.
Matt: Well, Dom and I were in a band a couple years before that anyway, but then that was the first gig that Muse did. Well, it was the three of us and we were called Rocket Baby Dolls at that point. And we were like, we were kind of goth. Gothy, y’know. I was hanging around with these three witches at the time. I was trying to get all of them… I was trying to buy into all their spiritual weird stuff to do in the hope that something interesting would happen. I kissed one of them, basically, and *mumble* was hoping for something a bit more…exotic.
Matt: And uh, and so I was hanging out with these three girls that called themselves witches. Why am I saying that? ’Cause they were the ones who styled us. They were the ones who put makeup on us and gave us all these clothes and y’know, we were just going along with it. ’Cause there’s these three hot girls like witches, weirdness…
But anyway, Gothic Plague was the band that Dom and I were in before, so that’s where the gothic came from and we called ourselves Rocket Baby Dolls. Chris joined, and that was where we formed, and the Battle of the Bands… Yeah, we basically went to these battle of the bands and it was like these other really cool, well-formed bands that were playing—
Dom: I don’t think they were cool.
Matt: Not cool.
Dom: But they could play their instruments better than us.
Matt: Yeah, we just felt like we definitely were gonna lose. Y’know, for sure.
Jen: You were what, 16, 17 or something?
Dom: 16, probably.
Matt: 16, yeah. And we decided to just cause a scene, I guess. I think we had trashed the gear. That kind of thing. It was a little bit…
Matt: ’90’s. Nirvana-ish, y’know. Not the music, but the vibe. And the music was… I don’t know what music was it at the time. What kind of music—?
Dom: I don’t know, but we had like six songs and we played all of them. That’s all we had. And then just smashed up all the gear at the end. And then we won.
Matt: Yeah, the judges were so amused by the, by our…
Jen: Were they into the music or were they just ‘this is a catastrophe’.
Matt: I think it was that. They just liked the fact that we wanted to cause a scene or whatever. And um, we turned up with these girls and y’know, smashed everything up and…sort of went bad.
Jen: Did they do more than kiss you at least? Did they kiss you at once? Did anything spawn from them?
Matt: To this day, I still wanna get… There’s one of them I really liked. And she was really…
Dom: I think I snogged one of them once…
Matt: Did you? Which one? Not Hannah *bleep*
Matt: But um, the girl that I liked, she married a mechanic.
Jen: Oh come on.
Matt: Y’know, it’s true. Those teenage years are great. Everyone was… The town we came from. I dunno what it was. I think everyone was on mushrooms and weed and stuff, ’cause we lived in a small town in the middle of nowhere, so there’s nothing else to do, so everyone just got really weird in our teenage years and then, um. We got out, I guess. But the ones that didn’t get out married mechanics.
Jen: Sixx Sense. It’s Jen, Nikki Sixx, Dom, Matt, Muse. You ever get overwhelmed being a three-piece, like on stage?
Matt: It’s alright having your buddies up there, y’know? These are, we’re best mates since kids y’know, so you feel, you feel cool, you feel fine up there, y’know? You’re not frightened of anything when you’ve got your mates. So that’s the good thing about being in a band. I always sort of thought, I was remembering, I think for me, it was listening to… when we were growing up, teenagers listened to a lot of rock music and stuff. But that didn’t really, for me as a person, didn’t really inspire me to write stuff, y’know, apart from just jamming out and things. It was when I started listening to music outside of rock, uhm, that I started to get inspired to write stuff, y’know?
Nikki You’re listening to Jen’s interview with Muse on Nikki Sixx, we’ll be back with more, so stick around.
Jen: Guys from Muse in studio. Tell us about some of your influences outside of rock.
Matt: I was actually listening to an album called The Fugees…you know the Fugees album?
Jen: Killing Me Softly?
Matt: Yeah. What’s the one that goes ♪[sings riff]♪
Jen: I mean if you keep going, we could all just make up a song.
Matt: Yeah, yeah, there’s some bits on that album where I sort of… and then there’s another song where it started with a little bit of um, flamenco guitar or something; I can’t remember what it was. I remember the diversity on that album sort of made me go, ‘Wow, there’s other stuff out there. There’s real, really cool, interesting stuff out there.’ And, it wasn’t because of that album. Simultaneously I was getting into classical music as well. So I think it was listening to non-rock music that got me into writing songs that sounded a bit, as you said, sounded a bit different, y’know.
Jen: It’s Sixx Sense. Jen and Nikki Sixx and the guys from Muse in studio. You mentioned that you went to Coachella. Tell me the scene, like what all did you do when you were there?
Matt: Uh… well, wow it was great, yeah. First time I’ve been to a festival in a long time just purely to watch, y’know, so it was really nice to just be able to kick loose and uh, party, and not really worry about having to perform, y’know? So just got really drunk and loose and yeah.
Jen: Who’d you see?
Matt: Oh… saw AC/DC. Unbelievable.
Jen: You’re stuck on them today.
Matt: I’m telling you. I’ve never seen them before, y’know?
Jen: Oh, wow.
Matt: And they played all the hits and I was just, I was totally blown away. One of the best, probably the best live act I’ve seen aside from Rage Against the Machine, I think. Um…
Dom: Not bad for some granddads.
Matt: Yeah. I mean, it’s phenonenal.
Dom: Pretty cool granddads there.
Matt: Saw Alt-J, was great. Uh…
Dom: They were good.
Matt: Jack White.
Dom: Jack White was my favorite thing, I think. He’s just amazing.
Jen: Yeah. What is he—y’know I’ve never seen him—what does he do on stage? Does he, does he go crazy, does he do a thousand different things?
Dom: Quite serious on stage, isn’t he?
Matt: Bloody hell, come on, mate!
Dom: He gets quite into it.
Matt: He’s a great band leader, y’know? He, he works with some really, real experienced musicians. But, and he really takes control and takes command of them, y’know, in a way that’s uh, means they can sort of improvise and go down these strange routes of what he’s feeling like and they all follow him there, y’know, musically. So that was quite impressive to watch.
Jen: Right. I have to go to Coachella someday. We’re here with the guys from Muse. It’s Jen and Nikki from Sixx Sense. Comin’ right back. Don’t move!
Nikki: Nikki Sixx, Sixx Sense. I’m on the road with 6am. Jen’s back in the studio earlier this week. She’s got a chance to hang out with the guys in Muse. They got a new album comin’ out. It’s called Drones, which Jen wanted to know about.
Jen: Just from the two songs you’ve released so far off of Drones, it kind of sounds a little bit angry. Are you mad?
Matt: Eheeheeheeheehee! No, actually no. The album, when you get the album overall, ’cause that moment you’re hearing the first, I think only the first two songs of the album, sort of or first song, first and third song or something… is out on the album. Um, which is this… starts off very dark, actually. It‘s in a very moody place, yeah.
Jen: Does it start—
Matt: Yeah, yeah, the album gets really positive actually, towards the end. It really does! It’s like, you start off in this sort of lost of hope, jaded place and it’s taking you through a journey of what it is to lose care, empathy for others and letting technology come in and take over. And um, but then actually, you know there’s a song—it’s not a song—there’s a track called JFK where we found this cool JFK speech where he’s talking about, you know, human spirit and freedom and independence and all this kind of stuff. And then around, that’s where the album transitions—
Jen: Did you put a piece of it in there?
Matt: Yeah, yeah. We managed to get permission to use the JFK speech, and uh, we put music to it and stuff. And then after that, the album takes on a whole different journey, where like, the idea that human spirit, y’know, humanity in other words, is more valuable than technology and stuff like that. And sort of the individual freedom stuff, fighting back. I kinda feel like what America has always stood for over the years, especially back in those days, y’know, freedom, the individual feel of independence, I kind of feel like we live in an age where that is kind of being forgotten, y’know? So that the JFK speech, you know at the time he was talking about the rise of communism and stuff. It’s so, when you hear the words he says, it’s so relevant to the world we live in now. Whereas now it’s more like the rise of technology, the rise of um, global institutions and corporations and so on. There’s a lot of relevance, y’know, to what he was saying back then to the days, the age we live in now.
Jen: What’s the happiest song on the album? What’s it about? Just so I can get a good taste in my mouth, heh.
Matt: There’s a really, there’s a real sort of, really solid love song, balancing it, called ‘Aftermath.’
Matt: Yeah, which is the moment where, ’cause the album starts with a person—there’s only two songs which are about love.
Jen: Does it start with ‘Psycho’?
Matt: What, the album?
Matt: The album starts with ‘Dead Inside’—
Jen: okay, okay.
Matt: —so uh—
Jen: ’Cause, the, is it the beginning of ‘Psycho’ that people are yelling at me?
Matt: Yes, yes, yes, yes, the drill sergeant telling you to join the army and kill people, yeah.
Jen: Yes, yes. I’m like, ‘okay!’ *whimper*
Matt: Yes, totally, yeah. Uh, what was the question? Positive, yeah. It’s the song called… There’s three songs actually. ‘Defector] is good, in terms of uh, positive. And ‘Revolt’ is really kind of inspiring people to have courage in themselves and believe in themselves and all that kind of stuff. And then ‘Aftermath’ is kind of a really nice uh, love song. ‘Aftermath’ is like the opposite of ‘Dead Inside’. ‘Dead Inside’ is like the anti-love song and ‘Aftermath’ is like the, y’know, resdiscovery of love, basically.
Jen: Muse in studio with us, Drones out on June 9th. We’ll have more with them coming up. Hang on.
Jen: We got Dom and Matt from Muse. I’m gonna give you a big compliment. I don’t give to anybody. Hands down the best live show. Hands down.
Matt: Oh. Really cool. Thanks.
Jen: I mean, really. It’s interesting to me because you can talk to anybody about you guys—
Matt: You obviously haven’t seen AC/DC.
Jen: Recently! Which is a—anyway, hands down the best live show. But I mean you can talk to anybody, no matter their age, where they live, where they’ve seen you, and everyone has the same opinion about you guys live on stage. How in the hell do you maintain that, because it’s unbelievable.
Matt: I don’t know what to say. That’s a lovely compliment. I didn’t—I mean I think… Rage Against the Machine, y’know, AC/DC, even Jack White whom I saw at Coachella are all super amazing live acts. In some ways a lot better. But I think that we’ve uh, I don’t know, maintain it? I think we just go out there and do what… I guess we apply like, how we feel when we’re performing the songs, not just towards the lighting elements and the theatrical elements as well, to kind of show, y’know, we embrace all the extra technology you’re allowed to play with in a show to try and express what it is we’re trying to do. I guess so.
Um, that was something that we did quite early on because we thought just the three of us on stage in an arena was a bit boring to look at. So, y’know, we kind of compensated by bringing in our best friend Tom, who’s a really good visual sort of artist to do a lot of visual work, and the lighting show obviously, and of course, y’know we have props and theatrical elements wherever it is. So we’ve always paid a lot of attention to that because we felt that we’re not that necessarily good, y’know, as a live act, as a three-piece, y’know? And I guess it’s a combination of that over the years that’s evolved simultaneously, so y’know, we’ve always improved how we play. At the same time we’ve always tried to improve the show itself outside of what we play, y’know?
Jen: Yeah. Do you hear that compliment a lot, by the way? I’d assume that you do. You gotta be honest, I mean don’t be shy.
Matt: Uh, that’s a great compliment to hear. And I’ve heard it, I’ve heard something along those lines before.
Matt: But it’s uh, coming from you for some reason—
Jen: Yeah, right! It’s me. ’Cause I’m somebody.
We’ll have more from Matt and Dom of Muse in just a bit. Hang on.
Jen: We’ve got Muse in studio. Matt and Dom. What do you want people to take away from the album, Drones?
Matt: Uh, yeah. A feeling of uh, y’know, feeling energised and um. Y’know, believing basically y’know, the power of an individual can actually overcome a complex system, whether it be a corrupt corporation, a corrupt government, or a technology as a whole, sort of stripping humanity out of everything. That there’s something inside of us that can actually overcome that, even just in one person, y’know?
Jen: When it came to writing Drones, did you write it in thinking we’re gonna play this to giant arenas, or do you write it just to write and be vocal?
Matt: Um, yeah, thinking about it live. I mean, the answer is, on this album, probably yes. A little bit, ’cause yeah, when I thought about the concept of the album, some things I was interested in. Y’know, like, I’ve always been interested in new technologies and what’s going on and what it means and everything, and obviously drones is a big thing at the moment. Um, it’s a big sort of contentious issue around the world, ’cause uh, we’ll get to that in a moment, I’m sure. But basically, to answer your question, obviously drones, being flying machines, y’know? Um, that’s could be great to a live environment. We’re doing lots of research into that now. Health and safety is always an issue. Um, but we’re gonna try and get uh, flying machines basically.
Jen: Have the audience wear hard hats the whole time.
Matt: [laughs] There you go. You know what, that’s a good idea. We might even get away with it. We’re gonna try and have basically drones flying around in these gigs. But y’know, don’t quote me, ’cause you never know what health and safety are gonna say. But that’s what we’re gonna try and do, yeah. So to answer your question, yes, yes. When I thought of the album title, Drones and all that stuff and the concept, I was thinking, ‘Wow, this could really work in a live—it could lend itself to a very theatrical show, y’know?
Jen: Absolutely. Can’t wait to see you guys on tour. Drones, June 8th, Muse, Matt and Dom. Thanks so much for being here.
Matt: Cool. Thanks for having us.
Dom: Thank you.
Jen: For all the information on their tour dates and anything you need as far as the album goes, check out muse.mu. Thanks guys.