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Interview:
Rockers Found Their Muse In Seclusion
 

By GARY GRAFF
Of the Oakland Press

» See more SOUND CHECK

British rockers Muse didn’t have to wait long for their fourth album, “Black Holes and Revelations,” to be a success.

The album debuted at No. 1 on the U.K. charts in its fi rst week of release. And it’s been named a fi nalist for the prestigious Mercury Prize. Not bad for a group that went through what drummer Dominic Howard calls a “rebuilding” phase in making the album.

“We wanted to kind of really start again and go back to how we used to make music before we were signed and before we went on tour, when we didn’t have to think about anything other than music,” explains Howard, 28, who formed Muse in 1997 with guitarist Matthew Bellamy and bassist Chris Wolstenhome.

To do that, Muse set up shop in a secluded country home in France to write songs for the new album.

“It was very detached from any other civilization, kind of,” he recalls. “We had the luxury of time; we didn’t have to release an album at any point. So we felt very free and spent a lot of time living in the same place and experimenting. It was great for us to kind of break the band down and rebuild it again.”

To record “Black Holes ...,” however, Muse took the opposite approach and hit the bustling environs of New York City, which Howard credits with instilling a more electronic flavor to the 11 songs.

“Things were getting too deep and too dark (in France), so we needed to go somewhere that was a massive contrast to that,” he says. “New York had a profound influence on the music. We’d be recording by day, going out at night and absorbing the energy of the city.

“We were experimenting, too, but the recording process sped up quite a bit, just ’cause that’s the pace of a city that’s very alive like that. Both places really informed this album in a signifi - cant way.”

Muse and the Cloud Room perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday (July 28th) at the State Theatre, 2115 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Tickets are $25. Call (313) 961-5450 or visit

Web Site: www.livenation.com

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