Muse’s Matt Bellamy Says Prince Influenced ‘Supermassive Black Hole’
Matt Bellamy talked about one of the most popular albums of Muse during a conversation with SiriusXM and revealed the sources of inspiration behind their tracks.
Since its debut in the music world with the ‘Showbiz’ album in 1999, Muse has released eight more albums in their 20-year career in music. In the band’s early days, releases such as ‘Origin Of Symmetry’ and ‘Absolution’ helped their music to reach a broader audience in the rock scene. However, they enjoyed worldwide success with their fourth record, ‘Black Holes and Revelations.’
The album in question was released in 2006, and the tracks explore science fiction, political, and dystopian themes, such as revolution, alien invasion, and New World Order theories. The British band topped many charts with this album and was ranked at the top of the charts both in its home country and in Europe and the States.
The band’s songs are generally known for their high-oriented notes, while the frontman Matt Bellamy is known for his high-pitched vocal lines. ‘Black Holes and Revelations’ was also an album where Matt’s high pitches could be heard, but there was a difference in style.
The lead singer has been a constant member since the band’s formation and has thus been there for many milestones. The vocalist was recently a guest of SiriusXM, during which he revealed the inspiration behind their greatest hit, ‘The Black Holes and Revelations.’
While noting that they considered the fate of rock music during the album’s production, Matt said they wanted to try something new with this album. He then added that Prince was his biggest influence while experimenting for ‘Supermassive Black Hole.’
After stressing that he has always been a Prince fan, the vocalist said they tried to incorporate Prince’s style into the song, especially his use of blues and funk elements. Stating that he tried to reconfigure his high-pitch singing style with Prince’s touches, the frontman explained that he tried an ‘aggressive whispering’ instead of a death metal screaming in ‘Supermassive Black Hole.’
Describing it as an intense experience, Matt Bellamy explained Prince’s influence on their song as follows:
“‘Supermassive Black Hole.’ First thoughts; kind of fuzzy, fuzzy fuzziness, fuzzy resinous. I’m not sure where that’s coming from…Vocoder as well, using a lot of vocoder in the course. For us, kind of like really trying to make a kind of modern sounding, at that time, trying to find like almost like ‘Where is rock going?’ and ‘Where can it go that it hasn’t been before?’ And actually, Prince, I would say, was a big influence on that.
So, you know, I’ve always been a bit of a Prince fan, and that was the first song where we really sort of tried to embrace his style of singing and kind of more bluesy, almost funk elements. I’ve worked on a lot of falsetto singing, a lot of high-pitched singing, and it was usually kind of in the rock sense of like big screams and stuff like that.
But I sort of thought to myself, what would happen if I tried to pull it back a little bit? And that’s what I mean about the Prince kind of reference, you know, because he sings in this kind of falsetto voice that’s kind of very sort of laid back and funky and cool. I mean, he obviously does a rock scream as well. So I kind of thought like, ‘what would happen if I tried that register, you know, for my voice?’
It was unusual for us to do something like that. And then I started doing this kind of like it’s… It’s not like a death metal thing, but it’s like it’s kind of whispering aggressively into a really distorted microphone. It kind of sounds really intense and kind of threatening sounding and kind of creepy.”
You can check out the interview and listen to ‘Supermassive Black Hole’ below.