Muse: 'We Tried To Make Anti-Dubstep With 'Unsustainable''

A brand new interview with Muse aired on NME Radio, in which the band address the "dubstep" rumours surrounding their new album.

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A brand new interview with Muse aired on NME Radio, in which the band address the "dubstep" rumours surrounding their new album.

Bassist Chris Wolstenholme admitted that there is a dubstep influence on the song "Unsustainable", but added that the whole point was to create that sound with real instruments instead of computers and technology.

"It was almost a sort of anti-dubstep in a way," he said. "We like that kind of music, more so for the sounds really. The sounds that are used in dubstep are so extreme. It's like this sonic assault on your ears." He added that "Unsustainable" is "the most 'out there' thing on the album" and not representative of the record as a whole.

Muse debuted their brand new single "Madness", which is taken from "The 2nd Law", the follow-up to 2009's "The Resistance".

The Devon trio will tour the UK in October, playing five shows. The gigs begin at Glasgow's SECC on October 24, before the band move onto London's O2 Arena for two shows on October 26 and 27. They then play Birmingham LG Arena on October 30 before finishing up at Manchester Arena on November 1.

Thanks for the report to NME.

74 comments sorted by best / new / date

    withoutanyname
    The 'dubstep' part of the song sounds like one of their famous live jams when Matthew just play random things while the others just keep the rythym going. The thing I don't understand is people kept asking for this kind of jam on a release, and now that there's one, everyone's upset about their 'new style'.
    Oyface
    Well, I bet that if they marketed it as "Experimental electro-rock" or someshit, instead of "dubstep", the opinions would be really different. The word "Dubstep" seems to set off some people.
    ramorite
    whydoes everyone have to judge the album before it comes out? theres one song that sounds dubstep-like, and everyone suddenely thinks the whole album is going to be trash? so what if theres one dubstep song. hell, so what if theres two? muse have never failed to amaze me so far and I think the album will be stellar even with one or two dubstep songs. It's going to be different from the other albums, just like all the other albums were different from eachother!
    metalplayer0-1
    I'm not sure a guitar with a Kaoss pad hooked up to a laptop counts as making dubstep with 'real' instruments either..
    Molomono
    A kaoss pad isn't anything more than a multieffects pedal to be honest. Basically it is used for panning the EQ manually, any other effect coming out of the thing could be reproduced on a pedal board. So yes, all the sound you are hearing is acoustically recorded and that's what they meant.
    minieme007
    Actually if you watch the covers on youtube, you can see how Matt does it, and the Kaoss Pad is only really used for one beat every two measures or so
    BjarnedeGraaf
    he's not using the kaoss pad is he? i didn't think i've seen it in the clip anyway
    GNRAGE_2010
    It sound like most of it is done with a slide and then with the choppier sounding parts he brings the slide up the neck and uses the kill switch method to make it stutter. I may be wrong though
    BjarnedeGraaf
    "He added that "Unsustainable" is "the most 'out there' thing on the album" and not representative of the record as a whole." This makes me worry less about the new album
    moody git
    aside from the fact that i didn't quite catch what you are trying to say, does that mean someone playing keyboard through a computer as a piano sampler, isn't in fact making music?
    Diony x
    UG has come more and more addicted to post about muse and mustaine. Wouldn't mind of little more interesting topics
    KingOfLimbs94
    I think everyone is going a bit over the top about their new music, whether it be positive/negative, everyone just need to calm down a bit, that being said, I like their new stuff.
    adodin
    Hoh boy... I guess John Cage, Edgard Varesse as well as every single member of the musique concrete and elektronischemusik schools of music that started in the early 20th century had no respect for music. Thank you for redefining my view of some of the world's most respected progressive composers, musicians, music theorists, musicologists, intellects and philosophes. The limitations that all the "non-teenagers," according to the definition that MuseicianX, have considered for what constitutes an instrument have not been seriously considered in the classical tradition for over a century. Anything that produces noise of any kind can be used as an instrument, I mean look up John Cage's Water Music for an example. he doesn't use a single traditional instrument for the entire thing or his entire percussive music catalogue. If "respecting" music is being reactionary and imposing meaningless limitations on artistic expression, then I do not want any part in this "respect" of yours.
    skidlz
    Yeah **** Muse for making dubstep with guitars and **** Tom Morello for jumping on the hip-hop bandwagon by making his guitar sound like a turntable. Screw those guys for being creative and inventive. Okay, hip-hop then and dubstep today may be mainsteam but how cool is it to take our instruments and hijack their sound and blend it with ours? The rappers and R&B "artists" have proven they aren't that creative; all they do is sample cool rock or metal songs. They don't create music. Let Muse do what they've always done and be progressive. Just because they've made this album sound this way doesn't mean the next one will be more of the same.
    baumaxx1
    Just saying it's pretty a pretty boring, repetitive song that isn't dynamic. Did not really capture my attention; it's like an interlude or loading screen music or something. Just saying... if they have a proper dubstep song on the album it better mix it with raw rock energy; the Prodigy, Pendulum and Does it Offend You Yeah? do and they seem to be doing it quite well. ... and Tom Morello used it in a way we haven't heard before. People have been making electronic music with guitars for a while and I was hoping for a weird hybrid sound that you couldn't just achieve with a synth.
    SweepSDMF
    You interact with it, it makes sounds, its an instrument. I hate all this elitist crap.
    Freshfresh83
    i don't remember making 'dubstep' sounds come out of just my guitar and amp?? maybe i need some more 'instruments' like a kaoss pad and laptop... i love the track but come on guys, its not 'just instruments'
    tvdinnerguy7
    What he means by using just instruments is by using the kaoss pad he is still manually and phisically manipulating the sound instead of just programming it to fire of at certain points during of the song on a laptop. true he uses a laptop to put the sounds on to the kaoss pad but he physically manipulates the pad to do certain things. Personally I'm not a big dubstep fan but I have a greater appreciation for the way Muse makes it.
    Superperfex
    The laptop is not an instrument. However, it's a tool created to make music. In order for something to be constituted as an instrument, you must be able to recreate the sound live without any backtrack.
    JohnnyApplecore
    Whether you like the band or not, it's apparent that they have talent in their own right. And whether you like the genre or not, there's also some good dubstep out there (as is the case with most forms of music). But "Unsustainable" does very little justice to either, in my honest opinion. If one wants to see dubstep performed with live instruments - Pinn Panelle's cover of Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites is a good place to start, even if you're not a fan of the original song.
    iommi600
    And now, all the people hating before will start giving them a ton of fellatio again.
    JPScralatchtica
    Anything can be an instrument. Especially a laptop. And believe me, computers have been used as instruments for a very long time.
    RC52190
    I've been reading the same 13 articles about the same 8 bands for the past 10 months now. Let's freshen it up a bit, huh, UG?
    GeekInThePink
    I don't like that he had to defend himself for making something awesome. Whatever you want to call it, "Unsustainable" is freaking awesome.
    Chronologo
    well commited, there are ppl who can't "sustain" the dubstep inside the album (me included)
    stickman31
    Anti-Dubstep? Pfffft the only way to make it anti-dubstep is to make it good....
    OMGitsBRIEN
    Muse was dubstep before dubstep was dubstep. Now it just has a name.
    JPScralatchtica
    True!
    ...just listen to the solo. He's been playing it like this live forever. This video is from 2007. It has all the elements of today's "dubstep" and he is actually physically manipulating that sound...it is not a prerecorded computer generated noise. And for those of you saying that you can't use a computer as an instrument, then why the f**k can you use an effects pedal? Pedals do not create natural guitar tones and most of them are digital now anyway...you don't even have to manipulate them anymore with things like autowah and vibrato. And why stop there, let's go back to the early days of rock and roll. People made the same arguments about amplified instruments and any hint of distortion. "It's not real music." Well, that was an ignorant claim back then and it's an ignorant claim today. You still have to have musical talent to know how to arrange the music that a computer makes. It's just a new sound. Honestly, I don't understand why there's so much hate on dubstep. It's a sound. You should be hating on dance music if you wanted to hate on a genre.
    bassisfun
    I really like Muse, I really do, but UG just seems to be fishing for articles and its turning a lot to Muse. I miss the times when it was all about Axl and the Gallagher brothers and I would get excited when there was something new on Muse.
    manicmuso
    Let's not forget, the noises made in the "dubstep" part of Unsustainable are noises Matt has been making on guitar for a long time. They've just put it in a dubstep context. The way they've written and recorded it is anti-dubstep, though you wouldn't particularly notice it just from listening. But that's the point!!
    LaughingWater2
    Backwards Tape Machines, Vocoders and Sequencers Arent Instuments so i guess the Beatles, Pink Floyd And Kraftwerk all need to be burned at the cross too for not Playing it on a instrument
    Mr_Gilb
    Dubstep with instruments is so underrated, watch this video!! Their called Pinn Panelle and do dubstep covers, watch this video, its so good!! Just think of the possibilites!
    Also sorry if im breaking and rules by posting links, Im not sure if your allowed, but watch the video! Its awesome.
    Koekoeksklok
    It's not even used as an instrument, more like a multidimensional wah/whammy pedal. Other then that, do you have something against calling synthesizers instruments as well?
    TimTheWizard
    what kind of dumb statement is that? "Oh we heard you don't like dubstep, so we put an anti-dubstep song with dubstep on the album for all the lovers AND all the haters" >_>
    iommi600
    Fucking hell, unbeliavable how people got THIS ignorant. The computer produces melodies, the musician uses it to make music and express his feeling, therefore is art, therefore computers ARE instruments. Getting your head out of your ass maybe?
    Redfinton22
    Dude, chill. There are plenty of things about making music on your computer that don't make you a lesser person, not to mention a musician.
    AcousticMetal99
    I personally tend to think of stuff on a computer, as making you a composer, not a musician. For example, I can't play violin, or keyboard very well, but I can compose for them on a computer if I wanted to. So I agree, laptop's are instruments, just a tool, like an effects pedal.
    Riser
    For anyone that still thinks dubstep is a bunch of random sounds and distorted electro bass, that's not necessarily true. Dubstep is essentially just a rhythm: 2/4 at 140 bpm. Alex Clare's Too Close? Whole chorus is dubstep. In fact, that song was produced by Diplo - a dubstep producer. Dubstep is easy to recreate on traditional instruments, just play in 2/4 at 140 bpm. That's really all it is, aside from a wallop of sub bass manipulated with an LFO. Don't hate on what you don't understand
    Ultima2876
    "it's like an assault on your ears" - well, yes, that's exactly why it sucks. When I listen to music I uh... don't want an assault on my ears?
    Kueller917
    A musical instrument is a device used to make music. A laptop, or a DAW, can be used to make music. It can be a musical instrument. Hell, anything can be a music instrument. Spoons are a surprisingly popular instrument.
    arnolddrummer
    Look at the musical act Stomp. No one would normally say that a broom is an instrument, but they go out there and turn everything into an instrument.
    baumaxx1
    I was hoping it would be a rock band playing a song with some dubstep elements, but this sounds just like every other generic dubstep song. Not different or unique enough and it sounds just like every dubstep song produced on computer. I was hoping for something more along these lines:
    elated Pendulum have been working a rock sound into DnB for ages... much more interesting than "lets make a generic dubstep song with normal instruments".
    Jordanelpaco
    think kasabian are going down this route a few dubstep jams at there concert the other night must be whats in
    minieme007
    Also, I should point out that the Kaoss Pad in his guitar is not a Kaoss Pad, nor is it connected to a laptop. It's an XY MIDI screen that's connected to a Kaoss Pad in his effects loop.
    mschup27
    Not a huge fan of Muse, but I can see the appeal in a lot of their music. Hell they're definitely better than 99% of radio rock music nowadays. I'm not a fan of dubstep either, but once again I can see the appeal. I've just never been a huge fan of any sort of techno or subgenre of electronic music. Pink Floyd is about as far as I go when it comes to synthesizers and crazy effects. The one question I have for long time Muse fans is do you think it's a bit sell-outish for them to be putting a dubstep song on their new album now that dubstep has become this hugely popular genre? I did notice some of you saying that the guitar player has done similar things in the past. I'm not trying to troll or hate on Muse, but I would just like to hear some perspective from people that like Muse and see if any long time fans have a problem with it. To an outsider, it very much seems like a ploy to cash in on a wider audience.