Muse Sued For Stealing Rock Opera

Author wants $3.5 million from band for stealing his sci-fi concept.

Ultimate Guitar

In one of today's stranger news items, NME are reporting that Muse and Warner Bros. Records are facing a lawsuit from a man who claims that the band stole the concept for his sci-fi rock opera. Charles Bolfrass, who filed the lawsuit last week, is alleging that the band stole his "cinematic science-fiction rock opera", which is titled "Exogenesis", and is now seeking $3.5 million from the group in recompense.

Bolfrass claims that he contacted the band back in 2005 with ideas for a science fiction rock opera about space travel after the demise of the planet Earth, an idea which the band rejected. However, the band's 2009 album, "The Resistance", ended with a three part conceptual suite, the the tracks of which are titled "Exogenesis Parts I", "II" and "III". Bolfrass also believes that the band stole the concept for the album cover from storyboards that he had provided. He is suing Warner Music for copyright infringement, unfair trade practices and unfair competition.

Muse, meanwhile, are set to release their new album, "The 2nd Law" on October 1st. The band will also undertake a short arena tour in the UK in that month to support the album's release. Speaking to Q magazine last month, singer Matt Bellamy revealed that the band don't always take themselves too seriously:

"We don't care if people don't necessarily take songs like that 100 per cent seriously. We're not afraid of our eccentricities, we're not afraid of going into almost Monty Python rock. But it's like opera. If you put a piece of opera on, it's ridiculous unless you've listened to the whole thing and just go there with it."

Muse fans may be quick to note that, while Bolfrass's sci-fi opera does share its name with a trio of Muse songs, the concept of his project is pretty similar to the plot of the video for the band's "Sing For Absolution", which was released in 2004.

Trending stories

86 comments sorted by best / new / date

comments policy
    That picture.
    if they really did steal the idea from him, why would he wait three years to do anything about it?
    Strummerboy Leo
    "singer Matt Belmay " How hard is it to proof read something?
    Might have to go back and sue them for the Sing For Absolution video too then... What a moron.
    This needs the title changed to "Muse SLAMMED by lawsuit" or something along that line. Cmon UG keep your headlines up to the community standards!
    Someone is hard up for money. Exogenesis and its subject matter isn't that different than Apocalypse Please, which came out in 2004.
    And it's hardly an original concept in the first place. As for the "stealing the concept for the album cover from his storyboards" surely he should be suing the artist who drew it? He hasn't got a leg to stand on.
    The lyrics in 'Exogenesis' aren't even super specific?! Definitely about the end of the world, but so are half of their other songs, mostly all predating 2005.
    I lost all respect for Matt when I realised that the opening synth line on Uprising is stolen straight from Billy Idol's White Wedding...
    It's called "influence."
    That's the first thing I thought when I heard that song. I don't mind artistic influence or even blatant 'borrowing', but sounding like a direct copy of something else in the first few seconds probably won't give you a proper first impression, like you might hope for.
    It has a few of the same notes, but it's hardly worthy of being DIRECTLY stolen from White Wedding, there's still a significant difference. They're in the same key it seems, this makes songs closer to sounding like each other when specific note sequences are played obviously. A bit of a stretch and narrow-minded to call it a straight copy. I'd also like to know where the similarity between White Wedding and Pinball Wizard lies, I hear nothing.
    Here's what probably happened: the author came up with the idea for a generic science fiction book about the end of the world and whatnot, but Muse saw it for what it was and snubbed (SLAMMED?) it. Later, the author's books turn out to be crap and don't sell, while Muse does what they always do and write about the end of the world. The author can't tell the difference because his stories are so generic, and decides to kill two birds with one stone and sue for millions. It's the same sob story as it is with most lawsuits of this sort.
    If he wins this lawsuit then I'm going to sue Crayola for making those scented colored markers. I totally thought of that when I was 6 years old.
    I love it when some one things they are the only person who could ever come up with an idea. I know a few people like that, I want to slap them.
    The premise of "Space travel after the demise of planet Earth" seems hardly new even in rock operas. This lawsuit is pretty much baseless.
    Muse has done many sci-fi, spacey things long before. Just keeping with the tradition.
    " fiction rock opera about space travel after the demise of the planet Earth..." Boston anyone?
    they deserve it for saying dubstep is the new heavy metal.
    Floyd Phoenix
    Oddly enough, I've had ideas for concept albums that I've had to dismiss because Muse suddenly bring it out soon after I've thought of it.... Bellamy recorded his babys heartbeat whilst his wife was in labour. I'd be surprised if he didn't do other stuff just for music either...