Is there a new world for us? Muse’s Matt Bellamy certainly has a hunch that things are about to change in a very significant way. While some of those ideas permeate into the band’s upcoming album Will of the peopleBellamy further broke it out in an editorial with NME, suggesting the “end of a certain cycle of civilization” is happening, calling it a period of “great transition.”
“The end is coming,” Bellamy declares, before thinking, “The end of what, though? It’s not the end of man. It’s certainly not the end of the world. It’s certainly not the end of evolution. “In reality, if we’re honest about it, it’s not even the end of humanity, right? But it’s the end of something. It’s the end of a certain cycle of civilization.”
He explains: “If you look through history, it’s just cycles that come and go. Some people call them “debt cycles”; it relates to credit and money and how banking systems work. Cycles can last a few hundred years or a few decades. Essentially it comes to a bottleneck where there will be a disturbance. Everyone is doing everything they can to pretend that’s not going to happen or to maintain the status quo [but] the longer they hold on to this, the worse it will be when it happens. If we can make the transition a little more gradual, maybe it could be a little less violent. But it’s going to be a big, big shift. You’re talking about an economic collapse, shift and reinvention, total energy transition. That is really what we are dealing with here: a disruptive transition.”
Central to this is also a political factor, with Bellamy revealing that this shift has the ability to create a new political base, although it may not come without its problems. “There is a window for a nice new kind of political model or socio-economic structure that could very well be. Good change is possible, but the problem is you have these authoritarians who realize they can take advantage of disruption,” says the singer.
He points out that the Trump presidency divides people rather than unites them, noting that Putin also adopts the idea of embracing chaos in division as a way to reclaim the old Soviet states. But from this upheaval, he expects a revolution to take place, one that may not even be defined yet.
“I think everyone knows we want a revolution, but we definitely don’t want a bunch of authoritarian lunatics from the right. That’s the last thing we want,” says the singer. “And we don’t want a total communist situation on the far left either. I think what we want is something completely new. I don’t think it exists out there. at the moment, but I think a new kind of politics could emerge. I would call it metacentrism. It’s a swing between liberal, libertarian values for individuals – your social life, the ability to be whatever gender you are, all that sort of thing – but more socialist about things like land tenure, nature and energy distribution. It’s an oscillation between the two poles.”
He continues: “I think there is a way to do that, but there is no language that allows people to think that way. You’re either far left or you’re very right… I’m not with any of these; I feel there is a third way. There isn’t a side that describes what I’m looking for yet… I’m fundamentally anti-authoritarian – that’s just my nature; I was born that way. So when I see certain things on both sides, that… [make you think]”Don’t tell me to do that or live like that,” it doesn’t matter where it comes from, I’ll probably resist it.”
Some of these ideals are addressed in the recent single ‘Compliance’, with Bellamy saying: ‘Both sides are so far apart as they both come up with their own weirdo: ‘You can’t think this, you can’t say this, that you can’t’ and after a while that gets tiresome for people.”
Looking back at where we are today in this cycle he envisions, the singer says: “We live in a time when it is very important to be able to support yourself through prolonged power cuts, cyber attacks, food supply crisis, energy crisis. These things are going to play out now, but at the same time, we don’t want to lose sight of the things that hold us together, the social connections we have.”
He concludes. “All this arguing on Twitter about who said what and how they said it – I’m sure in 50 years people will look back at this point in history and think, ‘What the hell were they talking about? How come they couldn’t see the bus that was about to hit them?’”
Muses Will of the people album comes out on August 26. The album, largely inspired by the events taking place in 2020 to the present, is currently available for pre-order here and has already spawned the singles “Won’t Stand Down”, “Compliance” and the title track.
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