‘I’m like a match to a flame!’ VMA performer writes of just-revealed album title.
By Kara Warner
Alicia Keys’ Girl on Fire
Photo: Sony Music Entertainment
By Zachary Swickey
When we got our first taste of Muse’s upcoming sixth studio album, The 2nd Law, we were surprised by the inclusion of dubstep. Now, for those curious how that came about, look no further than the dubstep king Skrillex.
The British rockers have revealed that the album’s first single “Unsustainable” was written promptly after seeing a Skrillex show.
”We went to see Skrillex in Camden around October. We went, ‘F**k, it’s so heavy’, loved it,” drummer Dominic Howard told NME. ”It was like a full metal gig, they had the circles of death, people were moshing, I hadn’t seen a reaction like that to electronic music before. We took inspiration and came up with ‘Unsustainable.’”
Singer Matt Bellamy was equally enthusiastic about what he witnessed, saying, ”The mosh pit has moved from guitars and gone towards the laptop, so with that song we’re trying to see if we can challenge the laptop.”
”We created something that was dubsteppy but we wanted to see if we could do it with real instruments,” Bellamy continued. “We wanted to ask, ‘Can rock bands compete with what these guys are doing?’”
Global crises also provided inspiration for Muse’s newest album with the band taking their sound to soaring heights on tracks like “Supremacy” and their official Olympic-endorsed track “Survival.”
”Every time I watched the news when we were making the album, it was endless stuff about the Euro banking crisis,” Bellamy explained. “All the news programs seemed to be obsessed with growth. The album is my own internal conflict of celebrating the strength but also saying, ‘F**k, where do we go from here?”’
The 2nd Law hits stores worldwide September 17.
By Nadeska Alexis with reporting by Rob Markman
Later this year Pusha T will drop his debut album and he promises an unforgettable listening experience, inspired by the classic film “Devil’s Advocate.”
Last year’s Fear of God mixtape delivered a potent dose of his lyrical venom, but while recording his still-untitled debut, Pusha turned his focus to musicality. Enlisting The-Dream and Rico Beats on production, he’s been hard at work crafting a project heavy with rhyme and melody, which finds him painting a complete picture of the lifestyle that most rappers only skirt over in their music.
The album has not been pegged with a release date yet, but during his sit down for MTV’s Hip-Hop Music Preview, Pusha gave some insight on the topics that made him tick — from relationships, to family and even major pop-culture events like the death of Steve Jobs. Expect to find beauty, glitz and glamour juxtaposed with the harsh realities of street life and fame.
The Recording Process
“Unlike most artists, I’m a morning person when it comes to recording. My recording day can start as early as 9 a.m., and I’ll write what needs to be put down, and hopefully I’m leaving by 1 p.m.
“I’m not a studio junkie at all. I actually don’t like the studio because it sort of ruins my vibe. To me, it’s just [a place] to lay down vocals and get out of there. For whatever reason, I’m most creative and write best in the shower, and also when I’m driving. Even if I don’t have a starting point, it usually comes with the constant flow of water or the monotony of driving.”
The Cinematic Influence
“This album was based off the movie ‘Devil’s Advocate.’ Not theme-wise at all, but just in the feel of the album. ‘Devil’s Advocate’ is a very dark movie, but at the same time, visually, it’s beautiful. The album is based off of that because I speak about the harsh realities of street life but there’s a lot of glitz and glamour that comes along with that. If you just look at it at face value, you might think, ‘It sounds a bit like he’s glorifying [street life],’ but when you get tuned into the record, you realize that you get both sides of it.
“There’s a scene where one of Charlize Theron’s girlfriends — a beautiful woman — is trying on clothes, and as Charlize is looking at her, her face turns into a monster. That’s one of the scenes that really paints the picture of the beauty and the dark side of my album.”
“40 Acres”: “One of the more thoughtful records would be ’40 Acres,’ and it’s produced by The-Dream and Rico Beats. It really harps on things that have happened in my life in regards to family — my brother being my partner, my parents not being together — speaking on how those things altered my views on relationships and so on.
“One of the lyrics goes, ‘Unpolished, unapologetic, might’ve broke a heart or two, but gave an honest effort/ You see my nonchalant attitude is always f— it/ 35 years of marriage, and my mama left it/ You shouldn’t question if you ever stood a chance with him, the better question is, did you enjoy the dance with him?/ I’ll probably never pull your chair out, bitch, you know this money grew your hair out, switch/ All that s— I bought, you wear out, rich/ But I’m the only one I care ’bout.’
“A lot of people, and men in general, don’t recognize that their selfishness towards women in a relationship probably has to do with something that has happened in their life before. I like to harp on things like that because people speak about relationships like it’s always so blissful but, like I said, my album is also based in harsh realities.”
The Five-Word Description
Musicality: “There are a few things I feel that are lacking in rap, and musicality is one of them. The ‘superproducer’ damn near died this year.”
Cinematic: ” ‘Devil’s Advocate’ made everything seem so much easier in terms of making the record and knowing which direction to go in. There are a lot of records that I had to rewrite because it wasn’t ‘movie enough.’ I wrote ’40 acres’ three times.”
Uncompromised: “We didn’t compromise on anything on this record. I have my own standard for raps.”
Lyricism: “There’s just never a moment where the fundamentals of hip-hop are ever forsaken.”
Big: “I don’t think there’s any point on this album where I thought twice about anything I was about to say, regardless of who it might’ve touched or affected or annoyed.”
Check in with MTV News all this week for our Hip-Hop Music Preview, when rap’s biggest names give you an in-depth look at some of the year’s most anticipated albums. Join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #MTVHipHopPreview!
Pop punkers open up to MTV News about exploring the country sound on Crazy World.
By Jocelyn Vena
Martin Johnson of Boys Like Girls
Photo: MTV News