Creative expression has a unique meaning and approach for everyone who identifies as an artist. For some, strictly making rock music is their way of showing up in the industry, while others like mixing it up to see where they can take the audience with their music.
For instance, Muse‘s 2009 fifth studio album ‘The Resistance’ which included the final three tracks under the title, ‘Exogenesis: Symphony,’ was a testament to the band’s creative expression. Although for most, it was considered unconventional or the strangest body of work they had ever released, Matt Bellamy, who wrote the tracks, was contemplating this idea for years and finally wanted to include it in an album.
Before the album was released, Bellamy had shared with the press that he would want to do at least one 15-minute space rock solo. When it came to making the album, discussions about creating a symphony took a more serious turn. Bellamy even gave insights to NME about how he was bringing together an orchestra and making the three final tracks of the album.
Matt Bellamy’s words about working on the symphonic song that consisted of three parts on the album:
“There is a new song in three parts, more of a symphony than a song, which I have been working on sporadically for many years […] As a large percentage of the composition is orchestral, I have never wanted to collaborate with a string arranger as they may make it ‘theirs.’ So I have been arranging the orchestral elements myself, which is taking a long time. It should hopefully make the next album as the final three tracks.”
The album closed out with three parts dubbed ‘Overture,’ ‘Cross-Pollination,’ and ‘Redemption.’ It received critical acclaim but was a body of work that surprised many. Three years after its release, Muse and Warner Bros. Records were bombarded with a lawsuit from a man, Charles Bolfrass, who claimed that the band stole the concept for his ‘sci-fi rock opera’ that he had sent a few of the band members in 2005, but Muse had refused to go along with the proposal.
Bolfrass sought $3.5 million in damages for copyright infringement, unfair trade practices, and unfair competition. In response, a Muse spokesperson denied the allegations, stating that they were complete nonsense and that the album had been released three years earlier, and this was the first they had heard of the claims.
A spokesperson for Muse said in response to the allegations read:
“The claim is complete nonsense and is categorically denied. It appears to be based on a ‘screenplay’ that the band never received or saw, produced by someone the band has never heard of. It speaks volumes that the album in question was released three years ago, and yet this is the first that has been heard of these groundless allegations.”
Fortunately, the lawsuit was dismissed in 2013, with the judge ruling that Bolfrass’s statements had no factual basis. While both works shared a similar theme of planetary breakdown and space travel, their execution differed significantly. Muse’s unconventional work had almost been discredited, but they ultimately won the lawsuit.