Led by the single "Dead Inside" which peaked at No. 1 on Billboard's Rock Airplay and Alternative Songs charts, the follow-up to 2012's "The 2nd Law" is a concept album that frontman Matthew Bellamy has previously said will explore "the journey of a human, from their abandonment and loss of hope, to their indoctrination by the system to be a human drone, to their eventual defection from their oppressors."
Discussing the new project, Muse's Chris Wolstenholme first explained in a new interview with Music Feed why he and his bandmates decided to do a concept album. "I think particularly with the way that albums seem to be becoming less and less important - and have been for a number of years - you know, we almost wanted to bring back the importance of the album," he said.
"But I think to make an album important you really have to give it a reason to be. And I think, we just felt that, to have an album that has a real strong story that runs from start to finish, and a real kind of clear concept, it gives the album a purpose and a reason to be an album, and a reason for it to be important again," he continued.
However, he didn't really know how "Drones" would be like when they began working on it. "So quite often, me and Dom [Howard] don't always 100|percent| know what's going on lyrically," he admitted. "I know Matt had said it was a concept album and he'd had this sort of Drones idea - but you know, he didn't really elaborate on it too much initially."
"It wasn't really until we got to the rehearsal process - we sort of had this process of recording a lot of our rehearsals so that we could constantly go back and check against things that we'd done the previous week - and as this process sort of got deeper and deeper, you know, Matt was obviously starting to throw a lot of lyrical ideas down. And that was really when the concept became obvious to me, and that was at the point when I realized that this wasn't just, you know, some sort of loose concept that he'd come up with, it was a real kind of story, it was something that was kind of obvious throughout that album from start to finish," he added.
Wolstenholme also revealed in the interview that he and his Muse bandmates didn't rule out possibility that they'd make a West End musical version of the forthcoming album, although their main focus now was to get the record out and bring it on a tour.