You don’t have to be a hardcore fan of Muse to know that they’ve got a sci-fi streak as wide as their laser-guided arena rock show is massive, after all, their forthcoming sixth studio album The 2nd Law finds the trio exploring the possibility of un-renewable resources to a soundtrack that mashes cinematic strings with Skrillex-influenced dubstep.
But a new legal stoush concerning the band suggests that some of their more out-there concepts may not be their own.
NME reports that the sci-fi rock power trio and their record label Warner Music could be looking at a $US 3.5 million lawsuit from a man who says the band allegedly stole his idea for a sci-fi rock opera.
The lawsuit specifically references Muse’s three-part suite at the tail-end of their 2009 album, The Resistance called ‘Exogenesis’ and the plaintiff, Charles Bolfrass filed in the Manhattan federal court last week, accusing the band of “ripping off” his “cinematic science-fiction rock opera” of the same name.
Bolfrass claims he contacted the UK arena superstars and two other undisclosed acts in 2005 with the idea of writing a sci-fi rock opera about space travel after the demise of planet Earth. Adding that Muse rejected his idea the following year, but that the three tracks that make up their 2009 ‘Exogenesis’ suite follow are remarkably similar thematic premise.
Broken up into three four-minute sections sub-titled ‘Overture’, ‘Cross-Pollination’ and ‘Redemption’ and featuring a 40+ orchestra, the ‘Exogenesis’ symphony follows a narrative that, according to Muse fansite Musewiki and the words of conspiracy theory loving frontman Matt Bellamy is about “the jaded acceptance that civilisation will end.”
With the second part representing “a desperate hope that sending astronauts to find and populate other planets will be successful alongside the recognition that this is the last hope.” The third and final section is, in Bellamy’s words, “when the astronauts realise that it is just one big cycle, and recognise unless humanity can change it will happen all over again.”
It sure sounds like your typical science-fiction fodder, but it’s also pretty similar to what Bolfrass is claiming was the trajectory of his stage musical.
The angered rock opera author is also suing the band for the cover artwork for The Resistance, saying the colourful hexagon tunnel sleeve was stolen from an image from the storyboards for his initial operatic concept.
Bolfrass is suing Warner Music for copyright infringement, unfair trade practices and unfair competition.
In related news, Muse release their new album The 2nd Law on October 1 and have recently released the video for lead single, the digi-love pop tune ‘Madness’, which you can view above in the banner.Write a Letter to the Editor