Muse singer Matt Bellamy has become embroiled in a transatlantic war of words with Fox News right-wing commentator Glenn Beck. It began with an Observer interview in which Bellamy expressed his concern at the way the American right has attempted to use Muse’s music.
He was particularly disturbed at the frequency with which their song 'Uprising' was used on right wing conspiracy videos posted on YouTube. "'Uprising' was requested by so many politicians in America for use in their rallies and we turned them down on a regular basis," Bellamy said.
The singer said that "making music is an expression of feelings of helplessness and lack of control that I think a lot of people can relate to." Some of the people who relate to it include the hardcore American libertarian right.
Beck, a consistent critic of President Obama, was moved to write a long and detailed open letter to Bellamy. "As uncomfortable as it might be for you, I will still play your songs loudly," he wrote. "To me your songs are anthems that beg for choruses of unity and pose the fundamental question facing the world today – can man rule himself?"
The nature of Bellamy’s band’s bombastic, portentous and grandiose music does seem to lend itself to being adopted by political ideologies that don’t appeal to the Devon band.
Beck told Bellamy to go with the flow. "There's a place where you and I meet," he claimed. "It's a place where guys who cling to their religion, rights and guns connect with godless, clenched-fist-tattoo guys. I thank you for singing words that resonate with man in his struggle to be free."
Bellamy may be reminded of the expression that begins: "With friends like these . . ."