The rock band Muse has never exactly hid its politics. Remember the bop “Uprising” from 2009, which included lines such as, “Rise up and take the power back / It’s time the fat cats had a heart attack”? This time, the boys may have taken things a step too far. Muse released a new single, “Compliance,” which the band had previously teased with a lengthy, head-turning message on social media. “Compliance is about the promise of safety and reassurance sold to us by powerful entities during times of vulnerability,” the band wrote, going on to decry “misleading untruths” from those entities, which want “obedience” to a “narrow worldview.” With the COVID-19 pandemic ongoing and public-health compliance waning, some took that to be an anti-vaxx message. Now that the song is out, the band is only complicating things further. Take a look at the “Compliance” music video, which is about a world in which people are forced to … wear masks. These masks are more Freddy Krueger than KN95, but a little on the nose, don’t you think?
A press release says the video (inspired by Looper!) “follows three children wearing masks destroying their future selves in order to escape a dystopian and oppressive world.” A longer statement from the band on the song includes all those right-wing culture-war buzzwords: “in-group,” “freedom,” “independent thought,” “herded, frightened, and corralled.” What’s more, the song is off an upcoming album called Will of the People, out August 26, which includes songs such as “Won’t Stand Down,” “Kill or Be Killed,” and “We Are Fucking Fucked.” Now maybe we’re just drastically misinterpreting here. But if we were to guess some anti-mask bands … Muse wouldn’t not be on the list.