Muse Returns to the Studio

Getty
Matthew Bellamy of Muse performs onstage during day 2 of the 2014 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club on April 12, 2014 in Indio, California

Muse is back in the studio. And they appear to be rather enjoying the experience.

The British prog-rock trio has shared some images and a brief clip of the early recording sessions for their seventh studio album. 

There are a few take-aways from the Instagram snaps (their only posts on the social network). First, they’ve been cutting some “FAT bass distortion.” Second, Muse frontman Matt Bellamy is now sporting a beard and long hair. And third, well, that initial session was a jolly if the smiles on the faces of Bellamy and drummer Dominic Howard are anything to go by. 

There's no timetable for the release of Muse’s next album, which will be the follow-up to the Grammy-nominated set 2nd Law, which debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart in October 2012. The set sold 101,000 in its first week according to Nielsen SoundScan, to give the group it third top 10 in the U.S. following a No. 9 peak with Black Holes and Revelations and a No. 3 rank with The Resistance.

Speaking to NME earlier this year, Bellamy gave a hint of things to come. "I've written some good tracks, actually,” he said. “We haven't had a chance to rehearse them out yet... I have this strong feeling that the next album should be something that really does strip away the additional things that we've experimented with on the last two albums, which is electronics, symphonics and orchestral work and all that kind of stuff." 

When Billboard caught up with Howard in January 2013, it was touring -- not recording -- that was in the band members' minds. “We tend to feel like we need to finish touring one album before we start anything else rather than starting an album on the road,” he said at the time. “We like to finish a chapter and start afresh, so it'll be a couple of years, probably. But we're definitely thinking about it."

After completing their 2014 touring plans with shows at Coachella in April, it’s clearly now time to open that new chapter.