Muse frontman Matt Bellamy said the guitar was “no longer a lead instrument” and that its days as a focal point of music are numbered. His comments came after he’d described the band’s next album, currently in progress, as an act of “era-blending,” and far more experimental than anything they’d done before.

“The guitar has become a textural instrument rather than a lead instrument," Bellamy told the BBC in a new interview. "And I think that's probably a good thing. What's exciting about this period of music is you can mix classical with hip-hop and rock in the same song. As a rock band you're slightly one foot in the past, playing instruments like guitar, bass and drums."

He added that latest Muse track “Thought Contagion” marked the first time they’d used “big [Roland TR] 808 [drum machine] drops and stuff,” and continued: “We've always kept an eye on what's gong on, and we've taken influence from things we think are cool in contemporary music. It's always been a theme."

Listen to Muse's "Thought Contagion"

He returned to his earlier phrase when he said: “It's almost like genre was an aesthetic that people attached themselves to, not just in music but also in the way they dressed and the kind of friends they hung around with. I feel like that age has come to an end and what's interesting about music now is not just the style-blending but the era-blending.

"So you'll have an artist like Lana Del Rey doing a song that sounds and feels like it's set in the 1950s, but she's singing about video games," he added. "It's an interesting time for era-blending and creating something which is timeless, and not particularly attached to any time. It becomes something ethereal and different."

Muse had previously discussed plans to release several more singles before their next album arrives. “If anything, it reminds me of what it was like in the very beginning, when a band first starts," Bellamy said. “You're thinking, 'We've got to make this track as good as it can be,' whether it’s an EP or a single or a B-side. You're thinking more about one or two pieces of music, rather than always thinking about 12, 13 songs."

He added that the follow-up to 2015’s Drones could arrive before the end of this year, to be followed by a “full world tour” in 2019. They currently have a short run of European shows on their schedule.

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