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One Made It Through: A Rock Band Fan Story

After the last week of new weekly Rock Band DLC, we asked fans to send us their stories about Rock Band to share with the community. This story is from forum member Muunchy about one of his favorite bands in the game, Muse.

Time and time again, when someone asks me something about Rock Band, the first question is usually “What Muse songs do they have?”, knowing I’m a huge fan of the band. “Hysteria”, I’ll respond. Usually after a noticeable pause, they’d ask “Is that it? Why isn’t there more”, which would end up with a quick chat about music licensing... Which would inevitably go on for a while.

After repeating this MANY TIMES over the last four years, I can honestly say I’ve come to hugely respect the amount of work Harmonix has put into the music store and, more importantly, how they’ve dealt with the more “difficult” fans of the game. The ones that idly say they’re doing a terrible job for not putting “Insert band name here” in the game, or for not getting the right songs for bands that did get content published. In a way, it’s these fans that I really didn’t appreciate, and no bunch of “super” fans angered me more than the fans that regularly ambushed the Facebook pages and the forums and repeatedly yelled out that Muse were terrible and didn’t deserve any more content... For no good reason.

Probably a biased opinion, sure. I absolutely love the band, no question. Muse are one of the few bands around at the moment, who I can listen to all their songs and not get bored halfway through. How? I find that each album they release covers a huge range of styles and tempo’s that keep the listener on their toes; while they may have gone too far with the last album, I still thoroughly enjoyed it. Which album would I say does this the best out of all of them. Absolution. It stands as being my favourite album of all time, and for good reason.

It’s this point in the Muse timeline where themes became commonplace and, while the themes in Absolution aren’t nearly as prevalent as their 5th studio album, made for some great songs, lyrically. My favourite has to be "Ruled by Secrecy" (lyrically and as a Muse song in general). It’s a pretty emotional song, one that delves into conspiracies and a loss of control. I always envision their music to play out as short stories, structured around a crescendo that highlights the key event in each song. This one in particular hits quite a sombre piano solo, which I’ve always felt symbolic of the man in the song losing his mind and murdering the people he works with. It’s dark, poetic and deeply beautiful from start to finish. Then you have the song we did get in Rock Band, "Hysteria". While it more obviously sticks to the theme of insanity, the tempo and heaviness of the track itself conveys a completely different kind of insanity. "Ruled by Secrecy" sticks to the silent kind, hiding the insanity till it can’t be hidden anymore, while "Hysteria" focuses on the more vocal crazy, with a quicker build up before the sudden rush of delirium.

And what of that breakdown? I’m sure there are many interpretations of this album, some completely different to mine, but I feel that this is a perfect metaphor for the types of Rock Band fans that kept buying DLC. There were the ones that were openly vocal about their desire for the content they wanted, the “Hysterical ones,” and those who desperately wanted their content as well but kept quiet, in the hope it would show up one day, the “Secretive ones.” Of course, no one has gone as far as killing for the content they want, but it is true that the DLC was completely out of their control. Of course, I’ve put too much thought into this interpretation, but where would we be without wild interpretations?

And what about "Hysteria" in Rock Band? After 5 years, it’s still as fun to play now as it was back in 2008, a HOPO-fest guaranteed to give your fingers a workout, and your psyche if you're chasing the Gold Stars and keep choking close to the end. While it would have been amazing to get more content from Muse, I couldn’t be happier we got something, when other bands didn’t get to appear in game. From one of the less vocal Muse fans, I’d like to personally thank HMX for licensing this, and for giving Muse fans the chance to play one of their songs. At least now, the “MOAR MUSE” meme can pass on.