Muse's fusion of progressive rock, glam, electronica, and Radiohead-influenced experimentation is crafted by guitarist/vocalist Matthew Bellamy, bassist Chris Wolstenholme, and drummer Dominic Howard. Bored by the sleepy life provided by their hometown of Teignmouth, Devon, the three British friends began playing music together. They started the first incarnation of their band while only 13 years old, changing the name of the group from Gothic Plague to Fixed Penalty to Rocket Baby Dolls as time passed. By 1997, the bandmates settled on the name Muse and released their self-titled debut EP on Dangerous Records, followed by the Muscle Museum EP in 1998. The group's emotive, passionate sound and live presence drew critical acclaim and industry buzz, and Muse signed a deal with Maverick Records after a trip to New York's CMJ festival. The singles "Cave" and "Uno" preceded their debut full-length album, Showbiz, which was released toward the end of 1999. Two years later, Muse issued The Origin of Symmetry and had a major hit with "Hyper Music," which helped propel the album to platinum status in the U.K.
In 2002, fans were treated to Hullabaloo Soundtrack, a combination rarities/live set that peaked at number ten in Europe. Muse then returned with a proper studio effort, Absolution, which became the band's first album to chart in America. A short North American tour in the spring of 2004 coincided with Muse's spot on the fifth annual Coachella Music and Arts Festival, and Absolution eventually went gold in the U.S. Back at home, the album earned Muse their second platinum certification. Released two years later, Black Holes and Revelations marked the band's brightest, most dynamic set of material to date, topping the U.K. album chart within its first week and earning Muse their second consecutive number one album at home. In America, Black Holes and Revelations broke into the Top Ten.
Muse toured Europe, America, Australia, and Southeast Asia in support of the album, and their dynamic stage performance (which won the band multiple awards for Best Live Act, including accolades from the NME Awards, the Q Awards, and the Vodafone Live Music Awards) was captured on 2008's H.A.A.R.P. Live from Wembley. The trio spent the remainder of that year -- as well as the early part of 2009 -- in the recording studio, eventually emerging with the release of The Resistance in September.