Musings of Muse

Since finishing the album, Muse has kept busy playing shows in Atlanta and various other parts of North America. In July they played before a crowd of almost 10,000 people at Toronto's Eden Festival on a bill that included Live, the Cure, Bush, Porno for Pyros, Tragically Hip, and the Goo Goo Dolls, among others. (Muse, by the way, was the only band at the festival that had not yet released an album.) A January show at the Mercury Lounge in New York City with Atlantic labelmates Matchbox 20 and the Gufs was broadcast over the Internet.

The band has also returned to Miami over the past year to play a couple of shows at Rose's Bar & Music Lounge. "We haven't forgotten where we come from," says Isaac. "Miami has been very special to us, and we love going down there. We left because it's good to move and find new environments, circulate, see different things. Otherwise it's like quicksand. But we can't wait to do something cool down there." Something like the promotional deal they've concocted with Spec's Music, in which the Miami-based chain will give away a tape titled Raw and Rough from the L.A. Tapes, with the otherwise unavailable "Radioman," to the first 500 customers who purchase Arcana at any of the company's 50 Florida stores. The band expects the record to do well in Miami: In October Muse's show at Rose's drew such a large crowd that the club had to turn people away by midnight.

Muse has built a considerable following in Miami since forming in early 1992. They spent a couple of years writing songs in near-seclusion, playing the occasional show at local alternative dance clubs before making the jump to rock venues. Until the release of their EP, they played relatively few live gigs, but nonetheless gained recognition by issuing a few promotional singles to local college radio stations such as WVUM-FM (90.5) and the Broward station WKPX-FM (88.5). Well-publicized shows at the Cameo Theatre, Cheers, and the now-defunct Stephen Talkhouse took on the air of real happenings and generated some great press, much of which touted Muse as the band to put Miami on the rock-music map.

"Back then we just laughed about it, and now we still laugh about it, because we don't want that kind of fame," Isaac says of the press raves. "We just want to make our art, our music. When you are true to yourself, people will see that and relate to it, but when you start doing things to please other people and not yourself, you lose something. So we'll just see what happens.

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