Muse has partnered with Microsoft to offer fans a one-of-a-kind virtual reality experience during their Simulation Theory world tour, which kicked off earlier this year.
For fans with “Enhanced Experience” tickets, which are offered on all tour stops, a pre-party gives them the ability to interact with Muse’s imaginary world through VR games.
Muse frontman Matt Bellamy tells Billboard what drew him to VR, and how the collaboration with Microsoft came to fruition. “Virtual Reality is something that since the ‘90s, it seemed like something that was about to appear,” Bellamy says. “[But] I think it’s finally sort of there. I mean, it’s something I’ve been waiting for, for a long time!”
The Brit also talked about how gaming initially helped the band bond. “We got together, actually, doing a lot of gaming when we were younger. Playing games, like Amiga computer games and things like that, some console games,” he says. “But I kind of got tired of it all by the time I was in my 20s, didn’t really game at all in my 20s. I kind of felt like it needs a breakthrough into the next dimension. And I think that’s what VR could be.”
He adds, “I’m for the first time since my teenage years, into gaming again, and I think that’s because of VR. I think it's just this generation or generations that we're living through, this period of immense integration of technology into our lives. "
The rock band’s eighth studio album, Simulation Theory, was released last year in November. The 16-track record features cover artwork by Kyle Lambert, who is the designer for Netflix’s Stranger Things. Reminiscent of classic '80s sci-fi films, the aesthetic, along with the album title — which references “simulation hypothesis,” the notion that we’re living in an artificial reality — keeps with the band’s futuristic themes throughout the project.
In the VR features, Microsoft has incorporated Muse’s vision for a surreal experience. See tour dates on the band's website, and visit Microsoft's website to learn more about their Microsoft In Culture program. The band's next stops are a Philadelphia's Wells Fargo Center on Sunday (April 7), and New York City's Madison Square Garden on Monday (April 8).