Muse are a band that has become a bit heavier over time, especially on last year's album Will of the People and in an interview with Classic Rock, frontman Matt Bellamy reveals his heavy metal... umm... muses... and how his band and Iron Maiden are actually a lot alike despite sounding worlds apart.

Bellamy says, "I definitely think a bit more metal has crept in this time," in regards to Muse's latest record, which is home to "Kill Or Be Killed," a song featuring a death growl from the singer/guitarist. The heavier influences this time around are in part influenced by his son's own musical tastes, particularly Slipknot.

Still, Muse's metal influences go back much further than that.

"Metal has always been around for us," Bellamy affirms, "When we were growing up we were listening to bands like Iron Maiden. And though we connected more through Nirvana, Rage Against The Machine and the Smashing Pumpkins, we always had this love for '80s metal. Metallica were also a big one for us, but Iron Maiden were the British band and also felt a bit more punk rock in ways."

Referencing very early Maiden, Bellamy continues, "The song "Phantom of the Opera" [from Iron Maiden’s 1980 self-titled debut] doesn’t feel as bloated or overtly classical as other metal songs. There’s still something quite angry and scary about it. That’s why Maiden are a band we’ve always looked up to."

So, how does Iron Maiden's style mesh with Muse's alt-prog rock?

"That usage of the harmonic minor scale and the progressive approach to arrangements is something that we share even if we never sounded like them and live in a different genre," he explains, "We have a lot of respect for them as musicians, especially Steve Harris, who is one of the best bass players around."

Bellamy also noted that he heard Gojira "a while back" and that it's likely some of that rubbed off on Will of the People.

If you're an Iron Maiden or Muse fan (or both!), you'll have an opportunity to see each of them live this year. Muse and Evanescence will embark on a North American tour from late February through mid-April (get tickets here) and Iron Maiden will tour Europe and the U.K. on the all-new The Future Past tour, with a special focus on the Senjutsu and Somewhere In Time albums in addition to select hits (get tickets here).

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