In the weeks after Matty Healy’s controversial behavior at the Good Vibes Festival got the festival canceled by Malaysian authorities, English rock band Muse has revealed why they chose to alter their setlist during their Malaysian tour stop.
In case you missed it, Healy outwardly expressed his distaste for the Malaysian government’s anti-LGBTQ laws while performing in the country’s capital city, Kuala Lumpur. After stating that he didn’t “see the fucking point… of inviting the 1975 to a country and then telling us who we can have sex with,” and kissing his bandmate on stage, the group was banned from performing in Malaysia.
Muse performed in Kuala Lumpur on July 29 for their “Will of the People Tour” — their first tour since before the pandemic — and replaced their song “We Are Fucking Fucked” with their 2009 track “Resistance.”
The band purportedly chose to remove “We Are Fucking Fucked” from their setlist due to the graphic nature of the song’s title, as was suggested in an interview on Rojak Daily with Adam Ashraf from Hello Universe, the tour’s promoter in Asia. However, the lyrics in “Resistance” are much more defiant in comparison.
“Resistance” touches on the politicization of sex and love: “Love is our resistance / They’ll keep us apart, and they won’t stop breaking us down” and “Kill your prayers for love and peace / You’ll wake the Thought Police.”
“We Are Fucking Fucked” is more alarmist as it states: “Another world war / Wildfires and earthquakes I foresaw / A life in crisis / A deadly virus / Tsunamis of hate are gonna find us.”
Muse drummer Dominic Howard confirmed the switch in an Instagram post where he thanked fans for coming out to see them throughout their summer dates. “So much thanks and gratitude goes out to everyone that came to see use this summer… It’s been epic,” he said before adding the “side note” that they “chose to play ‘Resistance’ over ‘WAFF’ in Malaysia” because “Resistance,” consisted of a “more poignant message given the circumstances,” ending the note with the emoji of a rainbow flag.
Representatives for Muse did not immediately respond to Variety‘s request for further clarification.
The Good Vibes Festival, which was also supposed to see performances from the Strokes and R&B singer Dhruv, was ultimately canceled following Healy’s comments. Several local artists are seeking legal repercussions against the band.
Healy also reacted to the news of Muse’s setlist switch by sharing an article that had come out in regards to the Rojak Daily interview and also posted a screenshot of the Muse pre-order message that read “Join the Resistance.” No further comment was made on their part.