Elton John Asked Muse to Write Survival

In a recent interview with KROQ, Matt Bellamy reveals how the band received a phone call from Elton John, requesting a song for the Olympics.

In the midst of recording The 2nd Law, the band’s 6th studio album, Muse received a phone call that would change the course of their album’s release and deliver an audience of over a billion.

Frontman Matt Bellamy explains his elation when learning that his song was adopted by the London 2012 Olympics. In a chat with KROQ-FM Los Angeles’ Stryker, he describes the amazement the band shares having penned the official Olympics theme. “It’s great to be a part of it. It’s such an exciting time for London. London’s been building up to this for like ten years. Patriotism isn’t really a big thing in England but I think this Olympics has brought it back a little bit.”

More than just part of a montage, “Survival” was chosen as the official theme of the London Olympics. But how and why was the song chosen?

Bellamy describes a surprising phone call from a fellow English artist. “Well actually, believe it or not, Elton John gave us a call and wanted to write a song for the Olympics. At one time Elton John was actually the director of the music for the Olympics. He contacted us and we thought ‘This is far out! We’re going to do a song for the Olympics with Elton John?!’”

“So that’s how the ball started rolling way back over a year ago,” continues Bellamy. “But then he pulled out of the Olympics. He didn’t want to be involved anymore cause he fell out with the organizers so that left us with a half-baked idea. At that point we just let it go and carried on with making the album. And then the Olympics approached us again about the ending ceremony for us to play and that’s when we played them that song ["Survival"] and they said they loved it and wanted to make it an official song of some kind.”

According to officials, the Closing Ceremony of the Olympic Games “will be titled ‘A Symphony of British Music,’ to celebrate the fact that music has been one of Britain’s strongest cultural exports over the last 50 years. The worldwide broadcast of the Ceremony will start Sunday, August 12th at 9PM GMT (check local listings) and feature more than 4,100 performers, including 3,500 adult volunteers and 380 schoolchildren from the six east London Host Boroughs.”