What is Plug In Baby by Muse actually about?

17 July 2020, 11:00 | Updated: 17 July 2020, 11:01

Is it something from an Argos catalogue? Is it something from a sex shop? Or are Muse just making it all up as they go along? Let’s find out!

Radio X has uncovered something of a mystery - a ROCK mystery. Muse released Plug In Baby as a single in March 2001, the first single from their second album Origin Of Symmetry.

A classic piece of operatic rock with a distinctive Matt Bellamy opening riff, the song has attracted many theories over the years: what’s it actually about?

My plug in baby / Crucifies my enemies
When I'm tired of giving / My plug in baby
In unbroken virgin realities / Is tired of living

A Muse lyric is always deep and intriguing, but there’s something especially mysterious about this one.

Here’s the mystery: in March 2018, Chris Moyles interviewed Matt Bellamy and Dom Howard up at AIR Studios in London and were asked the question about Plug In Baby’s title. What does it mean?

Bellamy replied: “Plug-In Baby, we were flicking through an Argos catalogue in your room and said, What’s this? Plug-in baby. It must have been a Glade thing or something! It just sounded cool, it sounded like a good name for a song.”

Muse in August 2001: Dominic Howard, Chris Wolstenholme, Matt Bellamy
Muse in August 2001: Dominic Howard, Chris Wolstenholme, Matt Bellamy. Picture: Rob Verhorst/Redferns/Getty Images

Which is fascinating! Except…

Muse came into Radio X back in August 2017 to speak to Gordon Smart on the Evening Show… and our man decided to ask the question: what’s Plug In Baby actually about?

On that occasion, Matt replied: “It sounds made up, but it was written above a sex shop.

“I was living in this sort-of commune-type situation with a mate of mine, Jake. Do you remember that little room on the side? It’s still there in Exeter!

“We would rehearse above there because there was some space above there that no one was using, and that's where that song actually came to be. So Plug In Baby... you can imagine. That is factual."

“Sounds made up”, eh? Interesting. So Gordon did some digging and this us what he found.

In 2001, Matt Bellamy told Rocksound magazine that the song was about the fear of technology and the human race “abandoning all individuality, becoming a collective whole via cables, and genetically engineering bodies that can exist out in space, or the loss of individualism.”

But then, in 2004, Matt was interviewed by James Mathieson in Sydney and the frontman said: “Uh, I can't remember now. Umm, what is it? I read- I read some book about like- uh, I don't know what it was. Something to do with, umm... co- like, uhh... Dunno, can't remember anymore, hold on. What was it? I'm sorry, I don't know. I can't remember. Sorry.

Here’s Gordon’s theory:

If you recall, at the 1998 World Cup in France, the England team developed a little game where they threw in song titles to their interviews to make them a little more entertaining for the players. They were asked the same questions so many times, they had to try and liven it up.

Have we rumbled Muse? Are they up to the same thing?

The case continues.

Watch the full interview between Chris Moyles and Muse here...