Placebo Tour & Interview
Date: Wednesday, May 14 @ 08:16:56 CDT
Topic: Tour News

Placebo are still riding on the success of their latest album 'Sleeping With Ghosts' and have just announced some shows around their scheduled Splendour In The Grass performance, with tickets on sale now and sure to sell out fast for dates at The Palace in Melbourne on July 22 and the Enmore Theatre in Sydney on the 25th. Check the usual outlets for those. Splendour is July 20, if you don't have that ticket, time is running out. For the fans Read More for a transcript of an interview with Brian Molko, lead singer of Placebo written by Sam Clode.

Brian Molko isn’t the sort of man who likes to rest on his laurels. The lead singer of UK rockers Placebo is discussing his band’s latest opus, Sleeping With Ghosts, and the challenges of staying relevant in the ever fluctuating music business. With three hit albums under the belt (Placebo, Without You I’m Nothing, Black Market Music), a Triple J spin with new single “The Bitter End” and an upcoming tour of Australia planned for later this year, Molko admits that it would be easy to sit back, count the cash and become complacent. Or at least it would be if his band didn’t care so much about the music they’re making – unlike Oasis, he laughs, Placebo have a built-in mechanism designed to keep them on their toes. “Just be your harshest critic and force yourself to never believe the compliments people give you,” he answers when asked how he stops any hype from going to his brain. “Because it’s too easy, you know? Not blocking out that little voice in the back of your head which tells you that you’re not as good as you think you are, you’re not as young as you used to be, you may be running out of steam. And when it comes to working and creating music to not use the same tried and tested methods and processes that you use all the time.” It’s an idea that Placebo have taken to heart for their latest release, their darkest and hardest album yet. From opener “Bulletproof Cupid” to the romance-gone-wrong of “Something Rotten”, Sleeping With Ghosts is the sound of a man who’s been exorcising a few along the way, and it’s a compelling ride. Together with bandmates bassist Stefan Olsdal and drummer Steve Hewitt, in July last year Molko teamed up with U.N.K.L.E and DJ Shadow producer Jim Abbiss, who the singer says helped bring a new edge to the group’s distinctive dynamic. “We’re not very calculated when it comes to the studio,” Molko explains. “The sound of Placebo is just the sound of me, Stef and Steve playing music together, you know? Obviously I think my voice and the way that we play our instruments allows it to be a kind of signature. But in the same way we don’t want to make a record with 12 songs that has a blanket sound, and especially on this one we really tried to challenge ourselves. We’re big fans of Jim. We really wanted him to challenge us and push us in different directions, and to take us to a place where we hadn’t been before. At times that can be frustrating, especially when somebody’s trying to get you to play guitar when you’re standing on your head metaphorically speaking… but it’s also what makes recording fantastic in the first place.” Talking about the band’s last visit down under, Molko can’t help but rave about two acts which, he says, left Placebo with open mouths when they all joined forces as part of the 2001 Big Day Out. “At The Drive-In and Queens Of The Stone Age were so awesome it made our desire to raise the bar on our music even higher,” he says, admitting that he’s nervous but also excited about how people will perceive the album upon its release. “We love the BDO, we’d like to come back next year if you’ll have us.” With gigs in the UK and Europe planned for the next few months, Molko can’t wait to get back up onstage and see how fans will react to the new material. “I still get very nervous,” he laughs, “I still look upon the whole thing with great trepidation. But I think the day the nerves stop is the day for you to stop. And you really never can tell how anything is going to be perceived these days, less and less it seems.” He needn’t worry: Sleeping With Ghosts is simply, the best album of Placebo’s career. Attribute it to almost a decade of playing together, the band’s songwriting process having opened up and become more fluid over time, with the instinctive kicking in. “You become a very well-oiled machine, and over the years the unspoken element of songwriting becomes even greater, you are able to achieve a lot more in less time,” Molko says of the changes in writing. “Just over the space of our career the other two guys in the band have really come into their own as songwriters too, each record gets more and more collaborative on a songwriting level and the burden is spread across the band a lot more. Which is really useful.” Despite the dark lyrics, Molko says he’s a man who wants to have his cake and eat it to, and have a good time along the way. His top karaoke choice? “Heart Of Glass” by Blondie. The sexiest person in rock & roll is PJ Harvey. And if he could choose only one item from the list of sex, drugs and rock & roll? Easy… “Can I have sex on drugs?” Samantha Clode

This article comes from Bombshell Zine Alternative Music News Portal

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