this is where we provide you with the latest (and past) placebo news AND rumors.

news : 5/1/99

placebo media *update* : well, i found out the launch magazine article featuring placebo is from 1 or 2 months ago and has the goo goo dolls on the cover. in it, placebo performs a live version of pure morning and talks about the cd. i wanna get it, and it's avaliable to order in launch's back issues online at quicktime 3.0 and a windows operating system is required to play the cd-rom magazine, quicktime is included on the disc. i also picked up the may 1999 issue of "circus magazine" and it has a 3-page article (including 2 black and white pics) on the band titled "glam rock with blue mascara" or something like that. get it right away. no full color pinups of the band though. :-( i also got word that the placebo interview with spin magazine was exclusive only to the website and appeared on it several weeks ago...but, just your luck--i managed to snag it for you all to read, here it is :


For having a name that can mean a sugary pill that doesn't really have any physical effect, Placebo certainly have made their presence known on the British music and party scene. Ron Richardson ( sat down with Brian Molko, Steve Hewitt, and the quiet Vulcan, Stefan Olsdal, and was reviled with tales of decadence and debauchery that made his toes curl! Or at least that's what the British tabloids would have reported. Read on to find out the real story.

SPINonline: So are you all in the Velvet Goldmine? How did that come about?
Brian Molko: We were on tour, and they were casting it in London. "Nancy Boy" [from their self-titled debut] was hitting the charts at that time, so our face was kind of spread out all over the papers. I got a call from their casting director, and I was a really big Todd Haynes [director of the Velvet Goldmine, Poison,and Safe ] fan, so I went for this audition, and went, "Please, please, please give me a role." And it kind of snowballed from there. Then we suggested that we record "20th Century Boy" for the soundtrack. Then Steve and Stef got roles as musicians as well, so it was just a nice little band outing.

Do you like seeing yourself on the screen?
Molko: Yeah, but I think I look a bit chubby though. (Laughs) The camera puts on something like five or ten pounds.

What's the difference between say, going on a U2 tour--which is a total spectacle--and out with David Bowie? I imagine that Bowie was a bit of a spectacle as well.
Molko: The last tour was just a complete joy because you'd do your show and then you'd just sneak down to the front and see all the old classics. It was absolutely wonderful. And with U2, funny things happen--you get to go in the private jet. You're playing in front of the golden arch and everything. It is such a multimedia spectacle; when they come out of the lemon, you just piss on yourself with laughter.
Steve Hewitt: Every night. You can see it five nights in a row, and you still piss on yourself.

Your first album seems more driving, whereas Without You I'm Nothing has more of a subtlety running through it. Was that a conscious decision?
Molko: I think it's actually fiercer in places then the first record--it's just more extreme. We tried to get that difference between complete fierceness like "Brick Shithouse" or "Scared of Girls," with complete tenderness from one song to the next. It's definitely more plaintive and thoughtful. There's a central feeling of melancholy that runs through the whole thing.
Hewitt: But not forced, very natural.
Molko: We don't like to censor ourselves. We allow ourselves to be pulled wherever it seems to be taking us. And it sort of pulled us in the direction of something quite romantic and desperate. Without You I'm Nothing is romantic, but it's also a desperate statement.

The theme of the "Pure Morning" video reflects that desperation in a weird way.
Molko: Well, I don't know. I think in retrospect it comes across as very messianic, which really wasn't the idea. I don't have a messiah complex. A Napoleon complex maybe, but not a messianic one. I think the initial idea came because we wanted to do something that was really, really, filled with tension and again something that was quite desperate. But we pissed ourselves laughing to see me landing on the building...
Hewitt: Molko as Jesus--it is just such a ridiculous concept.

Your album art seems to have a dramatic theme running through it. Do you have any say in that? Molko: Oh yeah, totally.
Hewitt: We've got complete control of everything. Everything.
Molko: Yeah, all the singles, and all the albums. We just have meetings. Go through little references and just talk about the emotional content of the songs and how we can reflect that. We wanted to something like the Smiths singles in a way that you can see them and know that they have a continuity to them.

A lot of bands seem to be getting very, very involved in the control of their image.
Molko: You have to.
Hewitt: You have to these days more then anything else. We're very fortunate that we've got this sort of label in London.

Your interviews have been very personality driven. Do you enjoy being a rock star? Do you get off on that?
Hewitt: I don't think we feel like rock stars at the moment.
Molko: No. We just kind of have big mouths really. So I guess we do have big personalities, and it's sort of hard not to keep them in when the nature of what you do is just so exhibitionist.

What do you think about all the bands that are built up and broken down through the music press?
Molko: People like the Gallagher brothers--we find them to be a couple of meatheads, really.
Hewitt: And it's that cloning thing--[bands like] Embrace. There's this continuous line of bands that I just can't take. It's not good for them, and it's not good for anybody else. It's not good, and it's not clever.
Molko: Even to go out to see the Verve, who I don't even like very much, I'm struck by people in the audience. It's quite yobbish. Very, very laddy, quite macho. It's really strange; I didn't enjoy it very much.

A lot of the recent interviews have made a big deal out of you in your rowdy phase. Why so polite?
Placebo: [All laugh.]
Molko: We're very thoughtful today.
Hewitt: No, we have a hangover today, so we're just fragile.

How do you deal with the larger-than-life image the press likes to portray?
Molko: We're calmer then we used to be in a way. We took to partying like a fish took to water, really.
Hewitt: And we're working a lot harder this time as well. We're doing way more press then we've ever done. It doesn't feel like we have time to be any sort of rock star.
Molko: No but we we're kind of acting like rock stars before we were.

You've talked about being honest in interviews; your lyrics and interviews seem to be pretty honest.
Hewitt: Definitely. Some people don't believe us though. They think we're taking the piss.
Molko: "There's no way you can be that sensitive. It's impossible. You're Placebo. You're a bunch of wankers." (Laughs). We have this paranoia: People from other bands meet us and they're like, "Jesus, we were really scared of you, but you're actually nice people." And it always takes us by surprise. We're like, "What did you think that we'd be a**holes?" And it's like, "Yeah." It's really perturbing, and it makes you think, "What did I do wrong over the past couple of years? What have I been acting like?"
Molko and Hewitt: "Trail of Blood and Spunk" [A quote from an infamous Placebo feature in Select]
Molko: Yeah, slight indiscretion on my part. Caught your eye, didn't it?

The British press loves that sort of thing.
Molko: They have a very sensationalist attitude to journalism anyway. NME and Melody Maker are very, very much like tabloid papers, really. It's not serious music criticism. When you give them a well-thought-out argument they sort of skim the top off of it and make it very sensational and, you know, rock 'n' roll. It gets very irritating because we've got a lot to say and it makes you come across as quite one dimensional and shallow, which couldn't be further from the truth (laughs).
[Deadpans into the microphone] Placebo are deep and very nice. Really. Thank yoooou.