viernes, 8 de marzo de 2019

PLACEBO ANYWAY SOULMATES-INTERVIEW with Emma from Brian Molko WorldWide Fans



PLACEBO ANYWAY 


SOULMATES-INTERVIEW with Emma from Brian Molko WorldWide Fans 


Interview with Rita from Mexico. 
By Susie Bosco & Silke Mitteregger from and for Placebo Anyway. 01.03.2019

Placebo Anyway: PLEASE TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOU!

Emma: My name's Emma. I'm 41 and 21 in my head. Aside from music I have an interest in art and photography.

Placebo Anyway: CAN YOU REMEMBER THE FIRST PLACEBO SONG THAT YOU'VE EVER HEARD? WHEN AND WHERE WAS IT?


Emma: "Nancy Boy" came flying out of the radio in waves of influential rapture to my senses. I knew that this song was going to set the bar for change.

Placebo Anyway:  PLACEBO IS LIKE A DRUG ONCE YOU HAVE STARTED YOU CAN'T STOP LISTENING. DO YOU AGREE AND HOW DID IT HAPPEN THAT YOU GOT PLACEBO-ADDICTED?

Emma: I'd agree that Placebo are addictive, their music relates to real feelings and emotions there lyrics take you on a rollercoaster journey. For me the connection began hearing a Story that myself and many others go through in life.


Placebo Anyway:  WHICH SONG OR ALBUM HAD/HAS THE MOST IMPORTANT INFLUENCE ON YOU? WHAT MAKES THIS SONG OR ALBUM SO SPECIAL AND HOW DID IT CHANGE YOUR LIFE?

Emma: Influence not so much. I' say again, it's connection. You can listen to just about any song and something within the lyrics will instantly relate to you. When you hear Placebo, it's a combination of delivery, emotion, feeling

Placebo Anyway:  WHAT COMES TO MIND FIRST WHEN YOU THINK OF PLACEBO?
THREE WORDS ONLY: ONE FOR THE BAND, ONE FOR BRIAN AND ONE FOR STEFAN.

Emma: Euphoric, Inspirational,Unique. 



Placebo Anyway: WHAT. IS YOUR FAVOURITE PLACEBO Quote Song Lyrics

Emma: "Don't Give In To Yesterday", (Speak In Tongues.)


Placebo Anyway: WHERE DO YOU SEE PLACEBO IN THE NEAR AND DISTANT FUTURE?

Emma: Hopefully more album's, gigs not as prolonged as past tours I don't think the band will completely stop doing shows. 


Placebo Anyway: THE LAST QUESTION IS YOURS! WHATEVER YOU WANT TO KNOW FEEL FREE TO ASK.

Emma: We're do you see Placebo in the near future?

Placebo Anyway: Thank you very much for taking part in this interview series dear Emma.



Visit Emma's page on Facebook: Brian Molko WorldWide Fans
Visit us on Facebook: Placebo Anyway 

domingo, 3 de marzo de 2019

Rock Lit: Placebo Cops inspiration from James Frey's controversial memoir

Photo credits: unknown

Interview with Brian Molko by Emily Zelmer for mtv.com 2013


The inspiration for a song on Placebo’s latest album, Loud Like Love, comes from an unlikely place: James Frey’s controversial account of drug addiction that drew headlines for its falsified passages. For frontman Brian Molko, the book tapped into something he wanted to pursue musically. And it’s not the first time the musician has used his interest in reading to inspire a song.

Molko has released seven albums with Placebo since their self-titled 1996 debut and often takes a literary approach to songwriting. The band’s new disc, which recently came out via Universal, extends their lengthy and darkly moody discography, exploring serious subject matter like drug addiction. For Molko, books are a way to tap into new ways of expressing ideas and aid songwriting by learning new words and turns of phrase.

The songwriter and musician spoke with Hive about his experience with books, what sort of literature he prefers and just why he’s so compelled by James Frey.

Photo credits: unknown


What book brings you back to your childhood?

The first book that I remember sort of becoming obsessed with and carrying everywhere with me when I was at school was a book by Milan Kundera, a Czech author, called "The Unbearable Lightness of Being". I carried that book everywhere and in a year read it three or four times, I think.

I was quite a romantic youth, I suppose. I still am, but not really in terms of romantic like a candlelit dinner for two. More, I suppose, in a literary tradition kind of thing. I was quite blown away by its scope really. There are so many stories happening at the same time in this book. I also was quite fascinated with the idea of revolution and the politics in the book. It was a real eye-opener for me. I have very fond memories of that.

Do you prefer fiction, nonfiction, poetry?

I don’t read a lot of poetry anymore. It’s pretty 50/50 for me in terms of fiction and nonfiction. It’s very difficult for me to find fiction that stimulates me a great deal.

What are you reading currently?

I just started this nonfiction book by Evgeny Morozof, it’s called "The Net Delusion." I think what it’s pointing toward is a post-Internet society and where we’re going. It’s quite interesting because I’m quite fascinated by how society’s changing so much. It seems to be about the illusion of democracy and how the net perpetuates that. From what I can gather so far from the beginning of it. How we feel we’re freer, but perhaps we’re not.

Photo: Silverrocket


Digital or paper?

Digital only when I’m traveling. It frees up a lot more space for my clothes in my suitcase. I overpack. I’m very female that way. A girl needs options.

What’s the best book you’ve read on tour?

I don’t know if it has any direct relation to being on tour, whether a book is the best book or not. Certainly the book by a contemporary author that’s impressed me the most in the past two years or so—simply because it really fucks with the form of the novel itself—is an American author called Jennifer Egan. She wrote "A Visit from the Goon Squad." I think it won the Pulitzer Prize. She’s a phenomenal writer. That’s a really incredible book. The story happens, it’s a bit like "Cloud Atlas," it sort of happens in lots of different eras.

What’s the most number of times you’ve read a book?

There are books that I always carry with me. There’s a couple that I’m in a perpetual state of reading. Simply because they are, for me, kind of like guides to living more than anything else. I suppose a born-again Christian would travel with the Bible. I travel everywhere with "The Power of Now," by Eckhart Tolle. And "The Four Agreements." Simply because they help me stay sane.

Do the things you read influence your songwriting?

What I do think is amazing about reading a book on an iPad is that it has improved my vocabulary. All you have to do is press the word that you don’t understand, and you get a dictionary definition. It’s fucking amazing! But I do have a dictionary and a thesaurus on my phone and on my iPad, which I think is normal for someone who uses words for a living.

Definitely, if you’re gonna write, if you’re gonna make a living using words, you have to read. The more you do, the more words you know, the more adventurous you can become with how you construct sentences. Writing lyrics is more like writing slogans than anything else. It’s very, very much about trying to say as much as possible with the fewest words. Well, for me anyway. There are bands that don’t do that. It’s like a distillation process for me.

Has something you read ever specifically made its way into one of your songs?

I’ve stolen book titles for songs before. On the first album, there was “Lady of the Flowers,” which is a Jean Genet book. On this album there’s “A Million Little Pieces,” which is also a book by James Frey. A memoir of drug addiction. It made sense to me and I wanted people to make the connection, because I think the subject of the book gives the song context.

Photo: pixabay


Has a fan ever gifted you a book that you already read?

It’s just kind of absurd. The last time it happened somebody gave me a book by Italo Calvino, in Italian. I’m like, “I don’t read Italian.” And she went, “Oh, you can learn.” Like I have time or the inclination to learn Italian. It’s absurd. So I gave it to somebody who spoke Italian.

Is there an author that you hope incorporates your music into their writing?

I’m aware that it’s happened a few times, actually. It’s happened in France and in the UK. I would just be thrilled for any significant, vital, contemporary author to even get a mention. I think it’s very, very unusual. I don’t know how successful these books have been. But most of them have been French. We’re big in France.

What book would you recommend to someone who is a fan of your band?


Read "A Million Little Pieces." It will give you a very, very realistic view of what it’s like to be an addict. To suffer from the disease of addiction. And what one has to go through in order to recover. And continue to live. If one is fortunate enough to achieve a state of recovery in one’s life, because a lot of people don’t.

Photo credits: Melissa of Flickr






lunes, 11 de febrero de 2019

PLACEBO ANYWAY SOULMATES-INTERVIEW with Rita from Mexico




PLACEBO ANYWAY
SOULMATES-INTERVIEW with Rita from Mexico




Interview with Rita from Mexico.
By Susie Bosco & Silke Mitteregger from and for Placebo Anyway. 16.02.2019

Placebo Anyway: PLEASE TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOU!

Rita: Hello, my name is Rita G., I am a Mexican woman in her twenties (closer to thirty). I am a Gemini, I like cats, my favourite colours are blue and purple and I love listening to music. Besides from Placebo I like Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Doors, Aerosmith, The Cure, Blondie, R.E.M., PJ Harvey, Stone Temple Pilots and other artists who sing in Spanish. One of my hobbies is doing crafts and embroidery. I also like reading and lately I started to draw mandalas and do yoga.



Placebo Anyway: CAN YOU REMEMBER THE FIRST PLACEBO SONG THAT YOU'VE EVER HEARD? WHEN AND WHERE WAS IT?
Rita: Yeah I remember very well. One night my sister was listening to the radio and suddenly she said “Listen to this song, this is great”. She turned up the volume, it was “This Picture“ – and it blew my mind. It was a very special sound and voice, different from everything I’d never heard before, it was so amazing.


I do not remember the exact date, but I think it was in September 2003.
Although in fact the first song I heard was “Every You Every Me“ when I saw the movie “Cruel Intentions“ in 2002. I really liked that song, but I didn’t know who they were until when I read about Placebo‘s career later, then I realized they were the same band... hahaha.

Placebo Anyway:  PLACEBO IS LIKE A DRUG –  ONCE YOU HAVE STARTED YOU CAN'T STOP LISTENING. DO YOU AGREE AND HOW DID IT HAPPEN THAT YOU GOT PLACEBO-ADDICTED?
Rita: Hahaha... I absolutely agree with that! The music of Placebo is highly addictive! I remember that I realized I was becoming addicted to Placebo because my brother had the DVD “Soulmates never die (live in Paris)“ and he lent it to me. And I watched it VERY often; I watched it almost every night for a month.
I finally knew when the Live 8  was broadcasted on TV and they did not show the Placebo performance. Although there were good performances like R.E.M and Pink Floyd's reunion it was not enough for me. I wanted to see Placebo! At that moment I realized that they had already become my favorite band.


Placebo Anyway:  WHICH SONG OR ALBUM HAD/HAS THE MOST IMPORTANT INFLUENCE ON YOU? WHAT MAKES THIS SONG OR ALBUM  SO SPECIAL AND HOW DID IT CHANGE YOUR LIFE?

Rita: I have one album that's very close to my heart, it's “Sleeping with ghosts“, because this was my first Placebo album and therefore it was the one with which I started to know their music. It is very special for me because when I heard “This Picture“ and “Special Needs“ I felt an inexplicable connection that I can not describe.


No band has impacted me with their songs as much as Placebo did. Their music has always been very present in my life, especially when I felt lonely, sad or even in more painful moments like losing a beloved one. They have helped me a lot to vent those feelings and cheer me up, so the influence of Placebo is very positive in my life. Also I am proud to be part of this fandom because it is full of fantastic and kind people from all over the world. It feels like we are on the same frequency and we speak the same language. I have made some friendships and I find it wonderful that loving Placebo joins us together.

Placebo Anyway:  WHAT COMES TO MIND FIRST WHEN YOU THINK OF PLACEBO?
THREE WORDS ONLY: ONE FOR THE BAND, ONE FOR BRIAN AND ONE FOR STEFAN.

Rita:
*Placebo - Beautiness
*Brian - Unique
*Stefan - Lovely


Placebo Anyway:  WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PLACEBO QUOTE?

Rita: This is difficult because there are so many quotes that I love but I will choose one that I read recently in an interview with Stef and he said:

I don't know if we are a band for people who do not identify with the mainstream, but it's very good, because the music can be your best friend, and if we can have that role for people, I'm very happy”.


Placebo Anyway:  WHERE DO YOU SEE PLACEBO IN THE NEAR AND DISTANT FUTURE?

Rita:  I hope to see them here in Mexico. I've never been able to see them live, so this is something I really hope I can do in the future either in this year or the next.

Placebo Anyway: THE LAST QUESTION IS YOURS! WHATEVER YOU WANT TO KNOW – FEEL FREE TO ASK.

Rita: My question is for Placebo Anyway Team. It is not a question properly but I would like you to share a favorite memory that you have related to Placebo :)


Placebo Anyway: 

Mona: My special Placebo memory is a poster of Brian I saw at the wall of someone's flat. I could't say if the person was a female or a male and I so I asked "Who is that?" I got the name and googled and found the band whose song I liked a lot some years ago, but didn't know the band name! This song was EYEM and when I hear it, I have to think about my Placebo discovery story.


G-JLo: Mmmh, I remember a special moment during the Mexico tour 2017.
It was the first time I was able to see the band playing live, after so many years listening to their music. All this made it also possible to connect with the Placebo Fan World. I met a lot of fans and nowadays I can say they are my friends. I'm quiet sure I will meet them again during another Placebo tour.
It was my first experience following a band on their tour, seeing them live again and again on stage. It was amazing and I want to do this again.


Silke: My favourite Placebo-related memory is when I met Brian for an interview. He was very nice and politely. I will never forget this great experience.


Katy: When i discovered Placebo, i was a high school student in 1996. A friend told me: you must listen to this band, it just came out. I sat on stairs near the school and put my headphones on my ears. So well, this discovery transformed my life...A breath of freedom, transgression and novelty was born from it. I felt my world was changing with PLACEBO. Their first album was like a burst, a flash of adrenaline. I immediately became a great lover of their music. This band accompanied me years, I built myself with him.

Susanne: My favourite Placebo-related memory is when I met the band. Lovely people, very kind and I loved the way they talked.
  

Placebo Anyway: Thank you very much for taking part in this interview series dear Rita.

Rita's Placebo Treasures 

Visit our page on Facebook
Credits: Susie Bosco & Silke Mitteregger - Placebo Anyway 2019


martes, 5 de febrero de 2019

PLACEBO ANYWAY SOULMATES-INTERVIEW with Penny Molk from France


PLACEBO ANYWAY
SOULMATES-INTERVIEW with Penny Molk from France

Photo: Placeboworld


Interview with Penny Molk from France. 
By Susie Bosco & Silke Mitteregger from and for Placebo Anyway. 05.02.2019


Placebo Anyway:  PLEASE TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOU!

Penny Molk: Well, I’m Penny Molk, a French Placebo fan since the beginning. I used to be fan of old bands like The Rolling Stones, The Cure and others and of course David Bowie. When I heard about Placebo, The Love Story started.

Placebo Anyway:  CAN YOU REMEMBER THE FIRST PLACEBO SONG THAT YOU'VE EVER HEARD? WHEN AND WHERE WAS IT?

Penny Molk:  The first Placebo song I’ve ever heard was “Bruise Pristine“ because an English friend of mine wrote me “Listen to that band, it’s so new and great“ I did.





Placebo Anyway:  PLACEBO IS LIKE A DRUG –  ONCE YOU HAVE STARTED YOU CAN'T STOP LISTENING. DO YOU AGREE AND HOW DID IT HAPPEN THAT YOU GOT PLACEBO-ADDICTED?

Penny Molk: After “Bruise Pristine“ came “Nancy Boy“ and the addiction started and it has never stopped.





Placebo Anyway:   WHICH SONG OR ALBUM HAD/HAS THE MOST IMPORTANT INFLUENCE ON YOU? WHAT MAKES THIS SONG OR ALBUM  SO SPECIAL AND HOW DID IT CHANGE YOUR LIFE?

Penny Molk:  I do love all the albums but “Battle for the Sun“ is for me the one I prefer because there were new musicians, new sounds, a new universe but still the soul of Placebo in a new atmosphere. A very elegant, precious, unique band. A lot of fresh air and this was important in my life at that time. Thanks Placebo.




Placebo Anyway:   WHAT COMES TO MIND FIRST WHEN YOU THINK OF PLACEBO?
THREE WORDS ONLY: ONE FOR THE BAND, ONE FOR BRIAN AND ONE FOR STEFAN.

Penny Molk: 3 only words?
The band: Tolerance.
          Brian: Perfection.
          Stefan: Unique.
  

Placebo Anyway:   WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PLACEBO QUOTE?

Penny Molk: A French quote by Brian: “Je ne suis qu’un petit con qui fait de la musique.“


Placebo Anyway:  WHERE DO YOU SEE PLACEBO IN THE NEAR AND DISTANT FUTURE?

Penny Molk: One of the best rock bands in the world with Brian’s  incredible voice, swinging his lovely little ass while playing the guitar on stage with Stefan’s gay dancing.


Placebo Anyway:   THE LAST QUESTION IS YOURS! WHATEVER YOU WANT TO KNOW – FEEL FREE TO ASK.

Penny Molk: What do you feel or expect about Placebo back to the studio now?
My answer is Pure Delight. We really miss them.

Photo: Penny Molk

A picture of myself at my last Indochine concert, November 16th, 2018 in Paris Bercy where I rescued a huge balloon


 Placebo Anyway:  Thank you so much for this lovely interview dear Penny!

Credits: Susie Bosco & Silke Mitteregger - Placebo Anyway 2019


miércoles, 16 de enero de 2019

The Story Behind The Song: Nancy Boy by Placebo


The story behind Placebo's Nancy Boy
(Image: © David Tonge\/Getty)


By Rob Hughes December 07, 2016 Louder
How the success of a Top 5 single brought its own stigma for Placebo



Arriving at the back end of 90s Britpop, Placebo were something else entirely. They weren’t from round here, for a start. Nor were they in thrall to the laddish, oddly conservative sounds that defined what was ultimately a very insular period in British rock. Instead they were brash, arty and sexually ambiguous.

Led by openly bisexual American frontman Brian Molko, Placebo replastered the spunk’n’glitter of glam, Bowie and Bolan onto the post-grunge era. And nothing seemed to distil their image better than 1997’s breakthrough single, Nancy Boy.

“We were reacting very strongly against the machismo, terrace chants and revisionism of Britpop,” says Molko, “and the nationalism that we interpreted as xenophobia of the musical kind. We were trying to make a strong political statement about the fluidity of sexuality with the dresses and make-up that we wore. We set out to confuse, and I guess Nancy Boy was the perfect soundtrack to that.”

The track surfed a wave of angsty, punky guitar noise, led out by Molko’s quivering vocals. It was a three-minute rush of unfettered hedonism, streaked with references to illicit sex, booze, gender mutations and junkiedom. It was hardly Shed Seven.


“I wrote it in 1994, around the time that Suede were massive,” Molko explains. “That infamous quote of Brett Anderson’s – ‘I’m a bisexual man who’s never had a homosexual experience’ – was being reprinted in every magazine. I saw that as a very opportunistic statement, and it led me to want to write something about tourism of the sexual kind. Which is where the chorus comes from: ‘It all breaks down at the first rehearsal.’ I had in mind a tourist who gets stuck in and then realises they’re out of their depth.”

Molko had formed Placebo in ’94 with Swedish bassist Stefan Olsdal, whom he’d first met at school in Luxembourg, and drummer Steve Hewitt (prior commitments meant the latter was replaced by Robert Schultzberg, though Hewitt would later rejoin). They were still without a record deal when they recorded a demo of Nancy Boy, and weren’t exactly living out the Dionysian dream the song depicted.

“I remember the day Brian came round to my flat with the chorus for Nancy Boy,” says Olsdal. “I was sitting there with an old £15 Casio keyboard that was about to fall apart. When we first demo’d the track we did it in an eight-track studio in Deptford, which we’d booked from midnight till six in the morning because it was cheaper. Our social life then was basically a couple of cans of Stella shared between the three of us. But Nancy Boy pre-empted what was in store. I guess we lived that song a couple of years later.”

Placebo’s self-titled debut album crept into the UK Top 40 in July 1996. Teenage Angst, their third single, gave them a minor Top 30 hit. But it was Nancy Boythat really launched their career.

“It was the one that pushed us into the charts and onto Top Of The Pops,” Olsdal recalls, “despite the subversive lyrics. For that to get on the BBC certainly rubbed some people up the wrong way. Any time you challenge people’s sexuality, especially males and their masculinity, it can be a very sensitive area. And we didn’t shy away from pushing that side of our personalities forward, either. If you look at photographs of us from back then, we spent more time in the women’s clothing section than the male one.”


There are whole internet forums dedicated to the ambiguous nature of Nancy Boy. Some fans are convinced it’s about a transvestite, others say it’s a prostitute. Some say it’s about Molko himself, perhaps guided by his infamous quote following Placebo’s 1997 world tour, when he said he “left a trail of blood and spunk across three continents”. Lubricious lyrics such as ‘Kind of buzz that lasts for days/Had some help from insect ways’, which, as Molko explains today, “is about an aphrodisiac – maybe GHB or Spanish Fly. Any substance, controlled or otherwise, that makes you want to fuck.

“Nancy Boy isn’t about anyone in particular, but it did amaze me at the time how much a cock in a frock was still shocking at the end of the 20th century. It was as if Boy George had never existed! It was alright to cross-dress in pop, but to go into grunge territory with a dress was so shocking to people.”

The success of Nancy Boy brought its own stigma. “My only regret is that in the eyes of the media it seemed to encapsulate what Placebo were – the faggy indie band who wore dresses,” says Molko. “It seemed to become such a strong identifying song with us that the other aspects of my songwriting – which I considered to be better and more developed – were being overlooked.”

That has resulted in the band admitting to an uneasy association with the song ever since. “I have a very ambivalent relationship with Nancy Boy,” the singer says. “I was still learning how to write songs, so I consider it one of my more immature ones. At one point we got so sick of it that we stopped playing it for five years. But now I can relate to it in terms of what it is. Emotionally for me it’s still bothersome, but I want to be at peace with it. However, it opened so many doors for us. It went to number four in the chart, got us on Top Of The Pops and a tour with David Bowie. And I wrote it before we’d even signed a record deal. It was very instrumental in us becoming successful. I just wish I liked it better.”


Olsdal is similarly philosophical. “It’s not the biggest hit we’ve had and it’s certainly not the song that the three of us like the most, but Nancy Boy is probably the most identifiable. We don’t have another song quite like it. Do I still enjoy playing it on stage? It’s actually fun. It’s a three-chord punk song. I guess the question is how long can we sing: ‘Lose my clothes, lose my lube’? I mean, can you still sing that at 70?”

Credits: www.loudersound.com / Article
Visit us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/PlaceboAnyway/


sábado, 1 de diciembre de 2018

Placebo Calendar 2019

🆕 PLACEBO CALENDAR 2019  🆕

To brighten up your home, day, mood, we have designed a Placebo calendar 2019. 🎸

 ⛄Feel free to download the calendar and add the credits. we will share on Facebook 2 covers and for every month a sheet.


The Placebo Anyway Team 🎶 ⛄

Calendar design: Susie Bosco 
Photo credits: on each sheet

PLACEBO CALENDAR 2019 (cover one)
Photo: Julian Broad




JANUARY 2019

FEBRUARY 2019


MARCH 2019


APRIL 2019


MAY 2019


JUNE 2019


JULY 2019


AUGUST 2019


SEPTEMBER 2019


OCTOBER 2019


NOVEMBER 2019


DECEMBER 2019


PLACEBO CALENDAR 2019 (cover two)




miércoles, 7 de noviembre de 2018

NEW - Interview with with photographer Anthony Saint James about the photo Brian Molko having a bath.


Photo credits: Anthony Saint James

NEW!!!!
Interview with with photographer Anthony Saint James about the photo Brian Molko having a bath.

You can read it here: http://placebostory.ru/anthony_saint_james


Interview by Anastasiya Loginova, 2018
Anthony Saint James has taken one of the hottest pictures with Brian Molko smoking in the tub. In this interview he told the details about this special photo shoot.
"WE HAD A LOT OF FUN!"
Anastasiya Loginova: Anthony, thank you for your participation. Your photo is one of my favourite pictures of Brian Molko. It's so sexy! Did you make up this idea about him having a bath or it had been discussed before with Brian or with the editor of the magazine?
Anthony Saint James: The idea of Brian in the bathtub was something that we discussed over the phone prior to us meeting for the photo shoot. The only things that I brought with me were the candles and the bubble bath that you see in the photograph. All of the other items were things that Brian brought to co-create this idea that he had.
ok
Anastasiya Loginova: What should you prepare before Brian's coming?
Anthony Saint James: Being that I met Brian at his Los Angeles hotel room, I didn't prepare anything prior to arriving. I came prepared with a few props and we worked to create the set in his bathroom.
Anastasiya Loginova: How much time did this photo shoot take? Did you have any breaks? How many people were involved in the photo shoot?
Anthony Saint James: I probably spent a little bit more than an hour with Brian we didn't really have any breaks because there was just enough time to shoot the photos.
Anastasiya Loginova: What did you remember about your mutual work with Brian? What can you say about this certain experience with him?
Anthony Saint James: The single-most memorable thing about my experience with Brian was laughing with him in his attempts to make smoke rings with the cigar in the tub. Overall, he was just really fun to work with.
Anastasiya Loginova: Maybe, there were some interesting or funny situations during the photo shoot?
Anthony Saint James: Well, aside from the smoke rings, you can imagine getting a bubble bath ready for a photo shoot is challenging and a funny thing to do. We had to pause between every few shots to get the bubbles just right and to make sure there was enough, especially to cover Brian's private bits. But we had a lot of fun doing it!
Photo: Anthony Saint James.

viernes, 26 de octubre de 2018

Placebo Reflect on 20 Years of Their Album 'Without You I'm Nothing' - October 2018


We spoke to bassist Stefan Olsdal about intimacy, otherness and sticking to your convictions – all things that packed the album with enough gut punches to stand the test of two decades.

Interview with noisey.vice.com 

Placebo introduced the world to Without You I’m Nothing with the music video for “Pure Morning”, in which frontman Brian Molko plays a character who seems to be toying with the idea of throwing himself off the roof of Savoy Place. Police cars fill the pavement below, reporters address their cameras, crowds of people look up. Then he lurches forward and falls for a few seconds before calmly walking down the side of the building.
“It’s a song about coming down when the rest of the world is waking up,” Molko explained to Billboard at the time. “How many times have you come out of a club when the sun is coming up and others are going to work? You feel dislocated. You just want someone to slip their arm around you and make slumber easier.”
Both the song and video set the tone for the rest of Without You I’m Nothing – an album that concerns itself with impulse and the periods of reflection that follow it. Written largely about drugs and intimacy and the ways in which those things can intersect, especially within queer spaces, Without You I’m Nothing takes an intense and sometimes dark look at desire. Heartbreak and heroin weave in and out of each other thematically in “My Sweet Prince”, while that feeling of the floor dropping out from under you that often accompanies addiction – whether it’s to a feeling given to you by a person or a substance – is something that runs through the whole album. Without You I’m Nothing is simultaneously harsh and tender, peeling back the bratty distortion plastered over their self-titled debut to address the sores themselves.
Without You I’m Nothing achieved a massive amount of commercial and critical success. It's sold over a million albums to date and “Every You Every Me” appeared on the soundtrack to Cruel Intentions – the most twisted romance film of the 90s. Despite its mainstream appeal, though, Without You I’m Nothingremains, as NME’s James Oldham put it at the time, a record “made by freaks for freaks”. With Molko and bassist Stefan Olsdal being openly bi and gay respectively, Placebo’s music has always been coded as queer and, along with their increasingly genderfluid appearances, never shied away from actively presenting itself as such. Of all their eras, Without You I’m Nothing was especially significant for fans who shared the same feelings of otherness that crystallised both sonically and visually on the album.
Without You I’m Nothing turns 20 this month and remains one of the most beloved additions to Placebo’s 22-year long career. To commemorate its anniversary, the band launched a sitecompiling memories from fans. Some have posted fan art, while others have posted pictures of their toenails painted black in homage to the “Pure Morning” video. There are retellings of how someone met their partner or best friend at a Placebo show, and photos of personal tokens – old merch, customised pendants, tattoos – that symbolise a connection to the album. Someone also posted a box of hummus-flavoured condoms, whatever that means. I’m not here to judge.
Looking back on the album, we spoke to Stefan Olsdal about intimacy, otherness and sticking to your convictions – all things that helped pack Without You I’m Nothing with enough gut punches to stand the test of two decades.

Noisey: You seem to be celebrating the anniversary of this album more than others. Would you say it’s a fairly reflective one?Stefan Olsdal: Yeah, I think so – it explores some pretty dark themes. We weren’t the most balanced and maybe not the best prepared to process those emotions, and everything that was going on around us. I think a big side of Placebo was – and still is – about a certain vulnerability in terms of the lyrics and the way that we chose to talk about who we were, and who we are, as people. We never really felt like we were part of some kind of lad culture or a part of a movement. We were these odd little ex-bedroom musicians who never really had any friends [laughs].
Do you see that ‘otherness’ reflected in the kind of people who tend to gravitate towards your music too?Around the time of Without You I’m Nothing, I think Placebo shows started to become this place and safe space for kids who didn’t feel like they fit in. We were definitely pushing the way that we were dressing ourselves, to a place which was slightly more fluid in terms of identity and gender identity and sexual preference, during the heady and hormone-fuelled early twenties we were still in.
Drugs and sexuality were very much at the forefront of pop culture in a commercial sense at the time, with the eruption of all these virginal female pop stars and heroin chic happening in the fashion world. But they were rarely explored the way Without You I’m Nothing presented them, which was super dark and introverted – not just in the lyrics but in the sound as well. Was that something you were cognisant of back then?That’s a good point. We went really, really deep in. Like the title says, I am nothing without you. It’s pretty extreme. A lot of it was what it’s like to be in love. Exploring human relationships, the depths and the despair that they can bring you to, and the dependency on someone – or, alternatively, something. It was a time of having a Union Jack emblazoned on your guitar – go to the pub, write a few songs then go up on stage – and that wasn’t really our scene. We were being pulled in all sorts of directions in terms of what the [music industry] does to a band with success, so we really had to be on the same page. The nature of it felt very 'us against the world,' and I think in some ways the music was a chance for us to process it all.

You did and still do stand in stark contrast to a certain kind of British lad culture. Even though you were doing what felt right for you, did it still feel like you were pushing back against something?That’s an interesting question. I think being quite contrary is in our nature so some level we probably were, but the strongest fuel was adhering to what was us – and that had to come at any price. I remember sitting in an executive office in the states around this time and being sold this whole idea of a fast track to fame. It was like being dangled this massive carrot and, for artistic control and wanting to have things done the way that we wanted to, we said no to a lot of opportunities that perhaps could have served us. But we were this kind of art house mafia, we had to stick to our ideals. We would die for it, basically. It was that serious. We probably made a lot of enemies along the way, stepped on some toes. We would laugh about a lot of things but when it came down to Placebo – what we do and what we stood for – it was deadly serious.
How do you think the landscape of music has changed now, in relation to expressions of gender and identity?Obviously there’s areas where it’s not as safe, but I think generally it’s become a safer space to explore identity and for it to feel like you’re less alone in the way. That was the killer, and still is a killer – feeling alone in what you’re going through.

When the band was starting, I found it hard to find others. I was out then but it was still hard to find other people who were in the same situations as me. Now, the stigma is breaking down [across] the whole spectrum from identity all the way to mental health issues. There’s help for musicians now if you’re going through a real rough patch. If there was something like that around back then I certainly would have used it. We had to figure everything out for ourselves, pretty much, and there wasn’t a lot to hold on to or [opportunities] to connect with other like minded people. Now it’s a safer and less lonely place in terms of trying to find out who the hell you are.

Even though you’re playing much bigger venues now, do you still feel like your shows are a haven for outsiders the way they were back then?Placebo shows are always a weird mix [laughs]. It’s like, ‘What is this band? Who’s that tall lanky guy? Look at them on stage singing about all these fucked up topics…’ Certainly, there are people who come to our shows who understand and feel that’s where they have their community. They look out for each other as well. They save each other spaces when they queue outside and there’s a lot of care going on between them. That’s a beautiful thing to hear, but at the same time it’s been 20 years now so a lot of them have started to bring their kids. I’d like to think they’re all leading healthy, balanced lives and being able to raise lovely little kids – future generations of open minded and caring people.
Without You I’m Nothing had a huge amount of exposure, especially with “Every You Every Me” appearing on Cruel Intentions soundtrack. Do you think that commercial success had an affect on the band or that sense of community you were just talking about?The whole industry, and everything that goes around fame and being in a band, is an enabling machine for the ego, basically. It was like being force fed, like one of those French ducks, so our livers were screaming – literally and figuratively. We welcomed it, because we wanted to be the biggest band in the world, but I think we were racking up hundreds of hours of time with therapists in the future. That’s essentially what we were setting ourselves up for back then. Like I said, we were probably a little bit unprepared for it all and didn’t know how to handle it. And at the same time as looking after each other, we had to deal with inter-band relationships and egos and being to ether all the time. The smallest things can ignite the biggest of rows. But the success also allowed us to start reaching further and further out into the world. We headed out to New Zealand and South America and across the US, connecting with misfits everywhere.

What’s the story behind the artwork, and what was the sentiment behind re-shooting it as part of the anniversary celebrations?Sarah and Sally, the twins on the cover, run a magazine called Blag, which started in the early 90s. So we’ve been in the same kind of circles since we moved to London around the age of 18. Over the years we’ve been meaning to connect and hang out and see how everyone’s doing and it just never happened. So [re-shooting the album cover] was the perfect opportunity to touch base and reminisce about Corinne Day, who shot the cover and is sadly now passed away. Sometimes it feels like you have to take the time to reconnect with events that are important for you, and this certainly was an important point in our lives and a little bit for them as well. This felt like an important album for a lot of Placebo fans so we wanted to create a space for people to share their memories and what it meant to them, too. We kind of followed our gut with this one, and felt that it was a good time to create a forum for people.
Are there any posts on the site in particular that have stood out to you?I continually get overwhelmed by what it meant to people. It makes me think back to myself as this lost kid in a lot of ways, hanging on for dear life to the music to make any kind of sense of what was going on in my life. I can see that it mean that much to a lot of people, and that seems to be the general underlying response – that it helped people to get through a certain part of their life, or help them feel less alone. I guess a lot of musicians will tell you that they can’t really create for anyone else, because then it doesn’t become emotionally honest, but when they see how much it means to other people it’s… weird, but great.

Photo credits: David Murphy, Black Sessions 1998 and unknow.
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