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


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



MARCH 2019

APRIL 2019

MAY 2019

JUNE 2019

JULY 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

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.
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.
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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jueves, 25 de octubre de 2018

Placebo talk 20 years of ‘Without You I’m Nothing’, Bowie and their ‘experimental’ new album - October 2018

Placebo talk 20 years of ‘Without You I’m Nothing’, Bowie and their ‘experimental’ new album
Sources (NME) October 2018

Bassist Stefan Olsdal talks to NME about the album's endurance and the dialogue around addiction, depression and gender fluidity
Placebo are in the midst of celebrating the 20th anniversary of their seminal second album ‘Without You I’m Nothing’ – while also working their upcoming ‘experimental’ new record.
This month marks 20 years since the band released the album, which featured the singles ‘Pure Morning’, ‘You Don’t Care About Us’, ‘Every You Every Me’ and ‘Without You I’m Nothing’. The latter was a duet with David Bowie.

“David actually came to us before the first album came out,” bassist Stefan Olsdal told NME. “When it came to ‘Without You I’m Nothing’, he called and said he wanted to collaborate after we’d recorded and released it. I don’t know what he saw in us; maybe something of himself as a younger Bowie. Maybe there was an outsider element to a lot of what we were doing. Maybe it was the romanticism. Maybe it was the stubbornness of not wanting to fit in.”

Olsdal continued: “He gave us some great advice. We were very young when we met him. Tony Visconti was telling us to read more books on the tour bus, and Bowie told us to never rest on our laurels in your creative space.”

To mark the anniversary of the album, the band have urged fans to “Keep an eye out for #WYIN20” and to check out a special page on the band’s website for ‘surprises’. To launch the project, Olsdal also shared a new photo of himself with Sarah and Sally Edwards from the album’s cover art, 20 years later. However, he added that it would be unlikely that any further shows would take place to play the album in full, but he’d ‘never say never’.

View post on Instagram

“I got a chance to hook up with Sarah and Sally; they’re the twins from the cover,” he told NME. “For me that was a little personal celebration. I hadn’t seen them since we worked together 20 years ago. We used that to launch this platform for fans to share their thoughts and memories together. On the last tour we brought out a few tracks from the album that we hadn’t played in donkeys years, so we celebrated it then.

“We did three years touring the 20th anniversary and we weren’t gonna do any more, but Robert Smith’s Meltdown came up. We’re just taking a breather for now. Sometimes something comes up and you just can’t say no. I don’t believe in closing doors.”

Asked about the lasting endurance of the album, Olsdal replied: “The band had a chance to really delve into its identity and get focussed on the music, the songwriting and what we wanted to convey to the world. We’d done one album so we knew how to work the studio. The coming together of all of these aspects made it more quintessentially ‘Placebo’ than the first one.
“We pushed the boat out a little in the way that we chose to talk about our experiences and who we were as people. There was a lot of brutal honesty in what we chose to talk about in songs and in the press. There was gender fluidity, a pansexual thing going on and a cross-dressing thing that we were pushing.”

He added: “It was a comedown to the first album. That was the party record. You know: young band gets a record deal, gets some cash and gets to go out and live the life. With the second album, some of the chemicals had worn off and we were faced with ourselves. All in all it shows more of the whole spectrum of Placebo.”

Olsdal added that many of the album’s themes of depression and gender fluidity have given it a newfound relevance in 2018.
“Lyrically, it was dealing with some of the darker sides of human emotions: loneliness, despair, frustration, questioning everything,” he went on. “It was holding on to this romantic idea of how someone can complete you, but without them you are nothing. It was the proper romantic ideal of seeing life.

“The ideals of gender fluidity weren’t really happening back then. It’s much more at the forefront now, along with pansexuality and this non-binary scenario. Placebo were always championing these issues.”

Speaking of the the current dialogue around non-binary gender norms, Olsdal said: “It has blown up. No one wants to be labelled, everyone wants to be countered for and everyone’s voice has to be heard. That’s brilliant.
‘Without You I’m Nothing’ saw the road split, and we headed down a path that led to some mental health issues and questionable life choices – which to this day I’m still reeling from. We’ve also spent so much time working to lift the stigma around discussing mental health. It’s a big part of our identity. We’ve battled many demons, and publicly so. We’re all staring down the barrel of that now.”

Placebo, live, by Jenn Five/NME
Asked about progress on the band’s eighth studio album and the long-awaited follow-up to 2013’s ‘Loud Like Love’, Olsdal repeated Brian Molko’s recent sentiments to NME that the record would take a more ‘experimental turn’  – after the frontman it to ‘career suicide‘ after their recent more pop-leaning output.

“We’ve wanted to do that for a long time,” Olsdal told NME. “Now that Sonic Youth are no longer a band, there might just be an opening slot. There’s always something bubbling. It was getting a bit saccharine towards the end of the 20 year celebration. We’ve always been experimentalists at heart.

“I was talking to our support band Husky Loops about B-side sessions. They were like ‘What are they?’ I said ‘It was a thing you had to do in the ‘90s! If you wanted to get in the charts, then you could release a song on multiple formats and it would count as one song, but to get people to buy it you’d need B-sides’.”

He continued: “We’d go into the studio after the album to record them, and that’s where we’d have the most fun. The pressure was off. We’d get out all matter of broken toy instruments, saxophones and two-string guitars to let it all flow. That’s where Brian and I want to take it from here.”

So could we see the record next year?

“I don’t know,” Olsdal replied. “The way we consume music these days is different. The time between writing, recording and releasing a song can be a matter of weeks. We’re just going to leave the front door open at the moment to let some fresh air in.”

miércoles, 4 de julio de 2018

(The) Placebo Effect

Placere (Latin) - to please What is the Placebo effect?

by Mirko Djurovic  - audio visual producer for Placebo Anyway 

The definition of the word 'placebo' usually boils down to 'something that has no therapeutic effect'. 

In the year 1996, with the release of the 'Placebo' album, the definition changed forever into 'something that does have a therapeutic effect'. This definition has been solidifying for the past 20 years, through many songs that penetrates our hearts and our souls with indescribable pleasure. 

It is a therapeutic effect, making definitions we see in encyclopedia look... Well, not entirely correct. We need a new 'Placebo' definition. It's not easy catching the eye of a massive audience with your first album and making the first step into musical history. 

Placebo - Ask For Answers

However, we won't be dealing with history, but with the Placebo Effect. How to achieve this? 'You have to believe...' Is something that we heard a thousand times so it must be true. Except it's not. 

Of course, there is no 'recipe' for it, but there is a million little pieces that make up the complete picture: working in brick shithouse when it's 36 degrees, hanging to your IQ, crawling for answers, breathing underwater, battling for the Sun, being passive-aggressive, with all these special needs... 

Hoping that the end won't be bitter. It's extremely hard. You have to be very loud while carrying your wounds from the past, covered in bruises. 
But, for what it's worth, you have to keep on fighting. You need to have a huge heart. 

But when your heart is like an ashtray, the pain can be unbearable. Sometimes, craving for the Sweet Prince who is the only valuable friend that can fix all the pain away is inevitable. 

It's a wonderful thing, though, to have the one who will ask you if you can handle all the good and bad things in this day and age. Still, if you have lots of soulmates around the globe - you know you are on the right path. That is the way to change a definition. 

Or make a new one that one day will be written in every encyclopedia.

Mirko Djuvoirc - audio visual producer from Montenegro.

Visit his profile
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domingo, 1 de julio de 2018

Without You I'm Nothing (Placebo) by Xakestar


Xakestar is a Persian rock band originally formed in Tehran/Iran by Mo Khojasteh in 1999.

The band's music was officially banned in 2003, because "it contains blasphemous and highly misleading and offensive material" as the authority and the ministry of culture explained their attitude. 

All three band members were threatened with severe punishments such as flogging or prison. Frontman Mo was even told that “worse“ would await him, if they kept on making, performing or publishing music. 

I think we all know what “worse“ means in that case. Can you imagine to die for your music? A terrible thought! It's beyond me that one can be killed because of loving music.

Anyway, at that point Mo, Hani Rajabi and Behruz Bazargan knew that they had to abandon their homeland, and so they escaped from the Iran to Falun in Sweden. 

I didn't ask but I guess they can never go back to their native country. The band members experienced a bitter situation of exile though some their plans were fulfilled in Sweden. Xakestar reached no.1 in the national metal charts for example, which is undoubtful a big success. 

At their concerts the band usually plays both original material and cover versions of songs from a number of well-known bands such as Pink Floyd, Alice in Chains or Moonspell.

I guess you know how Placebo comes into the picture now and what's going on. →Yes, Xakestar is one of my cover bands for you!

Xakestar produced a version of “Without you I'm nothing“ in 2011, and this decision was motivated by Mo's personal life incidents. “I was involved in a relationship which was emotionally abusive and hurtful, but day after day I became more determined to retain it,“ he explains. 

Mo starts to elaborate: “Placebo’s song has a character. The speaker of the poem has been mistreated and he is just narrating a story, a story which was similar to mine at the time of production. 

In Mo's point of view the singer expresses moments of agony and degradation, defenselessness and downfall in horrid details. "Nevertheless, all the instances of emotional mistreatment are actually making the speaker more resolute in his quest for love," Mo ends his interpretation of the song.

Enjoy Xakestar's version of “Without you I'm nothing“ now! And give it a try and also listen to “Detachment“, one of their own singles. 

P.S.: If you like the sound I have good news: The band is working on a new album, which will be released in the near future.
Here you can read the letter we got from Moe. 

By Silke for Placebo Anyway 

miércoles, 27 de junio de 2018

"The songs are alive and they speak to us" - Interview with Miguel López Mora - Digital 21 + Stefan Olsdal - 2018

Interview with Miguel López Mora – Digital 21+ Stefan Olsdal

We met for the first time after a Digital21 + Stefan Olsdal show in Berlin, Germany in 2018. Miguel is a kind, easy going and very talented Spanish musician based in Madrid. Now, we have the pleasure to interview him. Enjoy.

Concert review Berlin 2018

Interview by Anett Schwertner / Virginy for Placebo Anyway 2018

Placebo Anyway: Hi Miguel, we are delighted that you took the time to answer a few questions.

You are a musician, producer and visual artist which means you do everything by yourself. We also know that you are teaching at the School of Arts and Technology in Madrid. Being the busy artist you are, we were wondering how manage your time and pass your wisdom to the future art geniuses?

Miguel: To this day I give 100% of my time to the band. I quit teaching years ago, when I started with the band Digital 21 + Stefan Olsdal. Teaching was nice. I loved it, but if you one to give your best to something, whether it is teaching or the band, you need to dedicate 100% of your time and a 200% of your attention to it.

PA: Which of all those things take the most of your time and which are your sources of

Miguel:  All of them. I manage the time and work non stop. For example I work on a video until I get very tired so I change to music, in that way I can reset to go on... and by doing that you get your body to do more. Everything inspires me. From the daily events to what you listen to or watch, or feel... or the tools you use, or the instruments you play. Everything is a source of inspiration. The external stimulus and even more the internal drive... What you feel... that at least serves you as inspiration.

PA: Let’s travel back in time to your childhood. What did you want to do when you grew up as a child?
Did you always want to become an artist?

Miguel: I wanted to go to the stars. Travelling through space.

PA: You took part of the San Isidro Festival in Madrid. About 50.000 people came to the
festival concerts.
We saw you’ve enjoyed it a lot.
Surely it was a big personal success playing in front of so many people.
What do you take from this event?

Miguel: It was a nice show because we love Madrid. It was the closing-night of the Madrid  Fiestas (local party in Madrid). However, I enjoy every concert the same, whatever the dimensions. I always feel the music the same way.

PA: Through the years you've played in small clubs as well as festivals.
So, what do you prefer, a small more intimate audience or a raging crowd?

Miguel: I prefer theaters. I love playing in beautiful opera houses. They are unique, it is , as if, the music from hundreds of years ago would come out through the walls and got inside of you. And the silence is really special in theaters. It really is like the time would stop. It is a unique feeling that moment of silence in those places. Something that words can’t describe.

PA: In autumn you will go on tour to Russia. We had great moments discovering Russia
and over all Siberia during the Placebo tour some years ago. Are you looking forward
to this special tour and do you have any plans for cultural visits?

Miguel: Excitement, always. We are going to beautiful cities and I am sure that is going to be great. People there send nice messages us vía Internet, so we think they are going to be very special concerts.

PA: You've already worked with a lot of well known artists; is there still someone out there you would like to collaborate with?

Miguel: We would love to collaborate with many people but the songs are the ones who ask us who to collaborate with. The songs are the ones who tell you if they need an external voice or not. And they even tell you which voice. Just as it happens with the instruments and the arrangements. The songs are alive and they speak to us.

PA: Since 2017 you’re performing with Stefan Olsdal (Placebo). How did this symbiosis begin?

Miguel: We both have in common a craze for music and we wanted to created something together. A hybrid of a lot of things but something that we could build with our own personality at the same time and that would be special for us. Both live and in the studio. And we have been working on it for 5 years until we had it ready and in November 2017 we got our first album, we are currently recording our second one.

With Cuushe. She collaborated on the first album, in London
 during the recording in the studio. Photo by Eliseo Martín
PA: Why did you choose him?

Miguel: Because he breathes music like I do. With madness and feeling. We respect and admire each other. We enjoy a lot making music and we enjoy playing live even more. And whenever we talk about our music, or someone else’s music from centuries ago we are on the same page.

PA: Please describe Stefan's personality in 3 words?

Miguel: Light, emotion, friendship

PA: Has the audience’s attitude changed since then?

Miguel: The world is in constant change. In 15 minutes everything will be over. Some things change a lot, other things not so much but what stays the same is that we are all going to die.

With Julienne -from Saschienne & Fantastic Twins -  in Berlin. She collaborated on the first album. 

PA: You have successfully covered „Creep“ (Radiohead cover) and „Rusty Nails“ (Moderat cover).
Are there any other songs you would like to cover?

Miguel: Of course... when a song becomes part of your life it is nice to play it differently and enjoy it, making it more of your style. Enjoying the music. Flying with it is the most important because it is a race against death.

PA: Thank you again having you here with us for an interview

Miguel:  You are welcome. All the best.

Interview by Anett Schwertner / Virginy for Placebo Anyway 2018

And if you like to see Digital 21 + Stefan Olsdal live here are the upcoming tour dates:

Digital 21 feat. Stefan Olsdal TOUR 2018:

05.07.2018 – Gay Pride MADO – Madrid, Spain
10.10.2018 – Ekaterinburg, Russia
11.10.2018 - „Opera Concert Club“, Skt. Petersburg, Russia
12.10.2018 - „Pluton“, Moskau,Russia
14.10.2018 – Caribbean Club“, Kiew, Ukraine

Offical page: www.digital21andstefanolsdal.com
Photo credits: Miguel López Mora /Miguel Angel Torresano / 
Javier Alonso & Marina Sanz / Anett Schwertner

Interview by Anett Schwertner / Virginy for Placebo Anyway 2018
Translation and correction by Diana E.T. Foghin & Susanne C. Kessler 
Layout by Susanne C. Kessler

Spanish version / versión española