jueves, 13 de marzo de 2014

Placebo - Meds - 8th anniversary

MEDS - 2006

Space Monkey
Follow The Cops Back Home
Post Blue
Because I Want You
Pierrot The Clown
Broken Promise (Featuring) Michael Stipe
One Of A Kind
In The Cold Light Of Morning
Song To Say Goodbye


Meds is the fifth studio album by Placebo,
Brian and his band recorded the album from late 2005 to early 2006 and released it on 13 March 2006 through Virgin Records in most countries, although it was released three days earlier in Australia and New Zealand. Illegal copies had previously been available on the Internet since 17 January 2006.

Thomas Rabsch, 2006

A bit of background

Placebo had planned to record a more electronic, keyboard-driven sound on Meds; however, producer Dimitri Tikovoi suggested a back-to-basics approach, which Brian Molko recounted in Zero:
It was our producer's agenda really, which we didn't really know about until we got into the studio. [...] We were in a place that was very much about samplers and computers and vintage synthesisers. This recording session really became about playing again. We were in an old-school studio so there were no real tricks to hide behind.
On the theme of the record, Brian says:
I think there's a lot of songs about the dangers and effects of drinking [alcohol]. [...] "Infra-Red's about that, when you get very drunk and you've got a bee in your bonnet about something, and this vengeful quality emerges. You start thinking about people who've done you wrong and [want] to set the record straight.
Robin, 2006

Meds received a generally favourable reception from critics, though several reviewers commented on the album's lack of divergence from the group's established sound as we can compare here:

AllMusic called Meds "as bare and honest as Placebo have ever been, thanks to French producer Dimitri Tikovoi's straightforward approach in getting the band to make a bona fide rock record", writing that "There's a fresh vulnerability here and a sense of danger, too". 
Robert Christgau called "Meds is easily their most effective album-as-album", while Q magazine called it "easily their most focused album to date".
MusicOMH wrote, "Darker than its predecessors, the harrowing Meds is as close Placebo have come to that perfect album."

Special Edition bonus DVD

"The Death of Nancy Boy" (documentary)
Lyrics in virtual booklet
"Twenty Years (Live at Wembley 05.11.04)" (video) 
"If Only Tonight We Could Sleep" (featuring The Cure) (video) 
"Backstage at Live 8" 
"Long Division" 
"In the Cold Light of Morning (Demo)" 
"I Do (Demo)"
"Pierrot the Clown (Demo)"

Watch the documentario - The Death of Nancy Boy - Part 1  to 3

Meds review by by MacKenzie Wilson

With 2004's release of Placebo's singles collection, the band reaffirmed that it has never quite fit into any particular fad. Their success has been gradual in the sense that their style and sound have progressed naturally with each album. Meds builds upon that notion while also embarking on a new phase for Placebo. Meds is their second coming. Frontman Brian Molko is no longer the glam-chic, gender-bending firestarter he once was. His songs are still angry and twisted in self-reflection and social rejection. Meds doesn't contain the rush to experiment like their previous records do. It's as bare and honest as Placebo have ever been, thanks to French producer Dimitri Tikovoi's straightforward approach in getting the band to make a bona fide rock record. There's a fresh vulnerability here and a sense of danger, too; the album's title track quickly enters this sphere.
Red more (+ listen to every song on the article)

Placebo speaking about the songs on MEDS 


Brian Molko: "You once covered "Je t'aime... moi non plus" with Asia Argento in the part of Serge Gainsbourg, and yourself in the part of Jane Birking. The title track of "Meds" is a duet with Alison Mosshart aka VV of The Kills. Alison and Asia are 2 skinny, pale, androginous, black-haired girls. They could be your sisters. (laughs)
Vincent Lignier, 2006

Brian Molko: Well, I've always thought that love is quite a narcissistic thing. You like to see yourself reflected in your lover. Not that I was ever involved with those two, but I do think they're very beautiful women. And a duet always sounds better with someone you have the hots for."Brian Molko, Humo, mars 2006
Vincent Lignier, 2006

"Brian Molko: The original version of Meds was very unlike the one we've recorded. I wrote it during my stay in India, as Song To Say Goodbye. Meds is about loosing yourself, not recognizing yourself. You feel lost, desperate, and you don't know what you think anymore, what you really feel. It's a very disturbing feeling, for me and for everyone, and I wanted to express it. I'm glad it's the opening song of the album, it's the 1st time a Placebo record opens with an acoustic chord."Brian Molko, Rock Mag april 2006


Brian Molko:"I think there's a lot of songs on the record about the dangers and the effects of drinking." reveals Molko. "I think Infra-red's about that, when you get very drunk and you've got a bee in your bonnet about something, and this vengeful quality emerges. You start thinking about people who've done you wrong and wanting to set the record strait. And if you don't have access to the person who's wronged you in some way, anybody will do." He grins. "I'm certainly not encouraging that, it's just an observation."Brian Molko, Zero Magazine, March 2006


Brian Molko: "At one point in my life I stopped writing on the guitar to try to improve myself at the piano. I always find it difficult to play well in fact, but Drag is born that way. I had just fallen in love and I wanted to write something about feeling inferior to someone. When you fall in love, you see the other above you ... "I'll always be in your shadow, you're wonderful." You find the person you love perfect and you feel like the only piece of shit on its shoe. It is also the only Placebo song that mentions the Seine! The working title was Across the Seine." Brian Molko, Rock Mag April 2006

Space Monkey

Brian Molko: In London, Dimitri turned up to the sessions on bicycle. Once we took it, we put it into the studio with a garbage can, the foot of a keyboard and metal pieces. And Steve played on it for 3 hours. In the end, we had our Space Monkey. This guy is no longer a drummer, he is a cyclist! Afterwards we added a real orchestra. They came to the studio, they played, we filmed them."
Brian Molko, Steve Hewitt, Rock Mag April 2006

Thomas Rabsch, 2006

Brian : Steve? I know how you feel about this one ...
Steve: It's a modern classic. (Laughter) Space Monkey was one of the first things that we wrote at the start of Sleeping With Ghosts. We had decided to drop guitars, to become Kraftwerk. We had an electronic drumkit and keyboards.

Follow the Cops Back Home

Brian Molko: "This track was inspired by Iceland. The first time we went there, it was the summer, there were 24 hours of sunlight per day. We calculated that 3% of the population came to our concert, which was small though. Nobody lives out there. While driving in the countryside to see volcanoes and geysers, we didn't see a cop. It was so weird! You wonder what people do over there ! And 2 weeks ago, I met Sigur Ros. These guys are 25 years old and have 7 years old kids. Seeing that, I told them, "Are you crazy? Is there at this point nothing to do in Iceland?"

Thomas Rabsch, 2006
They replied "No, that's why we fuck and get drunk." This trip in Iceland inspired us, made us think about what you do when you live in a place like Luxembourg and Iceland where there is nothing to do. Most of the time, you fool around. In the end, this song, like many others on the album, is about alcohol. You get drunk in a bar, you meet another drunk guy, you decide that he is your new best friend, and straight away, you go and do foolish things. This foolish thing is to follow the cops back home to rob their houses. After listening to it, if some guy says it is a cool idea, he deserves to go to jail. This is the most stupid thing that can be done!"Brian Molko, Rock Mag April 2006

Post Blue

"It's about alcohol ... (Laughs) No, seriously, it's a song about addiction, loosing yourself, how a person could be your sole reason to live. They become your escape, the answer to all your questions. We've always written love songs, but not like Dave or C. Jerome. Our lyrics are more twisted. We talk about impossible love, complicated love, destructive love. As destructive as drugs."Brian Molko, Rock Mag April 2006

Because I Want You

Brian Molko: "This will be our 1st single in the United Kingdom. I prefer not saying anything about it, just listen to the lyrics, everything is explained in it!"Brian Molko, Rock Mag April 2006


Brian Molko: "t's a song for the girls."
Stefan: I wrote it 4 years ago, as Post Blue, when we were recording our covers with Dimitri. The guitars are tuned in the same way on both tracks. At that time, we didn't want to make B-sides of them, we kept the original recording for this album, just with vocals redone and more overdubs."Stefan Olsdal, Rock Mag April 2006

Pierrot the Clown

Brian Molko: "It's about destructive, violent relationships. After having written it, I realized that it might be a family relationship as well as a love one. A lot of songs - mostly country - talk about women beeing hit by their husbands. On the contrary, in Pierrot the Clown, the target of the violence is a man. A vulnerable man, trapped in a violent and destructive relationship. The title of this track reflects my obsession with clowns and my passion for the circus. In high school, I even thought about getting into a school for clowns and become a .....
Thomas Rabsch, 2006

Stefan: (teasing) That's what you do !
Brian: (Laughter) But fortunately for everyone, I was accepted at university! When I was a kid, I would go to the circus. It was a celebration, but a person, Pierrot, was always sad. I felt compassion for him. Pierrot the Clown, it's also the role played by David Bowie in his video Ashes To Ashes. It's a powerful image for me, with which I wanted to express how you can feel alone in a couple, how much you can let yourself being beaten physically and mentally by someone. Very cheerful, huh? "Brian Molko, Stefan Olsdal, Rock Mag April 2006

Broken Promise

Brian Molko: "We liked the idea to make sing this song that speaks of adultery by 2 men - me and Michael Stipe in this case - ... The result is halfway between Metallica and Erik Satie. (Laughs) That's fucking strange! It starts with a piano, like Satie, played by Stefan, and then the loud guitars, then Satie, then the guitars, it's crazy! "Brian Molko, Rock Mag April 2006

One of a Kind

Brian Molko: "With Because I Want You, it's our most recent track. At the end of the recording, the label has called us at the studio and said to us:"Write us singles", and we answered "Fuck You! We are going into the studio and write something with the distorsion at 100%. "We got One Of A Kind, and we don't even know if it will come out as a single. It's strange to sit in the studio and hatch a single.

We wanted this track to be poppy, and to the one side it's made, there is a twisted vibration like the Pixies. It's about having the feeling that you're out of place in the world. You know that you have one, but it doesn't suit you. At the same time, you realize that you are unique, that there is only one you. "Brian Molko, Rock Mag April 2006

In the Cold Light of Morning

Brian Molko: "It's a musical tribute to Leonard Cohen. It's about drugs, being completely fucked, a bit like Pure Morning. It is 7am in the morning, everyone is off to work and you, you're just wandering the streets. You get home, you look at yourself in the mirror and you say 'Why am I like this? I promised myself never to do this again and here I am again." You feel marginal, aside the planet. The rest of the world is living, doing their job, and you, you were decadent and lenient towards yourself. You are not happy about it, you look at yourself in the mirror and you think "I hate you, I can't stand you anymore."Brian Molko, Rock Mag April 2006

Song To Say Goodbye

Brian Molko:"The theme of Song To Say Goodbye is keeping only the best aspects of your life. It's the first track I wrote in India. I went there for for a lot of reasons, one of them to try and change my lifestyle. I wanted to make me understand that I should not become a rock'n'roll cliché and that the world doesn't need another dead rock star. I've written it as a letter to myself."Brian Molko, Rock Mag April 2006

Brian Molko:“A way of making clear to myself the path not to take as a human being.”
Brian Molko, XFM, March 2006

 Not everything about Meds is sunshine and happines

Brian Molko interview about Meds recording and tour, Les Inrockuptibles, 26th May 2009

LI -When did you feel that Placebo was declining?

Brian Molko – During the recording of Meds ... We left the studio without pride, disunited, washed out. But there was a tour to achieve, then we marched to the front lines, as if nothing had happened. I hoped it would heal the wounds: it bruised them. For two years on the road, I really felt alone. I had no choice but to continue - I know nothing else, it's my destiny, my only value ...
With Stefan, we decided to get our band back, its spirit, the innocence it had when we were composing, in 1994 in a city housing ... We could no longer continue in this cynicism. Even on stage we were pretending, it was not "us against the rest of the world" anymore.

Specifically, the problem was your drummer, Steven Hewitt, with whom you had personal and musical differences. Did you set this in person?

Brian Molko – At the end of the tour we couldn't even  look each other in the eye ... he was ... unpredictable, I was scared of his reaction, emotionally and even physically. So I told him by email, and then our manager  officially announced him that he was no longer part of the band. That was two years ago, we haven't spoke again. Since then we have recruited another Steven on drums. His youth, his hunger, his optimism of a young Californian has been crucial for us. He had tattooed "Open Minded" on his knuckles, but not for fun. We needed him to get us out of our thirties-crisis to make us kids again.

Thomas Rabsch, 2006

Sources: Wikipedia, Placebo Russia, Allmusic.com, PlaceboWorld,