miércoles, 23 de agosto de 2017

Complacency Is Forbidden In Placebo World - Interview with Brian Molko 2017

Photo: Zeltfestival Ruhr Facebook 

Aug 22nd 2017 | Steve BellMore Sharing Services / Sources and credits The Music.com/au

After 20 years at the musical coalface with UK veterans Placebo, frontman Brian Molko tells Steve Bell how connecting with the legions of outcasts who constitute their fanbase is what keeps the fires burning.

For nearly 12 months now revered UK alterna-rockers Placebo have been undertaking an exercise in both nostalgia and community to celebrate the 20-year anniversary of their eponymous debut album, which first hit the shelves back in mid-1996.

Titled simply the 20 Years Of Placebo tour, the celebration finds the band delving deep into their extensive seven-album back catalogue to dust off some fan favourites that had been essentially retired from the live realm, and now after nearly a year of criss-crossing the globe it's finally reaching Australia to let local fans join the festivities.

"It's been going since last October, and it's going to take us until at least until the end of this October, and then we're going to start discussing what our plans are going to be for 2018," offers Placebo founder and frontman Brian Molko. "It's been a roaring success - we've exhumed a bunch of songs from the graveyard that we swore we'd never play again, and it's all going down a storm with the crowd.

"On an artistic level it's been an extremely successful venture, in terms of communion with our audience: some of them, the teens and the 20s, have never heard us play songs like Nancy Boy and Pure Morning live at all, and the older fans haven't heard those songs in ten years. The whole thing is a celebratory experience."

Although on a personal level Molko himself doesn't seem completely ecstatic about reviving these early hits. "It's been educational," he laughs. "I suppose that I've come to terms with the songs that I'd buried - that I didn't want to sing anymore - and I've come to appreciate their spontaneity and their naivety, rather than just dismissing them as sophomoric."

Molko explains that he and co-founding bassist Stefan Olsdal usually prefer to keep the Placebo live show fresh and exciting because they're fully invested in the experience. "I don't have confidence in a great deal of things in my life, but I have an unfaltering confidence in the ability of Placebo to put on an amazing live rock'n'roll show, because we give a shit!" he enthuses. "That's the whole point, we really fucking give a shit, and every fucking time we step onto that stage we're giving 100% of what we can give at that given time.

"Some bands walk on and they phone it in and just get it done - have you ever seen the fucking Kings Of Leon? Jesus, you might as well be watching cardboard cut-outs on a stage and play the record - but we're up there and we give a shit, and this connection with the audience feeds our soul, so we're always putting everything we have into the live show. No complacency - complacency is forbidden in Placebo world."

And while Molko prefers looking forwards rather than backwards, the anniversary tour has allowed him to take stock of his two decades in the band. "I feel extremely privileged because it's an amazing position to be in," he marvels. "I'd say that I feel extremely fortunate and very, very grateful. Because this is all I know how to do! I've never had a job, this is all I've done my entire adult life. Sometimes I wonder what would happen if it all collapsed tomorrow - what the fuck would I do? I can't drive so I can't drive a cab, I refuse to tend bar, my computer skills are shit - I'm unemployable. This is all I got, so I put all of me into it.

"It wasn't our modus operandi at the beginning but we realised very quickly that our music made people happy, even though it can be very dark at times. And a whole community of outcasts has formed around the band, which we never expected to happen - we never set out to do that. We set out to express ourselves artistically and to try and make a living - just to pay the rent and be able to buy food was all we wanted - we didn't even set out to achieve global success, we just didn't want to get a job in an office because that was terrifying!

"But we realised really soon that we made a lot of people happy just through a lot of the tortured feelings that are in the songs, and there's a global community now of misshapes, of square pegs in round holes, of outcasts, of people who feel like they don't really belong to the herd. Which is exactly what myself and Stefan felt like when we were growing up, so there's the connection."

Read the interview on the page of The Music . com / aus