IQ "Black Magic Man", Nov'03


Placebo Vocalist Brian Molko is nearly 31, is wearing black and sometimes insult hunter of autographs. But he is still always one of us.

IQstyle: Did you slept well last night?
Brian: No, not at all. I hardly get enough sleep. I'm quite horrible waking up. In the 1st hours I'm completely grumpy. After 3 cups of coffee it works out somehow.

In October you perfromed in bigger venues as ever before. Do you let people always count, how many people are coming to your concert?
Yes! You need to have the feeling, that you make a progress. And at the moment, it looks like, that all the work of 8 years is finally paying out.

At your US-Tour 1998 your whole equipment landed in the wrong city and you had to cancel the concert. Does something like that still happen to you today?
These days our stuff is even arriving in Mexico and South-America and East-Europe in time. And do you know why? Cause you can work so good with Baksheesh there!

And in the most civilised country in the world that certainly doesn't work.
No. - Is it the most civilised county?

At least the American think that of themselves. Are you afraid of America?
Oh yes! They decided, they are the new empire, just because there wasn't a real empire for the last years. I believe, they want to impress their McDonald's-Lifestyle on the rest of the world. In those moments an united and strong Europe is more important.

I guess you were happy about seeing Mr. Blair, Chirac and Schröder some weeks ago arm in arm at some summit conference
I don't know. For me it still looks like mr Blair is going onto his knees in front of Mr. Bush and ... (grinning wide)

Were you interested in politic as teenager too?
I grew up in an extreme on Money oriented country, in Luxembourg.
It's like a Mini-Switzerland, where the living expenses ar quite OK, but the people have an endless amount of money. So I became fast left, a natural reaction against the whole conservatism and the mass of money around me.

You were a true rebel?
Just when I turned 17. In the 80ies it was so boring for Teenager, and I just vegetated. When I moved to London, I had in just 3 years a whole 2nd Youth, and quite a lot happened in front of the public.

Are you more happy than then?
Absolutely! When I was 20, I had a really chaotic phase. it was truly a roller-coaster ride. But you can't ride it forever.

If you look at Photos of you from that time, who are you seeing?
A grinch, at least the most time.

Which advise would you give the 20 year old Brian Molko?
Drink more water...instead of all the other stuff. And stick to it, I guarantee you, it becomes better. This time was really chaotic and self destroying, but I learned a lot.

It looks like you like the colour black.
Black is easy. you can easily transport it, it doesn't become dirty so fast and you can't see sweat patches right away. It is nice neutral as well. In gaudy colours I don't feel really comfortable. And black makes you look thinner! Black is the colour of Rock 'n' Roll. that goes back to Velvet Underground and Johnny Cash. Dark blue works out for me too. and a bit white.

Black let you appear mysterious too.
Absolutely! And I think, there are not enough mysteries on the world any more and first of all in the pop music. When I was young, there were just the vinyl records, and for the most of them the booklet inside was plain white. There was a picture on the front and in the back a photo of the band - and that was it! Today you can get the information about the colour of the pubic hair of the drummer in the internet, you can find out every fucking detail! There are Groupie website. the secrets burst, and I try to keep a small piece for myself.

Do you think the fashion world holds more secrets than the pop world?
Designers are taking at least risks! I don't know, if fashion is really full of secrets. The most Fashion designer I've met, were pretty open.

Btw. Which colour has your pubic hair?
Hahaha. Next question!

At our last Interview we sat in a VIP-tent on a festival in Stockholm. And you smoke half of my cigarettes...
Oh yeah, you had those strange fags. they were from Austria, weren't they? And I nearly went into a fight with someone there.

And you let the guy being removed by your tour manager. But you didn't made the impression of being just slightly nervous.
If people are impolite or are crazy, than I have the right to tell them that - polite and with reason.
The guy was annoying me and my girlfriend, on one hand he was impolite, on the other hand he made me non-stop compliments. I believe, cause I'm short, I get through, if I tell them my opinion.

Do you often get molested?
Not so often, but if it happen, than it madden me inside, even when you can't see it from the outside.

After 8 years in this band - do Stefan, Steve and you have any secrets from each other?
Barely. We became a family quite naturally - a family, that function rarely well, but still a family.

It surprised me, that you pulpify your 1st guitar just 1998.
Just a short while ago one was destroyed in Paris, cause our lovely Bassist Stefan hit my guitar with his bass - it simply broke into pieces, it was quite funny. Stefan is on stage at the moment a bit brutal towards me. All the time he is knocking me over or bump into me. I guess, he has an unconscious antipathy against me - NO, that were just accidents. We are simply a bit more wild than in the past.

Which person did you offended as last?
In the Band we insult us all the time. That is some kind of sign of affection, that i still don't really understand. It is probably all the testosteron, that you carry around especially during a tour. In Paris I offended an Autograph hunter. She was 45. She told me, I'm impolite, just when I started to sign an Autograph for her.
So I told her, that for a woman her age there are for sure more meaningful things to do, than standing around with 20something year old girls in front of a TV station and fight for an Autograph!

Do you like the contact to your fans?
It's dangerous. It can be really cool, but it can become strange too. Fans can demand a lot. If you spend 2 minutes with them, than it appear not a lot for them, but if there are hundred other people, who want to have 2 minutes as well, than it's really a lot for me!
I get afraid, when they are screaming and treat me like I would be a divine being. I'm just a small Asshole, like the rest.

What is your biggest fear?
Being in prison the whipping boy for someone. And to be alone. I enjoy being alone with myself, if I want to be. But it is really hard, to break free from this circle of loneliness. I had that. I don't want it anymore.