AAP General News "Placebo Prefer Life on the Road", Mar'04

March 19, 2004
by Jonathon Moran

British glam rockers Placebo have spent much of the past 10 years living out of suitcases. 

To some that may seem a nightmare, but this trio can't think of any other way they would rather live. 

"So many bands are so lazy and they think the world owes them a living and they get disappointed and frustrated at their lack of success internationally," Placebo frontman Brian Molko said. "But that is because a lot of British bands sit on their arses in Britain and go to the pub." 

Placebo have been regular visitors to Australia, having last played Byron Bay's Splendor In The Grass music festival last year. The group have released four albums and have been on the road for more than 12 months, promoting their latest album Sleeping With Ghosts. 

They kicked off the Australian leg of the world tour in Perth last week and have since performed in Adelaide and Melbourne. They play Sydney's Hordern Pavilion tonight and finish the national tour in Brisbane tomorrow. 

Molko said touring internationally added another dimension to a musician's outlook. "There are so many cultures that they are not in contact with and so many different aspects of the world which they are completely missing through a combination of arrogance and laziness," he said. "We see this as one ongoing adventure which is going to take us to a whole lot of places, to meet different people and to learn a great deal and have fantastic experiences because of that." 

Bassist Stefan Olsdal agreed, saying the band did things the "old school" way. "It is the way that we work, like an old school way of doing an album and taking it to the people," he said. "I think we have visited 150 countries and average around 170 shows a year and we wouldn't do it if we didn't enjoy it." 

Describing Placebo's music, drummer Steve Hewitt said the group attempted to keep at the forefront of technology. 

"It is just constant evolution. We are thriving and desperately keeping modern. We are trying to keep away from everybody else whose doing retro, just trying to push it forward," he said. 

Placebo have been together for more than 10 years, forming when old schoolmates Olsdal and Molko bumped into each other in London. The pair then convinced Hewitt to join. 

Molko described the group as a "dysfunctional family". 

"We share an amazing thing you know, the ability to create," he said. "It is a kind of synergy which is unique and very special. Historically art has been quite a solo thing. You don't hear of many groups of people painting together on the same canvas or groups of people writing a novel together." 

Placebo return to London next week, where they plan to play some large outdoor music festivals. 

After that it is back to the studio to make another album. But they don't want to give too much away about what is to come. 

"God knows, an album takes shape when you are in the studio, it doesn't take shape in your mind," Molko said. 

However, they had written plenty of songs and hoped to release their next album by mid-2005.