Kerrang "Placebo put themselves under the microscope for new rockier album", Dec'05

Placebo are currently putting the finishing touches to their forthcoming fifth studio album. The trio, which features vocalist/guitarist Brian Molko, bassist Stefan Olsdal and drummer Steve Hewitt, are holed up in a studio in West London with producer Dimitri Tikovoi, mixing the 12 tracks that will be appearing on their as-yet untitled follow-up to 2003’s ‘Sleeping with Ghosts’. They invited Kerrang! For an exclusive first listen to a handful of tracks, including ‘Because I Want You’, ‘Meds’ (a duet with The Kills vocalist Alison ‘VV’Mossheart) and ‘Space Monkey’ , as well as two currently untitled songs. The new material sees the band returning to their guitar-based sound of their 1996 eponymous debut album.

“In a way, this new record is more rockier,” frontman Molko tells K!.“Originally, when we started thinking about this one, we wanted to do something that was quite electronic and hip-hoppy, but we weren’t allowed! I’m really glad now, though.”

“I wanted to get a raw sound from them,” explains producer Dimitri Tikovoi. “It sounds more like the band and it’s more about the songs and the performance of them, rather than about hiding behind a wall of technology.”

“I think out of all the tracks, ‘Space Monkey’ will surprise fans the most,”says Molko. “It’s a weird beast and is quite difficult to describe. It’s a rock song but it has a trip-hop feel to it.”

“There’s also another duet on this album,” he adds, mysteriously. “But I’m not going to tell you who it’s with. We need to retain some kind of mystery and hold a few surprises back.”

On the subject of the lyrical content on the album, Molko reveals that this album is possibly the band’s most emotionally honest offering to date.“We’re dealing with love, loss, confusion and addiction,” he says. “It’s a cheerful record! It has very much become about the emotional honesty and the power of the songs. We just really turned inward in this one and examined ourselves.”

What did you find there?
“Confusion,” Molko laughs.

Next year is a big year for Placebo – as well as releasing this new album, it will also be 10 years since they unleashed their debut, which spawned the hit singles ‘Nancy Boy’ and ‘Bruise Pristine.’
“I hoped that we would still be around 10 year later when we released that record,”Molko muses. “But I had a sneaking suspision that we might implode before then. I’m glad we survived, though. I’m glad we’re doing something right!”

Placebo’s new album will be out on March 13 via Virgin Records.