Rockwave Festival "Brian Molko interview", Jun'04

22th June 2004

In a few months it will be the 10th birthday of the band. Right?

I suppose so, I mean it's difficult to say when the band was born. Me and Stef we started to write songs back in '94, were signed in '95, we released our first album in '96. It's difficult to say, we don't feel we were a band until '97 when Steve joined the band, you know. But it's not really that important.

Are you planning a big celebration or something? It's been a rumor about it...

Is it? Woooo! well I don't know, I don't think so...

What about the new album? I’ve heard it will be released sometime late 2004 or early 2005.

Probably late 2005 for our album No 5. In October it will be a singles collection which will start with «36 degrees» and it will end with one or two new singles which we are gonna record soon, so it will be new material in this singles-album and also a dvd with all the videos to accompany that. So that's coming in October. Probably the first edition it will have an extra CD with it, which it will have all the extra stuff on it. And then we'll start working on the new album, late 2004 or early 2005.

Were you in France writing the last months?

Oh we're always writing. We've been writing in France, we've been writing since we were on tour.

Are you gonna play anything new tonight?

Unfortunatelly bands no longer have the luxury of playing a whole bunch new songs, of testing new songs on an audience like we used to do in '97. Fans are so inpatient that they bootleg them and put them on the internet. I wish they would be more patient about it 'cause those songs aren't meant to be listened to yet, they are not finished. There is a reason why you are trying them out on an audience. In a live show you are playing them once and they hear them and that's cool. You want to see the responce and that's the way this situation was designed for. But to put them on the internet, put a demo of them on the internet 2 years before the album comes out, it's not right. People must be more patient and wait for the proper thing to come out, otherwise it ruins the surprise for everybody. It has to be understood that people who do that... it's their own fault that bands don't do that anymore. If they wouldn't do that, we would try new material out on an audience.

Do you think that can damage your album if one song it will be heard on the internet?

No, no absolutely not. It's a question of principle, it's a question of quality. That's what is all about. We believe that we must release the highest quality possible of music. That takes time and alot of work. Obviously you want to deliver to your fans the best possible mix of your new song and have the best quality song and the best quality of music for their own personal enjoyment.
And that's what is all about. Of course is not gonna harm you in anyway, financialy or whatever, this is not the issue.

You just wanna put it out the way you wanna put it out.

Absolutely. Because we believe that's the way that it was intented to be listened to. In the old days when Pink Floyd wrote «Dark side of the moon» they took it on tour for a year before they redorded it. And that allowed them to develop songs on the road. Bands today don't have that luxury anymore and that's a shame cause you make an album and you go on tour for a year and after a year you realise that the songs have evolved in to something even better and if you have the luxury to be able to do that without having the songs ending up on the internet, then... the public will get a better album at the end of it. So, the public actually shoots it's self in the foot!

You hardly ever play B-sides in your gigs. Maybe never….Why’s that?

With b-sides we do alot of experimental music, alot of covers, instrumental and stuff like that and it is fun for us, but the stuff that we play live it's kinda our favorites. There is a certain instruction of what works better live and especially in a festival situation and usually it is a powerful rock song with lyrics. You are not gonna play like a ten minute instrumental.

But you do have powerful b-sides like «Slackerbitch». I think everyone is expecting to hear this one live one day...

Not one of my favorites to tell you the truth...

It's not?

Nooo.... (smiles)

Ok, but you also have some really good ballads like «Then the clouds will open for me»

Hmmm.... yes but it's not a band song. The clouds are basically based on a solo song. So, I'm not gonna stand on stage playing an acoustic guitar by my self.

You don't want that?

No, cause we are a band. We all should be on stage.

You all look very spontaneous. It seems all these years that you don’t really care about your image or stuff like these.

We just do what we want. We DO all care alot but we are not pre-occupied.

Is anyone of you actually shy in his personal life?

Is anybody shy? Well yeah! (smiles) My self and Stefan we are quite shy people. Steve isn't shy! But we are shy people. So, that's probably why we are on stage where we are allowed to be larger than life. With that body and personality which is bigger than us in everyday life.

It seems there is alot more confidence in you the last years than it used to be...

I think we proved our selves to a great degree but that doesn't mean we can start being lazy now. The challenges get bigger now because you have a strong body of work behind you. So everytime you make a new album you have to make it better than the last one. And I think particullary the last one was a very good record so now we have a bigger challenge in our hands for album No 5. I supposed we've achieved a great deal now and we are confident because we have a good fan base and that shows that what we do, is made of good quality, because otherwise we wouldn't be around for 10 years. We would be a flash and a pan. We would be fashionable for 2 years and then dissapear. That kinda thing. We have a tendency to operate outside of musical trance, the fashion in music or what's in the cover of NME and stuff like that.

So is everything fine with NME now?

I don't know! I don't read comics! (big smile)

Haha!

So, I suppose we have a place in the modern music scene, we travel all the time and we play in audiences in Mexico, Moscow, all over Europe, America, Australia, Asia, so we built up a big following and this is a really really good thing and it made us less insecure perhaps.

How do you cope with all this non-stop touring?

You have to realise that you are very blessed to be in your position, you know. And certainly it is difficult some times but in the same time it's so much better than having a real job. You are in a very very enviable position. You have a really beautiful life because you get to see so many different places, enjoy different cultures, meet different people which enrich your life. You are very blessed when you are able to do that. Obviously you miss your loved ones, you miss being at home and the comfort of that, but in the same time not many people realisticly have the oportunity that you have so you shouldn't complain about it and you must enjoy it to the full cause you never now when it's going to end.

What's more interesting, meeting new places or meeting new people?

... Places! (laughs)

What’s the maddest thing you’ve ever done on stage?

We used to do alot of stage diving, alot of crowd surfing, jump in to the audience with our instruments, flirt around and stuff like that but our clothes are too expensive now (laughs) and they are just ripped to shreds, torn to pieces if you do that (laughs again) and the guitars are too expensive for that aswell.

Can sex with someone you really love and respect be kinky and dirty? Should it be?

Absolutely (smiles). Yeah yeahhh... it's only because of mutual trust when you can achieve proper kinkiness.

Is it true that you’re getting married or you’re too naughty for any kind of commitment?

I'm not getting married but when I commit, I commit.

Can you kill the demons and the ghosts of the past by writing a song or you learn how to live with them?

The second one, you learn how to live with them. They are always gonna be there you know. It's a form of catharsis, a form of exorcism. You have a much more objective discourse with these ghosts and demons cause you externalise them and you can learn to live with them more realisticly and more objectivly.

Do you think real love hurts or can it be just happiness and understanding?

It hurts some times. Nothing is ever simple when it comes to human relationships, yeah. No one is perfect, everybody makes mistakes and struggles with their own selfishness and their own ego. It's very difficult sometimes to live with someone, to share your life with someone, but it's also an amazing thing that gives you so much more, fills your life up with so much joy. But there is a balance to everything that you have to keep. And there is a double side to everything cause you know, the closer you are to someone, the more you have the capacity to hurt them.

What’s the most stupid line you’ve ever used to hit on someone?

Nice shades! (laughs)

Any more Djing? Recently you were Djing in Bangkok...

Yes I was a DJ for a month in Bangkok and yes I will DJ more. I don't have any certain plans right now but yes I will do it again. I have some good offers on the table so we will see....

Ok that's it! Thank you

Thank you very much.