The Berlin Paper "Brian Molko interview", Dec'06

15 Dec 2006

Mr. Molko, what do you not like about Placebo?

I am not going to answer that question. Starting with something negative means bad karma - bad Feng Shui.

What do you like about Placebo?

The other two guys: Steve and Stefan.

That’s all?

That’s a lot!

You mention Feng-Shui. The title of your album is Meds. Are you a health nut?

Once you reach your thirties, your body can’t do as much as it could in your twenties. You have to find a balance and start working out.

So you work out?

Three times a week.

What were your feelings about exercise ten years ago?

I didn’t have any feelings about that. When I was twenty, I felt invincible. Now my body won’t go along with everything. Especially when we are tour. We travel so much, sleep in the bus a lot – I don’t know if that is healthy.

You used to go out drinking even if you had a cold…

Of course. When I was at home, I took some antibiotics and went out. On tour, we nursed our flu with a bottle of brandy. Kills the viruses.

Today you put your trust in vitamin pills?

Usually. I need them when we are on the road, because my diet suffers from the stress. We end up eating once a day, drinking too much because of the stress.

What is your diet like?

I pay more attention. Or wine: if I could choose between three cheap and one good, expensive bottle, I would take the good wine. A Pinot Grigio from South Africa – wonderful!

In London, sausages sold on the street are very popular post-clubbing grub.

It’s the same thing as swimming in the Thames. You try it once – and never do it again. Simply because it is not a good idea.

Okay, so you’ve had the sausage, the band has been playing hits for the last ten years – what gives you a kick now?

The new record. On the last tour, we felt a bit like a karaoke band, always having to sing the same songs. That is why we wanted to be darker and heavier on Meds (the new album).

The critics say you are just as rough as you were ten years ago.

But we weren’t good songwriters back then.

Placebo 2006 – is what?

Water and carbs.

Instead of?

Absinth and Lager.

That’s your new recipe for success?

That and the vitamin pills.

And the new motto?

You should try it too!

What does that say about Placebo?

That we are not afraid to try new things. On the record, there is a song where Steve drums on a bicycle that was standing around in recording studio. Great sound.

What are you afraid of?

That we’ll become irrelevant one day. Not as vital anymore. Hopefully we will have quit by then.

What do you find relevant in today’s pop culture?

Recently, I have been getting addicted to American television – like Six Feet Under and Curb Your Enthusiasm.

And music? Maybe some British music?

If I scroll through my iPod, I can hardly find any British bands. More like Sigur Ros, Rufus Wainwright or Death Cab For Cutie. I have no idea what is hip right now.

Do you need more peace and quiet these days?

For some time, yes, but it cannot get too long. Or I’ll go crazy. That’s like being stuck in your head for too long. Who wants something like that?