ELEGY "Brut", Mar'06

Translation by moondarri

We just heard the new album and the first impression we get is that it's a very dark record.

Bri - Yeah, it is dark. Actually, I think it's possibly our darkest album yet... but it's important to stress that we make very dark music so that we can be happier people in our real lives. 

Like therapy?

Bri - Yeah, in a way. Let's say that if our music is very dark and romantic we don't need to be that way in our real lives. 

So dark that one of the songs kind of sounds like Marilyn Manson...

B. M. : Really? I don't know... which one? Go on, sing it.

Um, no. I can't.

Bri - Yes you can! I insist! Sing it!


Bri - Well, since we're talking about Marilyn Manson, have you seen Bowling for Columbine, the film by Michael Moore?

Of course. 

Bri - I think it's really rare for an artist, for a musician to be as sensed as Manson was in that movie. When the Columbine affair took place, I switched on CNN and I could see these guys in grey suits saying "Yes, the person to blame is Marilyn Manson, because he wrote this and that..." And I said to myself, "Shit!"

Steve - Yeah, it's fucking pathetic. Stupid Christian government!

Bri - If there's one thing that drives me insane, it's just that. Artists are blamed for everything, culturally and politically. So they're going to reprimand Manson for the war in Iraq! [laughs] Or blame Placebo for English colonialism - and French colonialism for that matter! Anything you want! Any time something goes wrong in the world, it's our fault, it's the artists' fault. We're just guys who want to play music, that's all... anyway... where were we?

Do you sometimes stop and look back over your ten years of career?

Steve - Yeah, it's something we did when we were preparing our singles collection. It kind of forced us to look back. It's the first time that we stopped like that and that we realised the quantity of material that we have. 

Bri - And we were very happy of what we saw when going back. In any case, if we had to do it all again, we wouldn't change a thing. 

Stef - If we could change things? Yeah, if we could change things, if I could change things, then Sting wouldn't be around, Phil Collins and Genesis wouldn't exist. Simply Red wouldn't either! [laughs] That's what I'd change. Or stop, in any case. [laughs]

You've got two prestigious guests on your new album, VV from the Kills and Michael Stipe from REM. And Brian, while we're on the subject of guests, you're on a track from Alice et June, the new Indochine album. Is it something you really wanted to do, or rather something your record label organised?

Bri - No, no, absolutely not. No arrangement. It's more the opposite. I went to India for a while, then to Thailand where I lived for a while. I was over there when Nicolas contacted me and said "I'm trying to write a track in English." I said, "Do you need some help?" He said yes, and I said, "Ok, well you know, for years and years people have been wanting us to work together, so let's pretend that we're not working together, but let's write this song for the both of us." And it just happened like that. For me, it was really cool, because when I was nine... How old are you?


Bri - I'm 33. Steve?

Steve - 34.

Bri - Stef?

Stef - I'm 23... [laughs]

Bri - Yeah, so I was nine, and I still remember "L'Aventurier". Just being friends with Nicola is something amazing, but to get involved with him musically, with the guy who represented something huge when I was a kid, that was really incredible for me, you see? The simple fact that he asked me to write something with him was already really incredible. I felt very honoured. 

Are there other French artists you'd like to work with?

Stef - Dick Rivers ! 

Bri - Yeah! Dick Rivers! [laughs] A river dick... Haha!

You're already preparing your tour. You start in Bangkok in March. Is it also going to be rockier on stage?

Stef - Oh yeah. There are going to be more guitars.

Bri - Yeah, we recruited a new guy who used to be in Suede. The idea was really to base the live show around guitars... we're working on a video at the moment too. There's a guy called Phillip Andre who's working on it. It's the first time he works with us. He worked, amongst others, for Roger Sanchez, the DJ. For the moment, it doesn't interest us at all to appear in the video. We want to create something that looks like a film. That's where we're trying to go with the visual aspect of Placebo for the moment. We'll soon see what it looks like... 

You look like you've got major hangovers... we'll go to the Chinese Portraits, it's easier.

Bri - [laughs] Yeah, sorry, we're dead. A Chinese Portrait? Cool! Go on...

Chinese Portrait (If you were a ... you would be ...)

Brian Molko
A colour: Black
A city: Paris 
A film : Blue Velvet 
A book : Luna Park 
A drug : coke
A famous woman : Agnès B. 
An animal : a monkey 
A word : shit
A painting : A Francis Bacon 

Steve Hewitt
A colour: black
A city: London
A book : Calcium Made interesting 
A drug: A friend 
A famous woman : Brian [laughs]
An animal : a cat 
A sound: rock music
A word : fuck 
A painting : A Picasso 

Stefan Olsdal
A colour: black 
An album : Violator by Depeche Mode 
A film : Fanny and Alexander 
A book : The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon 
A drug : valium 
An animal : a dog 
A sound : a scream
A word : shit 
A painting : The Scream