Scars "Brian Molko interview", 2006

Placebo is actually rehearsing for a 2006-2007 tour which will take them to the UK, Australia, Asia, Europe and America (meaning the whole continent). Fortunately could make a space in his tights schedule to talk to Anne Whrites about Placebo's new album and sincerely talked about his private life, including his childhood, his relationshops and sexuality.

Scars : How did you select the songs included in Meds?

Brian Molko : To be honest, it was all so spontaneus. When we started we had twenty songs for the album, and from there, by an elimination process, we left the ones included in the album. Fortunately, our record label gave us the freedom to work at our own pace, contrary to the release of the singles compillation because the label is the one who decided when that one is going to be released. It's part of the contract artist sign with record labels. With Meds we had more freedom regarding time and preparation, and more in things such as releasing dates and other things, because the six week previous to the album's release are the hardest for us because we sometimes have to be in different cities in the same day. Since we released Black Market Music the record label wanted to release a 'singles' CD. Fortunately the label was very kind to us and postponed its release.
We had many things to explore with Placebo yet and we feared that releasing a compilation album would get the wrong message. Unless there is something new in it, a 'best of' feels like a way to get money from the fans and I've always been againt that. So when the Soulmates never die tour ended, we decided to release the compilation with a couple of new songs and a CD with remixes of some of our songs.

Scars : Of course, there's always songs that, even if they weren't singles, they could have been included because they perfectly represent what Placebo's style is.

Brian Molko : Like what song?

Scars : I think 'I know' is one of those songs...

Brian Molko : I love that song! In fact, it was included in the original tracklist I had thought of, but we couldn't fit everything in the compilation, that's why in interviews I told it was a singles compilation, that it doesn't necessarily mean they're the best songs. Do you know the story behind 'I know'?

Scars : No...

Brian Molko : I was living in New York, thinking about moving there instead of living somewhere in France where I had been living and where I was feeling very down. I don't talk a lot of my private life, but it's very well known and very 'public domain' that I was in a relationship duiring that time but it didn't work. We really needed to take some time off. So I was in that big city and didn't know anybody. I lost my home, my family and I fell into a very deep depression. We had decided not to talk to eachother but I couldn't bear it anymore. I remember I picked up a phone in some phonebooth in Broadway and called this person and said "see, I know I'm not supposed to be calling you right now, but I really need to talk to you". The song is part of the conversation we had over the phone, there's a lot of guilt in that song. Blind, included in Meds, is a somewhat alike song. The end of a relationship is kind like death. You have a life with someone and just suddendly, everything stops. The saddest part is that the world goes on and people go on minding their own business, without knowing the paint you feel. It's very interesting for an author to write about that.

Scars : I think the gift of an author is to be able to transmit these very complicated feelings into more simple terms

Brian Molko : It's very curous that you said that. There's part of the world that reacts to frankness, you know what I mean? I'm a very private person off stage because I don't want to be the gossip of the moment. But I show myself as a very open person through my songs.

Scars : Do you write your songs in minutes, or do you take days, or even months to finish a song?

Brian Molko : Sometimes it's a very quick process, sometimes it takes years. Sometimes when I write it's really crazy, it's like it just flowed out of me. Some songs come very easily but some others take a very long time.

Scars : With Placebo, you've had success across the world. Have you ever been forced to be politicaly correct? And I mean people who do not agree with your opinions.

Brian Molko : Yes, but not by a record label, but by the press' cesors.

Scars : Do you think your gay fans can relate to the feelings of isolation included in your songs?

Brian Molko : That's a good question. I think most of our fans have had difficult and painful experiencies, gay or not. The songs I write aren't really made specially for a sector. I've lived in very cosmopolitan cities where sexuality isn't a big deal. But in some way, globaly, gay people still feel like srangers. I think one of the strong points of Placebo it's that we're a multicultural band that tries to respect different ways of thinking. If somebody doesn't like what we do, fuck them. Knowing that you can't please everybody is a part of life, what is important is finding your own motivation. If you're not hurting people by it you shouldn't be ashamed and you just have to let closed minded people fuck off. It took me a time to get this because I thougth myself to be a freak, I had a father that constantly traveled around the world and I also changed schools constantly, and the first years of high school were terrible for me, because I was being pointed out for being an artist and for being sensible. And you know what? there's something great in being successful by being a freak! I hope that inspires people. I simply don't understand discrimination of this kind, but people tend to fear things when they're different. Loving is loving. Just people you sleep with, certain people, it doesn't mean that the whole world has to know. I'm sure you have an opinion in my sexuality, right now, and it doesn't bother me in the slightest, and that's what matters to me.

Scars : In other songs included in Meds, it seems like you took a deep musical and emotional experience. Is it the beggining or the end of an era for you and Placebo?

Brian Molko : It's both. We felt very rebelious with the way we looked at our own music and our lives. I was just coming down from a fair bit of sadness and dealing with other things. With Placebo we wanted to go back to our roots, to go on with the same force but still having our own style, leaving behind the image and play with far less makeup.

Scars : Is the 'Death of Nancy boy' documentary, included in the special edition of Meds, a reflection of the new Placebo?

Brian Molko : Yes, I think there are a lot more important things to talk about, like relationships and love. I recently lost a friend and saw how his/her partner full of sorrow was the complete opposite to being in love. This cycle of love and death is very interesting indeed. I also have a new light in my life. There are a lot of wonderful things, but there are also a lot which are sad. It's a mystery that I find in every kind of relationship.

Scars : People want to see you live this year. How would the new sound be while playing live?

Brian Molko : Sound will be a bit more ambiental, I think.

Scars : In your personal projects, having professional actoral training, do you have any plans to work in the silver screen?

Brian Molko : It's something I would like to do even though right now I don't see any chances of working in a set since the tour is first priority right now, but I would like to, for example, do the score for a movie: to create based in a finished work. Something like what Marilyn Manson did for Resident Evil or Jonathan Davis for The Queen of the Damned where they made a great score. The nearer the band got to a set was an invite to include one of our songs in Halflight, the movie, with Demi Moore and my friend Hans Matheson. In the end the negotionations didn't get that far and it was such a shame because I really liked the movie.

Scars : And finaly Brian, what music are you currently listening to?

Brian Molko : I love Madonna's new album, and I love 'Gold Lion' by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. And I also love Rosenrot, the new Rammstein album, the collaboration Sharleen Spiteri did in 'Don't die before I do (Stirb nicht vor mir)' is amazing as well as the song in Spanish which is very funny. That left us thinking we could write and record a song for our Spanish speaking fans. I really like 'Club foot' by Kasabian, and Mogwai is great.