Total Guitar "Brian Molko", Sep'06



TG: What's the biggest festival crowd you've played to?
BM: That was about two weeks ago. It was to around 80,000 people in Germany at the Rock-AM-Ring. It was also going out live on MTV and half a million people were watching. It's really fuckin' nerve-racking because you stick a camera in front of a band and they start playing all the wrong notes!

TG: What's your worst festival experience?
BM: There was one in Imola in Italy, at the Formula One race track. We were on just before Metallica and the Metallica fans are notoriously difficult. You should have seen the stage by the time we left - it was absurd! It was just covered in shit and detritus. Steve got covered with several bottles of piss and the stage was littered with tin foil and ham sandwiches. I got an apple in the nuts, which isn't pleasant 'cos it throbs and throbs for a long time. There was a guy walking onstage with a rubbish bin between every two songs just pick up all the garbage being thrown.

TG: What's your best festival experience?
BM: There have been so many amazing experiences, but there was one festival in Spain called Benicassim, which is by the beach. It has a couple of go-kart tracks nearby, an open air disco and a swimming pool backstage. For a performer, that's one of the most comfortable and enjoyable festival experiences. Plus it's quite small and intimate at 25,000 people. I used the pool, but by the third day the pool has got this film of sun tan oil on top of it and it's really gross, so it's better to be playing at the beginning of the weekend!

TG: Portable toilets - use them or lose them?
BM: For the experience, we worked something out. We never go to a festival without our very own personal Boney M portaloo. We take it everywhere with us. You get a lame jacket before you go in. It's mirror-balled on the outside and the inside, and when you flush it, it sings Rivers Of Babylon for you!

TG: What's the strangest thing you've ever seen at a festival?
BM: The strangest and the most gloriously beautiful thing I've ever seen was The Polyphonic Spree. They're quite a strange band - 27 people in robes playing French horns, singing music that sounds basically like Christian music - but it's the most uplifting experience of my life. When I saw them at Chelmsford they had a town cryer introduce them. It was completely freaky, but it made me cry it was so gorgeous. Certain gigs can have that effect on me.

TG: The campfire's roaring, someone passes you an acoustic; what would you play?
BM: Nah, I'm long gone. I'm in the steam room at the hotel. None of that Kum Ba Yah nonsense for me!

Brian Molko's essential festival item is - WET WIPES:
"It's the first rule of festivals. Make sure you never go anywhere without wet wipes. I don't think I need to explain why, do I?"