After ink black "Meds" from 2006, it was quiet for a while around the three-piece.
Sworn friends singer/guitarist/front man Brian Molko and bassist Stefan Olsdal separate with their drummer, Steve Hewitt. They only find inspiration for new material again when Steve Forrest was introduced as new band member.
“Battle for the sun” is more positive than their older work from the alternative rockers.
Spinner talked in a hotel bar in Amsterdam with bassist Olsdal, about the new album and the life of a rockstar in such a controversial band.
The bassist seems shy, he chooses his words carefully and every now and then he stares out of the window dreamily. Not very surprising since it’s over 20 degrees outside.
Outside is the real life, but wasn’t it exactly that kind of life that Placebo wanted to escape from?
“We’ve become another band, we made this record without a record company, nobody’s breath in our necks. It was the first time we recorded an album outside of Europe. We lived the romantic rock and roll dream, until we woke up one day and realised we were living that dream. We finally embraced that dream and we accepted that this is what we do and it’s good. That’s why the positive sound. ”
“Battle for the sun” is produced by David Bottril. The band wanted to work with him so bad that they flew all the way to his place in Toronto. “We wanted to make a ‘grand’ album, he did three albums with Tool, but he also worked with dEUS, so he knows how to work with more of an European, arty sound. It was surprising how good it was for us, to be away from home, we were very focused.”
Olsdal says some changes came with the new drummer. “He’s 22, we didn’t want to pressure him too much. But he really wanted to show us what he was worth. We gave him the freedom and it turned out very well. Because of that we got a free working space and Steve could out his ideas. ” The influence of the new drummer is already very clear on the first track of the new album, ‘Kitty Litter’. The drum parts are fuller, faster and more prominent.
“It’s funny you noticed, because that’s the first number we worked on with him. Brian and I had written the music for the song fifteen years ago. Steven really wanted to prove himself on this song and he came with very interesting drum parts.”
Placebo didn’t feel like a band anymore, that’s what Brian Molko had told us in another interview. It felt like work. That has changed now claims Olsdal. “Now we’re a real band again. We couldn’t go on with Steve Hewitt. We didn’t have the same goals, nor the same vision anymore. We had to separate. It all went wrong during the Meds tour. If one part of the triangle falls away it has a domino effect. There was no communication between us. Brian and I are one, but at some point we even didn’t talk to each other anymore. We realised Placebo was dying. To be able to go on, things had to change. After the Meds tour Brian and I came together, without a drummer, wrote some songs and at last we, luckily, found Steve Forrest. ”