Malaysian Today "Six Minutes with Stefan Olsdal", Apr'10


Malaysian Today sat down for six minutes (and 38 seconds!) with Placebo bassist, Stefan Olsdal, when the band landed in ol' Kuala Lumpur for a mind-blowing concert on March 16, courtesy of official radio FLyfm.

Malaysian Today: The band first started out being notorious for your provocative music and sexualised performances, would you say the infamy worth it?

Stefan Olsdal: Absolutely, but we didn't set out to provoke. Being in a band allows you to push to the forefront, the traits of your personality that you wouldn't normally be able to expose. There is an enormous amount of freedom in terms of how we express ourselves lyrically, our music, our clothes. We started out being very honest about our lives, lifestyles. And for some reason that seemed to provoke and shock. But it was never the intention. And when it came to the amount of Press it generated, I say more Press the better! As a band, we don't have control over how we come across, and so to us, what people write about us is something we've come to not believe, because if you believe the good things, you have to believe the bad things, and neither is really true. It's what we in the band and people closest to us feel.

Q: How would you say style and image on-stage express and project who Placebo are?

A: Like I mentioned, it was never a calculated move at all. We didn't employ someone to come in and style us to look like a cross between... Jonas Brothers or Britney Spears. It was never a calculated, contrived image that we had. It was just that we embraced the freedom that it brought. I mean, why just go to the men's section when you have a whole more exciting, daring, colourful clothes in the women's section? Over the years it has become more well-tailored and functional. I mean, you can't perform in a PVC catsuit! Of course, more tasteful than in the early days... there were a whole lot of fashion crimes that we did commit.

Q: Have you ever felt that this image overshadowed your music?

A: I suppose it did for a while. But with six albums under our belt, I think we kind of proved that the music is the reason we're here.

Q: What is the one question you've always wanted a reporter to ask but they never have?

A: (pause) Well, that question! No, pretty much most questions have been asked.

Q: Well then, what was the question that shocked you the most in all the years of interviews?

A: I have a bit of a goldfish memory when it comes to interviews (laugh). A lot of people probably imagine we like talking about ourselves, but we didn't set out to be a band that talks about ourselves. We express ourselves through our music instead.