Teraz rock "Wrócić na ziemię", Dec'11

Translation by EffigyQueen

Come back to earth

2011 wasn’t a year of intensive work for Placebo – band gave only two concerts, both in Germany. But it doesn’t mean they were lounging about. Placebo prepared a concert DVD and blue-ray “We came and pieces” and are also composing music for new album… About all of it tells us Placebo bassists – Stefan Olsdal.

“We come in pieces” is only a second concert DVD in your career. The previous one “Soulmates Never Die” was published in 2004. Don’t you think that your concerts are interesting enough to release concerts DVDs more often?
(laugh) Well, it can seem that we don’t want to share our concert with the world. There is a lot of bands who release a DVD after each tour. We prefer to record some albums first, in order to diverse the set list. This DVD is a memento for our fans and also a gift for those who didn’t have a chance to see this give live.

Was the only reason you decided to record that performance?
To be completely honest this idea was suggested by the label. We were told that after two years of touring we’re playing good enough that it’s worth recording. The atmosphere in the band was great and we really were at our apex of possibilities, so it would be a sin not to film it. These concerts were really worth publishing. Our previous DVD was filmed in a big hall, this time we wanted to show something smaller, more intimate.

Though you weren’t born in England, this London gig can be considered as playing at home, right?
Right now I’m calling you from London. I spent here more time than in any other place. But to be honest I don’t know what it means to be a part of some place/community. I just like London, that’s why I’m here.

Brixton Academy is a legendary concert hall. Do you remember what concert you were to as a spectator?
Oh, yeah! I remember that the first band I saw in Brixton Academy was The Rolling Stones. It was a special performance, long time ago, I don’t remember exactly when. We managed to get the tickets, though it was really hard. Later on I saw there Beck, Smashing Pumpkins, Nick Cave. It was one of those halls we were going to with Brian, dreaming about performing there. We were saying: if we ever play at Brixton Academy, it will mean that we are real rockstars, that we did it. That’s why this place have a special emotional meaning for us.

The DVD concert starts with “Nancy Boy” from your first album. I heard you don’t like this songs and perform it really rarely live.
We have a peculiar attitude towards this song. We kill it and then resurrect. When you put it on a shelf for a long time, then playing it is pleasurable again. We are well aware that for many people who are attending our concerts this song was a reason to become our fans. When we are playing concerts we mainly do it for ourselves, but we also want to remember who bought tickets to see us.

The “Battle for The Sun” tour was a first one with Steve Forrest as a drummer. Did he pass his exam as a musician?
(laugh) Did he pass the exam? Yes, he did. He is young, but he’s learning really quickly.

I can imagine that because of the age difference there are some differences between you.
Of course, there are. It was his first big world tour and our relationship was just creating. I think it’s natural. Many things he did for the first time in his life, he made mistakes, some things were difficult for him, but he has strong character and huge will to do all of that. He has the best intentions and he puts great energy in the band, so he achieved the goal. We had some hard moments but we solved them.

On this Tour I have seen you in Warsaw in 2009. I’m trying to figure out what I remembered the most… And I think it was the special version of Meds quite different from the one on the album, more emotional.
Yes, it was different that album version. We’re trying to rearrange some of the songs in order to not to play them note by note like on the album. Concerts are like the rollercoaster – sometimes we’re going up, sometimes down, all of this to keep the audience interested. If this songs was you favourite then I’m really content, because it’s a special thing for us. I remember in what kind of mood was Brian in while writing this song… It was really dark period of time for us. But we’re through it. Every time I play Meds, I’m coming back with my thoughts to that time.

On „We Come In pieces” you cover „All Apologies” by Nirvana. Why this song?
It all started because in one French program we were asked to play one of our songs and one cover. We had really little time to practice, but playing this song was kind of natural for us and Brian could sing it easily. It’s one of these songs we identify with, one we would love to write. When we play it we dedicate it to people we knew, but who left us too early, like for example Kurt Cobain. Last time we played it, it was for Amy Winehouse. This is how we show our respect to artists who died before their time.

In the beginning of the 90’s, was Nirvana an inspiration for you?
First time I saw Brian on stage was in 1993, shortly before Kurt Cobain committed suicide. Brian’s sensitivity, intensity and emotionality reminded me of Kurt’s. In that time we probably didn’t want to admit that we were Nirvana’s fans, because it was very popular band, but it was one of the reasons we perform in 3, like Nirvana, who had 3 members just as well. It was very good band. Kurt was brilliant and writing lyrics and composing music, for sure they had influence on us.

Let’s come back to 2011. This year you played two concerts, what else have you been doing, except for preparing the DVD?
Battle For The Sun tour was one of the longest we ever played, so we needed lots of time to come back to earth again. When you spend a lot of time on tour, it takes a lot of time for you body to come back to normal. It’s like decompression after long scuba-diving. Recently, I’m composing. I can’t live without it. Apart of this I’m moving out at the moment. I do all the stuff that normal people do: I wake up in the morning, drink coffee, spend time with family, friends, I enjoy my life (laugh).

And other projects? I know that Brian is working with Timo Maas, Steve plays with The Planes and records it EP. What were you doing?
I have a project with Hotel Persona and we released an album couple of years ago. I’m working on couple of things now, but none of them is ready yet. I’m writing for Placebo and other people just as well.

Are you thinking about next Placebo album?
I can say that we are in a process of creating, but we haven’t got into the studio yet.

When it will be? (getting in the studio)
There is no concrete dates.

But this year or only in 2012?
(a moment of hesitation and then said in a seducing voice) We will see. (laugh)

It’s been two years since you released Battle For The Sun. What’s your opinion about the album now?
You know, I didn’t listen to it for almost a year now, so I don’t know what I think about it now (laugh). Many artists with about their planes ahead, by their attitude towards future is ambivalent, they don’t like reaching for it. It’s not a big pleasure for me to listen to my own recording so I don’t do it very often. As for Battle For The Sun, I’m really proud of this album and I think we put everything we could at that time, that place. Now we are in different place. With “We Come In Piece” we close this chapter.

Battle For The Sun was recorded in Canada, which was an experiment for you, because you have never before recorded anything outside Europe. Was it a good idea?
Yes, it was. Because of that, for two months, we could dive into music only and nothing distracted us. We were there only to record an album. The producer we were working with was feeling good there and had good relations with us. Thanks to that we recorded everything quickly, because some other albums we were recording for a year or so. The pace we had in Canada, gave us possibility to keep the material fresh.

Placebo often mix rock music with some electro elements. Do you think it’s a future for music? 
In the 90’s it was quite popular, but nowadays not many people record that way.Future of music is a… Well, it’s a hard question. We were bystanders of fusion of every music genre possible: folk and rock, dance music and rock, techno and pop… Music is going to evolve. Nowadays, when you reach people by some entertainment tv programs, it’s important what is behind music. As longs as it’s heart, as long as artists will want to pass a message with their songs, as long as it will be filled with emotions, it won’t important how it sounds, how it was recorder or of it’s a mix of jazz and country. It’s important that’s honest and filled with emotions. Well, of course the sound is always interesting and I think we will watch another fusions of genres.