Interview "Interview: Brian Molko", Nov'13

Interview: Hello Brian, How are you?

Brian Molko: I’m good thank you, just a bit tired.

Interview: What is the question you have been asked the most today?

Brian Molko: The question I have been asked the most is: You were gone (in Germany) for four years, why? (Laughs). As if playing in Germany was the last thing we did or we didn’t do anything else besides that. And the answer is obvious and pretty dull.

Interview: You were touring and writing new songs.

Brian Molko: And we have recorded an album. Then you feel like an asshole, when you have to explain something so obvious you know?

Interview: Maybe you should lie.

Brian Molko: At the end of a day like this, sometimes, I do it not to fall into a deep depression.

Interview: It sounds good. Besides journalists sometimes do that If the person they are interviewing is really boring.

Brian Molko: I hope that won’t be the case today.

Interview: I’m pretty confident it won’t be. When I first listened to the song “Loud Like Love” I thought it would be interesting to talk about sounds in general.

Brian Molko: With pleasure.

Interview: Do you have a favorite sound?

Brian Molko: My absolute favorite sound in the whole world is my son’s laughter. It sounds wonderful. I mean it’s a normal reaction to feel this way. In the end, the love you feel for your children is unconditional. However, a child’s laughter, in general, is beautiful because it’s innocent and authentic. And it may sound corny but I like the sound of birds A LOT.

Interview: Probably you are not the only one.

Brian Molko: There is a radio station called “Birdsong Radio” It is 24 hours of just bird sounds. I listen to it in the mornings while I meditate.

Interview: Sadly, I cannot identify most birds by their sound. It would be awesome to have and app like Shazam to identify the different kinds of birds.

Brian Molko: Maybe you could make one. A couple of years ago I was in Thailand, in the island Kho Phi Phi, and I liked to sleep outside a foolish idea, I know, since I was eaten alive by mosquitos. In the mornings my face would be covered with mosquito bites. However, it was worth it because of all the amazing junglesounds you could hear all night. And some nights I stayed up trying to identify individual sounds but it was impossible. It was insanely loud!

Interview: At least you couldn’t listen to the mosquitos; their sound is one of the most annoying sounds in the World.

Brian Molko: I have always wondered what are mosquitos for? I know each animal has a specific role in the ecological system but what is their purpose other than perhaps to counteract overpopulation by spreading dengue fever?

Interview: I am afraid they have other purposes, like being food for frogs for example. How is it like for you to listen to your own voice? Is it annoying or are you used to it?

Brian Molko: I can listen to myself while I sing but I don’t like my speaking voice that much.

Interview: Any singers whose voice you particularly like?

Brian Molko: When I was a teenager I loved Janis Joplin’s voice or Bob Dylan’s. Later on I started listening to other types of music and I fell in love with Michael Stipe’s voice. His voice has influenced the way I sing. I also like Björk, her voice is pretty unique. And Thom York from Radiohead he has his very own style, he never ends a single word while he sings you know? (laughs) I found it charming and it’s like he doesn’t do it on purpose.

Interview: Do songwriters pay more attention to the lyrics?

Brian Molko: I think so. It is a gift to be able to formulate things differently than how they are normally expressed. But I don’t try to force it. I’m always listening to instrumental music instead of music with lyrics.

Interview: How did you come up with the phrase “My computer thinks I’m gay”?

Brian Molko: All of a sudden my computer started advertising me as a homosexual man. Maybe I was watching some weird porno with transsexuals or something. Before that,It used to only advertise meas a heterosexual man and suddenly my computer thought of me differently.

Interview: Speaking of computers how the flat rate* of your dreams would be?

Brian Molko: I don’t want to sound boring but I would like a flat rate for Vintage-Synthesizer-Sounds applications. I spend hours creating any kind of weird sounds with my smart phone or computer.

Interview: Would you use those sounds for a specific purpose?

Brian Molko: I would love to create a Synthesizer – generated Alter Ego to record a purely electronic album. Sometimes you need to set yourself small challenges.

Interview: How do you feel about your new album?

Brian Molko: Right now, I don’t listen to it at all. I’m usually nervous when we mix and record an album because I’m scared I could get sick of it. I get easily bored. It can be complicated sometimes when you are touring an album for 18 or 24 months.

Interview: Is the setlist always fixed before a gig?

Brian Molko: Yes, we are control freaks about it. Sometimes it can be a difficult process because we have a complicated relationship with our previous songs. We don’t like some of them that much and we have played others just too many times. But they tend to be our most popular songs. Stefan and I sometimes have great difficulties to come up with an hour and half setlist with songs we both like. And you also have to take into account the songs that are popular with the audience otherwise it wouldn’t be fair and it would be very arrogant.

Interview: However there are some songs that you don’t play anymore?

Brian Molko: Yes, “Pure Morning” I never feel like playing that one again. I still think the music is cool but the lyrics make me nauseous. They sound as if they were written by a teenager.

Interview: Maybe that is the reason why so many teenagers like this song.

Brian Molko: Of course, but the lyrics are not sophisticated, there’s no depth in them. They show perfectly the circumstances under which they were written: we were hanging around in the studio and I was composing for myself goofing around. Nowadays, I feel ridiculous going on stage and performing that song.

Interview: It is good though that you have so many other songs that you could turn to.

Brian Molko: At least we are working on it.

Interview: By the way,It came to my attention that you have a resemblance with Courtney Love.

Brian Molko: Ok

Interview: I mean Courtney love from the old days. Has someone ever told you that?

Brian Molko: Of course. I heard that a lot during the mid-90s. Since I have always liked Courtney I thought the comparison was pretty cool. I have absolutely no problem with it.

Interview: In an old quote you were saying that you got bored of being around men all the time and that you could see yourself playing in an all-girl-band. Whatever happened to that?

Brian Molko: It never happened my boy band got famous. However, It would be cool If there were as many female rock bands as there are male rock bands. This is an incredibly male-dominated scene.

Interview: How would a rocker react to that?

Brian Molko: I think in the end they would rejoice because there will be more women they could try to seduce. That’s how one-dimensionalmen are. And it would be a greater, and more interesting, challenge than the groupies.

Interview: Now that you are going on tour again. Which venue are you most excited about?

Brian Molko: I’m looking forward to go toIstanbul. The audience there is really enthusiastic is similar to Latin America. We also had once a great concert in Kiev.

Interview: Have you ever played during a demonstration?

Brian Molko: Not so far, but maybe it is time we do.

Interview: On which demonstration would you like to play?

Brian Molko: There’s no way I would play to support some Politician like some American bands do during political campaigns.

Interview: When they are not playing for a dictator.

Brian Molko: Well apparently dictators are willing to pay a lot of money for this kind of performances. But that question about demonstrations is really good; I would like to keep it for my next interview.

*meaning the fixed rate you pay for an internet service.