MeRadio "Interview with Steve Forrest", Aug'13

by Sherman Yang

Placebo were in town recently for their concert and we caught up with drummer Steve Forrest prior to their concert. Their upcoming album Loud Like Love is slated to be released on 16 September and we even got a sneak preview of what the 10-track album sounds like. We probed the band on more about the album and the songs on it. We even cheekily suggested that their closing track was about a vampire or mosquito.

'A record that was all killer and no filler.'

In the press release for the album, lead singer Brian Molko said, “I wanted to write a record that was all killer and no filler.” Steve felt that they have achieved this as when they first started making new songs, they did not intend for it to be a full album but were writing songs for singles instead. It was only when they had built up a small collection of songs that they decided to make a record. They also decided to keep it to 10 tracks and only include the best ones on the album.

Ironically, Steve shared that they actually only had seven tracks that were really good. Steve added after some probing that there was a track that he had hoped could make it onto the album but didn’t in the end (he didn’t want to reveal too much about that track). He then added that perhaps it was more suited for a B-side record as it did not really match the tone of the record.

“Normally you have 6 or 7 extra (songs) but not this time”. In fact, Brian had brought in three tracks to the album which he had previously written and kept for a long-planned solo-project; the lead-single ‘Too Many Friends’, ‘Scene Of The Crime’ and ‘Hold On To Me’. “We stripped the songs down and Placebo-fied them”, shared Forrest.

Loud Like Love… depressing love

For an album titled Loud Like Love, some of the tracks had rather dark and depressing sounds like ‘Scene Of The Crime’ and ‘Rob The Bank’. Steve shared that there’s a general line that runs through each Placebo record.

“Brian lyrically writes about the dark side of love because it’s interesting … It’s not just a bunch of love songs that go ‘hey baby I love you’, it’s more love can be quite painful sometimes like when you lose a love one or breakup”.

The track ‘Rob The Bank’ was described as a “bristling hate letter” while ‘A Million Little Pieces’ was described as a “desolate resignation of a suicide note” which yet again sounds rather bleak for an album titled Loud Like Love.

Steve said in reply, “For us it’s something much more personal but who are we to say how you should interpret the songs… That’s the beauty of music, once it’s out, it’s yours now, do what you will with it.”

‘Bosco’ is not about mosquitoes

The album’s closing track ‘Bosco’ has the repeated line “how I suck you dry”. Laughing off our attempt to draw references to mosquitoes and vampires, Steve assured us that there is a deeper meaning to the lyrics. “It’s more or less about a failed relationship, maybe. Brian writes the lyrics so he can tell you more in depth but I don’t think it’s about a mosquito.”

What does the word “Bosco” mean anyway? Forrest revealed that “Bosco” was actually a working title that came from a plugin, like a pedal, which touring member Bill Lloyd had brought. “The song has got much more depth; so it’s kind of fun because the song gave the word a meaning.”