Today "Placebo didn’t intend to make a new album", Jul'13

By Christopher Toh

SINGAPORE - When Placebo hit our shores at the end of next month, the band will probably be showcasing new songs from their soon-to-be-released album, Loud Like Love.

“We will probably play one or two songs, but the album doesn’t come out until September, so we will be playing a lot of the older hits, too,” said the band’s drummer, Steve Forrest.

Placebo will be performing on Aug 27 at the Coliseum at the Hard Rock Hotel on Sentosa, about three weeks before Loud Like Love is expected to hit the shelves on Sep 16. Just don’t be surprised when you hear the new tracks. “It has got new sounds, there are some really powerful rockers on there, and some quiet moments too, but it’s nothing like what we’ve done before,” said Forrest.

“Well, we don’t intentionally set out to do an album that is different from the previous ones, but what happens is that we don’t want to repeat ourselves,” he elaborated. “We don’t want to put out the same albums over and over again. And I think this new one is really different. We’re really excited by it.”

What’s also interesting is that the band - Brian Molko, Stefan Olsdal and Forrest - didn’t intend to make a new album. “It kind of happened by accident. We didn’t go into the studios saying that we were going to make an album,” said Forrest. “We were just recording some tracks with Adam Noble and things just went on, and we ended up with all these songs.

“And the songs just kind of came together as we were doing so, and to cut a long story short, they ended up being the songs that appear on the album. It really all came about by accident. It’s a happy accident. We didn’t actually plan it as such. It just happened like that.”

The trio has been putting the new songs through their paces as they prep for their tour, which kicks off on Aug 3 in South Korea, traverses through Turkey, Thailand and Singapore, before wending its way across Europe. To help replicate the sound on the album, Placebo will once again employ the services of supplementary musicians.

“When we play on the record, it’s us three laying down the basic tracks. And of course, we add layers after that. But when we play live we have three musicians who travel with us, and they are really three of the best musicians one could have to play with,” said Forrest. “With the six of use, we can really replicate the sound of what we’ve done on the albums. But of course, when you play live, you can’t play exactly like on the record, and you don’t really want to anyway. Sometimes we change the arrangements, some bits are longer than on the record, and that’s just to give some variety to the show.”

And while variety is the spice of life, playing in a band with your friends doesn’t hurt, either. “To tell you the truth, there’s nothing bad about being in Placebo. It’s great to be in a band with your friends, and what could be better? Well, sure we don’t spend a lot of time outside of the band. I mean, after you’ve spent two years on the road together, you know, you want to go back and see your family. You miss your family when you’re on the road for that long. And I think we all have people we’d rather see than each other sometimes! (But) to play music with your friends. It’s great!”

And Forrest said Placebo is more than raring to go on stage here in Singapore. “I remember there was a lot of energy at our last show there. Sure, it was a little hotter than what I was used to but... there’s something about getting onstage and playing to an audience. There’s that energy and, you know, I don’t think I’ve ever felt like not playing (on stage).

“Well, there was only one time, when I was really feeling sick, I had the flu, and my throat was going and you know I sing harmonies, and I felt really really bad. And that was the only time when I wished I didn’t have to do the show. I did the show though. But apart from that one time, I don’t think I’ve ever not felt like playing.”

Placebo perform on Aug 27, 8pm at the Coliseum, Hard Rock Hotel, Sentosa. Tickets from Sistic.