"Return To Oz - Interview with Stefan"

Black Market Press, Dec'00

Black Market Press (Placebo fanzine)

13 Dec 2000

by Jennifer Van Gessel (Bigmouth)

Placebo have been really busy this year. They have released a brilliant new album titled Black Market Music, dealt with the relentless English press once again, completed a tour which went from England to Japan to Europe and back, and their not finished yet. In the new year Australian fans will see the band return to Oz and take a place in the Big Day Out line up with a few of their own shows also.

We at Black Market Press caught up with bass player Stefan Olsdal to find out a little of what Australian fans can expect from the band in 2001 and a whole lot more...

So how are you anyway?

Ah bit tired but um I've, yeah we've just sort of finished a long tour and finished a whole European tour. And we still haven't really recovered from that. We just haven't stopped, we stopped the gigs but were just getting interviews now lots of press. The album did so well around Europe that we just wanted to come out there and talk to them again and again.

I've been reading reviews etc and it sounds like everyone's liking it a lot and having fun over there. I can't wait till you come over here (Australia) which isn't that far away.

Yeah that's our next stop actually. Well were doing Japan for two days before we go to do the Big Day Out.

Are you looking forward to the Big Day Out at all?

Absolutely! We had a wicked time last time we were there. We actually suffered a couple of injuries on the way home, you know we were living life just a bit too much down there.

What do you think of the other bands that are playing with you on the Big Day Out bill?

I think were going to be seeing more of PJ Harvey and Queens of the Stone Age than Limp Bizket.

What can Australian fans expect to see from Placebo? Any surprises?

Well basically just the new album. Were playing almost all of it, I don't know exactly how long we will have but its going to be most of the new album and some of the old hits. Its a festival so we can't bring too much of our own sort of, well we had visuals on the tours over here which we can't really bring with us because its too expensive and I think we'll be playing during the day time so its not going to be that effective. Just rocking out basically, I mean we have been touring for almost three months now so we are pretty tired.

I've been looking at pictures on the net from shows that you have been doing recently and I noticed that you have been wearing goggles to a lot of concerts. I was just wondering where the idea for that came from or what was behind it?

Well um, it was an outfit sent to me from a relative in Vulcan. Laughs.

Also I've had a few friends asking me if you are bringing the red dress to Australia?

Laughs. Well you'll just have to wait and see now. Its going to be with me it depends on how much I want to play it up, how much I want to piss Limp Bizket off.

So what's it like playing the new songs? What songs are the best live? Do they work onstage?

We played the songs from the new album before the album came out and the response was really good actually they worked really well live. Songs like Passive Aggressive, Days Before You Came, Slave to the Wage, Special K has been a belter live. So with all the rock songs it's really working.

It was Brian's birthday recently. Did you do anything to celebrate? Give him a gift? Have a big night?

Yeah we were in Istanbul. It was our last show of the year and just after the gig at midnight it was his birthday so we were up at the roof of this hotel and had this big cake which he butchered with a plastic pilot knife and then we just proceeded to get quite drunk. And I ended up getting mugged about six o'clock in the morning.


Plastered by myself, having a knife to my throat. It was quite surreal at the time. I didn't get freaked out. I got really freaked out the next day I was like "Fucking hell I just got mugged last night, I had a knife to my throat".

Did they take anything?

Yeah just all my money and I said "Yeah you can have my money, no problem". Then he wanted my passport and I said "No" I didn't have my passport, but I think he was after anything he could get. So I escaped with my life intact which was um rather fortunate. Laughs. It's never happened to me before so I was kind of freaked out the next day.

Good memories of Istanbul there....

Yeah and that was on Brian's birthday and I think we were on the road the next day. We got him a, me and Steve got him a Discman and a pair of good headphones and the case logics cause um he needs that you know. Just to play his records on cause we travel so much its a bit of a practical gift. Its quite funny Brian, Steve gave him a coffee maker about two years ago and he still hasn't opened it. Laughs. Hasn't got a permanent flat basically, still just moving around.

I've noticed recently that Bill Lloyd has had an increasing role in the band. He's been playing a lot more on stage and even recorded bass for Peeping Tom on the new album. Also at websites fans are talking a lot more about him and I was wondering if you planned on making him a fourth member or just keeping things the way they are?

No he doesn't look very good in make up. Bill's just been there since day one. In the beginning he sort of drove the van that we toured around in, you know did the sound for us, he was guitar tech, tour managing, everything. And ever since then he's just sort of moved up the old career ladder within Placebo land. Basically we don't have enough arms and feet to play everything live. He just sort of puts together all the parts that we can't as a group play live. You know sort of hiding him behind the amp like we did a bit before just looks silly so we said we'll bring him out. We tried many disguises and various make up formulas but were still looking for the good look for him. I think the gimp outfit is next on the list and the sort of a pvc pants outfit. Laughs.

I hear the next single is Special K, is that rite?

Um well nothing has been confirmed but it looks that way.

I live in Newcastle home of the band you toured with on your last visit, Silverchair and I heard that Daniel Johns has done a remix of Special K?

Yeah I haven't actually heard it yet. Were quite intrigued by what its going to sound like. Laughs.

Did you have fun touring with Silverchair?

It was a good tour. We didn't sort of really hang out and do much together apart from in and around the gigs. It was great exposure for us. I think we share some of the same fans, its not a million miles away from what the Silverchair fans would like. I think we maybe even stole some of their fans.

Do you plan to tour America at all?

Nothing's been confirmed yet. To be honest with you we would rather come back and play Australia than the states. We'll probably be going there in May, that's what we were planning on doing but it just depends on if we get the rite tour. Were just trying to sort out some problems with the record company in the states. They just didn't come back with the right enthusiastic vibes about the album. They don't seem to be having a plan for it, which is very strange because the rest of the places that we played in have been really positive.

What do you think of the overall reception of the album?

I've been actually quite surprised and taken aback by the whole reception because its been overall really, really positive. I mean it's sold so much more than we thought as well, we had a number one in France. In Germany it did really, really well as well. And the last tour we did in Germany they were standing there like they were all taking valiums and this time when we played there they were actually moving and we were like fucking hell what's going on! It's all going off! It was quite surprising. Laughs. I mean we've been out there, we toured Without You I'm Nothing for a long time and we finished off in Australia that's why we were so fucking knackered, Laughs but I think that also helped this one out a lot as well.