Brian Molko

The Sentimentalist, Issue XII, 2003

The Sentamentalist : Most bands would not have the balls to start off a CD with an instrumental. But then Placebo isn't like most bands. "Bullet Proof Cupid" has such strong riffs it doesn't really need lyrics. I guess you guys felt that too.

Brian : Well, yeah, I tried to and whenever I would sing over it, the song was so fast it ended up sounding like silly metal singing. Napalm Death or something like that.

The Sentamentalist : Placebo does death metal?

Brian : Yeah, that wasn't going to happen. I felt that after we recorded it and we were sequencing the record, the only place that we could put it was the beginning, because it would interrupt the flow. So we took that decision afterwords and realized that it was quite fortuitous, because when the listener puts the album on for the first time, they are expecting the vocals to come. A minute into the song, tehy are saying to themselves, 'well, they have to start now" and they don't. So the listener is dragged in. The second song is "English Summer Rain", which sonically has nothing to do with "Cupid". So even at the second song, the listener still doesn't know what the fuck this album is going to be about. Hopefully that creates a sense of intrigue as people are being pulled in. They realize that they are going to have to listen to at least the first half to get a grip with what is going on. With some albums, from say like Sum 41, you put on the first track and you know exactly what the rest of the record is going to sound like. That is not the case with Sleeping With Ghosts.

The Sentamentalist : I would be surprised if you didn't get fans sending you a copy of "Bullet Proof Cupid" with them singing over the top of the track.

Brian : I hadn't thought of that, hmmm...that hasn't happened yet. Maybe, I think that would be very amusing. When there have been songs where we haven't printed lyrics...We had a b-side a while ago called "Little Mo" that never really had proper lyrics. It was a collection of gobbledygook, like sounds that changed every night when we played it live. I find it interesting going onto the internet and reading peoples' interpretations of what was going on. and it put a smile on my face because of the fact that there weren't ever real lyrics.

The Sentamentalist : Do you do that with any songs on the Ghosts?

Brian : That does happen at the very end of "The Bitter End" as well. The backing vocal that comes in at the very, very end which starts out with a line that says "every time we're intersected/it feels love like suicide" and then the last line is "to miss your eyes and lips" and in between I don't know what I am saying. [laughs all around] Live, it changes every night and I like that aspect. For me it is a kick back to The Pixies. I remember reading how Franck Black just considered this lyrics and singing just another instrument. He wasn't really concerned with the significance of what he was saying.

The Sentamentalist : Are you doing any older material on the current tour?

Brian : It is difficult for us to do a lot of stuff from the first album. Simply because it was a different band. It is very difficult for Steve to squeeze his very funky and primal way of playing in to Robert's very cerebral, squarer way of drumming. When we do stuff from the first album, we try to do different versions. We have an interesting hip-hop version of 'Teenage Angst' at the moment. I am having a lot of fun with it, it gives me a chance to do my Bono bit with a wireless microphone. I am doing that more and more.