Placebo Talking Point

The Times, Aug'31st, 2003

Brian Molko, lead singer with Placebo, answers your questions. 

I loved the covers, but when are we going to see some new material from Placebo? How long does it usually take you to complete an album? Sam Ayres, Croydon

Some new material will be released in 2004, probably to accompany a singles collection. The time it takes to complete an album varies - Sleeping with Ghosts was recorded in four months, but the songs were written over a period of three years.

There was a hidden track on each of your first three albums, why was there no hidden track on album number four,Sleeping with Ghosts? Julia Dean, Heanor

In the past we have always put a hidden track at the end of an album. There is one on SwG, this time it's hidden in the middle.

Do you plan to be a musician forever? If not, what else would you like to do? Carys Ashworth, Wrexham

Music is my life and I can't imagine doing anything else. I would like to break into production and film scores.

What other cover versions have you got planned for release? Maudy Long, Southend

There are no more covers planned at the moment, but I've always wanted to do a version of Total Eclipse of the Heart by Bonnie Tyler - shock, horror.

I read that you grew up in Liberia, Lebanon and Luxembourg. Which was your favourite? Where would you like to live if you had no restrictions? Sherrilea Anton, New York

I don't remember Liberia and Lebanon as I was very young and Luxembourg was quite boring as a teenager. Eventually I would like to end up somewhere hot where I can see the sea every morning.

Just wondering when you are going to come and tour Argentina - we're waiting for the day. Barbara and Martin Guerra, Buenos Aires

We've always wanted to travel and play in South America and it looks likely that we'll come in 2004. Failing that, 2005.

I have been a huge fan of Placebo for about six years and have always wanted to know where you find the inspiration for such abstract videos as This Picture and, my favourite,Nancy Boy? Corina Sampson, Fleet

Over the years we have build up a very trusting relationship with Howard Greenhalgh, the video director, who is responsible for both videos you mentioned. These days we just show up and let him get on with it.

Do you like or loathe award ceremonies? Kay Harte, Cardiff

I have mixed feelings about awards and the ceremonies that accompany them. Apart from performing with David Bowie at the Brits, my best times have been at the Kerrang Awards because they are the least pretentious and most debauched.

I read that Nina Simone is one of your biggest influences. Is this true? Jackie Warren, Eastleigh

I have always loved old-school jazz singers like Nina, Billie Holiday and Chet Baker. Scott Walker is also a big influence. There is a great spirituality to what they do, as well as a great deal of pain and darkness.

Who designed the artwork for Sleeping with Ghosts? It's good to see an album cover someone has actually thought about. Ahmad Hallak, Warwick

The great Jean-Baptiste Mondino is responsible for the artwork of SwG. He also did the cover of Bjork's Debut, Lovesexy by Prince and the video for Madonna's Justify my Love. Quite a pedigree if you ask me.

Would you have auditioned for Pop Idol if it had existed in your day? Sean Orvice, Manchester

In my opinion Pop Idol is the work of Lucifer himself, so I wouldn't have touched it. It should be renamed "Karaoke Idol" since there is such emphasis on cover versions instead of original songwriting. It has no cultural value, the winners will not achieve longevity and the only people it benefits are the record, television and telephone companies involved. Trust me on this one. Don't give them your money and support your local bands and DJ's.

Source: timesonline