"The Antidote to Britpop?"
Cambs E News, Jan'97
31 Jan 1997
"We're not championing a cause or anything; we just want you to look at yourself and be scared at what you find."
So says Brian Molko, the man who fronts Placebo, a band who thrive on chaos and disorder, on urgent emotions and sometimes unsettling imagery.
They have not been around for very long, but with spiky singles like Teenage Angst and their latest hit Nancy Boy, Placebo have managed to forge themselves a reputation that has as much to do with delighting people as it does dismaying them. Every reaction has been extreme. They call themselves "The antidote to Britpop".
Of their self-titled debut album, Molko says: "You run the risk on the first album of making a record that has one particular sound, that runs the whole way through it. And we wanted ours to be like a collection of short stories, approach every single song individually with the orchestration and vocal styles. We wanted to take you on a journey, an emotional rollercoaster, with little surprises here and there, instead of just having a blanket sound. The album carries through the urgency and immediacy of what we are."
One of their famous fans is David Bowie, a man who can probably see a lot of himself in Brian Molko, who invited them to support him on tour. The band appear to have everything going for them at the moment and even the fact that the heavily made-up Molko resembles Jas Mann (aka that bloke from Babylon Zoo) is not holding them back.
Molko draws from his formative experience as an actor to work through his most uncomfortable and unnerving emotions.
"In acting you could do things you wouldn't normally do in real life and get away with them. In writing, my characters can do that as well, they can do things you might be afraid of, or feel things you'd feel guilty or uncomfortable about. And you can get rid of personal feelings through them," said Brian.