"Interview with Brian"
Brian Molko stands sweaty and bedraggled inside London's Kings Cross Splash Club. His band Placebo have been off stage for 30 minutes and the procession of A&R men still stretches halfway down the corridor. As Molko soaks up the praise, his bassist and drummer sneak into the bar for a drink. They've had enough.
The queue disappears and Molko leans against a wall, relieved that the inquisition is over. And then another A&R man barges through. "You were brilliant", he says. "We've got to meet up. You blew me away." Millions of pounds worth of A&R people have been saying the same for months.
Molko flashes a plastic smile, listens to the rambling spiel and then says he really must be going. The A&R man fumbles a farewell handshake but knocks the singer's pint glass out of his hand, splashing the singer with beer. He panics: "I'm really sorry, I'll go and get you another now, " he says. But Molko just smiles and waves him away. Then he turns to his press officer, kicks broken glass against the wall and throws his first rock star tantrum. In a loud voice he shouts: "SCHMUCK!"
Placebo met in Luxembourg, Sweden and London. Confused? Don't be. Bassist Stefan Olsdal met drummer Robert Shultzberg at school in Sweden. Olsdal left for the American School of Luxembourg where he met Molko. The pair drifted apart but met by chance last year at a tube station in London. They decided to form a band, Shultzberg flew over from Sweden and on January 23 they played their first gig at Covent Garden's Rock Garden.
"I was studying drama at Goldsmiths," says Molko.
"I've got no other home really," offers Shulztberg.
"I think we're all a bit international," adds Olsdal.
The first thing you notice about Placebo is the tunes; all dark, brooding and anthemic. "The art that I liked most is the stuff that's moved me emotionally," says Molko. "I guess I wanted to make music that moved people and made them feel. You know, the music is tortured, it's very introspective and personal."
The second thing is the lyrics. "Since I was born I started to decay" or "Two holes in a paper bag/ Greatest lay I ever had" (Nancy Boy).
"We are the pie in the face people," says Molko. "Being from an acting background, the thing that always interested me was placing myself in the most vulnerable position possible and to see what came out of that. It's better that you have these quite either violent or hard emotions."
And the thing about Placebo is the searing gigs.
"The thing is it's your dream and you are aware of the fact that your dream could fuck up and that's scary," gushes Molko. "But you have to keep going otherwise you wouldn't be able to live with yourself. If you try your dream out and it doesn't work out and you become a casualty then at least you can say you tried. It's a risk. But in order to do it properly and put your whole heart into it you have to burn your bridges behind you."
Placebo watch them burn.