Placebo

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Placebo

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Biography

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Placebo is an Alternative Rock band, with a sound influenced by the style of 1970s British and American rock, led by Brian Molko's unique high-pitched vocals.

They were founded when former Luxembourg schoolmates Brian Molko and Stefan Olsdal met by accident at South Kensington tube station in 1994

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Credits

Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • The song "Every You Every Me" was used on the Cruel Intentions soundtrack and by Mark Appleyard for his part in the skate video, "Sorry".

    • Placebo were asked to play at David Bowie's fiftieth birthday party at Madison Square Garden.

    • The title of the track "Special K" from the album, Black Market Music is a reference to the drug, Ketamine.

    • The 7 deadly sins according to Placebo are laziness, homophobia, racial intolerance, parental guidance stickers, violence, retro and sobriety.

    • Placebo have covered numerous songs, including Syd Barret's "Dark Globe", Bony M's "Daddy Cool" and Kate Bush's "Running Up That Hill".

    • Frank Black of The Pixies appears on stage with Placebo in the Soulmates Never Die DVD. Together they perform "Where Is My Mind", originally by The Pixies.

    • Placebo have a personal label called Elevator Music. On March 7, 1996, "36 Degrees" was released as Elevator Music's first Placebo song.

    • Brian has several guitars, including Goddess, Louise, Bertie, Bitch and Tattoo, among others.

    • Brian is born to an American father and a British mother. Stefan Olsdal is Swedish.

    • Brian Molko is bilingual, and the band have released two songs in French – "Burger Queen" and "Protégé Moi.

    • Brian studied acting in London before he launched his musical career.

    • Placebo featured in the movie Velvet Goldmine. Brian and Steve were in a band called Flaming Creatures, while Stefan was in Polly's Small Band. The Flaming Creatures performed "20th Century Boy" (originally by T. Rex) in the movie. This song was covered by Placebo for the movie soundtrack. The cover also appeared as a B-side on Placebo's single "You Don't Care About Us".

    • "This Picture" was inspired by a legend about James Dean. Brian talked about this legend in an interview the band gave on BBC Radio 1, on March 17 2003. "Ashtray Girl", the refrain from the song, is in fact nothing to do with the band's previous name, Ashtray Heart.

    • Steve couldn't join the band initially because he had other commitments. When Robert left the band, Steve was the number one choice.

    • Brian and Stefan had nothing to do with each other at school, only becoming friends and forming a band years later in London.

    • According to legend, the band is now called Placebo "because there were a proliferation of bands named after narcotics. We wanted to use the name of a drug that actually didn't work".

    • The backing track to "Pure Morning" came about when the band were looping some feedback they liked when recording another song in the studio, with the rest of the song being subsequently written on the spot.

    • The opening bass riff of the song "Taste in Men" bears resemblance to the Pink Floyd song "Let There Be More Light" from his 1968 album, A Saucerful of Secrets.

    • As of 2008, the band consisted of:
      Brian Molko (lead vocals, guitar, harmonica, keyboards, saxophone)
      Stefan Olsdal (bass, guitar, keyboards, backing vocals)
      Steve Forrest (drums)

  • Quotes

    • Brian (On what his parents think of Placebo): They're getting used to it. I think fear is slowly turning into pride: I think they were quite perturbed in the beginning, but they're coming round to it. I was always a bit of a loose cannon, then again I was always the artistic one: bit of a social misfit. I probably still am.

    • Brian (On Placebo's second album, "Without You I'm Nothing"): Most of these are love songs where I'm trying to come to grips with relationships. They're frequently told from the point of view of ex-lovers, so at first it may seem like I'm being arrogant, but actually I'm eating humble pie. I'm cutting open a vein and letting it bleed for you.

    • Brian: There's a difference between 'glamour' and 'glam rock'. Glam rock, to me, is a bunch of straight, hairy, football-liking lager lads dressed up in mother's castoffs. And glamour is a certain sophistication, a certain other-worldliness, a certain unattainableness, which I think we certainly calculate. We believe that a band should be slightly larger than life-you should be transported to an alternate reality. I'm giving you some really good answers here, I'm very proud of myself.

    • Brian: I think that most people expect us to be lying in the gutter with needles hanging out of our arms, quoting Oscar Wilde to the stars. But that hasn't happened in years.

    • Brian: I just enjoy screwing with people's heads. For the first half of our gigs, there's normally some guy convinced I'm a girl, and a pretty cute one at that. As the gig continues, it begins to dawn on him that I'm a bloke, and suddenly he has to ask himself some serious questions. Ha ha!

    • Brian (on the aim of Placebo): To write beautiful music and communicate real emotion, and to play strong and exciting gigs. That is now our drug.

    • Brian: I guess the line between being paranoid and being a rock star is smaller than one would expect.

    • Brian: Dresses, I find, are impractical in social situations, but I enjoy wearing them a great deal on stage.

    • Brian: It's almost bordering on cliche but Hewitt and Olsdal are my best friends in the world... They are like my two husbands. I've never felt more at home anywhere. I love them more than I have loved any other men on this planet in my life. They are both very beautiful people, as f***** up as I am - true. Acts of God aside, this is why this band will be here for quite some time.

    • Brian: Being so honest in my writing is cathartic.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Everybody should find something to like about Placebo.

    10
    Everybody should find something to like about Placebo. The members of the band are multinational, multilingual, spread all over the Kinsey scale... Unfortunately, many people put them off as glam rockers out to shock people into taking notice of the, which might have been true in their early years. However, their last few albums have shown that they are maturing as musicians. The quality of their music is increasing with every record they put out, as they experiment with different styles, while always keeping that something which makes them instantly recognisable intact and inherent in their music. They are very original, and have managed to stand out where so many other bands have disappeared from view. They’re multinational, multilingual, the members are spread all over the Kinsey scale… Unfortunately, many people put them off as glam rockers out to shock people into taking notice of the, which might have been true in their early years. However, their last few albums have shown that they are maturing as musicians. The quality of their music is increasing with every record they put out, as they experiment with different styles, while always keeping that something which makes them instantly recognisable intact and inherent in their music. They are very original, and have managed to stand out where so many other bands have disappeared from view.moreless