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2 de noviembre

Placebo

2009

Placebo´s new ålbum: battle for the sun 2009, US music website Shockhound interviews Brian Molko

Battle for the sun


Contenido Placebo ........................................................................................................................................ 3 We Can Build A New Tomorrow, Today... ................................................................................... 3 Let 'Battle' Commence... ............................................................................................................. 3 Placebo: “I Really Wouldn’t Know What The Hell Else To Do” ......................................... 4

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Capitulo 1 Placebo We Can Build A New Tomorrow, Today... Placebo‟s sixth studio album, Battle for the Sun, was released on June 8th 2009. Recorded over three months at Metal Works Studios in Toronto with producer David Bottrill and mixed in London by My Bloody Valentine, Smashing Pumpkins and Nine Inch Nails supremo Alan Moulder, Battle for the Sun is a startling, alive, vital and boundary-vaulting Placebo record. It is, according to Brian Molko, “not hard rock and it‟s not pop, it‟s probably hard pop. I think we‟ve made a record which is almost the flipside of „Meds‟. We‟ve made a record about choosing life, about choosing to live, about stepping out of the darkness and into the light. Not necessarily turning your back on the darkness because it‟s there, it‟s essential; it‟s a part of who you are, but more about the choice of standing in the sunlight instead.” Let 'Battle' Commence...

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Capitulo 2 Placebo: “I Really Wouldn’t Know What The Hell Else To Do” 06-08-2009 by ShockHound

Interview by Aidin Vaziri Emerging at the dawn of the Britpop era, Placebo immediately set itself apart from the pack by forsaking Adidas tracksuits and cheery radio tunes in favor of black eyeliner and sleazy glam-rock songs about sex and drugs. Led by gender-blurring singer Brian Molko, the Gravesend,

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England trio blazed its own path, winning vast audiences along the way, as well as the endorsement of rock elder statesmen like David Bowie and Michael Stipe. The group‟s biggest success came with 1998‟s Without You I'm Nothing, which featured the hit “Pure Morning.” That same year Placebo recorded a cover of T. Rex's "20th Century Boy" for the Velvet Goldmine soundtrack, and became a certifiable arena draw across Europe. The band continues to be revered overseas, but its sixth album, Battle For The Sun, arrives on these shores after bit of a rough patch. After taking part in the 2007 Projekt: Revolution tour where it fought to get American fans to take notice on a bill that favored homegrown acts like Linkin Park, My Chemical Romance and Taking Back Sunday, drummer Steven Hewitt got the boot and the group parted ways with its label, EMI. But Molko insists change is good. Produced by David Bottrill (Tool, Staind, Coheed and Cambria), Placebo‟s latest is its most willfully ambitious work, featuring horns and a gospel choir on the single, "For What It's Worth.” The singer spoke to us just a few days before the album‟s U.S. release. SHOCKHOUND: Where was your head at going into this album? BRIAN MOLKO: I don't really know. By the time we reconvened to start discussing this record and planning the making of this record, we actually had started to feel optimistic again about the future after a bit of a dark period and what we call our divorce. Losing a band member after such a long period of time does feel a little bit like a divorce, 5


I guess. So, yeah, we went through a bleak period after which we were starting to feel a little more optimistic. When we started writing, even when we started recording this record, we didn‟t actually have a record company. So we were completely free to do whatever we wanted. We had the opportunity to create a future for ourselves — one that we wanted and one that was sunnier, hopefully, than the past few years. It was a good place. We were feeling reinvigorated and refreshed. SHOCKHOUND: Did you ever consider breaking up? MOLKO: Never, really. We wanted to continue in the formation that we were; certainly not in the atmosphere we were in. Myself and Stefan [Olsdal, bass], we started writing songs together in 1994, and this has pretty much been our lives since we were 20. We just felt we had invested much too much blood, sweat and tears into the whole affair to walk away from it. Besides, we‟re very much a songwriting partnership. We sort of complement each other. It's never been tested if either of us would be as good without each other. SHOCKHOUND: Was it hard following up an album that didn’t do as well as your others? MOLKO: I think Meds (released 2007) did as well as the previous one. I really don't know how well it sold in different territories. I don't pay a great deal of attention. I know in the ballpark it‟s about the same. Maybe it sold a lot

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less in America. I'm not really a figures kind of guy.

WATCH: Placebo's "For What It's Worth" Video Capitulo 3

SHOCKHOUND: Do you generally make albums only to please yourself? MOLKO: That's where the spark comes from. There's a need. Thereâ€&#x;s a need for creative expression. Once you externalize it and release it to the general public you certainly hope people will like it. You're always scared of losing it, as well. If it was to take the sharpest of sharp dips you might have to ask yourself some questions. I donâ€&#x;t know. SHOCKHOUND: Have you always felt like outsiders? You never fit in with the Britpop scene or anything else that followed. 7


MOLKO: Even though we had records in the charts and stuff like that we've always operated slightly to the left of the mainstream. Maybe more than just slightly to the left, which is a paradox in of itself. We just kind of followed our own path. We had our own singular vision and never allowed ourselves to be influenced by what's sort of trendy or hip. I guess, we‟re very similarly to people like the Cure and Depeche Mode, who never stopped making records and still have a very loyal fan base and still make music that is vital to this day. That‟s probably what I aspire to a lot more. For me, it's the longevity thing. I really wouldn‟t know what the hell else to do. SHOCKHOUND: Do you feel the music has stayed true to Placebo’s original sound? MOLKO: That's the challenge. That‟s the ultimate challenge, I suppose, if you‟re not interested in working to formula; if artistic success is your driving force and not following a formula, and not turning your back on what made people fall in love with you in the first place. So it's difficult to strike that balance. There have been times in the past where we've been a little hit-and-miss, but I think this time around we got the balance right and I‟m quite happy. SHOCKHOUND: What made you want to work with David Bottrill? MOLKO: We did want to make a big-sounding record, so he was an obvious candidate. We wanted to make something 8


that was epic and anthemic. Then again, there are hundreds of those guys in the US and Canada that could do that for us. What interested us in Dave is that he had worked with some friends of ours, a Belgium band called Deus. He made a very European-sounding, subtle, delicate at times record. It was almost on the other end of the spectrum from the huge sonic monoliths he creates with Tool. We were aware he could do these things very, very well. We were also aware of the fact that he cut his teeth working with Peter Gabriel. He worked on tracks like “Sledgehammer,” for example. So he has a refined understanding of pop. That kind of versatility attracted us. We don‟t like to make one-dimensional sounding records. There has to be a great deal of light and shade and variation. SHOCKHOUND: Placebo has never shied away from a good pop hook. MOLKO: When it gets too sweet, the melody stays the same and the distortion gets turned up. The sweeter the melody, the most distorted the fashion it‟s delivered. SHOCKHOUND: Does it feel good to be a functional band again? MOLKO: It bodes well at the moment. We're going through a good streak right now. Long may it last. I spend a lot of time quite divorced from the whole process of marketing. I try to keep my role within the whole enterprise as simple as possible, otherwise I would go insane. I try to focus on the task at hand. I'm not really thinking about the success of the 9


record.

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placebo  

interview and new album

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