Placebo seem to have enraged “the machine” and, of course, by that I mean the labelzilla Virgin, who previously “owned” them for more than a decade. The trio decided to go indie and sign with a label (PIAS) only for distribution, paying themselves for their new album, Battle for the Sun. In recent interviews, they’ve admitted to not being very happy on the Virgin mothership, especially after the guys who brought them in, were fired.
To slap the wrist of the alternative idols and cash in one final check off of them, Virgin decided to release a boxset containing all Placebo albums, except the last one, of course, an album of B-sides, one of live recordings and two dvd’s. As if trying the “if you are a real fan”-blackmail wasn’t enough, the label decided to release the boxset on the 8th of June. For those unaware of recent Placebo history, this is the release date (announced in march) of Battle for the Sun.
So, is this a cautionary tale for bands leaving their violent, brutal, come-home-drunk-late-at-night-demanding-a-hot-meal labels? Well, not in Placebo’s case. Their record debuted in the top 10 in several countries, their gig-agenda is record-breaking (the british band with the most dates this summer). Everybody already knows that big labels are part of the “machine”, so I guess this is just another specific example.