Placebo’s Brian Molko announced in an interview with the Chilean radio station Sonar FM that all the profits from their imminent show in Santiago, on April 8, will go to the relief funds for the victims of the recent earthquake. It is a very good idea, because it avoids the chaos of a free show, but still, it will be the Chilean people who will benefit from the gig, both money-wise and show-wise. “All of the money that will be generated from the Placebo concert will be going back to the Chilean people. It’s the only right thing to do”, promised the frontman.
It is also a more personal way for Placebo to say thank you to a public that has always supported them, Chile being one of the countries that considerably enhanced their popularity in South America. The gig also marks the beginning of their South American tour for promoting last year’s Battle for the Sun, which will have them visit Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Peru.
Australian indie-rockers Expatriate are releasing their debut album, In the Midst of This, in the UK, this very day. The album was initially released in their homeland back in 2007 and it certainly did not go unnoticed. It received enough indie attention to keep the band’s gig schedule quite busy and for Rolling Stone to name them “one of the most important new bands of 2007”. In 2009 they toured with fellow Riverman band, Placebo, thus being exposed to an even broader audience, which payed off, as shown by this UK breaktrough, as well as by a string of headlining gigs around Europe. As for the album, if you are into rock mythology, you should know it was recorded in Seattle, in the studio where Nirvana did their last sessions. Even though Ben King sings “A dream’s a dream, Leave it at that” on Times Like These (maybe the best track on the album), Expatriate keep on working on the architecture of their own dream and, with a second album in the demo phase, they might just become one of those bands who inspire others to dream.
Being the sweetest lady ever, Fiona Brice, Placebo’s strings arranger for their last two albums and side member for their Battle for the Sun tour, was nice enough to give us an interview regarding her journey with les enfants terribles of alternative rock. A special thank you goes out to her for doing this.
Niki Phaser: Battle for the Sun is the second Placebo album, that you’ve worked on, after Meds. How did you first meet the band and got to collaborate with them?
Fiona Brice: I have known the band socially for many years because we have several friends in common in London, and we used to meet at gigs before Placebo became hugely successful and their tours took them away for long periods. Brian remembers seeing me playing violin with Michael J Sheehy about 10 years ago at the 12-bar club in London. At the time I was playing and writing with various bands, including Dream City Film Club. Coincidentally I was also in the band Tram for a while, and Bill Lloyd was in this band before me! Small world… But our musical paths didn’t officially merge until the band decided to use strings on the Meds album. They asked me to write with them, and we found musical material and a sound that could add something to the songs without overpowering them. It worked well and after this I collaborated with Stefan on the strings for the Hotel Persona album.