Tag: stefan olsdal
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.
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.
Well, I have to say I stand corrected… After complaining that Placebo have a well-defined singles M.O., I’m pleased to see that the recently EMA Best Alternative winners have decided to take a slightly new direction by choosing Bright Lights as their new single from Battle for the Sun.
It’s one of Placebo’s more (if not the most) upbeat and bright-sounding tracks and they haven’t got too many of those, at least, not in such a mainstream sense of the word. Besides being a different sounding Placebo, Bright Lights is also an interesting lyrical work for Brian Molko. Thematically, this is for him what Ashes to Ashes was to Bowie — a cynical and ironic look at his “crazy livin”’. It feels as if, for the first time, he doesn’t hide behind a character anymore and acknowledges his real life persona, expressing regret over the choices he has made (speaking a lot about his life in the early days, thus distracting the attention from the music).
The Heroes for Zeroes-directed video is also in tune with the song, as it starts with a dark setting only to end with Placebo playing on a background of blue skies — the journey from darkness to light that Battle for the Sun supposedly embodies. The single version of the song is slightly different than the album, as it features backing vocals by Val Etienne & Hazel Fernandes (Kylie Minogue, Jamiroquai).