From âNancy Boyâ to their latest single âEnglish Summer Rainâ, the multi-national band Placebo has been taking risks and breaking grounds. Now the trio has finally reached our shores here in Asia, and particularly, in Hong Kong, for a one night only concert. We talk to the band about what theyâre playing at the show, their superstitious thoughts, to Chinese food!
P: Placebo (Brian Molko, Stefan Olsdal and Steve Hewitt)
O: Other press
A: First of all, welcome to Hong Kong!
P: Thank you!
A: Hope youâre enjoying your stay so far! I see you guys talking about the view outside of the beautiful Harbour, so what dya think of the town?
P: Itâs cool! I went out last night for a few drinks, itâs a good vibe for a Monday!
A: LOL! I know what you mean!
P: It was close to elevenâ¦ actually weâve been told that going out for a drink at midnight is early, itâs REALLY refreshing! You know?
A: Yeahâ¦ normally we sneak outâ¦ like oneâ¦ one-ishâ¦
P: Coolâ¦ You havenât got any licensing laws, have you? Hahahaâ¦
Not only they went to Lan Kwai Fong, they also took the time to try out some local Chinese food!
P: Itâs difficult to get a Chinese in England, itâs good here, itâs wicked!
O: What did you have last night?
P: Lots of Beefâ¦ hahaâ¦
O: Not chicken, huh?
P: Nah, skip the chickenâ¦ haha!
Back to the show, as the band will be releasing a DVD of their live performance in Paris, what do French fans have over any others to get the privilege to be filmed?
P: Wellâ¦ itâs kind of our biggest solo headline showâ¦ To us, kind ofâ¦ marking how so far weâveâ¦ how many of our ambitions that we realized over the past seven years from our humble beginnings. Andâ¦ we have a very special, and very close relationship to our French fans, so weâre guaranteed a crazy audience, so thereâs 18,000 fanatics out there in that crowd. And it was also space for us to our biggest show so far, with lights and visuals and all of that. For the DVD format, it seems the best place to do it. Because the audience are just as much part of the show as you areâ¦ you know the energy that they give you. It was a chance for us to do something really quite impressive.
A: Now on your current tour, are you focusing on the latest CD or will you be performing some of your âClassicsâ?
P: Depends on what you consider to be âClassicâ, you knowâ¦ everybody has a different opinion on that. I think even though weâve released four albums, we find it kinda hard to squeeze together an hour and a half worth of music that we actually likeâ¦ hahaâ¦ so what you get is the stuff that we feel good playing! Because weâre quite contrary that way, we wonât play songs we donât have an emotional connection with anymore. And they donât represent how weâre feeling today.
Everyone has been curious about the song on their first album, which is titled âHK Farewellâ, and here they are, telling us HK-ers about that!
P: Yeah! The time, it was instrumental. We just kind ofâ¦ (It was before... became Chinese again!) I donât know, but we were stoned! LOL! It was 3am, the end of the recording session!
P: No, we know about the culture and the tradition in China, yeah a little bit about it, but Hong Kong isâ¦ China, Hong Kongâ¦ HK is ruled by China, but still thereâs kind of a separate legal system hereâ¦
A: This is a question from Ben from Uncle Joe. You and Silverchair have previously toured Australia together. Are there any future plans to team up with any of the members of Silverchair or possibly even with Daniel johns' new projects with aussie DJ Paul Mac THE DISSOCIATIVES?
P: They did a remix for us a while agoâ¦ but thereâre no real plans to do anything together in the futureâ¦ we donât actually know each other very wellâ¦ we didnât become booze and buddy anyway when weâre on tour. Soâ¦ No plans nowâ¦
A: Well anyone in particular that you would like to work with?
P: Chuck D, Polly Harvey!
Surprisingly, knowing that Placebo not only listens to rock when theyâre on tour, they also spend time on listening to hip-hop, reggae and dub!
P: Public Enemy, Cypress Hill, BDP (Boogie Down Productions) stuff like that, you knowâ¦ old schoolâ¦ stuff with a message.
O: Any chance of hearing those elements in your own music?
P: Kinda been there alreadyâ¦ if thatâs our next stepâ¦ whatever you listen kinda comes out in some shape before, like whatever youâre influenced by when youâre a teenager, sort of comes out.
Speaking on the UK Rock Sceneâ¦
P: We find it quite puzzling, what the point of being a rock band this time and age, and try to sound like somebody else? Weâre always trying to embrace technology, and weâre always trying to (suits) genres, as much as we can, and make record that looks forward instead of backwardsâ¦ it makes more sense to us.
A: Any of you are superstitious? Like is there anything that you HAVE to do before you go on stage?
P: (Brian) We have to have a group hug, and shout! Very very loud! And go rock!! I donât know, if thereâs aboutâ¦ twenty people having a drink, and two people clink their glass, then the entire twenty people would have to clink their glassesâ¦ silly things like thatâ¦These are just silly things like thatâ¦
P: (Stefan and Steve) Why is that? Why is that bad luck? Like seven years of bad sex!
P: (Brian) I donât know!! Yeah! If you donât look at each other in the eye when you do âCheersâ, that means seven years of bad sex. I found out how you can reverse the broken mirror thing the other day, if you break a mirror, and that means seven years of bad luck, what you have to do is you have to burry a piece of mirror nearby.
P: (Steve) Who told you that? (Donald) Cool!
A: Dya have any movie plans coming up? Like âVelvet Goldmineââ¦ it wasâ¦
P: No, nothing in the pipeline, no suchâ¦ not interested in playing musicians who are vampires. Weâre more interested in probably turning up in a soundtrack.
A: What kind of a movie would you like to do a soundtrack for then?
P: Just needs to be darkâ¦ (after 15 seconds) Three man with a hairy lady! LOL!! Itâs not good!
Words for HK:
P: Good to be here, do a show eventually, it takes us a while to get here, should spend some more time here, butâ¦ needâs time, the worldâs a big place. Just looking forward to the show. There were plans for us to do a more extensive tour around China, weâre just getting squashed with time, and traveling around, gotta get back and do festivals and things... hopefully on the next record, we can try to concentrate more.
O: Whenâs the last time youâve been overdosed?
P: LOL! Iâve never overdosed, contrary to popular math, no, Iâve never actually overdosed. I think itâs very very impolite to turn blue on your friendsâ coach.
O: Would you like to change the style of your music on your next record?
P: Weâre gonna do a country western record! Haha!
O: Someone calls you a Gothic band, what dya think about that?
P: Noâ¦ Is PJ Harvey Gothic? Is Nick Cave Gothic? Some people say the Smiths are Gothic, itâs because you do something thatâs quite dark, doesnât make you himâ¦ I never really listen to thatâ¦ certainly I guess weâre attracted to the dark side of human emotion because itâs more disturbing, and more interesting, and itâs more insightful to the complexity of the human natureâ¦ âI Cant Get You Outta My Headâ which is brilliant, or âBootyliciousâ which is brilliant as well. But I think weâre just naturally pulled towards the dark pasturesâ¦ Goth-Country and Westernâ¦ itâs do-able! Is Johnny Cash Goth?