From ‘Nancy Boy’ to their latest single ‘English Summer Rain’, 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 they’re playing at the show, their superstitious thoughts, to Chinese food!

The Interview:

A: Alyson
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 you’re 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: It’s cool! I went out last night for a few drinks, it’s a good vibe for a Monday!
A: LOL! I know what you mean!
P: It was close to eleven… actually we’ve been told that going out for a drink at midnight is early, it’s REALLY refreshing! You know?
A: Yeah… normally we sneak out… like one… one-ish…
P: Cool… You haven’t got any licensing laws, have you? Hahaha…

Not only they went to Lan Kwai Fong, they also took the time to try out some local Chinese food!

P: It’s difficult to get a Chinese in England, it’s good here, it’s wicked!
O: What did you have last night?
P: Lots of Beef… haha…
O: Not chicken, huh?
P: Nah, skip the chicken… 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: Well… it’s kind of our biggest solo headline show… To us, kind of… marking how so far we’ve… how many of our ambitions that we realized over the past seven years from our humble beginnings. And… we have a very special, and very close relationship to our French fans, so we’re guaranteed a crazy audience, so there’s 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 are… 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 ‘Classics’?

P: Depends on what you consider to be ‘Classic’, you know… everybody has a different opinion on that. I think even though we’ve released four albums, we find it kinda hard to squeeze together an hour and a half worth of music that we actually like… haha… so what you get is the stuff that we feel good playing! Because we’re quite contrary that way, we won’t play songs we don’t have an emotional connection with anymore. And they don’t represent how we’re feeling today.

Everyone has been curious about the song on their first album, which is titled ‘HK Farewell’, and here they are, telling us HK-ers about that!

P: Yeah! The time, it was instrumental. We just kind of… (It was before... became Chinese again!)  I don’t 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 is… China, Hong Kong… HK is ruled by China, but still there’s kind of a separate legal system here…

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 ago… but there’re no real plans to do anything together in the future… we don’t actually know each other very well… we didn’t become booze and buddy anyway when we’re on tour. So… No plans now…

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 they’re 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 know… old school… stuff with a message.

O: Any chance of hearing those elements in your own music?

P: Kinda been there already… if that’s our next step… whatever you listen kinda comes out in some shape before, like whatever you’re influenced by when you’re a teenager, sort of comes out.

Speaking on the UK Rock Scene…

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? We’re always trying to embrace technology, and we’re always trying to (suits) genres, as much as we can, and make record that looks forward instead of backwards… 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 don’t know, if there’s about… twenty people having a drink, and two people clink their glass, then the entire twenty people would have to clink their glasses… silly things like that…These are just silly things like that…
P: (Stefan and Steve) Why is that? Why is that bad luck? Like seven years of bad sex!
P: (Brian) I don’t know!! Yeah! If you don’t look at each other in the eye when you do ‘Cheers’, 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 ‘Velvet Goldmine’… it was…

P: Funny…

A: …fabulous!

P: No, nothing in the pipeline, no such… not interested in playing musicians who are vampires. We’re 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 dark… (after 15 seconds) Three man with a hairy lady! LOL!! It’s 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, but… need’s time, the world’s a big place. Just looking forward to the show. There were plans for us to do a more extensive tour around China, we’re 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: When’s the last time you’ve been overdosed?

P: LOL! I’ve never overdosed, contrary to popular math, no, I’ve never actually overdosed. I think it’s very very impolite to turn blue on your friends’ coach.

O: Would you like to change the style of your music on your next record?

P: We’re gonna do a country western record! Haha!

O: Someone calls you a Gothic band, what dya think about that?

P: No… Is PJ Harvey Gothic? Is Nick Cave Gothic? Some people say the Smiths are Gothic, it’s because you do something that’s quite dark, doesn’t make you him… I never really listen to that… certainly I guess we’re attracted to the dark side of human emotion because it’s more disturbing, and more interesting, and it’s more insightful to the complexity of the human nature… ‘I Cant Get You Outta My Head’ which is brilliant, or ‘Bootylicious’ which is brilliant as well. But I think we’re just naturally pulled towards the dark pastures… Goth-Country and Western… it’s do-able! Is Johnny Cash Goth?

 

 

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