Posted: January 1st, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Feature story | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Rock ‘N’ Roll Anima

Background note: Several weeks after I conducted this interview for Alternative Press, singer Brian Molko phoned asking if my group Ether Net would open for Placebo in Canada. A definite first in all my years as a journalist. We had recently lost our drummer but of course I said yes, then hustled to find a replacement. Weeks later I found myself vomiting backstage in a fit of pre-show jitters at Toronto’s sold-out Kool Haus, then stepped onstage to perform for three thousand or so Placebo fans. They were very kind. I subsequently made some lifelong Canadian friends on that mini tour, which also included Montreal and Ottawa.

Hang out with Placebo for a night and you’ll begin to understand what Lou Reed meant by his challenge in Metal Machine Music’s liner notes: “My week beats your year.” Even severe jet lag doesn’t impede Brian Molko and his “two husbands,” as he calls bassist Stefan Olsdal and drummer Steve Hewitt, from juicing the Big Apple. At the Soho Grand hotel bar, orders for double Sea Breezes keep pace with Molko’s candid responses to queries regarding Black Market Music, the corrosive, more political follow-up to 1998’s break-through Without You I’m Nothing.

Detailing Placebo’s coincidence-riddled history, the openly bi-sexual Molko recalls his impression of the openly gay Olsdal when they first encountered each other at school in Luxembourg: “I thought you were an aloof snob, and you thought I was a pot-smoking fag. How ironic life can be.” Read the rest of this entry »

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