Placebo are a London-based trio. Forming in 1995 they have since had huge success
in the alternative music scene as well as commercial success.
Brian Molko was officially born in
Belguim but has lived all over the world due to his fathers job as an international
banker. He had spent a long period of time in
America before leaving at the age of 17 to study in London at the Goldsmith Drama School
where he gained a degree in drama. He was
keen though to follow his musical ambitions. It
was in Burger King in South East London that he bumped into former schoolmate Stefan
Olsdal. They had attended the same school in
Luxembourg but whereas Molko had been a drama dork and a bit of an outcast
Olsdal was a sporting jock. On
hearing that Stefan was also interested in pursuing his musical talents the two hooked up
and began working together.
In 1994 Molko and Olsdal found a
drummer to join them, his name was Robert Schulzburg.
The newly formed band named themselves Ashtray Heart. The name was later changed to the more familiar,
Placebo. Relations within the band were not
going well though between Brian and Robert and as a result Robert left the band.
At the time Molko was a fan of the band
Breed whose drummer was Steve Hewitt who Molko had got to know though Olsdal. He began drumming for Placebo on early demos and
at live shows although officially he remained committed to Breed. Eventually though he left Breed to become a full
time member of Placebo.
In 1995 Placebo made their recording
debut with Bruise Pristine released on the Fierce Panda label. Come Home recorded for the Deceptive
Label shortly followed making number three in the indie charts. They signed to Hut records in 1996. Their debut self titled album was a success and
was followed by a second album containing the hit single, Nancy Boy. This album was named Without You Im
Nothing and was an even bigger success.
They have more recently released a third album, Black
Market Music, which has been supported with endless touring.
Placebo have had many influences
including PJ Harvey, Smashing Pumpkins, Depeche Mode and David Bowie. Shortly after signing to Hut records they had the
opportunity to support Bowie on several European tour dates. Bowie had been impressed by their early demos. They also appeared at Bowies 50th
birthday and have performed duets with him live.