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Wielka Brytania / United Kingdom

Date of establishing :

Music genere:
alternative, alternative rock, indie, rock


Band members:

Brian Molko
Stefan Olsdal
Steve Forrest

Live Band:
Bill Lloyd
Fiona Brice
Nick Gavrilovic

Former members:
Robert Schultzberg
Steve Hewitt


Placebo was founded when former Luxembourg schoolmates Brian Molko and Stefan Olsdal - who never actually spoke to each other - met by accident at South Kensington, London, United Kingdom tube station in 1994. Molko invited Olsdal to one of his gigs and Olsdal was impressed by Molko's vocals so they agreed on forming a band. While briefly known as Ashtray Heart, the band quickly settled on the name Placebo, after the drug that has no active ingredient but works because the patient believes it does. Placebo also means "I shall please" in Latin.

The band could not decide on a drummer at first with Steve Hewitt (drums) and Robert Schultzberg alternating on the spot. While Hewitt was the preferred choice, he also had other commitments as drummer for London band Breed, leading to Schultzberg being the drummer when the band signed its contract with Caroline Records. As the other band members were having difficulty getting on with Robert Schultzberg, they persuaded Hewitt to rejoin the band in 1996.

The singles "Nancy Boy", from Placebo (1996), and "Pure Morning", from Without You I'm Nothing (1998), were the peak of their British success, both charting in the top ten. Since Without You I'm Nothing the band have fallen out of fashion particularly with the British music press, who regularly mock the personality and pretensions of its lead member, Brian Molko. However, the band retained a huge popular and critical following in continental Europe. Their style altered little from Placebo through Black Market Music (2000), based around fairly straightforward guitar playing, often influenced by the style of 1970s British and American rock, and Molko's high-pitched, nasal vocals. Sleeping With Ghosts (2003) brought more adventurous sound, experimenting with dance tunes, electronic music and a less polished rocky guitar sound. But the traditional sound was kept for several songs especially the first single "The Bitter End". ,

To date, they have released six studio albums, six EPs and twenty-seven singles. The band have gained a considerable amount of international recognition. They have sold over one million albums in the UK] and over ten million worldwide. In January 2009, Placebo confirmed that they had finished working on the follow-up to 2006's Meds and plan to release it in June 2009.

Due to their penchant for androgynous attire/makeup and raw guitar riffs, Placebo have been described by some as a glam version of Nirvana. The multi-national band were influenced by the likes of Sonic Youth, the Pixies, the Smashing Pumpkins, and the aforementioned Nirvana.