The first meeting
I met the guys for the first time at a gig in Reims, my hometown. It was on the 8th of November, 1996.
In fact, I met them because I was planning on doing the first French Placebo fanzine. Which I did soon after meeting them in Reims: Brian was very friendly and really happy to see that French people were fond of them like this that soon. He helped us a lot (and Riverman management too). The fanzine was called 'Notre-Dame des Fleurs' (referring to 'Lady of the Flowers' song and the novel by Jean Genet).
I had the opportunity to meet Brian, Stefan and Steve (who had just arrived in the band, it was one of his first gigs), spend the afternoon with them; see the rehearsals, then the gig, and finally the after show in backstage. It was like a dream!
After that, I've been invited for a lot of Placebo gigs (most of the time on the guest list with VIP all access).
The first impression
I perfectly remember the shock I had when I first heard the 'Come Home' single on Deceptive (and then the 'Bruise Pristine' "7" on Fierce Panda which I got because I was so crazy of 'Come Home'). Then other singles were released, still perfect, and the first album, which I played on repeat for weeks.
I loved their sound, their atmosphere, the lyrics and the fact they were a trio and wanted to stay that way. Every time we met, we talked about the band, but about music in general, cinema and literature too.
Brian was always friendly and nice, even though they were getting bigger and bigger, with more and more people around them. And thanks to Brian, I had the luck to meet (very quickly) David Bowie... I'll never forget that moment.
About Placebo popularity in France
They were very famous for the alternative audience, but they became really huge with 'The Bitter End' song and the 'Sleeping with Ghosts' album. I don't know why it happened like this for them, but I think they were the right thing at the right time. I was working as a record seller in an indie record shop at that time and people were really crazy and in love with Placebo.
The main change in Placebo
Sadly, I think the main change in Placebo is all about success... They lost a part of their singularity and it affected their sound. I mean I really loved (and still love) the first two albums. Then 'Black Market Music' came which was really good, but some of the songs were a bit disappointing. And so on... I think the last records are ok but that's all. Just a pair of songs is really good. For me, they are still true and honest, making music with their heart, but they are in some kind of comfort zone.
But I'm still hoping for a miracle, for something new and different, something risky!