Brian Molko

born on 10/12/1972 in Brüssel-Hauptstadt, Belgium

Links (English)

Brian Molko

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Brian Molko
Birth name Brian Molko
Genres Indie rock
Alternative rock
Post-Punk Revival
Instruments vocals, Guitar, Bass, Harmonica, keyboards
Years active 1994present
Labels EMI, Virgin Records, PIAS (current), Hut Records, Caroline Records
Associated acts Placebo
Notable instruments
Fender Jaguar
Gibson SG
Fender Telecaster Thinline

Brian Molko born December 10, 1972, is a songwriter, lead vocalist and guitarist of the band Placebo. In his youth, he was known for his ambiguous sexual orientation and androgynous appearance.

Early life

Born to an American international banker father of French-Italian heritage[1] and a Scottish mother, Molko's family moved frequently during his childhood including spells in Scotland, Liberia, Lebanon and Luxembourg. Brian Molko has referred to a period spent in his mother's home town of Dundee, Scotland, as "where I grew up".[2] He describes his childhood as a period when he felt very lonely and alienated; his first performing experiences were through acting in a school drama theater.

While Molko was brought up in a strict household that disapproved of artistic expression (his father wanted him to become a banker) he rebelled by affecting an androgynous image, wearing nail polish, lipstick and eyeliner, and listening to punk. Molko initially attended the European School of Luxembourg but had to leave due to excessive bullying;[3] he later attended the American International School of Luxembourg (AISL)[4] and went on to study drama at Goldsmiths College in London.[5]


Molko and Stefan Olsdal had both attended AISL (though they were never friends)[6]; when Molko moved to London, he ran into Olsdal at South Kensington tube station and invited him to one of his gigs in a club, which he played with Steve Hewitt[7]. Molko's musical influences include Depeche Mode, David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Dead Kennedys, the Beastie Boys, Serge Gainsbourg, Sonic Youth, PJ Harvey, Jane's Addiction, Joy Division, The Cure and The Pixies. More recent musical tastes include electro-clash artist Peaches, Queens of the Stone Age, Mogwai, The Cribs, Sad Gray and many others.

Molko taught himself to play guitar; at the age of 16, he got a Telecaster replica as a present from his parents. Soon after, he bought a real Telecaster. He plays other instruments such as bass, harmonica, keyboard, saxophone, drums and turntables. Fluent in French due to his upbringing in Luxembourg, Molko has written and sung a few of Placebo's songs in French as well as English. He has also occasionally worked as a disc jockey at clubs.

Along with Hewitt and Olsdal, he had a small role in the 1998 film Velvet Goldmine,[8] for which Placebo performed the T.Rex song "20th Century Boy". He played Malcolm, a singer of the fictional glam rock band, "The Flaming Creatures", who resembled the early Alice Cooper band.

Personal life

In October 2005, Molko's ex girlfriend [9], Helena Berg, gave birth to his first child, Cody. He currently lives in north London, but frequently travels to Paris.

Brian stated in a recent interview that he still sees his son frequently as a single father. [10]

In the same year, he was voted as 39th of the 50 sexiest rock stars by Kerrang! magazine readers.

Molko is openly bisexual.


He has performed as a guest vocalist on tracks by:

  • Timo Maas "Pictures", "Like Siamese", "First Day";
  • Asia Argento "Je t'aime, moi non plus";
  • Kristeen Young "No Other God";
  • Dream City Film Club "Some", "Billy Chic";
  • Jane Birkin "Smile";
  • ac acoustics "Crush";
  • Alpinestars "Carbon Kid";
  • Trash Palace "The Metric System";
  • Hotel Persona - "Modern Kids"
  • Indochine - "Pink Water 3"

He also wrote the English lyrics to "Pink Water 3", a song by Indochine from the album Alice & June, released in 2005. Molko is friends with David Bowie, with whom he sang Placebo's Without You I'm Nothing[11] and the cover 20th Century Boy live.


Molko uses a variety of guitars. In the Sleeping With Ghosts era, he used Gibson SGs (The Bitter End, Every You Every Me, "Plasticine", Black-Eyed, Without You I'm Nothing, Special K, "Bulletproof Cupid", "Soulmates", Special Needs, This Picture), Fender Jaguars ("Allergic", Pure Morning, Nancy Boy, "Bionic", "Centrefolds"), a Fender Thinline Telecaster (Taste in Men) and a Fender Bass VI (Slave To The Wage). For amplification he used a Fender Twin Reverb.

Through the Meds Tour, he used Gretsch Duo Jets (Infra-Red, Because I Want You, Song to Say Goodbye, "One of a Kind", The Bitter End, Running Up That Hill, Special K), Gibson SGs (Special Needs, Every You Every Me, Black-Eyed), a Fender Jaguar ("Drag", Nancy Boy), a Fender Thinline Telecaster (Twenty Years) and a Gibson Chet Atkins SST (Meds). Once again his amplifier was a Fender Twin Reverb.

During a 2003 interview with Graham Norton, Molko revealed he collects guitars, and gives them all names - amongst them are his favourite, 'Bitch', and a pink guitar (which he claims is gay) called 'Bertie'.


  • (1998) Velvet Goldmine as Malcolm of the Flaming Creatures
  • (2001) Sue's Last Ride (Executive Producer)

A poster of him also appears in the 2006 film "Un Jour d'été" (A Summer Day), in which the main character is possibly bisexual.


  • Never Mind the Buzzcocks
    • Episode #2.06 (1997)
    • Episode #8.01 (2001)
    • Episode #9.06 (2001)
  • Glastonbury Festival (1997)
  • BRIT Awards (1999)
  • Late Night with Conan O'Brien
    • Episode dated March 27, 1999
  • rage
    • Placebo Guest Programme rage (1999)
  • Terremoto Festival (Hamburg) (2000)
  • Paskvil
    • Episode #5.11 (2001)
  • The Kerrang! Awards (2002)
  • Rive droite - rive gauche
    • Episode dated March 21, 2003
  • V Graham Norton
    • Episode #4.21 (2003)
  • Tout le monde en parle
    • Episode dated May 3, 2003
    • Episode dated February 14, 2004
  • Double je
    • Episode dated June 26, 2003
  • Placebo: Soulmates Never Die - Live in Paris 2003
  • Le grand journal de Canal+
    • Episode dated September 13, 2004
    • Episode dated October 13, 2004
  • Placebo: Androgyny (2005)
  • Live 8 (2005)
  • 4Music (2006)
  • Rock am Ring (2006)
  • Rock im Park (2006)
  • Isle of Wight Festival (2006)
  • Greenfield Festival (2006)
  • The Friday Night Project (2006)
  • Soccer A.M. (2006)
  • Nova Rock Festival (June 15, 2006)
  • Roskilde Festival (July 2, 2006)
  • Open'er Festival (July 6, 2006)
  • T in the Park (July 8, 2006)
  • Oxegen (July 9, 2006)
  • Vieilles Charrues Festival (July 21, 2006)
  • Festival Internacional de Benicàssim (July 23, 2006)
  • Rock-A-Field (July 25, 2006)
  • Leeds Festival (August 25, 2006)
  • Rock'n Coke (September 3, 2006)
  • Siesta Festival (May 29, 2009)
  • Rock Am Ring (2009)
  • Rock Im Park (2009)
  • Open'er Festival (5 July, 2009)
  • Optimus Alive! (July 10, 2009)
  • Sziget (August 15, 2009)
  • Reading Festival (August 28, 2009)
  • Leeds Festival (August 30, 2009)


  1. Brian Molko. CNET Networks Entertainment. Retrieved on 2008-02-16.
  2. NME interview with Placebo. NME/PlaceboWorld. Retrieved on 2006-07-17.
  3. FHM interview with Brian Molko. FHM/PlaceboWorld. Retrieved on 2008-01-30.
  4. Role Reversal. Sessions/PlaceboWorld. Retrieved on 2008-01-30.
  5. The Boy Can't Help It. Guitarist/PlaceboWorld. Retrieved on 2008-01-30.
  6. Brian Molko's biography. Retrieved on 2009-10-11.
  7. Brian Molko's biography. Retrieved on 2009-10-11.
  8. Velvet Goldmine (1998) - Full cast and crew. IMDB. Retrieved on 2009-05-03.
  11. Placebo with David Bowie Chat Transcript - 29/3/99.!. Retrieved on 2006-10-14.

External links

This page was last modified 17.11.2009 18:44:52

This article uses material from the article Brian Molko from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia and it is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.