Placebo (Steve Forrest)
True enthusiasm. It is a rare thing to find on artists you came in contact through time, but I indeed found it on Steve Forrest from Placebo, a man who is still living the dream and you can hear that within his words. Taking chance form the release of brand new Dvd from the English band “We Come In Pieces, we talked with the young drummer about life on the road, Placebo’s status and his life within and without the band. No more hesitation: enjoy the reading!
Article by Fabio Rigamonti - Publish on: 31/10/11

Transcription revised by Alessandra Leoni 


Hello Fabio!

Hello Steve, how are you?

Yeah, good, thank you! And you?

Oh, I’m perfectly fine, thanks! Can I start right away with my questions?

Yeah, please, go ahead!

“We Come In Pieces” is your brand new dvd, and it has a fascinating title. Why do you come in pieces and not as a whole?

You know … It is because of its lyrics. When you read our lyrics, you can find stories behind them and when they presented “We Come In Pieces” to me, I really liked it because the documentary in the DVD shows that we went through so much over the past two years, so the title is basically saying: “We’ve come through so much, we fall apart, but we put ourselves back together again”. And that’s exactly what you do, you know… I’m sure you had a moment in your life where you fell into a massive breakdown, and you had to shake it off, pick up all the pieces again, put them together so to have a new perspective again. My interpretation of that is exactly that. People like you or anybody might watch the documentary, it gives a real insight of what is the tourlife for us.

Is there a peculiar moment during “The Battle For The Sun” tour you enjoyed the most?

There are so many man, I can’t pick just one, but I can tell you one of the biggest highlights for me that tour. It was when we won the MTV Ema Award as alternative, and to me it was a Cinderella night, because I’ve spent my entire life dreaming and working and busting my ass trying to get even half of what I have now with Placebo. And so, that night was just … When you sit on a table having a chat with Dave Grohl and he’s talking to you like an equal, or when we were presented by some famous actress and shit, or when you see Jay-Z right next to you … You know, that is when you’re saying: “Whoa, I’ve made it! And I’ve won an MTV award!”. You know, it may sound thickle, but that will never, ever, ever, ever leave my mind! And if I can heave a night like that again in my life, I think that one will still be the best night of my life!

And the song you like the most to play live right now: which one is it?

The song that I like the most to play live?!? (he says it very loud Ed.) Man, that’s really a though one, because I like to play all the songs, anyway… Let’s see…(he’s thoughtful Ed.) Oh gosh, do you really want me to choose?!?! (laughs) I think one of my favorite is “Special Needs”: it’s just the same groove all the way through, but the arrangements and the way we play it and sing it… Oh, I’m just having a second thought right now, so let me go with “Every You Every Me”, I guess that’s my favorite one to play live right now.

placeboint_2011_011During your last tour, there were many extra instruments, a lot of people on stage and also a violin … Why did you make this choice?

Oh, I think that’s all because of our last record. Fiona Brice, the violin player, was also working with us in “Meds” and it was just natural to bring her on stage with us during “Battle For The Sun”. You know, we are a band that don’t want “to push play” or anything. We want to create live exactly what we do in the studio. And even though, as a band, we are three, we usually record in studio in four. Live, we are six. There are just so many bands that cheat, and we don’t like to cheat: we want to give people exactly what they paid the money for. Also, all these people creates a lot of dynamic, you know, it is more fun, and better, and more lively. We just don’t want to have all this bunch of loops on stage, there are just so many fucking bands that don’t play, but they just “push play” when they go on stage, and that’s crap, man!

Yeah, I kinda agree with you. Are you working on something new, right now? Can you tell me something about it?

As Placebo, no; as individuals, yes. We all have side projects I have my own band called Planes, Stefan is doing some video producing right now and Brian has his own solo project too. We’re spending time apart because it’s necessary, very necessary. We spent so much time together playing in Placebo, that if we continued doing it without any break, we would implode. It is a very important thing, like in a love affair, with a boyfriend or a girlfriend: you just have to spend some time apart from each other every now and then, so you won’t get sick of each other, getting dull or bored or whatever. So, in order to Placebo to never become stale, we have to spend a significant amount of time away from it so when we came back to it, we can do it for three years non-stop without, you know, going completely mental! (laughs) It is also important to have all these side projects to make us better as musicians and songwriters. So, when you come back to Placebo, you have this new way to look at writing music, so we can make a better Placebo record.

Perfect! Let’s talk about you for a while. Do you live in England right now?


Do you miss America? Or have you found your perfect home in Placebo family?

You know, I don’t really miss America to be honest. When I am in California I do enjoy myself but I do not miss America, I miss the people that I know in America. I miss my friends and my family. Most of all I miss my nephews and nieces, because I don’t see them grow up, because I see them once in a year. And I see pictures, and I’m never around, and that’s the thing I miss the most: being away from my mum, or, you know, take my nephew to a baseball game or something. That shit matters to me, because my family is the most important thing in the world, and when I think too much about that I get kinda sad, you know. But as far as I live, I would never live in America again. That place is not for me at all, it doesn’t match with my personality. Europe and U.K is where I belong and is where I happily planted my roots.

Yeah, I kinda understand you, and I think that it’s all because of the culture. Am I right?

Yeah, it’s a much more a setting culture. An encouraging culture that takes time to think about the differences between people and the world a lot more than America does. So, for me, coming over here in this beautiful island was very exciting to see all these different cultures and getting along with each other trying to live together amongst these diversities. It is all fucking amazing: I came from a small very town, with lot of farms and no such things like a venue, you know. So, to come over here was a really godsend, I don’t really see myself moving to America to live ever again, honestly. For visiting for sure, but that’s all about it.




Out of curiosity: have you listened to Steve Hewitt’s record “Love Amongst Ruin”?

Oh yeah! I don’t have the record, but I listened to a couple of songs and it’s not really my cup of tea, but it’s not bad!

Ok! I just wanted to know what you think about it, but you’ve already answered my question! (laughing)

I run into Steve a lot when he practices, he usually does it in a part of London that I spend a lot of time in. So, I listened through the doors a couple of time, listening to something he had in mind. I really thought that he was doing quite well, I hope he continues to do so but … Yeah, it is not really my type of music, one that I would listen to pretty much.

You came from the punk scene, am I right?

Yeah, sort of! Originally, I came from the folk scene, because I’ve grown up in a folk country, with big fields and stuff like that. Then, at 12 years I start really getting into what I thought it was punk, things like Rancid, Green Day, Ten Foot Pole stuff like that. While jamming I loved playing that kind of heavy drumming.

Do you think that you can bring all these influences inside Placebo music? Because I think you do: the drums in “Battle For The Sun” are energetic and wild. Do you think that too?

I do. That was my intention. When I play drums, I try to bring as much dynamic and colors into it as possible to make it bigger than everyone’s expectations. I tried to make it more and more bigger than expected. And that can turn out as a shit kind of feelings, you know. John Bonham was an amazing drummer not because of what he played but because of how he played. That determines the entire feeling of the songs: how you sit back on the groove and how you push a certain groove. That’s what gives the sound. So, with “Battle For The Sun” I had this strong idea of being very creative, I had a very big so I could put some adding to it, as much as I could. And that’s my job, you know. I’m trying to do it with every recording that I make, I just try to suck out every bit of inspiration that can possibly be in there.

Steve, my time is sadly running out. At the end of our interviews, we are used to give a little space  where you can say anything you want to our readers.

I just want to say that, after watching the documentary and the live gig on our upcoming DVD, I just felt this overwhelming sensation to jump in the crowd, hug everybody and give a lot of big kisses, because I was really touched. I’ve forgotten how many people were there. I mean: when you play you can’t really feel like this. In the scene, you see this big fucking arena, full of people growing and growing as far as you can see… So, what I wanted to say to anybody who’s reading this is…They mean more to us than I think we let on sometimes. So, we love them very much and I want to say a big thank you: thank you for always being here.

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