Placebo Formation (1994-1996) lineup Reading Festival

Placebo was formed by singer/guitarist Brian Molko and bassist Stefan Olsdal. Earlier, both had attended the American International School of Luxembourg, but didn’t cross paths properly until 1994 in London, England. At the time, Olsdal was taking guitar lessons and was on his way home, when he met Molko at the South Kensington tube station. Molko, observing that Olsdal had a guitar strapped to his back, invited Olsdal to watch him perform at a local bar. On the strength of Molko’s performance, Olsdal decided that they should start a band.
Originally, the two were unable to decide on a drummer. Molko had some experience playing with Steve Hewitt, making Hewitt the ideal choice for drummer. However, Hewitt had prior commitments to the London band Breed, and only had time to play on occasional demos with Molko and Olsdal. This led Robert Schultzberg to assume the position of drummer when the band signed its contract with Caroline Records. Schultzberg had known Olsdal from boarding school in Sigtuna, Sweden as well as from an earlier Swedish band (Elevating Addiction) which they had both been members of.
As to the name “Placebo”, Olsdal remarked in an MTV interview that it was chosen because of its Latin origins; “placebo” literally translates from Latin as “I will please”. Frequently in interviews, Molko has stated that the name is loosely a satirical reflection of the 1990s cliche of naming one’s band after a drug.When asked about naming a band, Molko said:
It’s a complex question to answer, really. As musicians you try to find a name for your band that represents you and you never really do, because, basically, names for bands lose their meaning after a while. They become a series of sounds that you associate with people in music. The most important thing for a name is that you can imagine forty-thousand people screaming it in unison.

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