Placebo were “spun out” by their 20th anniversary tour.
The ‘Try Better Next Time’ group embarked on a global concert series in 2014 to mark their career milestone and although it was “great” that so many people wanted to see them in action, bassist Stefan Oldsal admitted it left him and bandmate Brian Molko feeling “disjointed and disconnected” from their old songs.
He said: “It was supposed to be one year long, that tour. It dragged out to three years.
“That was great, because people wanted to see us. But the relationship that we have with our old material started to become a little bit disjointed and disconnected.
“I think we started to kind of lose a little bit of what it meant to be in a band, or why we’re why we were doing it. It kind of sort of spun us out a little bit, negatively.”
Fortunately, working on their new album, ‘Never Let Me Go’, helped drag Stefan out of the “hole” he found himself in.
He said: “We came to the end of that tour and I felt that, if we were ever going to go on tour again, we needed a new album.
“That’s the raison d’etre. That’s the fuel for us. So, yeah, there was a bit of soul searching going on.
“For me, personally, the making of ‘Never Let Me Go’ enabled me to write myself out of that hole, and get back to why I’m in a band. Why it’s still important for me, and why we still have something to say.
“It’s not that we want to communicate something to people, it’s more that we need to write music. That’s part of our being.”
Although the idea of calling it a day crossed Stefan’s mind, the ‘Nancy Boy’ hitmaker admitted it seemed like an impossibility and returning to writing gradually brought back his passion.
He told Australia’s Double J: “I hadn’t really known my life without Placebo. It started when I was 19. For so long it was a matter of slotting life into Placebo’s schedule. I think that gave me quite a twisted outlook on the meaning of life.
“The band is part of my DNA,” he says. “Even if I wanted to stop, I don’t think I could, because there’s so much of me in this.
“I just remember how I felt when we first started to write together. It just felt so right. And the music that was coming out… I just thought to myself, ‘This is the music that I want to hear’.
“I think a lot of musicians can relate to that, they create music that they’re missing out there. It’s just part of me, music, and I don’t think I could ever let it go.
“Writing again with Brian just kind of brought all that excitement back. That sense of purpose and meaning. It slowly anchored me again.”