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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 Americanmarker international banker father of French-Italian heritage and a Scottish mother, Molko's family moved frequently during his childhood including spells in Scotlandmarker, Liberiamarker, Lebanonmarker and Luxembourgmarker. Brian Molko has referred to a period spent in his mother's home town of Dundeemarker, Scotland, as "where I grew up". 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 Luxembourgmarker but had to leave due to excessive bullying; he later attended the American International School of Luxembourg (AISL) and went on to study drama at Goldsmiths College in Londonmarker.


Molko and Stefan Olsdal had both attended AISL (though they were never friends); when Molko moved to Londonmarker, he ran into Olsdal at South Kensington tube stationmarker and invited him to one of his gigs in a club, which he played with Steve Hewitt. 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, 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 , 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.

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:

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 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'.


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.




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