Today I decided to answer one question that has been asked quite a few times and can’t be answered with just a few words. So especially for Susan from California, Carlos from Brazil, Petra and Kimberley from the Netherlands and Meg and Caroline from England (god, I hope I didn’t forget anyone. If so, my humble apologies!), today the answer to the question:
“How did Placebo become the inspiration for The Elemental and what do they mean to you?”
Well, as some of you may have found out already through my website www.the-elemental.co.uk it began at Pinkpop 2009. Placebo were headlining and the weather was lovely. When they began to play, the sky started to turn a pinkish purple, it was really pretty. Brian said the next song came to him in a dream, while they were on a tourbus. I think his exact words were “I bullshit you not” 😉 And they started to play Come Undone. The beginning has an almost dreamlike quality and looking to the sky, images floated before my eyes and I was in another world for a couple of minutes. I don’t think I heard a single word Brian sang of that song. That came later.
I think, looking back, those were the first seeds of The Elemental. The images were of a group of friends based in London. Years later I dreamed the same images and that moment at Pinkpop came rushing back to me. That’s when I decided to change my life and become a writer. As I started to write the outlines of The Elemental, I listened to Battle for the Sun. I did that for weeks and weeks, driving my family and friends, not to mention our dog, completely insane. I swear, whenever Miss Ginger hears Placebo, she raises her head, gives a big sigh and looks at me accusingly. I think she likes them secretly though, because whenever I have a live performance on, she wants to watch it as well.
Anyway, that’s how they became my great motivator and inspiration for things in the book. Not just the lyrics, but Battle for the Sun has a great mood-changing vibe to it, musically. Which created great scenes in the book.
The final editing was done when Loud Like Love was just released (which I love, by the way, I don’t care what the critics say) and that’s how Scene of the Crime got a special mention at the end of the book. I actually rewrote one of the last scenes because of that song.
As for the what do they mean to me part. I think it’s fair to say, a lot. To me, they are The Healer, The Anchor and The Sun. You figure out who is who 😉 I see them, maybe Brian in particular through his lyrics, as a sort of muse, who inspire me to write books, so that’s pretty important.
I used to work in the music industry and while I loved many things about that world, it happened just a bit too often that a band I liked, were, well… complete arses, to be frank. That didn’t matter much professionally, but I did notice me liking a band, has a lot to do with how they present themselves to the world as well. And once I had worked with them, I stopped buying their music. I just couldn’t listen to it anymore without thinking ‘you’re a complete diva’ or ‘what an arrogant arse’. It spoiled my listening experience, so I just stopped listening to them.
So that’s why I’m a bit wary of actually getting to know Placebo. Real life is always different and I’m realistic enough to realize Brian most of all, isn’t actually the epitomy of an easy-going, sociable person. So I think it’s safer to admire their qualities from a distance, if you will. That way I won’t be let down and they can remain my source of inspiration. In short, they are too important for that.
Otherwise there might not be a book two and three and we can’t have that, now can we? 😉
Well, I hope this answer was to your satisfaction. Looking forward to answer your questions on Valentine’s Day. You can tweet them to me or comment here on my blog. You can also post them on my facebook page. Be sure to mention your name and the country you live in, so I get it right and thanks for all the support so far. Love you guys!
Until next week peeps!
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