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Brian Molko


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Born to an American international banker father and a Scottish mother, Brian Molko’s family moved frequently during his childhood, including spells in Scotland, Liberia, Lebanon and Luxembourg. Molko has referred to his mother’s home town of Dundee, Scotland as “where I grew up”. He attended Goldsmiths College in London, where he studied drama. He describes his childhood as a period when he felt very lonely and alienated. He started to wear make-up at the age of 11. He was an actor 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 and . In his late teens, he came out as .

Molko and Stefan Olsdal both attended the International School of Luxembourg in Luxembourg, but they were never friends. When Molko moved to London to study drama at Goldsmiths College, where he graduated with a degree, he met Olsdal at South Kensington Tube Station. Molko invited Olsdal to one of his gigs in a club, which he played with Steve Hewitt. Olsdal was impressed with Molko’s voice, and together they formed Ashtray Heart; eventually they changed the name to Placebo. Together with drummer Robert Schultzberg (a friend of Olsdal’s from Sweden) performed together in 1996. Schultzberg did not fit in the band, however, and was soon replaced with Steve Hewitt, who played on Placebo’s demo tracks.


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