Love Amongst Ruin - Placebo Interview

Indie | Tuesday 6th December 2011 | Annalisa


Steve Hewitt formerly of Placebo has spread is wings and is currently
working with a new band, and this time he is the frontman! Love Amongst Ruin is the name of the new project, to find out more we spoke with Steve as he prepares for the bands world tour.

Hi, Steve, Congrats on your new project, I think it's really emotional
and full of energy. When did you decide to make the leap to lead vocals?

Thanks, I think you hit the nail on the head, it is an energetic album, but also very, very emotional. I suppose I had progressed from laying down the guide vocals for the
rough mixes, into recording the real vocals for the finished tracks. It really wasn't a leap until I realised that I would be taking this from the comfort of the studio, out in front of a live audience.

After 11 years in Placebo, you made the decision to quit a successful band in order to start from the ground up, can you talk us through your hopes for the band?

I want to take this band as far as the audience will let us. We have such a great dynamic and so many talented people in this band that really, there should be no limit. This first album is great, but it was mostly written by me with help from Donald Ross Skinner and Jon Thorne. The next album will be a much more collaborative process with six musicians shaping the sound. I'm really looking forward to it,
we've already started writing new songs.

Your songs are really open to influences like The Cure, Sigur Ros,
Depeche Mode, Queens of Stone Age amongst others- What direction does
the album take musically from your point of view?

All musicians are, in part, the sum of their influences and I have to agree that all of bands you named there are on my iPod. Having said that, there is definitely something unique about Love Amongst Ruin, we have a sound of our own and I think that will become more and more evident as we tour, write and record together. If you have to have a genre to define it - we are a ROCK band.

Who were the drummers that inspired you to pick up the sticks?
John Bonham from Led Zep and Phil Rudd from AC/DC.

From your expansive back catalogue can you pick out your three favourite tracks?

This is hard. To an artist songs are like children. I have a big family of songs now and you want me to pick favourites? OK, I will try, but this could change if you ask me the same question on a different day. Placebo - Space Monkey & Black-Eyed then The Boo Radleys - Eleanor Everything.

When you were in bands growing up, were always drumming or were you
playing other instruments?

I learned to play guitar, bass and keyboards while I was in other bands but I was always the drummer on stage and in the studio. I really only picked up those instruments to give myself additional ways of releasing the music that was in my head. Only now am I using them to really express myself.

Will you be touring Europe with album?
Oh yes, we will be starting on September 23rd in The Netherlands and I think we finish on November 8th in Dublin. We will be all over Europe, Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Poland, Belgium, and probably some other places that I can't remember right now.

For those who don't know, how did you find the members of your band?

Everyone in the band was either already a friend of mine or recommended by a friend of mine. To me the most important thing was to find talented people with good personalities. We are going to be together on the road and in the studio for a long, long time. Donald Ross Skinner was first in, as he was in the studio when we recorded this album and during that time I found out what a maverick-genius he
was. Then it was Keith York my drummer. Keith and I go back a long way and I knewhe could do my rhythms justice and add his own personality. Steve Hove was recommended by Paul Corkett the Sound Engineer on the album. Steve is great guitarist and a real find. Laurie Ross our Cellist and Keyboard player was actually working at the pub across from the studio and came highly recommended by people I knew that he had worked with in Bath. Finally Teresa was recommended by our Tour
Manager and the first day in rehearsals everything just clicked. I was getting ready to go on holiday and for the first time I knew that 'all' the pieces of the puzzle were finally in place.