Placebo’s Brian Molko on why we need to break the stigma around discussing mental health

The band are currently holding an auction of 'iconic' items to raise money for CALM

Placebo frontman Brian Molko has spoken out about breaking the stigma that surrounds discussing mental health – having battled with depression first-hand himself.

The band are currently auctioning off a huge selection of personal items, rarities and memorabilia – using their ongoing 20th anniversary celebrations to raise money for The Mercy Centre in Bangkok, as well as CALM (The Campaign Against The Living Miserably). Both are causes very close to the band’s heart, and the latter is one of the leading charities to raise awareness of the mental health struggles for young men in the UK.

“They’re pretty iconic items,” Molko told NME about what’s on offer to their fans in the auction. “For example, we have the jumper that I wore in the ‘Pure Morning’ video, we have the space suit that I wore in the ‘Special K’ video, clothes from the stage or album artwork. There’s also a lot of rarities in the form of a Japanese mini-album of the ‘Nancy Boy’ single, posters. These are clothes that we don’t wear any more and they’ve just been in a cage where we store our equipment. We’ve been talking about doing it for years, so we thought around the 20th Anniversary Tour would be a good time to do it – to put these items to good use.”


He continued: “The money is going to the Mercy Centre in Bangkok, which is a home for underprivileged children which we’ve supported for a long time. And we’re also giving money to CALM, the Campaign Against Living Miserably. They’re trying to raise awareness of male suicide among young men in the UK. The rate is really, really quite high. We need to remove the stigma surrounding depression, and one of their goals is to get more men to talk about their feelings instead of keeping it all inside and isolating one’s self – and eventually ending up with quite a tragic outcome.”

Molko added that to beat the stigma that surrounds depression, we first need to normalise and be a lot more open to listening, as well as talking.

“CALM is a charity that’s close to my heart because depression is a condition which I suffer from myself,” Molko told NME. “There are various forms of help out there.

“It’s a disease like any other. Depression and addiction are both recognised by the World Health Organisation as diseases. If someone had MS or cancer, you would listen to them. There’s still a stigma attached to depression, and a lot of men in particular feel that it’s a sign of weakness to talk about it. What we’re trying to do with CALM is remove that stigma in society.”

The band voiced similar sentiments earlier this year when they paid tribute to their friend Chester Bennington, who tragically took his own life earlier this year.


Placebo’s auction runs until Friday October 6. Visit here for information and to view the items.

  • Check back at NME soon for much more of our interview with Placebo’s Brian Molko


Placebo tour dates

The band’s upcoming UK tour dates to celebrate their 20th anniversary are below. Placebo will be supported by Husky Loops. Tickets are on sale here.

Saturday 7 – Edinburgh Usher Hall 
Sunday 8 – Dundee Caird Hall 
Tuesday 10 – Doncaster Dome 
Wednesday 11 – Manchester Albert Hall
Friday 13 – Reading Rivermead 
Saturday 14 – Cardiff Motorpoint Arena 
Monday 16 – Portsmouth Guildhall 
Tuesday 17 – Swindon Oasis 
Friday 20 – Plymouth Pavilions 
Saturday 21 – Wolverhampton Civic Hall 
Monday 23 – London O2 Brixton Academy 
Tuesday 24 – London O2 Brixton Academy

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