Placebo To Launch North American Tour With Idlewild

After spreading their Black Market Music across Europe in October, British glam-punk trio Placebo will finally release their new album in the U.S. on May 8.

In conjunction with the album's release, Placebo have mapped out plans for an extensive North American trek with Idlewild. The outing's slated to launch April 30 in Detroit and continue through a May 29 gig in New York.

But before their dates with Idlewild, Placebo will play a few Canadian dates with Ether Net as the supporting act, beginning April 26 in Toronto.

"They're real kindred spirits, Idlewild," Placebo frontman Brian Molko said of the Scottish group, which will be touring to support its new release, 100 Broken Windows. "They've done a lot of touring with us in Europe and they're a fantastic band, so it will prove to be a really good show," Molko added. "I just can't get over their new record."

Placebo sold more than 100,000 copies of their most recent album, 1998's Without You I'm Nothing — far more than records from such critically lauded British imports as Gomez, Stereophonics and Badly Drawn Boy. They delayed the U.S. release of Black Market Music until they could work out the logistics for an accompanying tour, according to Molko.

"The decision was [made] to release the record ... when we could actually come over and play and take the music to the people, because that, we feel, is our best promotion, really," he said. That's how you gain a loyal following, and that's how bands like U2 and R.E.M. did it. We just wanted to be here when the record came out to give it a bit of momentum by doing some hopefully excellent shows."

Based on the album's performance in Europe, where it went top 20 in 12 countries — including top-five appearances in Germany, Greece and France — Placebo are hoping Black Market Music will be an even easier sell for American audiences, who will be served the album's third UK single, "Special K," first.

"That doesn't bother me, to be honest, to release different singles in different countries at different times," Molko said. "I think it's quite interesting to have these different songs just floating around the airwaves."

"Special K" already has generated minor controversy in the UK because of its reference to Ketamide, a common veterinary sedative that has become popular on the Euro club scene because of the drug's psychedelic effect on humans.

"It's actually a love song. It's not a song that promotes the use of controlled substances," Molko contended after comparing the track to Sly and the Family Stone's "I Want to Take You Higher."

"All it does is kind of compare the rush of coming up on controlled substances to the rush of falling head over heels in love," he said. "An infatuation kind of vibe.

"Ketamide is a horse tranquilizer, and they give it to babies, in really small doses, to stop thrombosis," he continued. "They did experiments with it on astronauts in the U.S. in the '50s in order to create the feeling of anti-gravity. Which is why I don't understand that it's a club drug, because if you feel like you're in anti-gravity, how are you supposed to dance?

"[But that explains] the chorus, which goes, 'Gravity/ There's no escaping gravity,' because with ... controlled substances or falling head over heels in love, whatever goes up always comes down."

Placebo already shot a video for "Special K" with director Howard Greenhalgh loosely based upon the 1966 sci-fi classic "Fantastic Voyage," a flick in which a group of surgeons are miniaturized so they can internally operate on an important patient.

Dates for Placebo's Black Market Music tour, as provided by the band's label:

With Ether Net opening:

  • 4/26 - Toronto, ON @ Warehouse

  • 4/27 - Montreal, QC @ Spectrum

  • 4/28 - Ottawa, ON @ Oliver's

With Idlewild opening:

  • 4/30 - Detroit, MI @ St. Andrews Hall

  • 5/1 - Chicago, IL @ Double Door, Chicago

  • 5/2 - Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue

  • 5/3 - Winnipeg, MB @ The Pyramids

  • 5/6 - Edmonton, AB @ Red's

  • 5/7 - Calgary, AB @ Palace

  • 5/9 - Vancouver, BC @ Commodore Ballroom

  • 5/10 - Seattle, CA @ Crocodile Café

  • 5/11 - Portland, OR @ Roseland Theatre

  • 5/13 - San Francisco, CA @ Slim's

  • 5/15 - Los Angeles, CA @ Palace

  • 5/17 - Mexico City, MX @ Teatro Metropolitan

  • 5/19 - Dallas, TX @ Trees, Dallas

  • 5/20 - New Orleans, LA @ House of Blues

  • 5/22 - Atlanta, GA @ Roxy Theatre

  • 5/24 - Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club

  • 5/25 - Philadelphia, PA @ Theater of Living Arts

  • 5/26 - Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club

  • 5/29 - New York, NY @ Irving Plaza