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Stefan Olsdal
Placebo @ Steel Blue Oval (1 3 2010) (4416151961).jpg
Background information
Birth name Stefan Alexander Bo Olsdal
Born (1974-03-31) 31 March 1974 (age 41)
Gothenburg, Sweden
Genres Alternative rock, electronic music
Instruments Bass guitar, guitar, piano, keyboards, double bass, organ, Omnichord, xylophone, drums, cimbalom, dulcimer, vocals
Years active 1994–present
Labels EMI, Virgin Records, PIAS (current), Hut Records, Caroline Records
Associated acts Placebo, Hotel Persona, Hotel Persona DJs, SPAM, Lantana
Website www.placeboworld.co.uk www.myspace.com/hotelpersona
Notable instruments
Gibson Thunderbird
Gibson Les Paul
Fender Telecaster Thinline
Gretsch White Falcon
Fender Jazz Bass
Fender Precision Bass
Gibson Firebird

Stefan Alexander Bo Olsdal (born 31 March 1974) is the bassist/guitarist of the alternative rock band Placebo and is part of the electronic dance/DJ and remix act Hotel Persona.[1]


He moved to Luxembourg when he was young and went to the American International School of Luxembourg along with fellow band member Brian Molko (though the two did not cross paths at this time). Olsdal began playing music in his school's orchestra in 1987. He completed his high school education in Sweden and moved to London with his parents, where he attended the Musicians Institute. He is openly gay and in a relationship with a Spanish man he said he met one week before the band was formed. He came out publicly in an interview in Melody Maker in 1996.

In 2013, he mixed the EP "El Encanto" of Lantana and produced two of the songs of the album, also playing some of the synthesizers, programming, bass and guitars.

He has worked as producer, arranger, musician and mixer on an LP by Lantana.


Olsdal met Molko by chance outside South Kensington tube station in 1994. The two of them formed Ashtray Heart, a lo-fi duo, playing mostly on toy instruments. They wrote four songs, but decided to try out as a serious band, so they invited Steve Hewitt who could not be in the band because he was already signed to another record company. After that, Olsdal invited old schoolmate Robert Schultzberg (who was at the time studying in UK) to join as Placebo's drummer (Hewitt would later replace him as the full-time drummer).

Together with Molko, he is credited as co-author on every Placebo song to date (except "Ashtray Heart" from Battle for the Sun which was credited solely to Molko) and co-produced Black Market Music and some b-sides.

Hotel Persona[edit]

Hotel Persona began when Olsdal and David Amen started providing dance tunes to friends' house parties; Javier Solo was recruited to sing Spanish vocals, and Olsdal sang the English versions. As the music was coming together, Olsdal and Amen did DJ work under the Hotel Persona name in such locations as Milan, Paris, London, Barcelona and Rio. They have also remixed songs by various bands, including Queens of the Stone Age, Placebo and She Wants Revenge.

Their debut album In the Clouds was recorded and mixed in London, Madrid and New York over two years and features a wide array of additional vocals from various artists including Brian Molko, Samantha Fox, Miguel Bosé and Alaska of Fangoria.

In 2007, they remixed the song "Siempre" for Lantana.


  • 2014: Producer, arranger, musician and mixer on an LP by Lantana.
  • 2013: El Encanto (EP) by Lantana: Musician and mixer.[2]
  • 2013: La noche de los muertos vivientes (Single) by Lantana: Producer, musician, mixing and mastering.
  • 2007: Siempre - Hotel Persona (Remix) by Lantana: Remixer.


Olsdal uses a variety of instruments, including a Gibson Thunderbird (three of those, one vintage used since 2003, one modern black which replaced the Flying V in 2006 and one white used since 2009), Fender Jazz Bass, Fender Bass VI, Gibson Les Paul Custom and a Gretsch Anniversary. In live versions of "Teenage Angst", "Centrefolds" and most acoustic performances he used a Technics keyboard. During the Meds era, he also used an Epiphone Flying V Bass for live performances of "Nancy Boy", "Come Home" and other occasional songs (mostly rarely played songs from the first album), which appeared on the "Infra-Red" video, although this guitar was smashed by Olsdal at the end of their 2006 Reading Festival set. He is seen playing an olympic white Fender Jaguar Bass in the "For What It's Worth" video, and played a white Rickenbacker bass in live performance on television programs. He has also been playing a Charger bass, built by the luthiers TAO Guitars in Brussels.

His amplification is a mixture of Ampeg (for basses) and Marshall (for guitars) amplifiers. He also played the xylophone in acoustic performances of some songs from Meds ("Pierrot The Clown", "Post Blue"). In Hotel Persona live shows he mostly uses a Fender Telecaster also used when performing "Scared Of Girls", "Slave To The Wage" and "Evil Dildo". In the early years (1994–1996) he used Boss bass pedals when playing live, but this practice ended after Bill Lloyd became a full-time touring member.

For the Loud Like Love tour, Olsdal's pedalboard (with separate guitar and bass signal chains) includes the Electro-Harmonix Memory Boy analog delay, Electro-Harmonix Micro Q-Tron envelope filter, MXR Slash Octave Fuzz distortion, TC Electronic Hall of Fame reverb, Boss TR-2 tremolo, Electro-Harmonix POG octave generator, MXR Micro Amp booster, Roger Mayer Voodoo-Vibe Jr chorus and vibrato, Boss PS-6 Harmonist harmony shifter, two Boss TU-3 Chromatic Tuner units (one for guitar and one for bass), Electro-Harmonix Stereo Memory Man with Hazarai digital delay/looper, Boss DD-3 digital delay, Electro-Harmonix LPB-2ube stereo tube preamp, Electro-Harmonix Bass Big Muff Pi distortion, Electro-Harmonix Bass Micro Synthesizer analog microsynth and Ernie Ball VP Jr 250K volume pedal.

Olsdal contributes backing vocals sparingly in Placebo's live performances and recordings as well as lead and backup vocals on most Hotel Persona tracks.


  1. ^ Stefan Olsdal of Placebo, Angelfire.com, accessed 2010-05-18
  2. ^ "MusicBrainz.org Database". 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stefan_Olsdal — Please support Wikipedia.
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766 news items


Tue, 31 Mar 2015 09:41:15 -0700

PORTRAIT - Ce membre fondateur du groupe glam-rock a beaucoup fait parler de lui pour ses prises de position en faveur de la communauté LGBT. Stefan Olsdal fait aussi partie du groupe Hotel Persona. Crédit : Placeboworld.co.uk. Stefan Olsdal fait aussi ...


Thu, 15 Aug 2013 03:22:40 -0700

He may have originally came to our attention as a bass player, but there is much more to Placebo's Stefan Olsdal than meets the eye. An accomplished drummer and keyboard player, Stefan today finds himself tackling guitar duties just as much as bass and ...

Digital Spy UK

Digital Spy UK
Mon, 02 Feb 2015 07:30:30 -0800

The band announced on their website that the split was "amicable", and that the drummer was leaving so he could focus on his solo material. Placebo: Brian Molko, Stefan Olsdal, Steve Forrest. Forrest first joined Placebo in 2008, and toured with them ...
Kicking The Habit
Wed, 22 Apr 2015 03:52:30 -0700

Rest nog de vraag welke drummer Brian Molko en Stefan Olsdal bij zich zullen hebben. De sinds 2008 bij Placebo werkzame Steve Forrest gaf er onlangs de brui aan. Misschien wel Matt Lunn (ex-Colour of Fire), die onlangs al inviel voor een Britse tournee.


Fri, 17 Apr 2015 16:26:15 -0700

Eine höchst eigenwillige Synthese aus dem Glam-Rock der frühen 70er und dem wüsten „Indie“-Gitarrenlärm der 80er und 90er zelebriert die Truppe um Sänger und Gitarrist Brian Molko und Bassist und Gitarrist Stefan Olsdal seit jeher, und live war sie ...

Birmingham Mail

Birmingham Mail
Thu, 19 Mar 2015 02:52:23 -0700

Singer Brian Molko still cuts a fine figure as this goth/glam hybrid with a voice you cannot mistake for another while Stefan Olsdal's guitar work was on the money. They stuck to their more recent work with a large chunk of the set coming from their ...
Mon, 30 Mar 2015 12:07:30 -0700

Nace el músico sueco Stefan Olsdal, bajista de la banda de rock Placebo. Conoce a Brian Molko, con quien funda el grupo en una estación del metro. Además, trabaja en un proyecto de música electrónica: Hotel Persona, con el músico español David Amen.
Broadway World
Tue, 10 Feb 2015 06:28:02 -0800

Deezer, the global digital music service today announced with Sonos, the leading manufacturer of wireless music systems, the launch of Deezer Elite outside the United States, bringing High Definition Audio to music lovers around the world as part of a ...

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