||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (May 2010)|
|Birth name||Stefan Alexander Bo Olsdal|
31 March 1974 |
|Genres||Alternative rock, electronic music|
|Instruments||Bass guitar, guitar, piano, keyboards, double bass, organ, Omnichord, xylophone, drums, cimbalom, dulcimer[disambiguation needed], vocals|
|Labels||EMI, Virgin Records, PIAS (current), Hut Records, Caroline Records|
|Associated acts||Placebo, Hotel Persona, Hotel Persona DJs, SPAM|
Stefan Alexander Bo Olsdal (born 31 March 1974, Göteborg, Sweden) is the bassist/guitarist of the alternative rock band Placebo and is part of the electronic dance/DJ and remix act Hotel Persona.
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 (artist) and produced two of the songs of the album, also playing some of the synthesizers, programming, bass and guitars.
Olsdal met Molko by chance outside South Kensington tube station. 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 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 (artist)
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", "Centerfolds" and most acoustic performances he uses 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. Recently, he is seen playing an olympic white Fender Jaguar Bass, in the "For What It's Worth" video, and is seen playing a white Rickenbacker bass in live performance on television programs. Today he is 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 plays 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.
Olsdal contributes backing vocals sparingly in Placebo's live performances and recordings as well as lead and backup vocals on most Hotel Persona tracks.