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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 40)
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][2]


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 is currently working as producer, arranger, musician and mixer on Lantana's new LP.[3]


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[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: Currently working as producer, arranger, musician and mixer on Lantana's new LP.[4]
  • 2013: El Encanto (EP) by Lantana: Musician and mixer.[5]
  • 2013: La noche de los muertos vivientes (Single) by Lantana: Producer, musician, mixing and mastering.[6]
  • 2007: Siempre - Hotel Persona (Remix) by Lantana: Remixer.[7]


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.


  1. ^ Stefan Olsdal of Placebo, Angelfire.com, accessed 2010-05-18
  2. ^ Stefan Olsdal, First Act, accessed 2010-05-18
  3. ^ "Lantana's Official Website in English url = http://en.lantaname.com". 
  4. ^ "Lantana's Official Website in English url = http://en.lantaname.com". 
  5. ^ "MusicBrainz.org Database". 
  6. ^ "Lantana's Bandcamp". Lantana's Bandcamp. 
  7. ^ "Lantana's Bandcamp". Lantana's Bandcamp. 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stefan_Olsdal — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.

152 news items


Thu, 28 Aug 2014 20:17:01 -0700

Placebo joins us this fall at the soon to reopen Masonic. The band formed in 1994 under the name Ashtray Heart when vocalist and guitarist Brian Molko and bass guitarist Stefan Olsdal met at a train station in England. Molko invited Olsdal to watch his ...
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 21:06:32 -0700

Debuttano nel 1994, Brian Molko (voce e chitarra) e Steve Hewitt (batteria) e incontrano per caso il bassista Stefan Olsdal. Il gruppo mostra fin dagli esordi un gusto alternative-rock, in cui l'eredità punk avvicina arpeggi dolci da ballata, e insieme ...


Thu, 21 Aug 2014 07:15:00 -0700

Auf der Bühne sind Placebo, die eigentlich mit Frontmann und Gitarrist Brian Molko, Bassist Stefan Olsdal und Schlagzeuger Steve Forrest ein Trio sind, inzwischen zu siebt. Das macht den Sound logischerweise satter, doch man hat die Londoner schon ...
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