"My coping mechanisms for a long time were alcohol and drugs." Placebo announce new documentary This Search For Meaning, featuring interviews with Robbie Williams, Garbage's Shirley Manson, Idles, Yungblud and more

(Image credit: Mads Perch)

Placebo will release a full-length documentary, This Search For Meaning, in Septmber.

The film, directed by BAFTA-winning Scottish film-maker Oscar Sansom, who worked on Biffy Clyro's A Celebration of Endings livestream, as well as directing videos for Royal Blood, Creeper, Chvrches and more, will "chart the band’s ongoing impact and legacy through a visual meditation on contemporary themes such as surveillance, culture and scrutiny, sexuality and gender identity, addiction and trauma as well as the climate crisis", according to a press statement.

The film’s narrative is structured around performances of songs from the band's 2022 album Never Let Me Go intercut with new interviews with founding members Brian Molko and Stefan Olsdal, archive footage, and exclusive, never-before-seen, material that spans across their entire career.

The press release states: "This intimate and enlightening film explores the ideas that inhabit the lyrics and subject matter of Placebo’s songs, whilst charting their evolution as a group and as human beings. It is a fearless, truthful and forthright exploration of the creative process and the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle, along with its inevitable consequences... Placebo seemed to be asking the questions no one else dared to, then dared the individual to find their own answers."

This Search For Meaning will also feature interview content from Garbage's Shirley Manson, pop superstar Robbie Williams, Yungblud, Self Esteem, Idles' frontman Joe Talbot and more.

A short teaser for the film, during which Brian Molko admits "My coping mechanisms for a long time were alcohol and drugs", can be viewed below:

Watch On

"This Search for Meaning glimpses the band in a way that I do not believe they have been seen before," Oscar Sansom tells Deadline. "Brian and Stefan’s trust and bravery in embracing my, at times unconventional, approach in making the film has allowed an intimacy and honesty that I find truly courageous and striking. Their openness has, in turn, been mirrored by the other individuals who have added their voices to the project. 

"This Search for Meaning continues a conversation that Brian and Stefan began back in 1994 when they first formed Placebo. My hope is that this film not only offers a small window into this incredible band and the boundary breaking work they have been producing over the past three decades but that it also functions as an invitation for audiences to become a part of that conversation."

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.