Placebo are an English rock band best known for their raw, punky guitar rifts and androgynous look.
The band was formed in London in 1994 by vocalist–guitarist Brian Molko and bassist–guitarist Stefan Olsdal. They were initially called Ashtray Heart and took their musical influences from bands like Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins. Drummer Robert Schultzberg briefly joined the group but left in 1996 after internal conflicts, and was replaced the same year by Steve Hewitt.
They released their eponympus debut album in 1997 which gained popularity, after the release of their single Nancy Boy. Placebo stood out amongst the Britpop scene they were associated with due to their alternative musical content and lyrics which openly discussed sexuality and drug use.
Steve Hewitt left Placebo in 2007. He was replaced the following year by Steve Forrest who stayed with the band for eight years. Since 2015, Placebo perform as a duo with additional live musicians.
The band have had various collaborations across the years including working with David Bowie & Michael Stipe. This has yielded considerable commercial success and the band have sold 11 million records worldwide.