Shirley Manson: Garbage sounds like Garbage and always will

By Zaki JufriEvents - 18 August 2012 7:00 PM

Shirley Manson: Garbage sounds like Garbage and always will

In the music world, seven years is an eternity. For bands, that’s like a death sentence.

But a simple twist of fate (ok; not that simple: a short-lived acting career, abortive solo project, settling of differences) was what got alt-rock band Garbage back together again and a new record is the end result.

Garbage released their fifth studio album ‘Not Your Kind Of People’ on 14 May 2012, and it seems they have gotten their groove back; releasing a record that’s classic Garbage – guitar-driven rock filled with industrial melancholia that’s topped with frontwoman’s Shirley Manson vocal melodrama.

The band burst into the scene back in the mid-90s and was known for hits ‘Only Happy When It Rains,’ ‘Stupid Girl,’ ‘I think I’m Paranoid.’ It was nominated for two Grammy Awards in 1998 and it also co-produced the theme song for ‘The World Is Not Enough’.

The band will be performing in Singapore on 21 August 2012 at Fort Canning Park to promote their new album and got the chance to speak to singer Shirley Manson before the gig.

You guys have released five albums as a band, which would you say is your favourite?

My favourite album would be ‘Not Your Kind Of People’ because it is our most current release and therefore still very fresh and exciting to me. We are very proud of this record and look forward to playing some of the new songs for our fans in Singapore.

In a word, how would you describe the band’s latest album?

Passionate; because it takes so much passion for a band that has been inactive for seven years to create momentum and excitement again.

Garbage – ‘Blood For Poppies’

What is the inspiration behind most of your music?  

The urgent need to make contact, to listen and to be heard.

Mainstream music these days has shifted to the electro/house scene, what do you think of that?

I don't know if I agree with that statement. I WISH that the electro/house scene was played on mainstream radio more often. All I ever seem to see in the charts these days is POP music.  The biggest artists in the world today tend to be the pop singers. I would prefer to see a more eclectic mix of music played on radio but that doesn't seem to happen anymore.

Will Garbage ever explore other genres?

Garbage sounds like Garbage and always will. We have our own sound and it is unique. Nobody else sounds like us. We are proud that we have our own signature sound. We have always played with elements of electronica, hip hop beats, strings, guitars, etc and STILL sound like ourselves. 

Given the choice of any artiste, living or dead, who would the band most like to collaborate with.

David Bowie, Noel Coward, Maria Callas, The Beatles. 

During the band’s hiatus, you worked on a solo project, how was that like?

It was a fascinating experience and one I will be eternally grateful for. I got to work with some amazing artists and I discovered and learned so much about myself, about art and about music.

Garbage – ‘Androgyny’

How was it like working in ‘Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles’?

It was one of the most fun things I've ever done in my life! I LOVED every single second of it.

Do you see yourself going back to acting?  

Definitely. I have been studying acting with an amazing teacher in Los Angeles called Sharon Chatten for over two years at this point. She has been such an inspiring force in my life and she continues to be. However I am entirely devoted to Garbage right now and intend to be well into next year. My band is the love of my life so I will always give it precedence over anything else.

You’ve done quite a lot of charity work, like the M•A•C AIDS Fund and helping out with cancer treatment institutions, is there anything that you’re involved in currently?

There are always going to be causes and charities that I like to get involved in. I believe the greatest thing you can do with your own life is help make a better one for someone less fortunate than yourself. However generally speaking, unless invited to do so by the charity itself, I like to do these things privately as I don't believe good deeds should be self-serving and ever be bragged about. 

Garbage performs in Singapore on 21 August at Fort Canning Park. Tickets $98-250 available from Sistic