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Shirley Manson Talks Through Garbage’s Discography

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 25: Singer Shirley Manson arrives at PETA's 30th Anniversary Gala and Humanitarian Awards at The Hollywood Palladium on September 25, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

Listen to SPIN’s premiere of Garbage’s May 14 album Not Your Kind of People here now! Plus read Shirley Manson’s SPIN Interview.

Almo Sounds
I can remember Butch slicing and splicing like a crazy man with bits of tape hanging off every surface of the studio. We had no idea the record was going to become this cultural zeitgeist. We put “Vow” out on a little CD sampler magazine, and before we knew it, we were getting played on the radio from Sydney to Seattle and everywhere in between. It was a such a headfuck. In a good way.

Version 2.0
Almo Sounds
We were under so much pressure, but we knew we had to try something new. We’d all become obsessed with the breakthroughs in those early years of the technological revolution, we were determined to bring this new thinking to the fore. Of all our past records, this is the one I have the deepest affection for — we had so much fun making and promoting it. Really, a magical time in my life.

Beautiful Garbage
This record has long been dismissed as the weak link in our discography, but we feel differently. We were in love with hip-hop artists and how they approached record making. We wanted to try things that weren’t supposed to be within our grasp as a “rock” band. On the day we were meant to start promoting it, September 11 happened, and that, as they say, was that.

Bleed Like Me
The making of this record was very sad for me. Being the only girl in a gang of four can get pretty lonely. We were all struggling to find our chemistry together, and as a result, the experience of making and promoting this was tense and unenjoyable. Ironically, our shows were selling out every night. But after a while, we decided that we needed to go home to lick our wounds.

Absolute Garbage
This was the final straw that broke our backs. The record company we had been sold to in the U.K. demanded that we release a “greatest hits” in order to meet their quarterly requirements. We were not in a position to stop it. As a result, they shoved this collection out with no promotion whatsoever. It was right there and then that we realized how crazy and out of whack things had gotten.

Not Your Kind of People
“Somebody told me It’s hard to talk about something that’s so brand new. It’s like when you first start dating someone…you just don’t want to jinx the thing by talking out loud about it. Suffice to say, I loved the experience of making it. It was the first time being in the studio that I didn’t feel intimidated or stymied. For the most part, I felt playful and free.”