Garbage tosses negative influences
It's been seven years since techno-pop-rock band Garbage followed an album - 2005's Bleed Like Me - with a self-appointed hiatus.
Scottish lead singer Shirley Manson says the group - who recently regrouped for the disc, Not Your Kind of People - had to pack it in because of too much "negative s--."
"I think we lost our joy. I think it began to feel wrong that we were walking out on stage, having great shows, enjoying them, and then coming off stage and immediately sort of falling into despondency," she says, laughing.
"It just was never enough for the record label. I mean literally I remember the first week our last record came out, we went to number four on the American charts, which is was unbelievably exciting for us and we were celebrating backstage the night our record came out and there was a bunch of record company execs sitting around our dressing room after the show with faces like these (frowns) saying you know, 'You shouldn't get so excited. This means nothing.' It was like, 'We're not getting played on the radio, you're f--ed.' So I think we were just like, 'You know what? We're going home. And getting rid of all that negative s--t."
During the break, Manson attempted to record a solo album, which was shelved, and had a better time acting in the TV series Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.
"I just thought naively, 'If I just go and make a record on my own terms outside of Garbage, I don't need to make a record that needs to get on radio.' And I took it to the record label and they just said, 'We feel like you should have an international successful pop career.' And it wasn't something I wanted. And I don't think they could understand that someone didn't want to the biggest pop star in the world and sing nursery rhymes for a living."
Now Garbage, rounded out by guitarists-keyboardists Duke Erikson, Steve Marker and drummer-noted producer Butch Vig have returned with an album that was self-financed and self-released on their own label (distributed by Universal in Canada).
"We always felt sort of (like) weirdos, outsiders," says the 43-year-old Manson, who married Not your Kind of People mixer/engineer Billy Bush in 2010 after divorcing Scottish artist Eddie Farrell in 2003.
"We were always older than everybody else. We were always weirder looking than everybody else. We made music like no other band, literally, in the world and I think we always felt like somehow we were failing as a result of that. I think maybe everybody thought we were completely replaceable and I think maybe the music scene was a bit surprised that we weren't sort of taken over by a younger, faster band. I think we got into a bit of a diffident sort of head space where we kept on being told, 'We weren't good enough.' But you know what? We were."