Shirley Manson is a rock goddess, a grunge icon, and a one-time TV Terminator vixen. Now the 45-year-old singer is back with Garbage for their first new album in seven years. Ellen Carpenter interviewed Manson while on the road with the band in Austin, Texas.
On Being an Adult in an Industry Full of Teen Sensations:
I used to torture myself because I thought I wasn’t pretty enough, that I wasn’t young enough, I wasn’t this or that enough. Now I’m like, fuck it… I love youth culture, but I also want some wisdom and I want some experience and I want some knowledge. I think we put far too much responsibility on young people’s shoulders.
On Why Garbage Took a Break in 2005:
I felt that we had worn out our welcome as a band. We had enjoyed such a zeitgeist moment as with our first two records — people were excited by us — and then the music scene shifted so completely. Garage bands like The Strokes and The White Stripes came in and put us out of business, for lack of a better term. And I knew it: Oof, we are fucked. And I don’t think we were quick enough to adapt. I just didn’t know how to fix it. Nobody in the band did. We’d been on the road for so long in our little microcosm, and we had no idea what was happening in the rest of the world, and I think that affects your ability to be an effective artist.
On Becoming «Normal» After Fame:
For a decade I’d walk into a room, and I’d feel the temperature change — and you sort of get used to that, which I don’t think is good for you as a human being at all. But it’s like being a junkie: You have to be weaned off it. I went totally cold turkey. And there were a lot of tears and a lot of feelings lost and not being sure what to do about it.
On the Name of their New Album, Not Your Kind of People:
It felt almost like a war cry in a sense, because I think we have always felt like the oddball outsiders. But we inverted that idea this time around: Yes, we are outsiders, we are oddballs. Come join us if you feel the same way. We just sort of turned our gaze outward, and that was empowering for us.
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