For a band named after a stinking pile of compost Garbage seem to have done rather well for themselves. A bit grungy with a pop edge and a Scots-American composition, Garbage were one of the bands that gave the Nineties its distinctive sound.
They have had something of a revival in recent years and appear to be a hot-ish commodity again.
Garbage were formed in Madison, Wisconsin in 1994. American musicians Duke Erikson (bass, guitar, keyboards, percussion), Steve Marker (guitar, keyboards) and Butch Vig (drums, percussion) auditioned for a woman to front the band and settled on Shirley Manson, a fiery Scottish redhead who says fuck a lot.
I first heard Garbage through Stupid Girl, during the nineties but people were too fixated on Blur and Oasis back then to give Garbage much attention.
Looking back there were rather a lot of good tracks such as Milk, Special and You Look so Fine. You can still sometimes hear Garbage today in places like malls in America so they clearly have some staying power.
In a March 2012 interview with Vanity Fair Manson suggests bands and artists are so abysmally pants these days - my words not hers - because everyone is scared post 9/11. I don't know if this is the reason or if I'm just dismissive about new stuff because I'm old, but it sounds like an interesting theory.
"It’s a post-September 11 thing, where we have been living essentially in wartime. People are fearful and are unable to articulate their fear, so it’s buried under the carpet. I think that’s one of the reasons why we’ve had a proliferation of happy pop music, to buoy one’s spirits and make everyone feel safe," she said.
Or maybe it's because someone let Simon Cowell rule the world.
In another exert from the Vanity Fair interview Manson says: "Now everything has fallen back down a little, and it’s almost like the Mad Men era, where women are supposed to be perfect. They can do their job, but they have to have children and they have to be good moms and they have to look pretty at all times and they have to be always smiling and it must be fucking exhausting."
Manson, who has also been cast in some acting roles seems to have a rather pragmatic view of the world. Still you are unlikely to get carried away with yourself if you spend half of the time half freezing to death in Scotland and the other half of the time in chilly Madison, Wisconsin.
Curious fact about Garbage - Manson described her first session with the other band members as a "disaster" and said both herself and the other band members were "totally uncomfortable" with the situation.