Quick Chat: Shirley Manson of Garbage

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Garbage launches its own label, Stunvolume, headed by singer Shirley Manson

This post has been corrected. See below for details.


When Garbage went on hiatus seven years ago, singer Shirley Manson made a solo album and tried her hand at acting in the final season of “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.” Now she’s now taken on a new role — that of label head.

The band announced recently that, after parting ways with Geffen, it’s launching its own label, Stunvolume, and will release Garbage’s fifth album, “Not Your Kind of People”, on the label this spring (they’re in the studio recording now). Manson, the searing voice behind such hits as “Stupid Girl” and “Only Happy When It Rains,” talked with Pop & Hiss about love, liberation and the vicious game that is the music industry.

Releasing an album on your own label: scary or liberating?

Free at last! Free at last!! Collectively and individually for that matter, we probably have more experience making records and releasing them than 99% of people working at labels these days. Nor do we have anyone to answer to other than ourselves. People at record companies live in fear of being wrong. Music cannot thrive in that environment. It is an unruly art form. You can’t keep treating it like sausage meat. You have to let it morph and move and breathe. So are we scared? Not a jot.

Garbage has been on hiatus, so what was it like going back into the studio after so much time off?

Like rolling down a steep hill tucked inside a rubber tire. A tad claustrophobic, exhilarating and a little terrifying.


What’s your favorite lyric on the record?

“I hate love.”

So are you still working on your solo album as well?

My solo album is dead and buried. We had the funeral. It was sad and I cried a lot but it made such a beautiful corpse that we had an open casket.

Do you plan taking on any more acting roles, or is music where you want to focus?

I plan on doing as much in my life as I possibly can. I am greedy, and most importantly, game for what’s next.

You still stand out as one of the coolest women in pop. Think Gaga is nervous you’re back?


I refuse to step inside the ring and fight like a gladiator against my own. I’m not playing that game. Any woman who has survived a year or more of making music has my undying respect. It is a hard and vicious game and only the strongest and smartest survive.

[For the record: 11:41 a.m. Jan. 31: An earlier version of this post incorrectly gave the song title “Only Happy When It Rains” as “I Only Like It When It Rains.” In addition, the photo credit misspelled the first name of photographer Autumn de Wilde as Autum.]


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-- Lorraine Ali