A Chat With Garbage at Showboat AC

Last updated: May 30, 2012 at 6:03 pm. Posted by in Uncategorized. No Comments on A Chat With Garbage at Showboat AC.

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Hey, so not only are the prayer rooms at The Foundation Room at Showboat Atlantic City good for prayer, but also interviewing awesome bands like Garbage, which we did a couple minutes before their incredible show at House Of Blues this past weekend. In between “that’s what she said” jokes (totally serious), Shirley Manson, Butch Vig, Duke Erikson, and Steve Marker provided some fantastic answers to our thought provoking questions.


TAC: Your first album in seven years, Not Your Kind Of People, was just released on May 15th. How did you choose the first single?

Shirley Manson: We just thought that song was a good representation of who we are as a band and where we were coming from. You have to pick a single which is sort of annoying when you’re a band, but that’s just the way the world is. So that is the song that we felt was a good lead off. But we worked hard on this record to make sure every song sounded really good and could be a single if somebody chose to spin it.

TAC: Are you happy with how the album has been received so far? What kind of response were you expecting going in?

Steve Marker: We didn’t know what to expect when we were making the album.

Duke Erikson: Crickets.

Steve Marker: We’ve been away for awhile, things change in the world and we didn’t know if there was gonna be a fanbase left for us when we came back. It’s been amazing to find out that there are a lot of people that want to see us play still and they’ve been turning up for the shows. The shows have been great; they’ve been selling out and the kids are really excited. Some of them are really young and we figured that they couldn’t have been fans when our first record came out cause they were too young, so that’s really exciting too for us.

TAC: The new album also seems to stem from so many diverse musical interests. That being said, what kind of music fans do you think make up your fanbase?

Duke Erikson: We thought that it would be old-age shows that we did, but as it turns out it’s kind of all-ages. We’re pleasantly surprised. All sorts of people are showing up. People are age that manage to stay up that long and it’s been exciting. Like Steve said, it’s very heartening to see that there are kids showing up at our show that weren’t possibly old enough to know our first record, unless maybe their parents are playing it to them in their cribs or something.

Shirley Manson: It’s a very eclectic crowd we have and it’s something, actually that we’re pretty proud of is that we don’t have one set scene that comes and sees Garbage shows. Literally it’ s just bizarre. We talk about this every night we come off stage and are like can you believe the crowd tonight? It’s just this bizarre collection of odd balls. Much like us. Weirdos, odd balls…

Duke Erikson: The crowd reflects much of how the band is. A bunch of odd balls and weirdos…misfits…

Butch Vig: It’s not a cool kids club.

TAC: It’s been awhile since you’ve been to New Jersey! What do you remember about playing in Jersey from previous tours?

Steve Marker: One of the top has to be Snoasis. It was on a ski hill in New Jersey in the middle of winter. There was snow, people snowboarding and stuff, and us, trying to play songs, trying to play guitar in below zero weather.

Duke Erikson: Trying to play the guitar with frost bite.

Butch Vig: It was a really bizarre gig.

Steve Marker: They were throwing snowballs at us.

Shirley Manson: It was called Snoasis because Oasis were headlining it, but it turned out to be noasis because they refused to play in such temperatures. So we were the ones that had to pick up the slack. So that’s how it ran. And actually the last time I was in Atlantic City I had the great privilege of playing here with Chrissie Hynde, Incubus, Kings Of Leon, Iggy Pop…I might have had my wildest rock and roll night of my entire life here in Atlantic City that night. It was wild. Nobody went to bed. It was mad. It was like a dream. I met Nathan from Kings Of Leon a couple of months ago and he said “God, do you remember that night in Atlantic City? That was one of the best nights of my life!” It’s a wild city.

Duke Erikson: They had managed to build the stage above snow level so we weren’t standing in snow…

TAC: What have you missed most about playing live?

Duke Erikson: Just the crowds, really. The give and take between the band and the crowd. That’s a boring answer, but it’s really what you live for at the end of the day and it’s really the only thing you have to look forward to. And if you have a day off you get to walk around the city, maybe. Walking on the beach today was awesome, but usually you don’t have a chance to do that. You’re either doing this kind of thing, or you’re trying to get some sleep, or traveling in an airport. So it’s the hour and a half you’re on stage, that’s it.

TAC: In this Billboard article, Shirley referenced about not knowing “how long everyone will have the stomach for the road.” How are you all doing so far?

Shirley Manson: It’s been great so far.

Butch Vig: I think when we started looking at playing shows, we realized we had to somehow keep a balance. Because in the past when we did records, we would do long tours, like eighteen months, and we would be completely fried. And I think in order to sustain enthusiasm, you have to be able to stay sane, so you have to be able to have some breaks here and there where everyone can just sort of chill and get your family life back, or just rest. But we were at such a long break, 7 years, that it’s all still kind of fresh to us again. I think just the last couple shows, we’re really starting to gel playing live and I think we’re playing almost as good as we’ve ever played as a band. I think we’re all pretty focused right now. If we could stay healthy and sane, the tour could go on for a while which we’re keeping our fingers crossed for.

Duke Erikson: Consider that a warning.

TAC: How do you like being in control of your own label now? Are there any drawbacks?

Shirley Manson: I think we feel good about the decision. It’s a bit heavy because obviously we finance everything, so that’s a bit stressful. But aside from that, I think we’re all enjoying it simply because we don’t really have to deal with anyone else’s opinions. When you’re on a record label you do have to deal with personnel. They come visiting and tell you how they feel what you should write next or how your show was that night. You can come off after a show having had the time of your life and someone from the record company will come down and say “Oh, that was kind of sucky tonight, you looked a little tired,” and your whole bubble is burst. You’re like oh, thanks. So we don’t have to deal with any of that anymore which is wonderful.

Duke Erikson: We kind of felt on this record that we were unencumbered by all the corporate bullshit and we didn’t have to worry about comments like Shirley’s talking about, like questioning what we’re doing. We do enough of that ourselves, so it’s very liberating.

TAC: You guys also just broke the top 20 on your own label. Do you think it has a lot to do with social media? Back in the 90s we had none of this.

Butch Vig: Yeah, absolutely.

Shirley Manson: See, I don’t know if it does help in a funny way. Yes and no. Because for all the help it gives you, it also creates just an infinite sea of music of unparalleled noise out there in the media. So there’s a new band and a new song every day, multiple times a day, and that’s difficult to cut through as a band, I think.

Duke Erikson: Well we were lucky because we already had a fanbase. I feel sorry for a band who’s just starting from scratch and having to dive into that sea she’s talking about because you’re one of billions of fish in that sea trying to get attention. We’d already got some attention so we were slightly ahead of the game. We’re still trying to understand it. Well I am at least, but we’ve surrounded ourselves with people that do understand. Steve understands.

 TAC: What can your fans coming to see you at House Of Blues expect from your show?

Duke Erikson

Duke Erikson at The House Of Blues in Atlantic City, NJ - 5/25/12

Shirley Manson

Shirley Manson at The House Of Blues in Atlantic City, NJ - 5/25/12


Shirley Manson: Full nudity.

Butch Vig: Full frontal nudity.

(Side Note: We totally inserted a “That’s What She Said” here, but no one heard. Sigh. Shirley – 1, Steve – 1 , TAC – 0)

Butch Vig: It’s an X-rated show.  Lasers. Pyrotechnics. Sword swallowers.

Duke Erikson: Flames.

Shirley Manson: Levitation.

Duke Erikson: The slitting of eyeballs.

Steve Marker: Do we have a magician tonight?

Duke Erikson: There’s magic every night.

Steve Marker: There’s definitely songs from all of our 5 albums. We haven’t skipped any of the big ones. We’re lucky that we have so many to pull songs off of. Some of them are a little more obscure than others and some of them are the hits that you know and love.


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About The Author

A music junkie and pop culture nerd, Jackie has been storytelling and producing exclusive content through various forms of media since she was a teenager running online fan clubs on Yahoo Groups. Remember those? A Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from Ithaca College took her to the City of Angels where she scored bylines in The Hollywood Reporter and dabbled in music PR. An East Coast girl at heart, she circled back to her home state of New Jersey where she penned Caesars Entertainment Atlantic City’s Atlantic City Blog and hasn’t looked back since.

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