Shirley Manson celebrates return of Garbage

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[May 25, 2012]  LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Shirley Manson still remembers the words of wisdom Bono gave her about keeping a band intact for the long haul.

"Split the money. You have to split the songwriting so everyone is equal. (And) don't buy houses, so that you don't get consumed with decorating," he told her.

That might not have been the most coherent advice, but it's worked for Garbage: The rockers are still together, and releasing their first album in seven years this week. Though they went on a hiatus, the band (which includes Steve Marker and Duke Erikson on guitars and keyboards and uber-producer Butch Vig on drums) picks up where they left off with "Not Your Kind of People."

All four share songwriting credits on the project -- showing they're still following Bono's advice.

In a recent interview, Manson talked about what brought them back together, Lana Del Rey and being a frontwoman in rock.

The Associated Press: It's been seven years -- why this album now?

Manson: Enough things had happened to us over the course of the last six to seven years that we were all filled up again -- ready to make music from a proper place of enthusiasm and fun. I know I sound like a simpleton but it's true. When we first sort of broke out, we made music for pure reasons. We really had an amazing run. Then our band grew more successful, and our record company sold us to a major label, who then had major label desires to brand us. When that didn't really work, they just lost all interest in us. As a result, we were floundering on a label that didn't care about us. It was really joyless. It stripped us of all joy.

AP: What is your songwriting process like?

Manson: Any which way, I do write (on my own). I love words. I grew up with a dad who encouraged us to read. So I am pretty well-read. But on this record I wanted to just write when I was together with the band, really keep things in the moment, not get too cerebral about anything, just dig in. I think it's about plugging in sometimes with other human beings, which sometimes can be a challenge, because it's uncomfortable some of the time, you know. I think in our culture right now, we are all very comfortable keeping everything at arm's length, being on a computer, and talking to someone on a screen over here. When you are actually in a room with another person, and you are being forced to connect, that can be uncomfortable. I think it's important.

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AP: How do you feel about new recording artists not being nurtured, and their quick rise to fame?

Manson: A couple things that play nowadays which bother me -- one is record companies and patience in regards to their artists. With Lana Del Rey, who is a perfect example, she was doing out of the box fantastically well. She ignited people's imaginations. The record company put her in a position that they never should have put her in. They put her on "Saturday Night Live." Absolute insanity. For a seasoned performer like myself, that would be stressful. To put a young artist out there who is the figure of the moment is putting her under unnecessary pressure, at a time when she is already doing good enough.

AP: What advice would you give a female rock singer trying to make it?

Manson: I would say figure out what it is that you want to say. When you figure out what it is you want to say, you have to be willing to stand by that. You have to be willing to take a million slaps in the face, and keep standing up.



[Associated Press; By NATALIE ROTMAN]

Natalie Rotman covers entertainment for The Associated Press. Follow her at

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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