Rejuvenated Garbage Finds Harmony in Recording New Album

'We're not gonna work with people who suck anymore,' says Butch Vig

October 19, 2011 3:15 PM ET
shirley manson garbage australia
Shirley Manson performs with Garbage in Australia.
David Teuma/Getty Images

Maybe it's the fact that during the six years since Garbage's last album, the highly underrated Bleed Like Me, Butch Vig has been spending a lot of time just being a father, but he boils down the band's new philosophy to something even a young child can understand: "We're not gonna work with people who suck anymore," he tells Rolling Stone.

Told of the new creed in a separate interview, frontwoman Shirley Manson cracks up. "Butch said that?" she asks. "That's so funny." The catalyst behind this, according to Manson, is very familar – the messed-up music industry.

"We got dumped on a label who did not give one flying fuck about us," she says. "And it just became a very joyless process. Something that should be really incredible, exciting and adventurous became like a noose around our neck. And we sort of turned in on each other as a result, I think."

Once the quartet was free of industry shackles, they were able to get back to making music. "We got together with no agenda other than to just jam a little bit, fuck around and see what we came up with and it was inspiring," Vig says. "With nobody putting any pressure on us, the songwriting started to happen really quickly."

The result of that initial jam session is a yet untitled album, due in March or April of 2012, according to Vig, with a single out possibly by the end of this year. "I think you can hear some energy and a vibe in the tracks that sounds refreshing," he says, "a little bit more to me like the first two records."

The record, by all accounts, is unmistakably Garbage. "Yeah, definitely it sounds like us for sure," Manson says, "and everybody has responded that way."

"Somehow we have a collective sound. When we spin the ideas through the four of our brains it comes out and it's kind of a thing that's identifiable," Vig says. "That sounds like Garbage, for better or for worse."

Having had some time away from the music world, Manson has developed a deep appreciation for the bands place in rock history. "We’ve come to realize what we do is unique, and that's precious for us," she says. "And it feels good. To be unique is to be irreplaceable and that feels really amazing."

Jon Stewart Talks Nirvana With Krist Novoselic, Dave Grohl and Butch Vig

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