Garbage’s Shirley Manson excited about band’s victory ‘lap of honor’ on Noel Gallagher tour

Garbage is currently touring in support of its 2021 album “No Gods No Masters,” which Manson says was “much more political than we have ever been and probably ever will be again.”

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From left to right, Steve Marker, Duke Erikson, Shirley Manson and Butch Vig. Photo credit: Brian Ziff.

Garbage features Steve Marker (from left), Duke Erikson, Shirley Manson and Butch Vig.

For Garbage singer Shirley Manson, touring with former Oasis member Noel Gallagher and his current band, the High Flying Birds, makes perfect sense. In addition to playing major roles in shaping alternative rock, both bands’ paths to success are interwoven from way back.

“Noel Gallagher and Garbage go back a long way,” Manson said during a recent interview. “We all started playing out on these big American radio festivals back in the ’90s.”

Gallagher was one of her earliest supporters, Manson said. When they first met, it was during ’90s Brit pop, which didn’t always have a “very friendly atmosphere to women,” she said. But Gallagher encouraged her to keep singing.

Garbage preview

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds & Garbage

Special guest: Metric

When: 7 p.m. June 27

Where: Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island, 1300 S. Linn White Drive, Chicago, Illinois, 60605

Tickets: $51 - $256


“Noel doesn’t remember this, but we met a long time ago, and he was so cool to me that I’ve always had nothing but love for him,” she said. “He has a special place in my heart, so I’m excited to go out [to tour] with him. He’s one of Britain’s premier songwriters.”

It also makes sense to return to play Chicago, a city extremely familiar to both artists. For Garbage, it was a short drive from their hometown of Madison, Wisconsin. Manson’s favorite memory was pre-Garbage, when the others asked her to join the band.

“My previous band was playing at Metro in Chicago, and they came to see me play there, and that’s where my whole career kicked off,” she recalled.

“Being that we’re a Madison-based band at the time, Chicago was the first premier city that we visited to play,” she continued. “It’s a great city and we’re excited to play [there].”

The band is touring to support its 2021 album, “No Gods No Masters,” which Manson said was “much more political than we have ever been and probably ever will be again.”

“We had gotten to the point where we really couldn’t keep our opinions to ourselves any much longer,” she said. “I think we felt that so many things were under threat, that we really had to just get some things out on record, which we did, and it felt so good to do so.”

When she sings these songs live, they “always get a quite surprisingly strong reaction from the crowd, which is always a really great sign.”

“In the middle of ‘The Men Who Rule the World,’ the audience would cheer whenever I got to a certain line,” she said. “You can’t ask for a better reaction than that when people actually participate in the show, that you’ve struck a chord with an audience.”

After touring last fall with Alanis Morissette, the band got back into the studio to start jamming on some new material. They’re looking forward to working on that new music later this year and releasing it at some point.

“It’s difficult to see what a record’s going to be like until you finished it,” Manson said. “With Garbage, songs can take wild turns in the studio process. So, it starts off as one thing and can end up as another. … We do try and make sure that every record that we ever put out is different from the previous one as a matter of pride and arrogance.”

Manson is thankful for all the enthusiastic support it’s received from fans the last three decades. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the band’s sophomore album “Version 2.0,” a fact that astounded Manson (“I’m ashamed to say I didn’t even know that it was our 25th anniversary. I mean, It’s a startling fact,” she said) and reminded her to include some of the album’s songs in its sets.

“Just to endure the music industry for this long is a spectacular triumph for any band. I don’t think we take that lightly,” she said. “We’ve worked really hard. We’ve played and played and played, and we’re now really confident that we’re a pretty good live band.”

“But we do realize that we’re one of the few survivors from our generation, and we don’t take that lightly,” said Manson. “That’s an insane privilege as a musician to be able to play this long, to make records for this long. It’s extraordinary. The same goes for Noel Gallagher. He’s been around a long time. So I think this will be a little bit of a lap of honor for both bands.”

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