Alternative rock band Garbage is coming to the S.B. Bowl on Friday, July 7, making it the second stop on their North American Rage and Rapture Tour, co-headlined by Blondie and joined by special guests John Doe & Exene Cervenka.
Garbage started as a collaborative experiment between Duke Erikson and Butch Vig, both working as full-time producers throughout the ’80s and early ’90s. After adding dynamic lead vocalist Shirley Manson and lead guitarist Steve Marker to the band, Erikson and Vig left producing and the newly formed Garbage released its first self-titled record in 1995. “We’re like these geeky nerds who just sort of hang out. It feels like a family: three brothers and a younger sister,” said Vig, who plays drums. “We tend to make fun of ourselves a lot and have this dynamic about us. And even though we’ve had our rocky moments, our closeness has kept us together for 20-plus years.”
Today, Garbage has six full-length albums under its belt, including the most recent, 2016’s Strange Little Birds. Although the band did a worldwide Strange Little Birds Tour last year, they have a lot more in store for the Rage and Rapture Tour. “On last year’s tour, we found ourselves playing most of the Strange Little Birds album,” said Vig. “This time around, we’re going to be playing songs dating back to our first release. We’re even tinkering with old songs so they’re still fresh and keep our brains interested.”
While defined as alternative rock, Garbage is known for bending — and breaking — the rules of its relegated category. “For better or worse, we’ve always taken different genres and styles and incorporated them together. We’ll use fuzzy guitars, orchestral instrumentation, hip-hop beats — sometimes all in the same song,” said Vig, adding that they are able to experiment with such diversity because of frontwoman, Shirley Manson. “Shirley is really the MVP of the band. She keeps us all reined in. No matter how much we vary in style, her vocal talent and lyricism keeps it all in check.”
Garbage has had a whirlwind year: The band released a new single this month titled “No Horses”; it is halfway through a new album, set to release in 2018; and its autobiographical book, This Is the Noise that Keeps Me Awake, hit the shelves July 4. The book, complete with personal photographs and various historical anecdotes about the band, provides an intimate look into the lives of Garbage members.
When asked what to expect from the upcoming performance, Vig was adamant that it’s truly a spectacle to behold. “It’s cool that we get to go out and play with Blondie because they are a very iconic band from the ’80s, and I’d like to think that Garbage is an iconic band from the ’90s, and we both have very strong female singers. Shirley is good friends with Debbie Harry from Blondie, and you don’t see a lot of strong female vocalists coming out and just rocking out. We hope to go out there and play a kickass show.”