From Kerrang, October 3, 1998:

"Have you ever seen me naked?!"

Our plan is simple: get the members of Garbage to ask each other a set of extremely personal questions, then stand back and watch the sparks fly. We will soon discover that Butch Vig likes porn, Steve Marker has many irritating habits, Duke Erikson is gay and Shirley Manson has nice hooters…

Words: Jason Arnopp

Last night, the four members of Garbage drank several vats of lethal alcoholic cocktails. Tonight, they are clustered around a table in a London hotel bar, their skulls playing reluctant host to Lucifer's notoriously raucous orchestra. We have come to ruin their evening.

There are audible groans when Kerrang! Unveils the cunning game we want them to play. Garbage have spent the last four years living together, cooped up like chickens in a recording studio or on a tour bus. We want to find out: (a) how intimately they know each other by this stage and (b) whether any of them can still surprise or even shock the others.
The rules of our game are simple, yet bewitching. Sixty cards are placed face-down on the table. Each one has a different and highly personal question written on it. One member picks a card and chooses another member to answer the poser. The person who answers the question picks the next card. And so on.
"Can it not just work like this - I am Question Master?" offers Shirley Manson.
"No," frowns Butch Vig.
"Sorry," drawls Steve Marker.
"The game hasn't begun and already you're cheating," scolds Duke Erikson.
"I'm not even halfway there yet," Shirley wickedly responds.
And they're off. Shirley starts poorly by discarding the first five questions, dismissing them as "crap" or "too parochial". A storm of protest mercifully forces her to get the hell on with it. Over the next two hours, we will witness frighteningly open discourse on the subject of porn, guns, God, death, drugs, sex, the fiscal generosity of the Scottish and the alleged gayness of one Garbage man…

Shirley: "Duke, this one's for you. What's your biggest fear?"
Duke: "Chemical toilets."
Shirley: "o, that's my line!"
Duke: "Alright, then. Men's chemical toilets."

Duke: "Steve, what's the most frightening film you've ever seen?"
Steve: "As a kid, I thought 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarves' was pretty scary. All these drugged-up little dwarves running around."
Shirley: " 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre' really frightened me. I saw an illegal video copy which made it even more scary…"
Duke: ""When I saw the original 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers', I thought I was going to turn into a pod person."

Steve: "Shirley, what's guaranteed to turn you off?"
Shirley: "Tight black Y-fronts. Being called 'Mummy' during sex turns me off."
Steve: "Has that happened?"
Shirley: "No. But if it did it would really turn me off! Bad breath, too."

Shirley: "Duke. Are all Scottish men tight?"
Duke: "So I understand. I know one of my favourite Scottish people is pretty tight: (mimicking Shirley) 'You shouldn't be spending money on that!'."
Shirley: "It's true. I don't so much watch the pennies as hide them!"

Duke: "Shirley. Do you dislike any of my friends?"
Shirley: "Yes, I do. Next question!"

Shirley: "Oh Butch, this one's perfect for you! Does porn get you going?"
Butch: (To mass laughter) "Well, unlike most bands we don't watch any porn on the bus. Except when Shirley's not there… But no, it doesn't really get me going."
Shirley: "Tell the truth! Or I'll bring up 'Buttman' myself!"
Butch: "Okay. We were given these super lo-fi 'Buttman' films about this guy obsessed with women's butts. It's really hokey. But we stopped watching 'Buttman'…"
Shirley: "…Because I came back into the studio. I have no problem with porn, though. We are a pro-porn band - as long as it's between consenting adults."

Butch: "Steve. Do you own a handgun?"
Steve: "No. We're not a real pro-gun band. My bare fists are enough to ward off al intruders."

Steve: "Duke. Are you over-worked and under-sexed?"
Duke: "No question! The two seem to go together. I don't personally feel under-sexed, but I'm not overworked in the sex department."
Butch: "Have you been getting enough 'action'?"
Duke: "Not at all. And I appreciate this chance to tell you!"

Duke: "Shirley, what was Hammering In My Head all about?"
Shirley: "None of your business. That's a silly question." (Shirley ignores pleas for a proper answer and takes the next card).

Shirley: "This is a brilliant one! Duke, have I ever hurt your feelings?"
Duke: "About once a day."
Butch: "Shirley and Duke are the only ones who seem to fall out. Sometimes they won't talk to each other for a week or two."
Kerrang! How has she hurt your feelings, Duke?
Duke: "Oh, let me count the ways! We take turns. It's a game that's almost as much fun as this one."

At this point, an American strolls up to the table, acting as if Garbage know him. He complains he's been "walking in circles", trying to find this hotel.
"Sorry to hear that," says Shirley with thinly veiled indifference.
"Is it room 312?" he asks.
The band shrug as amiably as possible. Duke returns his attention to the card in his hand.
Duke: "Shirley. Who was that gentleman?"
Shirley: "I have no clue."
Butch: "It's her mystery date!"

Duke: "Butch. What's your favourite joke?"
Butch: "I'm ot much of a joke man. I always f**k up the punchline."
Shirley: "We're not very good at joke-y jokes. We prefer…"
Duke: "Pratfalls. And slapstick."
Steve: "What's brown and sticky? A stick."

Butch: "Shirley. Why do we take so long in the studio?" (Shirley again tries to ignore the question and picks up the next card."
Kerrang! Madam, this is just rudeness. Come on.
Shirley: "I know exactly why we takes so long. Certain members of the band - who shall remain nameless - drink too much beer."
Steve: "Oh, a new theory!"

Shirley: "Butch. What's your biggest regret?"
Steve: "Probably asking you that last question."
Butch: "Not shagging my prom date at high school. She was ready to go, then I decided I wasn't that interested. In hindsight, I should have just shagged her anyway."
Duke: "So your motto is: 'When in doubt, shag'?"

Butch: "Duke! What did you think when you first met me?"
Duke: "Oh jeez. 'What a lovely bloke'. No, I thought, 'He sure doesn't take very good care of his drumkit'. Then, 'This guy drinks too much beer'. God, I'm already regretting every answer I've given! On the under-sexed thing I should've said, 'Yeah, I get laid every night'."

Duke: "Steve. What is your most irritating personal habit?"
Steve: "Acting weird so that Shirley things that I'm really weird, then getting all upset because I don't know why I was weird."
Duke: "What?!"
Steve: "Shirley thinks I'm totally weird and I can't figure out why."
Shirley: "We don't want to go there, do we? Not right now."

Steve: "Butch. Who was your first kiss?"
Butch: "The first major kiss was with this girl called Connor Schultz, in the back of a movie theatre watching 'Doctor Zhivago'."
Steve: "Oh, that's romantic."

Butch: "Duke. What's the one thing about you that would surprise us?"
Duke: "Uh, I'm gay."
Steve: "That's not a surprise."

Duke: "I don't know if I want to ask this question, after just 'confessing' I was gay! Shirley, does my bum look big in this?"
Shirley: "No Duke. You have a very small bottom. It's one of your most attractive body parts."

Shirley: (discarding yet another card) "I'm not asking 'Do you like cake?'! Steven. Who shot Nice Guy Eddie?"
Steve: "Is that a song? Oh, I never saw 'Reservoir Dogs'. Torture and graphic mutilation ain't my bag."
Butch: "Mr. Pink shot him. Steve Buscemi."

Steve: "Shirley. Should Mulder shag Scully?"
Shirley: "Definitely. I wish they'd get it over with. They're both obviously gagging for it. I could then audition to be Gillian Anderson's body double. I'm into David Duchovny big time."

Shirley: (Laughing demonically) "Duke. Have you ever seen me naked, and if so what did you think? Remember, you're going to have to take the consequences of this answer. For ever more."
Duke: "A song came to mind."
Steve: "What song?"
Duke: " 'Is That All There Is'?" (Cue roars of laughter.)
Shirley: "Oh you bastard! Clever, though."
Steve: "You just broke up Garbage."

Duke: "Steve. Would you mind if I wanted to do a solo album?"
Steve: "As long as it's heavy on the guitar leads, I'm all for it."

Steve: "Shirley. What is my most irritating personal habit?… Shit, why did I ask her"
Shirley: "Steven, you have many. However, the most singularly irritating habit of yours is when I know you want to say something but you won't say it. Instead, you'll sort of make sure that we all know there's something you want to say."
Steve: "Well, f**k you!"

Shirley: "Duke. Have you ever wanted to hit me, and if so why?"
Duke: "Is a slap the same as a hit? And how would you define a kick up the arse?!"

Duke: "Butch. Is God male?"
Butch: "God is e-mail."
Shirley: "God's a hermaphrodite."

Butch: "Shirley. Do you believe in the death penalty?"
Shirley: "No, I don't believe taking anybody's life will do any good. And I believe in redemption."
Butch: "Although when Vlad The Impaler hung 20,000 people from sticks, it obviously had some effect on the 200,000 soldiers marching on the castle. But whateer…" (This point is followed by a brief puzzled silence.)

Shirley: "Steve. Should circumcision be legal?"
Steve: "Even you, Shirley, would probably agree it should be legal - even if you don't agree that it's the right thing to do."
Shirley: "If you don't get circumcised, you might get a diseased cock."
Steve: "Exactly. Who want to walk around with a diseased cock?!"

Steve: "Shirley, you owe me big time. Butch. What's the most embarrassing thing that you've done while drunk?"
Butch: "Don't wanna see that in print!"
Duke: "You gotta answer. I've already stuck my foot in my mouth!"
Steve: "That's not our fault."
Butch: "We're gonna break up after this."
Shirley: "It's only me that gets embarrassing when I'm drunk."

Butch: "Shirley. What's the most ridiculous thing you've done onstage?"
Shirley: "I was in a band called Goodbye Mr Mackenzie, who were doing a showcase for various major record labels. Shortly before I went onstage, I nervously ran for a quick pee. For the entire show the band kept shooting me quizzical looks. Once we got offstage, I learnt that I'd tucked my skirt into my knickers. Every time I turned round, people could see my behind."

Shirley: "Duke. Would you iron my underwear?"
Duke: "Absolutely not. Well, maybe if you were pressed for time.

Duke: "Shirley. Could you murder, and if so who?"
Shirley: "I couldn't physically take a life. Killing in self-defence isn't murder - that's survival. The idea of killing someone… the effort involved must be phenomenal. Horrible."

Shirley: "Steve. What's your culinary speciality?"
Butch: "Steve's quite a good chef."
Steve: "Margaritas."
Shirley: "Culinary means food." Steve: "Green eggs and ham."

Shirley: "If there's no more effort going into this game, I'm going upstairs! Right, Duke. When was the last time you did hard drugs?"
Duke: "A long time ago. We don't do hard drugs. There are no addicts among us."

Duke: "Shirley. What's the most unusual thing you've ever received by mail?"
Shirley: "You should ask yourself that question."
Duke: "Okay, Duke, what's the most unusual thing you've ever received in the mail? I have a female stalker who sends these weird love letter, every two weeks. They're very bizarre."
Shirley: "And because you answered that question, you have to ask the next one!"

Duke: "Steve. What qualities do you look for in a friend?"
Steve: "A happy outlook on life."
(Butch pretends to retch)

Steve: "Duke. What's the worst job you've ever had?"
Duke: "Right now, it's this one. As a matter of fact, I quit!"

Duke: "Shirley. What do you like most about me?"
Shirley: "You're really good at finger massages. And I like your car."
Duke: "Thank you so much. This is just gonna be humiliating.

Shirley: "Steve. What's your idea of bliss?"
Steve: "Just spending time with you guys."
Duke: "God. Shall we just all do a shot from the bar?"
Shirley: "We probably should've got drunk before we did this. We're too uptight."

Steve: "Shirley. What do you call me, behind my back?"
Shirley: "Psycho."

Shirley: "Steve. What do you dislike most about me?"
Steve: "Oh, nothing. I couldn't possibly ever dislike anything about you, Shirley."

We have finished the pack - or at least the questions Shirley deigned to respond to. Unhappy with their "rubbish" performance, she appoints herself question master for a second quick-fire run through all the cards. Duke's comical groans are ignored, as are his paranoid concerns that his gay 'revelation' will be taken seriously.
"We can turn this around," Shirley announces. Here, then, are the highlights of the final pissed-up stretch, with tongues veritably poking holes in cheeks…

Shirley: "Does porn get you going?"
Steve: "Yes."

Shirley: "Steve. Are all Scottish people tight?"
Butch: "Yep."
Steve: "I don't know. I've never slept with one."
Shirley: "Ohhhh!"

Shirley: "Duke. Why do we takes so long in the studio?"
Duke: "We're lazy."

Shirley: "Steve. What is your most irritating personal habit?"
Steve: "Everything. My mere existence is enough."

Shirley: "Butch. Have you ever seen me naked, and if so what did you think?"
Butch: "Hot, baby, hot! Nice hooters!"
Steve: "I thought of that song, 'You Sexy Thing'."
Shirley: "Oh, gag."

Shirley: "Duke. What's my most irritating personal habit?"
Duke: "Picking your nose?"

Shirley: "Steve. Have you ever wanted to hit me?"
Steve: "No. I've wanted to kill you."

Shirley: "Steve. What do you call me behind my back?"
Steve: "Bitch."

Shirley: "Duke. What's the nastiest thing you've ever done to anyone?"
Duke: "Murder them."

Shirley: "Sirley. What was 'Hammering In My Head' about?! It's about lust. I was feeling lusty in the studio. Horny, horny, horny

Shirley: "Duke. Do I snore?"
Duke: "Absolutely."

Shirley: "Duke. What's your biggest fear?"
Duke: "You!"

Girl against Boys - part 1

In the unfeasibly popular '70's game show 'Mr & Mrs', groups of badly dressed married couples competed to see which hubby/wife pairing knew the most about each other. Hubby would be locked in a soundproof booth while his other half was asked five simple questions about herself. Hubby then had to guess how his other half responded to each question. And vice versa. Today, Shirley Manson (the Mrs) and Butch Vig, Duke Erikson and Steve Marker (the misters) are reviving the concept for Kerrang! Which is nice. We begin by sending Shirley to the bar and grilling 'the boys'…

What is your favourite colour?
Steve: "Beer."
Duke: "Beige."
Butch: "Black."
Shirley's predictions: "They might try and be funny and say black, black and black. I would say Butch's is emerald green, because that's the colour of his car. Steve might try and be obtuse and say pink. Duke would say blue."

What is your favourite movie?
Steve: " 'Titanic'."
Duke: " 'Four flies on grey velvet."
Butch: "Begotten."
Shirley's predictions: "Butch's is 'Blade Runner'. Duke might say 'It's a wonderful life'. Steve might say 'Dumb & Dumber'."

Who is your favourite band?
Steve: "Judas Priest."
Duke: "The Beatles."
Butch: "Roxy music."
Shirley's predictions: Duke would say The Beatles. Butch would say Roxy music. Steve would say the Rolling Stones."

What is your favourite article of clothing?
Steve: "My leather codpiece."
Duke: "My derby hat."
Butch: "My roquefort shoes."
Shirley's predictions: "Black T-shirt for Butch. Black leather jacket for Duke. Nike trainers or Maharishi pants for Steve."

What is your biggest vice?
Steve: "Beer."
Duke: "Women."
Butch: "Beer."
Shirley's predictions: "Beer, beer, beer!"

Shirley's score:
For Butch: 2/5. For Duke: 1/5. For Steve: 1/5

Girl Against Boys - part 2

It's messrs Vig, Erikson and Marker's turn in the hot-seat. Gentlemen, to the bar…

What is your favourite colour?
Shirley: "Red. Or orange."
The lads' prediction: Butch - "Silver. Or baby blue." Duke - "I think red."

What is your favourite movie?
Shirley: " 'Sunset Boulevard'."
The lads' prediction: Steve - "Buttman. Or Three men and a baby… That would make a good album title."

Who is your favourite band?
Shirley: "The Beatles."
The lads' prediction: Butch - "Stone Roses, Echo & The Bunnymen, Siouxie & The Banshees, Blondie or the Beatles. We'll go with The Beatles."

What is your favourite article of clothing?
Shirley: "My grey cloven-hooved boots."
The lads' prediction: Butch - "Those boots with the hooves that freak me out. A bit of a druid vibe."

What is your biggest vice?
Shirley: "Mayonnaise… No, Starbucks café latte."
The lads' predictions: Duke - "Shopping for clothes." Steve - "Tequila."

The lads' score: 3/5.