By Malin Hendriksen
Translated by me
Shirley Manson in Garbage is good at making out. At least that's what she thinks.
"I'm good at making out," says Shirley Manson.
But since there is only one man who has tested her in the last couple of years, its hard to say if it's true because he appears to be loyal. It is her husband, Eddie.
So Garbage isn't the kind of band where you mess around then?
"No, absolutely not. We would never do anything with each other. It would feel a bit incestuous, a bit obscene," says Shirley Manson, with a look of distaste.
'Pretend-make-out' in the band
The next second she bursts into laughter.
"But I usually go around and pretend-kiss the boys in the band. Almost always they back away and cry like pigs. But Steve once saw through me and realised what I was going to do and stuck his tongue down my throat. So technically, I have made out with someone in the band."
My boss at Puls has a small problem. He's been single for a long time and has a hard time making out with someone if he's sober. Any advice for him?
"I don't know. Maybe I have a hard time understanding the problem since I have a husband. But it's not hard to make out sober, not even the first time, if you're being yourself. Relax and try to do the same thing as when you're drunk," suggests Shirley.
"To make out sober is also a lot better than when you're drunk. Maybe it's hard with someone you don't know, but it's good enough to make an effort," adds Garbage's guitarist Duke Erikson.
So what should you do when you're making out then? Are there any do's and don'ts?
"I don't know. Yeah, actually, be careful with your teeth. Just relax. And watch the saliva. It can't get too messy or wet, so that you have saliva all over your face."
If you could choose one person in the whole world to make out with, who would it be?
"My husband, Eddie. He's the best in the world at kissing. He has good breath even in the morning. He tastes like sugar."
Shirley Manson is pale with extremely black eye makeup. If you just look at the outside, she's probably not even pretty. Not in any way a traditional beauty. It's her energy and her charisma that makes her beautiful.
"I never know what to say when people tell me that. Before, I was honest, and said that I didn't think I was beautiful at all. But I got a lot of shit for that, so I've stopped saying it. Now I'll just be silly and usually I'll say 'yes, I'm fantastic, yes, I am a sex symbol' so that nobody knows what I really feel," she says.
You have a lot of fans that try and look like you and be like you. Does that feel like a big responsibility?
I try not to think about it. If I thought too much about it I would become a slave to what others want. But I'm careful about what I say. I hope I'm not a bad role model. I try, for example, on purpose not to talk about drugs and we've said no to millions of dollars for making beer commercials because it sends out the wrong message to young people. We don't want to say 'go out and drink and smoke until you die' to our young fans."
Not just a cute front figure
Shirley's a girl who knows what she wants. When she joined Garbage, most people thought she was just a cute front figure that Nirvana-producer Butch Vig wanted for his own band. But he got so very much more.
Then, Garbage was Butch Vig's band. Now Garbage IS Shirley Manson. Many people think it's a Scottish band, even though three quarters come from the USA. It's around Shirley everything circulates. Even musically.
"Many find it hard to believe that Shirley actively takes part in the production since she wasn't a producer before she joined the band. But that's not true. Garbage's sound was not complete before Shirley. She was the one who fully developed it. The best thing about Shirley is that she has so much intuition, whether it's listening as a friend or whether it's about the music. She has more female intuition than most other women," says Duke Erikson.
You all seem to have a lot of will. Do you fight a lot?
"Yes, of course we do. Musically, it usually works out. We'll agree on something in the end. But otherwise we fight about almost everything," says Shirley.
"Shirley has a temper. She works herself up a lot. She knows she does it, she just can't stop it. And then she has to apologise an hour later and everyone's going 'yeah, yeah, we know'," says Duke.