From Select, April 1999:

Shirley Manson
The queen of MTV

Did you always aspire to be famous?
"Absolutely not, it never crossed my mind or even remotely appealed to me. I suppose I connected fame with 'special people', so I never thought that it was something that could happen to me. I'm amazed how many people say, 'I always knew I was going to be a star.' I can't relate to that mentality. I don't think about being famous now either. I've never processed what's happened to me because I've never had time to sit down in my house and think how bizarre it's all been. I'm in a serious state of denial."

When did you first realize you were famous?
"In New Orleans in the French quarter, which is very scary at night time. We were being followed by four unsavoury looking characters. They cornered us down the street, and of course they turned out to be big fans. I nearly passed out with relief."

Have you ever had problems with the paparazzi?
"The first time we performed on David Letterman. It was shocking to us. We were in this limousine, and I opened the door and we were besieged by people with cameras - I shut the door and screamed! I was so uncool about the whole thing - my fishnets got ripped as we tried to get out."

Do you read your own interviews?
"Some I do, some I don't. The complimentary ones never affect you. In my psyche it's the negative ones that always strike a chord. I've been told to stop reading the press, but occasionally I'll get an email from a friend who'll say 'Don't worry about what this idiot said in such-and-such publication.' How can you ignore that? I'm like 'WHAT DID THEY SAY?' I have an amazing relationship with the press, but one horrible thing you read makes you forget all the nice things.'

What's it like seeing yourself on TV?
"Oh, honey, I don't watch myself. I can't look at myself, I find it far too distressing. Videos are a different thing, though - they can make you look like the person you'd most like to see in the mirror when you wake up in the morning."

How does your fame affect the people who you knew before?
"Some people have been incredible, getting a great deal of enjoyment out of it not only for me but also for themselves. But there are other people who can't accept it and are a wee bit jealous. People envy fame - they believe it's a state of being which will eradicate all the problems in their life and make them happy. But of course you find yourself in this position and discover that it doesn't change a damn thing."

How often do you get recognised?
"I get stopped a lot by people, but they're usually relatively cool about it. The only real problem was in Mexico City, which was crazy, the closest we've got to a really dangerous situation. But ultimately I believe that if you behave in a star-like fashion, you create hysteria. If you behave as normally as you can, then you can diffuse all the silliness."

Do you ever get nostalgic for obscurity?
"The actual concept of obscurity doesn't alarm me. I'm not kidding myself that this will last forever, and when obscurity beckons I will welcome it with open arms. But I enjoy the fact that my fame is synonymous with the success of my band, and I'm extremely proud of that. I don't feel guilty about it - it's something I've worked unbelievably hard to achieve."