Garbage’s Shirley Manson: “Women have forgotten what a struggle it was”


“To take seven years off and see all the bands who came up after us, I think there were times when I did sit at home and think: ‘I don’t understand why I never felt I was good enough because I could smoke 99.9% of this bunch.’”

Shirley Manson remains very much a shrinking violet.

Shirley and I are sat in some sort of ersatz library at The Langham, a grand, swanky hotel opposite BBC Broadcasting House in central London and thus a prime location for anyone wishing to launch an assault on the nation’s airwaves. Shirley is “fantastic” because she’s just drunk half a bottle of wine over lunch and apparently ate three or four contemporary pop acts for breakfast. She seems to be rather enjoying being back in the saddle of this record-promoting lark. She’s brilliant company, with a glint in her eye and her tongue in her cheek. The seven year gap since the last record doesn’t seem to have mellowed her.

“Don’t be fooled!” she laughs wickedly, “I’ve completely mellowed! I’m a pussycat!”

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