From the bands that shaped her to rising talent + the strength of female artists
Andrew Trendell
21:04 1st October 2015

Garbage have always been a band with their feet rooted in countless genres, but somehow blending that sound with an undeniably powerful and singular voice. Naturally, we couldn't sit down with Shirley Manson without asking her about her favourite music - the albums that shaped her, the new artists she's into, and her opinion on the state of rock in 2015. 

Check out our playlist of Shirley Manson's favourite music below

Do you remember what you were listening to during the making of your debut, Garbage?

"I'd been on tour with previous band Angelfish with an artist called Vic Chestnut, who's just this incredible singer-songwriter. He's a paraplegic - he had an accident when he was drunk and ended up in a wheelchair, but he was this amazing writer. I was listening to a lot of Vic and I always feel that his little ghost sits on my shoulder in certain ways throughout that first record, because he really inspired me."

And what would you say you've been listening to recently?

"My good friend Brody Dalle, always, and a young American female called Torres that I love. Somebody sent me a track by Du Blonde that I loved, then I went and got the record and fell in love with it. I tend to generally, aside from Nick Cave who lives with me every single day in every single way, I'm attracted to female musicians. I don't like it in myself, but I can't help myself. I just need to hear what the women have to say. I feel like the world is welcoming lots of male voices quite easily, so I'm like 'what are the girls saying about this?' I know it's tedious that I'm saying that, I think it's just honest."

What would you say that you get from the female perspective in music that can you can't find in songs written by men?

"I think it's broad - there is no female perspective, but there is a perspective coming from that of a female and I think it's different for everyone. Right now, because pop music dominates everything, We're not necessarily hearing a lot from female writers. I think that's why the world gravitated towards Sia. There's a lot of pop singers, but not necessarily writers, so when we heard 'Chandelier' it was powerful and just swept the board because it was very unique. They exist in the underground but aren't getting banged on the radio."

Do you think we'd feel the same about the music of Lorde of her songs were instead written by a 16-year-old boy?

"I can't answer that question, but it's good and healthy for culture when we're hearing for all kinds of people. Not just the popular female cheerleader girl and not just the macho male - the only way we can all move forwards if we hear from everyone.

Watch Brody Dalle answer questions from fans for Gigwise below

"For rock music, I think it's almost impossible right now. Nobody plays rock music, everyone is telling us that guitars are dead. No one is really interested in covering it in magazines, it's impossible in some regards for rock musicians to be heard, but there will always be kids attracted to guitars, there will always be kids who want to rebel against the mainstream, there's always going to be something that happens between a hand and a guitar that is immeasurably great. You just can't create that excitement with anything but a guitar."

And what would you say are the records you always return to?

"David Bowie, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Patti Smith, Pretenders, Cocteau Twins, Iggy Pop, Richard Hell and The Voidoids - I could bore you shitless with these great records I find exciting. I've just always loved that sound since I was young. I've never lost that love of hearing magnificent, manic, crazy, dangerous guitars."

Check out the rest of Garbage's Gigwise takeover below

We talk to Manson about the impact of their debut, culture in the 90s and how she 'hated' fame

Watch Manson talk us through what went in to each and every track on this classic record

Watch Manson discuss how she's 'not so tough' and her deep connection with fans

On art, honesty, keeping it straight, being authentic and what she really thinks of Kanye

Manson tells all on the band's upcoming, long-awaited and 'romantic' new album