Shirley Manson opens up about her struggles with fame, a cancer scare, and how she came to enjoy Garbage’s success

Ahead of Garbage’s visit to the Festival Theatre in September, Edinburgh-born singer Shirley Manson has discussed her struggles with fame, a cancer scare, and how she came to enjoy the band’s worldwide success in a new interview with NME.

Garbage recently released a 20th anniversary of Version 2.0 ahead of a tour that sees them visit the Capital on September 4.

This year’s NME Icon winner told the magazine: “When Version 2.0 came out it was such a mad, whirlwind, hurricane of excitement and success and travel and adventure that I just really had no idea what was happening to me, I didn’t really have any perspective at all,” Manson told NME. “So it’s a very different experience this time around. So yeah, it’s navel-gazing basically.”

Speaking of the probloems she faced when the band were at the height of their fame around the time of the album’s release, the Stockbridge-raised singer said: “On the first day of the Version 2.0 tour, we were due to play in Ireland. It was all very fantastic and U2 were there and they got us flowers and we hung out with them afterwards. It felt like a real rock n’ roll fantasy, you know? And then I went back to my hotel room, woke up in the morning and I was stretching. I ran my hand down my breast, as you do, and I found a lump. I f****** freaked out.

“This was like day one, you know. And it turned out that I needed a biopsy and then they couldn’t get the f****** needle in the lump and so this hung over me for weeks. Then I eventually got to the States and I had it removed. It was a really botched surgery and I was in a lot of pain. I had to perform in a sling and I thought I had cancer. You can imagine it’s a sort of heightened hysteria of being away from home and having to deal with something that has serious implications, but as it turned out everything was fine.”

She added: “It was just a lot of madness and so it’s only now that I can look back and enjoy the success that we experienced. We had so much success with the first record and we never in our wildest dreams imagined that we could repeat that success, and yet we did. This time it felt legitimate.

“I certainly had no clue that I would go on and have a long career. I just assumed that this would be my ride. With Version 2.0 we really stamped our presence. My life changed in that moment. Up until that point I just thought ‘well, I’m going to be back in Edinburgh before I know it I’m going to be working back in Miss Selfridge and selling clothes to teenagers’ but mercifully, thank God, I didn’t have to go back.”

Garbage’s full upcoming UK and Ireland tour dates are below. Tickets are available here.

Tuesday September 4 – EDINBURGH Festival Theatre
Wednesday September 5 – GLASGOW Barrowlands
Friday September 7 – BRISTOL St Phillips Gate Arena
Saturday September 8 – BIRMINGHAM Digbeth Arena
Sunday September 9 – MANCHESTER Academy
Tuesday September 11 – NOTTINGHAM Rock City
Wednesday September 12 – NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE Northumbria SU Institute
Friday September 14 – LONDON Brixton Academy
Saturday September 15 – LONDON Brixton Academy

Leave a Comment