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Grunge queen Shirley Manson has offered some advice for aspiring bands: “Be the biggest and baddest version of yourself”.
The Garbage frontwoman was chatting to Digital Journal ahead of the release of This Is The Noise That Keeps Me Awake – an autobiographical coffee table book due out July 4 via Akashic Books – and was also asked to select her favorite song from her own back catalogue.
Edinburgh-born Shirley said she has a special connection with the Garbage track Milk, from her band’s groundbreaking, self-titled debut album, which sold four million copies on its release in 1995 and spawned a succession of hits singles including Stupid Girl, Only Happy When It Rains, Vow and Queer.
“I do love all of them, but I love singing the song Milk from our first record, since that’s the first song I ever wrote,” said 50-year-old Shirley, who grew up in the Stockbridge area of Edinburgh and joined local band Goodbye Mr Mackenzie as a back-up vocalist and keyboardist soon after dropping out of school at age 16.
Talking about new autobiography This Is The Noise That Keeps Me Awake, Shirley said: “Essentially, we realised that we are getting old, that we are going to die sometime soon, and we wanted to leave behind something for the young kids in our lives, that are still too young to appreciate what we do for a living.
“We wanted to leave behind a little marker of what we all did in our days here on Earth.”
Asked what advice she has for aspiring bands, Shirley, whose own band has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide, said: “They need to get good at it. When you are young, and you come into the music industry, your greatest chance of success is by being the biggest and baddest version of yourself.
“Therefore, you have to learn to be a good craftsman, and that’s by doing it again and again and again, until you become a master.”
Check out some of Garbage’s best-known hits below: