Garbage‘s Shirley Manson has opened up on the “devastating” time that their label once chose to invest in No Doubt over them.

Manson sat down with NME to discuss the reissue of the band’s divisive 2005 album ‘Bleed Like Me’. “To be frank, I never had a particularly good relationship with that record until relatively recently,” Manson told NME. “We released it at a time of immense strife within the band, and dwindling interest from our record label and the general public.”

She also opened up about the choice that their label made to invest in No Doubt rather than Garbage. Manson shared that she had “a fortunate or unfortunate incident” on a flight from Los Angeles to London, when she was sat next to “a really famous rockstar” who let slip that Interscope had prioritised Gwen Stefani and co. over her band.

Gwen Stefani and Shirley Manson attend the InStyle party to celebrate Gwen Stefani’s cover and L Fragrance Launch at the Gramercy Park Hotel on September 5, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
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“I shan’t name [said rockstar] because I don’t want to cause too many ruptures,” she began. “He’s really gorgeous and I love this person, but we got drunk together and he told me that he’d been present at an Interscope meeting where our future as a band had been discussed and there was a vote taken at the table where they decided if they were going to spend money on No Doubt or on Garbage. They decided to invest in No Doubt.

“No Doubt are friends of ours, we love them dearly and this has no bearing on them whatsoever, but to hear that from a well-known and highly regarded rockstar was devastating. He told me this story, and then it was war. I wasn’t going to do fuck all for that record label ever again.”

Manson explained how this led to a feeling of the industry only seeing space for one “female-fronted rock band” on the scene.

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“We were meeting the same resistance at radio stations too; they were also saying, ‘Well we’ll be playing No Doubt, we won’t be playing Garbage’,” she recalled. “The domino effect was devastating. It caused us to turn in on each other because we were so frustrated.

“We couldn’t really move anywhere and we felt like we were playing with our hands tied behind our backs. That will drive a person insane, and it did. We all went mad and we took the pressure out on each other. It caused a lot of heartbreak.”

Elsewhere in the chat, Manson opened up about how it felt to be told that ‘There’s no room for you’.

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“It was devastating,” she said. “‘There’s no seat at the table’, was what we were being told. Yet we were still expected to fullfil our contract and to go around the world on tour to garner an audience for the record. It was soul-destroying. We all knew there was no point to it. If your label does not give a shit about you then the rest of the world is not going to give a shit about you.”

The reissue of ‘Bleed Like Me’ is out now. In other news, the band are set to embark on a UK and European headline tour which will kick off this summer. Check out the full list of tour dates below and visit here to purchase tickets.

Garbage’s 2024 UK and European tour dates are:

JUNE
26 – Milan, Italy, Magnolia
27 – Lausanne, Switzerland, Les Docks
29 – Tilburg, Netherlands, 013
30 – Luxembourg, Rockhal

JULY
2 – Wiesbaden, Germany, Schlachthof
4 – Berlin, Germany, Uber Eats Music Hall
5 – Cologne, Germany, Palladium
6 – Paris, France, Le Grande Rex
9 – Barcelona, Spain, Razzmatazz

10 – Madrid, Spain, Mad Cool 
12 – Glasgow, UK, TRNSMT Festival 
14 – Edinburgh, UK, Usher Hall
15 – Bridlington, UK, Bridlington Spa
17 – Wolverhampton, UK, Wolverhampton Civic at The Halls
19 – Manchester, UK, 02 Apollo
20 – London, UK, Wembley OVO Arena

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