Breaking out of the saturated crowd of alternative rock bands clamoring for attention and emerging onto an international stage was an extraordinary accomplishment for any band in the early 1990s. But then again, Garbage was always far from ordinary.
Several years prior to their formation in 1993, hip-hop had begun to take the world by storm with artists like the Beastie Boys, Run-DMC, and Public Enemy all gaining huge audiences. Underlying their rhymes were beats, often featuring portions of other songs that were retooled and re-imagined an entirely novel ways. In other words: sampling.
It’s from these roots, incredibly enough, that Garbage was born.
Three of the founding members of Garbage — Duke Erikson, Steve Marker, and Butch Vig — all came from recording and sound engineering backgrounds. Vig, in particular, had been hard at work since the early '80s working in the studio with a variety of punk bands, and would soon be lead producer on some of the biggest alt-rock albums of the 90s: Nirvana’s Nevermind, Smashing Pumpkins' Siamese Dream, and even Dirty by Sonic Youth, not to mention a number of other major releases from the likes of L7 and House of Pain.
Despite that success, Vig was itching to branch out. He ultimately teamed up with Marker to start their own new way of sampling and remixing, by reworking, adding instrumentation to, or occasionally building entirely new rhythms, melodies, and directions out of well-known songs. They started dropping new takes on tunes by Depeche Mode, U2, and Nine Inch Nails. But perhaps most importantly, the duo realized they could use their penchant for sample-based music-making to create an entirely new kind of rock and roll.
That's when they added their friend, Duke Erickson, on bass and brought on Scottish singer Shirley Manson.
What emerged was a rock band that emphasized and was unafraid to ingratiate new sounds. Genre-bending compositions were pieced together in the studio with looping and sampling to record special effects, guitar, bass, and other unconventional noises (many accidentally discovered). The result: a beautiful new sound perhaps best illustrated by Garbage's 1995 self-titled debut album, which would propel the band to tremendous success and acclaim.
Fast forward to 2016, and Garbage is now touring to support Strange Little Birds, with a show September 11 at the Majestic Theater. The band's sixth full-length studio album, a darkness carries through and underlies the record's many gorgeous moments for an album that longtime Garbage fans will be sure to love.
Sunday September 11th
at Majestic Theatre$69-$262 // 8PM
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