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Shirley Manson a diamond among Garbage

AAP logoAAP 10/08/2016 By Danielle McGrane

For over 20 years, Shirley Manson has been the voice of indie-band Garbage and has been using her position to help empower other women.

According to her bandmate, drummer Butch Vig, Manson and her fellow bandmates have been acutely aware of sexism within the music industry throughout their 23-year history.

"It's a battle for a lot of different people and races and the sexes, and we have always embraced the power of the female and I think that's really important to Shirley," Vig told AAP.

"She is trying to tell women that you have the power to be creative and use your own voice and don't be afraid to do that, and don't let people tell you you can't do that."

When the band tour Australia's wineries on their upcoming A Day On The Green concerts alongside Temper Trap, they will be supported by solo females Adalita and Tash Sultana, and The Preatures who are fronted by Isabella Manfredi.

"We try to have female-fronted bands as often as we can playing with us at shows because it's tough, not just in music but in everything," he said.

"It's not a gender-equal world out there."

Vig also wears the hat of super-producer, having worked on Nirvana's seminal Nevermind album, several Foo Fighters albums, Sonic Youth and Green Day to name a few.

But he believes that when it comes to Garbage, Manson is possibly the most important band member, helping to establish the group's identity from its beginnings in the 1990s.

"I think Shirley really is the MVP (Most Valuable Player) of Garbage in some ways," he said.

"She is the mouthpiece and the visual point for us in the band and that's given us a lot of focus over the years."

The group's first album, Garbage (1995) was noted for its progressive, post-grunge style which they've circled back to on their recently-released sixth studio album, Strange Little Birds.

"Shirley wanted to really be spontaneous with her lyrics and her singing. Some of the songs are one or two takes on the records," he said.

It's been hailed as one of the best Garbage albums, with many critics noting its similarities to that first record.

"We have a sound the four of us and whether that's a good thing or a bad thing, I don't know," he said.

"When you hear a Garbage song, for better or for worse you know it's Garbage and we wear that now as a badge of honour."

*Garbage will tour the east coast of Australia and headline the A Day On The Green concerts along with Temper Trap from November.

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