DEVORE, California — With Garbage about to take an extended break, perhaps singer Shirley Manson could spend her free time as a rock critic. She certainly has the passion and the clever descriptions required for the job.
"The Arcade Fire today were so unbelievable I wanted to cry," Manson said backstage at KROQ-FM's Inland Invasion on Saturday (see "Beck Bashes, Barker Mashes, Shirley Clashes, Arcade Fire Smash At KROQ Fest"). "It's just like a whole band of 'Napoleon Dynamite' characters."
Wow, well said.
Anyway, whether formally or not (she is quite the blogger, after all), look for Manson to do some more leisurely writing this fall, with the emphasis on leisurely.
"I'm burnt, I'm done, I'm toast," she said after being asked about Garbage's recent decision to cancel their fall European tour. "I need to get home and cook some food and work out. And I need to get my life under control. I just feel like it's completely out there and it's just too much."
Garbage have been touring the world, including far-out places like Serbia, Slovakia and Hungary, since March; they have two weeks left in Australia. After that, there will be no more touring behind Bleed Like Me, an album that took several years and a band breakup to get made (see "Garbage Breakup Ends With New LP — If They Did Actually Break Up").
"This is our 10th anniversary, and everyone needs a break from one another," Manson said. "I don't know what I'm going to do, to be honest. The hiatus may last two weeks, it may last two years. We really don't know. We've come to a point where we feel really good about where we're at. We've had an amazing run with this record, and we feel that it's a good time to take some time apart."
Although Manson chose not to be involved in the decisions regarding singles ("That's the record company's sweat," she said), there are talks of releasing more songs from Bleed, most likely "It's All Over but the Crying" and/or "Run Baby Run."
"It's about encouraging myself and through that encouraging others just to sort of engineer your own life, engineer your own happiness," she said of the latter. "I think for a long time I was under the illusion that life was like a storybook. I think particularly when you're a female, you're imbued with all these ideas you know from 'Cinderella' to 'Sleeping Beauty,' and you've got this idea that somebody's gonna come along and fix your life. And I sort of came to the realization that actually nobody's gonna fix your life for you, you have to do it yourself. And it's about just making an effort to make your life good. If it sucks, do something about it."
Like, for instance, taking a break.