Garbage Record Acoustic B-Side For Next Single

Electro-rock band strips down loops and layers in remake of hi-tech album track "Medication."

Electro-rockers Garbage aim to throw their fans for a loop with a recently recorded B-side for their upcoming single, "Special" (RealAudio excerpt).

"We just recorded this acoustic version of ["Medication"] with just guitars, piano and vocals instead of the typical layers-and-layers Garbage approach," said the band's guitarist, Steve Marker.

"Medication" is one of several B-sides recorded by Garbage in their Madison, Wis., studio last week before they jetted off to play the Fuji Rock Festival '98 in Japan. "Special" -- the third single from the group's sophomore album, Version 2.0 -- is due to be released just after Garbage hit the road for a U.S. concert tour on Sept. 17.

The original version of "Medication" (RealAudio excerpt) may be a sedate ballad, but it is also a typically high-polish Garbage production, with layers of programmed, clicking drums and gothic guitars. Drummer Butch Vig said that recording the stripped-down version was a test of sorts for the band.

"We tried to strip away all the loops and layers," Vig said. "It was weird, because when we write, we're always throwing a lot of s--- against the wall, and it's a big puzzle that we make into a song. But somehow, at the end of the day, we like to know we can strip it this far back."

Also slated for inclusion on the "Special" single is the B-side "Thirteen Times Forever." Like the re-fashioned version of "Medication," the song was recorded in Madison last week. But, as is their wont with B-sides, Garbage did not labor over "Thirteen Times Forever" as they do over their album tracks.

"We did that one really fast, in like 45 minutes," Vig said, "which is the speed of light for us. When you're doing B-sides, you get the feeling that certain takes are good enough, and you just can't obsess about them."

Marker said the band will be going through video reels this week in search of a director for the "Special" video, which they plan to shoot at the end of August. Among the names being tossed around for possible remixes on "Special," according to Marker, is British producer Nelee Hooper (Björk).