In the spring of 2013, the members of Garbage — Shirley Manson, Steve Marker, Duke Erikson and Butch Vig — gathered in Los Angeles to start work on their sixth studio album. Except the recording didn’t begin in a studio, per se. It began where so many bands first do: in a basement.
The basement was Vig’s, perhaps one of the least elaborate home studios a multi-platinum producer has ever had. “My home studio is just a room where I watch Packers games,” says Vig. “There’s no sound proofing. It’s just four walls of drywall. So it’s got a bit of a trashy vibe to it.”
It was a fitting launching pad for an album that, over the course of the next two and a half years, would see the band finding a way forward by looking backward, tapping into the spark of their youths to try an uninhibited back-to-basics approach. But Garbage — long known for their meticulously crafted blend of dark, industrial noise, sci-fi pop melodies, whirlwind guitar, and tricked-out rhythms — was going back-to-basics for the first time.