Shirley Manson: The Most Shagable Babe

By Gabriella

Having been called everything from the most shagable babe to the new sex symbol, Garbages singer, Shirley Manson has clearly captured the attention of the music world. Shes an infectious darling whos not afraid to mince words and easily breaks out into roaring laughter. Beneath the surface known as Ms. Manson, however, lies a mysterious gloom captured in her lyrics and voice.

Everyone had been eagerly awaiting your new album. The record company had announced it a few times but it didnt arrive until recently. What happened?

It wasnt that we tried to create a hype as a lot of people claim. We didnt try to make the public more eager for the new album. We wanted to release the album earlier but it took us longer than we expected to finish it. We also changed our distributor and that caused a further delay.

Whats the reason for the title of the album: Version 2.0?

Its our second album. So, its a pretty good name. You have been called the most shagable babe. Thats certainly flattering, but I can imagine it may also be annoying

Sometimes I wonder myself. I used to be a shop assistant and nobody ever called me a sex symbol. I was the skinny redhead. People didnt tell me Im sexy. They told me Im too skinny and too pale. All of a sudden people consider me a sex symbol just because I sing in a band and Im on stage. Sometimes I think I could wear a bin-liner over my head and there would be a couple of weirdos out there whod consider it sexy. I feel the same way I did when I was in school. Im having the same insecurities. They dont go away just because they call you a sex symbol.

Probably a lot of it is the result of some interviews you gave. You were quite open about your sex life

Its fun to shock people. Most of them are so uptight and then they hear stuff about this wild chick Shirley and they try to ask me stuff and at the same time theyre embarrassed. Its fun seeing people blush.

I once read an interview where you claimed that you feel desperately unattractive. How does that go together with being called the most shagable babe on the planet or being a rock icon and a pin-up?

Fame doesnt make you more confident. I have to live with myself. I have to look in the mirror and I see myself with my eyes, not with the eyes of some love-struck boy in the audience. Maybe a lot of it stems from my childhood. Kids can be cruel and they were. They slagged me off, laughed about the way I looked and compared me to animals, bloodhounds, dead fishes. You know when I look into the mirror I still see it again. Im better now. I really am, but I remember that I didnt dare to go into shops because I felt so ugly. I was afraid that people were laughing behind my back. I always dragged somebody with me to go shopping. I didnt dare to go on my own. Of course, now there are people who claim that Im just doing it to be interesting. They understand nothing. I wish theyd experience that feeling before they judge.

Isnt that something almost every artist has to face? The media probably doesnt want to realize that you can be famous and unhappy I dont think thats it. Im not an unhappy miserable person, not at all. Its just that Im not always happy. Theres a difference between being unhappy and not being happy, a state in between. Youre not desperate but youre also not happy

Something that always amazed me were your comments. Youre pretty outspoken but at the same time you manage to sound cute and not crude

Probably because Im nice and polite. Im not trying to offend. A lot of people take that for weakness and theyre in for a harsh surprise. I really wouldnt recommend it to anyone to mess with me. Sometimes Im surprised how dumb people can be. I always used to say "Are you flirting with me?" in a cheesy little girly voice. I nicked that line from Natural Born Killers. Thats what Juliette tells the bloke before she mops the floor with him and the killing starts, but they never got it. They never picked it up. They think Im cute and sweet.

Are guys really coming on so strong?

Sometimes they do. Stuff like, "Show us your tits!" Amazing that they want to see them anyway; the guys in the band have bigger ones. At one concert, guys were spitting. That was a bit much. Would you like it if theyre spitting on you? It wasnt the kind of situation where it would have been kinky. It was just a couple of idiots in the audience who thought -- oh no, I dont think they were thinking anything at all. They probably didnt even have brains and were just zombies.

So what did you do?

I told them to stop and when I caught a guy spitting again or rather caught the spittle, I called the security and made sure he was taken care of. I stopped the concert until he was out. I was so mad. Why do people come to a concert if theyre going to spit? Strangers spitting at you. Thats disgusting. They call themselves fans.

Theres a lot of talk about how the band got together. That the guys saw you on MTV. It seems like the other band members picked you as the singer, but most people identify Garbage with you

We collaborated and we worked together, even more on Version 2.0 than on our first album. I wouldnt be happy in a band that just wants a girlie standing there, singing and looking cute, and I wouldnt stay in a band where Im not happy. Im too damned pigheaded to do that and they dont want it. Their intention was to get a singer who sounds like a woman and they got a whole woman, not just a womans voice. Its pretty good how it all turned out.