THIS WEEK: BUTCH VIG talks a lot of Garbage about Noel and Courtney.

Butch Vig was once one of the world's hottest record producers, who's credits included Nirvana's classic album "Nevermind". Now he's the drummer with Garbage, who are about to release their second album, "Garbage 2.0". He's got on the phone from the States to tell us about the album - and about chilling out with Noel Gallagher.

So how do you fell now that you've finished the album - and what's it like?

"We're kind of in shock because we've been isolated in the studio for the better part of the last year. I don't think the four of us have quite figured out what kind of an album we've made yet.

"There's a lot of pop songs on there. We used a lot more electronics, and the beats are heavier - but even though we used more technology, I think this sounds more organic. I think that's basically because we've had a lot more time together as a band. When we did the first record, Shirley [Manson, Garbage's singer/lyricist] had just joined us and we didn't really know what we were doing.

"A lot of the songs deal with overcoming adversity, but I think Shirley wants there to be a ray of light in the tunnel. Some of them are quite cheeky.

What can you tell us about the first single, "Push It"?

Well, I don't know what Shirley would say, but to me the song is about sex! I think a lot of the songs on the album are about sex - or, at least, there's that undercurrent to them.

"But it's also like a dare, trying to get someone to get off their arse and push themselves beyond where they think they can push themselves. There verses are very dreamy, and the choruses are sort of antagonistic-sounding. We try to do that in a lot of songs - have a really beautiful moment and have a really dark, tense moment."

We hear the single's already had a rave review from sixties legend Brain Wilson, of Beach Boys fame. How did that happen?

"We sampled 'Don't Worry Baby' from The Beach Boys. Then we found it was going to be a problem to get [the sample] cleared, so Shirley sang the harmonies all on her own. The record company got kind of panicky, so we went to Brian Wilson. He actually sent us a hand-written note back saying, 'I love the song. I give you my blessing and can I keep the cassette?'

"A lot of the time when it comes to sampling things, you find that the artists actually don't have that much of a problem with it. Another song on the album, 'Special', is sort of a homage to The Pretenders. You hear Chrissie Hynde singing, and Shirley starts ad-libbing their song 'Talk of the Town' at the end of it. Again, the label sort of freaked out, so instead of going through attorneys, Shirley tracked down Chrissie Hynde and called her up.

"We got this fax the next day saying: 'I, Chrissie Hynde, hereby allow the band Garbage to sample my songs, my voice and indeed my very ass!'"

What was the strangest thing that happened on your last world tour?

"We drove across the country in a snow storm to play outside New York City at the bottom of a big ski slope. It [the event] was called 'SnOasis', and Oasis were supposed to perform, but then Noel ended up doing an acoustic show.

"The weather was atrocious - about 20 below zero. He played one song and then went, 'Fuck this, it's too cold' and stormed offstage.

"We had to go on after him. It must have sounded terrible. We couldn't keep the guitars in tune and I couldn't even fucking play! I think we made it through six songs and then bailed out. But the kids were jumping up and down, throwing snowballs, and having a great time!"

Finally, now that the controversial file 'Kurt & Courtney' is on national release in America, will you be going to see it?

"I'd be interested to see it. I heard that Courtney didn't allow the use of the songs in it, and if they've changed the music it wouldn't me as good a film as it could have been.

"I'd actually be really excited to hear Courtney's new record. 'Live Through This' was an amazing album. I haven't spoken to her for five of six months, but from what I've heard, some songs on it are very Blondie-esque. That's going to be a very keenly anticipated album."