Oct 28, 2009

Garbage (Duke) - Interview

Guitarist Duke Ericson from the band Garbage
Category: Interviews

Rock N Roll Experience's Exclusive interview with Duke from GARBAGE!

Rock N Roll Experience: Where are you calling me from?

Duke: Someplace in Florida called Sunshine, Florida

Rock N Roll Experience: How has the tour been with No Doubt so far?

Duke: It's been good, you kind of take your chances when you sign up to be the opening band for anybody but it's been really good because there seems to be alot of Garbage fans in the audience & I think the match up between us, I think that there could be alot of cross-over between Garbage fans & No Doubt fans so I think that maybe it's probably a good thing & the Distillers are on right before us & they're an amazing punk band with a female singer so it's a night of female singers

Rock N Roll Experience: Are you changing your set list alot from night to night?

Duke: We're changing it every night. We kind of have to keep some of the staples like OHWIR because people wanna hear that, & alot of people wouldn't even know who we are if we didn't play stuff like that, but we're trying to change it up every night a little bit & we kinda decide what we're gonna play right before we go on stage & we go out & do it, so it keeps us on our toes & keeps it more interesting.

Rock N Roll Experience: What is that guitar effect you use at the beginning of "Vow"?

Duke: It's a noise gate basically, with alot of echo on it. I have a pulse in my noise gate that opens & closes & turns my guitar sound on & off basically simply stated

Rock N Roll Experience: What is the song "Vow" about?

Duke: Oh god, it's just kind of a song about...it's very angry, we kind of hesitate to say what the songs are about..leave it up to the listener

Rock N Roll Experience: Where did the guitar riff from "Silence is Golden" come from?

Duke: It's any number of things in my head when I'm writing, I could have grabbed it out of the air, no, that was just a...we started writing that song with the idea that it was gonna go through some changes, tempo changes, & start out in 6/8 time & we just came up with a really heavy guitar sound playing those big power chords, some really aggressive chords & I wanted to stick a little riff in there with some clean guitars & just messing around

Rock N Roll Experience: Are you touring after the No Doubt tour?

Duke: No, we're done after the No Doubt tour, we've got one private show that we're doing & then we're done


Rock N Roll Experience: How do you feel about bootleggers taping your shows?

Duke: You know, It's gonna happen, I mean I....why, did you tape our show? Ha ha, I don't really mind as long as someone is just doing it as a fan. There are alot of shows that you wish you don't have to hear again, but it's just bound to happen, there's no way to stop it, people have been bootlegging live recordings for decades & it's just gonna happen, I mean I am guilty of having bought bootlegs years ago, I mean I used to seek them out just because it was a whole new look at a band that you would never hear otherwise, but i do it as a fan but I am not really fond of people making money off of other peoples work, but when you just do it as a fan & put it on the internet...it's okay. It's flattering, I mean the music might not be, the performance may not be that flattering but the fact that someone is a fan like that is nice

Rock N Roll Experience: Will there be a Live CD or DVD from Garbage any time soon?

Duke: No, no time soon, we really wanted to do a compilation of our B-sides that have been released over the years as singles in Europe & we were talking pretty seriously about trying to do that before the end of the year but I don't know, I think we've kind of come to grips with the fact that we need to put out one more record before we start putting stuff like that out

Rock N Roll Experience: Have you started demoing new material yet?

Duke: Yeah, I was just listening to some stuff just before you called actually that we had worked on back in Madison. We had some time off & we took about 6 days & just set up our instruments & started playing, just sitting around in a circle & improvising & I was just listening to the tapes from that & 2 or 3 things I am kind of excited about so it has begun.

Rock N Roll Experience: Can you describe the new songs?

Duke: There's a little bit of everything on it, there's one that's just this kind of repetitive groove thing that Shirley just started singing over, it's kind of changing things, what she is saying in the song is progressing, it's too early to say what the record is gonna sound like anyway, I could tell you one thing & it would change in 2 months

Rock N Roll Experience: Are you married & do you have any kids?

Duke: I'm divorced, I have a 24 year old daughter from a previous marriage

Rock N Roll Experience: Is your daughter a Garbage fan?

Duke: yeah, she's a photographer actually, she's living in London, she's photographs bands, musicians. She's actually coming to New Orleans to photograph us... (laughs) I'm gonna look good in these photos (laughs)

Rock N Roll Experience: Why did you choose to cover "Wild Horses"?

Duke: We were just fans, we were doing a show called Recover in England & the concept of the show is that bands come onto the show & they do one of their own songs & they do a cover & we of course, started coming up with all of these obscure ideas for songs to cover, like Velvet Underground songs & songs that maybe the average listener isn't very familiar with & the people with the TV show had a problem with us doing some things so obtuse, they wanted us to do something a bit more recognizable & we just sorta picked it, because we love the Stones, that old Stones material is amazing songwriting & it's a beautiful song & Shirley really nailed it

Rock N Roll Experience: I actually like your version better than the Stones!

Duke: (laughs) that's cool, have you ever heard Graham Parsons version? The Stones actually wrote if for Graham, he recorded it before the Stones even recorded it & put it on a solo record of his


Rock N Roll Experience: Will there be a Studio version of "Wild Horses"?

Duke: We started to, we didn't quite finish it I guess, we had the vocals down & stuff & just decided to go with the live version, we were trying to record on the road & it didn't go very well

Rock N Roll Experience: Do you go on the internet much?

Duke: Not really, I'm not much of an internet junkie

Rock N Roll Experience: Do you ever check the Garbage message board?

Duke: No, I don't do that

Rock N Roll Experience: I really like it when you take requests from the crowd during your live shows...do you like it?

Duke: It's great as long as I can remember how to play them

Rock N Roll Experience: Can you take me through the songwriting process for Garbage?

Duke: On the last few records...the last record was very different than the first 2 records, the first 2 records were wrote in a fractured process, somebody would come up with something & then record it, then somebody would put something on top of that, there's no one particular formula, Beautiful Garbage was a bit more of us just improvising, "Shut Your Mouth" came out of us just messing around in the studio, "So Like A Rose" happened really, really quickly, but they are all different. "Cup Of Coffee" was just me trying to work out a French cafe torch song idea on piano & Shirley came up with amazing lyrics & melodies & so every song has it's own little story, but I think the way we've been working towards our fourth record I think is gonna be kind of a departure from how we worked in the past, or I hope it is anyways. I just think we're...we just sat stuff up in a room & we started playing & things started coming out of that & I think we're gonna try to be a bit more...work a bit faster this time, we're not gonna belabor things so much, try to keep things more simple & to the point

Rock N Roll Experience: You strike me as Jimi Hendrix fan, if you were to cover a Hendrix song with Garbage, which one would you choose?

Duke: oh god, uhhh, let's see, "Little Wing"

Rock N Roll Experience: Will Daniel be playing bass on the new record?

Duke: Most likely, it depends, I mean Daniels' got his own thing, I hope he does. He does play with other bands & he writes songs & he has a little studio at home...he's got things going on his own that have nothing to do with Garbage, so he may just decide to pursue that, but that is a long time away before he'll be required on the record, we're gonna try to write alot of songs first & that's gonna take a few months

Rock N Roll Experience: So will the next Garbage record be out in 2003?

Duke: Yeah, that's kind of what we'd like to happen, but we've said that every record so far, we've said that before every record

Rock N Roll Experience: What do you think of rock stars who wear wigs? I am personally glad that you decided to not wear one

Duke: (laughs) wow, I didn't know that....I'll be darn

Rock N Roll Experience: Would Shirley ever work with Marilyn Manson?

Duke: They kinda joked about it & thought it might be a kind of fun idea, but that kind of stuff is always talked about & whether it happens or not just comes down to a coincidental...it kinda sorta has to happen I think


Author: Bob Suehs