I recently interviewed Duke Erikson; the guitarist of Garbage; a now-Los Angeles-based band after hailing from Wisconsin since formation in the ’90s. The conversation went long and not everything we spoke about had a place in the resulting story (which will run next week in The Bay Bridged.
Here are the highlights of the material that didn’t make the cut. Garbage plays Oct. 1 at The Warfield in San Francisco.
How does it feel to be with the band again?
We’re having fun. It’s been delightful. It’s been, we’re all a little bit exhausted. I’m still suffering from jet lag from a little Asian tour that we just did. It’s been kicking my ass, but no, we’re very happy. It’s been very relaxed, and we’re just having a good time. We’re not really feeling any pressure from any outside forces, you know. It’s just delightful. I think we’re playing better than we ever have.
What has changed since your hiatus in 2007?
I think the crowds have been so receptive to us, and we didn’t expect that at all. We weren’t really sure how we were going to be received, and the look of the crowd is so different now. It’s all these young kids who really, I can’t imagine how they even heard this stuff. They must have been 2 years old or something.
What projects are in the works now? How soon until you get back to the studio?
All of us are always writing new material. Finding the time to go into the studio seems rather impossible right now. I don’t know how we’ll do that.
How long is the tour expected to last?
We’re already booking gigs next year, so I don’t know. We’re already talking about recording some new material. I don’t know what we’re going to do. We may just record a small number of songs and put those out, and just keep touring. I’m not sure.
Like an EP?
Do you miss doing vocals like you did in Spooner (the band Erikson formed with Vig and others in 1974, and released two well-received albums)?
Oh, well, no. It’s great to be up on stage with Shirley, you know? She’s such a great singer and a great performer. I enjoy just standing in the back and playing guitar and having fun. I guess I miss that a little bit, and maybe I’ll get out and do it again sometime. I sing in the shower now and then.
I heard you’re an Internet newbie; that you don’t spend that much time online.
I don’t Tweet, and I’ve hardly ever seen our Facebook page. I don’t pay much attention to it, actually. I know I should. My bandmates get on my case about not taking part. I’m just not that interested.
Have you had any talks about going back and purchasing the rights to your back catalogue?
I don’t really want to go into all of that. Some of the material will revert back to us anyway. Some of it already has. We’re going to be in a good position as far as back catalogue goes. We have a few ideas of what we’re going to do with our back catalogue, and that’s kind of fun to talk about. There’s a lot of B-side stuff that hasn’t been heard. We still have two or three songs that are pretty near completion that never made it onto this last record.
Any favorite San Francisco activities or memories?
“Oh, Lordy. … (Pauses for a minute as he tries to remember a story) There’s the Red Bar at the (now-closed) Commodore Hotel. I always enjoy going there for a drink.”