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© Mudrats Alexandra/ITAR-TASS Photo/Corbis
Initially, it started out almost as a dub," says Vig. "It was a very simple groove and bassline, and then, as Shirl came up with this stream-of-consciousness vocal approach, the song kept getting refined. It was long verses at first. Once she did the chorus vocals, we came up with the fuzzed-out, saturated guitars.
“Steve plays the wah-wah part, and Duke does all the little melodic bits in the verses. Steve wrote the monster riff, almost at the 11th hour. Once he had the riff, we mixed the song, saturating everything, running it all through buses with distortion preamps.
“Shirl said that she was inspired by reading an article in the New York Times about the Afghanistan war, but she said that the song is also a metaphor for being in a band, feeling isolated and lonely. There’s the line ‘I miss my dog, I miss my freedom,’ and that’s her dog Vila she’s singing about.
“We wanted it to be the first single because it encapsulates so much about Garbage. It’s got the fuzzy guitars, and Shirley’s vocals are so great. We felt that if this was the first thing that people heard from us in seven years, then this was the perfect track. It’s uneasy, like you’re in a constant state of paranoia.”