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Hearts To 'Bleed'

GarbageCall it the eight-year itch. After recording and touring together since 1995, the four members of Garbage nearly called it quits two years ago. "We were on the verge of collapse," Garbage drummer and noted producer Butch Vig says.

He says that when the band began recording its fourth album in early 2003, the process quickly spiraled into a black hole. Months later, "we bottomed out, with me walking out of the studio," he adds. "Any kind of optimism ran out, and we took a long hiatus."

Fast-forward to March 2004. Vig and his bandmates -- Shirley Manson, Steve Marker and Duke Erikson -- returned to the studio. "We felt a desperation. So we played fast and furious -- as if our lives depended on it," Vig recalls. And perhaps, in a way, they did.

Fans will get to experience the end result this week when Geffen issues Garbage's fourth studio album, "Bleed Like Me." First single "Why Do You Love Me" recently went top 10 on Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks chart.

"We've almost gone backward with this album," Vig offers. "It's us getting back to a more primal sound -- guitars, drums, bass and Shirley's voice." But before deciding on this approach, Vig attempted to come up with something completely new and fresh for the project. "I was beating myself up trying to figure out a new sound for the album," he says. "And then I simply went back to getting great sounds from guitars."