The band's name was inspired by a friend, who frequently told them their music sounded "like garbage." Marker has said that the band "want to make Pop music and make it as horrible sounding as we can."
The band was formed in Madison, Wisconsin. Vig and Erikson had played together in the bands Spooner and Fire Town. After these bands disbanded they took on production jobs, Butch Vig famously producing Nirvana's 1991 album Nevermind. Tired of the Grunge scene, they collaborated with Marker, who was sound engineer for Fire Town, and began making music that fused industrial rock with sample based electronic.
Looking in particular for a female singer who could make their dissonant music more poppy, they auditioned Shirley Manson after watching a video for her band Angelfish's 1993 debut single "Suffocate Me." Manson described the audition and early jam session as "a disaster," but still she was invited to join the band.
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