Not Your Kind Of People

Album: Not Your Kind of People (2012)

Songfacts®:

  • In our 2013 interview with drummer Butch Vig, he explained the origin of the song: "I live in Los Angeles, and I was stuck in a typical LA traffic jam on the 10 Freeway, not moving, with six lanes of cars on either side of me. I just had this title, 'We are not your kind of people.' I felt like there was a certain feeling of alienation sitting amongst all these cars: no one's conversing and everybody's in their own world."

    He added: "we wrote the song in about 15 minutes. Just with a couple of acoustic guitars and Shirley singing. Again, it just came from having a title in that case. There was no music."
  • This slow waltz is the title track of the fifth Garbage studio album, Not Your Kind Of People, which marked the return of the band after a six-year break. Lead singer Shirley Manson told LA radio station KROQ that the band's hiatus made them work through why they wanted to make music. "You know, when we came off the road, we were up against a lot of hostility because the whole music landscape had changed in a way from when we first came out," she said. "And we just didn't fit in anywhere. I think we went away for a long time to really rethink everything and think about why we wanted to make music, if we wanted to make music, that kind of thing."

    "Everybody came back really committed and really wanting to make a great record for ourselves," continued Manson. "We just decided 'f--k everybody and who cares what anybody thinks. Let's make this record. We've got nothing to lose. If people love it or hate it, it's sort of a moot point, let's just make the record.'"
  • The daughters of both guitarist Steve Marker and drummer Butch Vig laid down vocals on this track, in which vocalist Shirley Manson sings of her refusal to conform to modern life.
  • In a 2012 interview with FaceCulture, Manson discussed the inspiration behind the lyrics: "I was reading Catcher in the Rye for like the five millionth time... and I just really identified with Holden Caulfield... he's always calling people out for being phonies... his senses are out picking who he wants to be surrounded by and I think that's how we feel as a band... we see so much phoniness and inauthenticity around us and it bugs us. So the first line of the song is 'we're not your kind of people, we think you're kind of phony and everything's a lie.' And I think that's how we feel a lot of the time about the industry, the media and just about everything."
  • It was Butch Vig who came up with the song title. Manson recalled to Artist Direct: "He came in and his eyes were literally as bright as little buttons, and he said, 'I've got a great title for a song!' I asked, 'What is it?' He said, 'We're not your kind of people,' and he looked really pleased with himself [Laughs]. I responded, 'That is a great fu--ing title! We need to write that song.' We thought it would also make a great title for the record. By default, even before the track was written, I think it was the working title. It stayed that way too. It seemed to be the perfect sort of war-cry."
  • Guitarist Steve Marker told MusicRadar.com: "I'm playing the intro guitar part. It was a kind of heavy metal riff when Butch brought it in, something he was playing around with, sort of Black Sabbath-like, but we put a clean, twangy, country-ish sound to it. There's a lot of guitars on the track. I'm doing the slide stuff in the middle; it's supposed to sound a little Pink Floyd/David Gilmour. I used a Henman guitar. I've been playing those live and having a lot of luck with them."
  • For Butch Vig, the track was an important development in making the album: "Once we wrote that, we felt like it was the cornerstone for the new album. It helped us define where we were going to go with some of the other songs," he told us.

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