Garbage tours for ‘Version 2.0’ 20th anniversary shows 

Almost 25 years into Garbage’s career as a band, drummer and producer Butch Vig always looks fondly on how the group almost never came to be.

“People told me I was crazy when I said I was going to start a band [named] Garbage,” he explains. “I was successful as a producer and they told me I was throwing my career away . . . especially if the record bombs.”

The record in question was Garbage’s self-titled debut in 1995, that, of course, did not bomb. In fact, it lead to the group’s most iconic record “Version 2.0,” which the band is busy touring in celebration of its 20th anniversary. amNewYork caught up with Butch on the eve of the band’s closing gig at Kings Theater to reminisce about the record, talk about the future and how the role of producer-turned-musician isn’t as scary as it once was.

What does it mean to reach a milestone like this with “Version 2.0”?

We’re not really a nostalgic band. In fact, we’re in the middle of recording a new album that we’re hoping to have out in 2020. But we wanted to go and celebrate “Version 2.0” because it’s our defining album. When we went back to master it, I was able to listen to all our tracks and I really hear a band that grew confidence. Especially Shirley [Manson], she came into her own as a lyricist and a singer.

What are the ingredients that go into making the “defining” record of a career? What made you guys click so well on that album?

We just felt artistically that we didn’t want to reinvent ourselves. We wanted to take everything we learned on that first album and raise the bar. I think that we felt a confidence that if we just put our heads to the ground we were going to come up with something we really liked. And to this day we [still] really like it.

Are you playing the record start to finish on the tour?

We realized that we couldn’t play it start to finish because it didn’t flow very well in terms of a live show. So all the album cuts are intercut with B-sides. Shirley came up with a set list and it’s pretty interesting because it starts with B-sides. It’s got a lot of peaks and valleys. It’s really dynamic. And it’s a challenge for us to play every night because at there’s so many songs we had to learn in rehearsal. At this point in the tour you sort of go on muscle memory. But every night I look down and think, “I better not screw this up.” [laughs]

A producer fronting a band is commonplace today, but back in 1995 it was unheard of. Was there any hesitation to doing it?

I had to take a leap of faith that the music was strong. Luckily, Garbage worked. Most musicians now become producers pretty quickly. They’re just so much smarter about the music business now. Anything you want to know, you can learn on YouTube. It’s leveling the playing field

If you go: Garbage performs at Kings Theatre at 8 p.m. on Saturday, 1027 Flatbush Ave., Brooklyn, kingstheatre.com