Steve Marker

Steve Marker (born March 16, 1959) is an American musician, songwriter, and record producer, best known as a cofounder and guitarist of the alternative rock band Garbage.[1]

Steve Marker
Steve Marker performing live in 2015
Steve Marker performing live in 2015
Background information
Born (1959-03-16) March 16, 1959 (age 64)
Mamaroneck, New York, US
GenresRock, alternative rock, electronic rock
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter, record producer, remixer
Instrument(s)Guitar, keyboards
Years active1978–present
LabelsGeffen Records,
A&E Records

Early lifeEdit

Steven W. Marker was born in Mamaroneck, New York on March 16, 1959.[citation needed] He spent most of his childhood and his teens in Mamaroneck, New York.[citation needed] At the age of 6, his parents bought him drums, but at 12 he took up the guitar.[citation needed] He graduated from Rye Neck High School in Mamaroneck.[citation needed]

Marker attended the University of Wisconsin in Madison for a degree in film. There, he met Butch Vig who played with the band Spooner.[2] In 1979 the group was trying to figure out how to record a 7-inch single and Marker had grown an interest in musical producing, he bought a four-track reel-to-reel deck, which complemented by Vig's microphones became a home studio in Marker's basement. Marker and Vig also started a small label, Boat Records, to release records of both Spooner and other bands they liked.[3][4]


Marker co-founded Madison's Smart Studios with Butch Vig in 1983, and maintained a production career engineering and mixing records until he formed Garbage with Vig and Vig's bandmate in Spooner, Duke Erikson, in 1994.[2] He famously spotted Angelfish singer Shirley Manson's music video on MTV's 120 Minutes, which led to her joining the group. Marker felt that Manson differed from the high pitched and screechy female singers of the 1990s and "was more like the voices that we loved growing up, which was more Patti Smith and Chrissie Hynde – sort of that classic pop sound – maybe Dusty Springfield."[3]

Marker stated that his musical style is not influenced by "the guys that played twenty minute solos", stating he always preferred "guitar parts that sort of work melodically more in a Beatles sense," with artists such as Tom Petty, Keith Richards, The Pretenders and Robert Fripp.[3] Marker considered that his background as a producer helped develop a type of playing where "you're not there to show off, to show how brilliant you are or draw attention to yourself. You're there to make the song work in whatever way is necessary," stating that the guitar "is there to serve the song".[3]

Personal lifeEdit

Marker is married, and has a daughter named Ruby (born March 2000). After living for 25 years in Madison, following Garbage's hiatus in 2005, Marker relocated to Carbondale, Colorado with his family.[3]



Studio albums

Compilation albums and EPs

Production careerEdit

Steve Marker served as the record producer, or co-producer on the following records:

  • 1984: KilldozerIntellectuals Are the Shoeshine Boys of the Ruling Elite
  • 1985: Killdozer – Snakeboy
  • 1992: GumballWisconsin Hayride
  • 1993: The Heart Throbs – Vertical Smile
  • 1995: Garbage – Garbage
  • 1998: Garbage – Version 2.0
  • 2001: Garbage – Beautiful Garbage
  • 2005: Garbage – Bleed Like Me
  • 2012: Garbage – Not Your Kind of People
  • 2016: Garbage – Strange Little Birds'
  • 2021: Garbage – No Gods No Masters

He also engineered the following records:

  • 1987: Tar BabiesFried Milk
  • 1989: Killdozer – Twelve Point Buck
  • 1990: Poopshovel – I Came, I Saw, I Had A Hotdog
  • 1992: L7Bricks Are Heavy


  1. ^ "Garbage: Behind The Music". Behind The Music. March 31, 2002.
  2. ^ a b Buskin, Richard (March 1997). "BUTCH VIG: Nevermind The Garbage". Sound on Sound. Retrieved January 15, 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d e Steve Marker of Garbage on his approach to production and the joys of living in Colorado
  4. ^ Punks: A Guide to an American Subculture. Sharon M. Hannon. p. 115

External linksEdit