Antichrist Superstar Interviews

Hit Parader

Marilyn Manson
1997 Oct
Unfortunately, Marilyn Manson would have happened sooner or later. For some it wasn't soon enough, and for others it should have never happened. Marilyn Manson obviously enjoys his current role as the high priest of hard rock and he certainly isn't inhibited in any way about expressing his opinions. His most recent release Antichrist Superstar is certified double platinum and has more than just enraged conservative action groups and religious fundamentalists around the world, it's turned on a generation of rockers, as well. Recently we caught up with Marilyn, where he discussed the latest happenings in his music and career.

Considering your present success as a rock star, do you feel you've changed over the past couple of years?
"Oh, absolutely. I've gone through so many different things. Emotional, physical and all that. I have been through everything, and I feel very strong. I feel like I died and been born again, and died again and now I'm someone else."

Are you now more in control of the business side of your career?
"Yes I am. I feel like I'm finally in control of things. I had to put myself through a lot of bad things to get where I am today. I'm talking about a lot of things, like changes in my personal life too. I'm more in control with everything I do. It's so much better now for me."

You once told us that your grandfather was involved in some rather bizarre personal activity. How old were you when you found out what he was doing in the basement?
"I was only 12 years old at the time. That was kind of my introduction to things. I had other different experiences too, but I can't go into them right now. My grandfather was a bit of an odd character. He had these really cool trains sets... and then there was this big collection of pornographic films, weird sex devices, and things like that which of course, were all locked up at the time."

Sounds like the perfect prelude to what you have become today.
"That was kind of my introduction to things. I had other different experiences too. Things like abuse - child abuse if you want to call it that. Other kids and people abused me growing up. Like I used to get picked on for carrying my KISS lunch box to school. Things like that. It's the kind of abuse that stays with you forever. I've been told that I tend to become those people who victimized me as a child. This is the way I deal with the abuse. This is the only way I know how to express it, which is through our music. People express their pain in different ways. I choose to express mine through music. I'm not discouraging or promoting child abuse or child molestation, I'm just saying this is how I deal with it. Our fans understand where we are coming from."

But there's a lot of people who misunderstand your true intentions. All they see is the dark and depraved side of you without knowing where it originates from.
"I can't help that people misconstrue things that we say or do musically. People will have to make up their own minds. We don't tell them how to think. People have to find what is going to work for them. You have to inspire people who want to do something different with their lives.
There's so many people out there who don't realize that they can have the chance to be something different. If there's some people out there looking for that chance, then I hope I can point them in the right direction."

Your fans have been loyal from the beginning. They are the first to defend your actions, particularly with the recent Ozzfest trouble.
"We've never had a problem with our fans. It's other people who do. There's no doubt that our fans understand us. Believe it or not, our fans have been nothing but polite to us and I really appreciate that. It helps us when things aren't going right - the controversy and everything. I've had to learn how to live outside of society and so have our fans. I rebel and they rebel. We don't have complaints when it comes to our fans. They are the best."

For those people who are forced to live by society's rules, how can they ever hope to understand what you represent?
"People have to live their own lives. They have to make decisions for themselves. I never wanted to live by society's rules and there's plenty of people out there that feel the same way. I have to live like this - there are no other choices for me. This is how I express myself. I have to rebel."

But you've proved your success. What is there to rebel against?
"My success tells me that there are plenty of other people who want to rebel too. They need to reach out and break away from everything they are being told by their parents, their bosses, that kind of thing. My world is a world of anarchy and it's definitely not or everyone. But for the people it is for, I want to speak for them. There's more people into anarchy than you think. I am a spokesperson, a catalyst. Like I said, our fans understand."

Do you feel that you are a positive band?
"We are definitely a positive band. It's people who aren't used to seeing the extreme negativity we present. Some people like to see the positive, just like some people like to bitch on the negativity. The people that bitch onto the negativity are the first to complain that I am negative. But in reality they are the ones grasping onto negativity, not me. Just the name Marilyn Manson naturally gravitates towards negativity. I can't help that."

Don't you think your fame is a result of our society searching for new limits?
"I believe nothing happens by accident. My fame has happened for a reason. My fans are my kindred spirits in revolution. On a certain level I don't understand stardom and on another level, I do. If anyone chooses to ignore the message or the messenger, they do so at their own risk. Believe it or not, there are more people out there that understand what I am trying to do than society wants to admit. The way I live my life represents a much bigger part of America than anyone would care to imagine."

Any thoughts before you run off to do another show?
"I know whatever we do, our fans will be there for us. There's still a lot more to be done. I'm sorry if people find some of the things I say and do troubling or disturbing. This is how I am and Iím not about to change for anybody."