Alejandro Jodorowsky interviews Marilyn Manson
J: We’ll start with your album which will soon be released and then move on to more personal matters, OK?
J: The title of your album is ‘Eat Me, Drink Me’. Straight away, I think of the symbology of Christ. What happens every day at church? Catholics eat and drink their God. I believe that makes them vampire cannibals...
M: I knew that you’d like that...
J: You, Manson, you are a symbol. You always wear make-up, no-one knows who you are... Christ is a man who became a symbol, you are the opposite. You are a symbol who is in the process of becoming human. When you say ‘Eat Me, Drink Me’, you prove your love for the world. You offer yourself... you are food for the vampire cannibals. That’s what I feel. Talking about you personally: you are a mythology, but back to front. Each new era needs new mythologies...
M: I completely agree. You understood that so much better than anyone... yes.
J: To express ourselves as artists in the world, we can no longer destroy it. It is ourselves that we have to destroy.
M: Why do you say that?
J: At every era, the genii, I’m thinking of people like Arthaud, Van Gogh, Nietzsche, Topor, gave themselves, offered, self-destruction. But this is not a Christ-like destruction. People eat their symbol at church. Your case is different. You offer your flesh and your soul. Are you suffering?
M: Not at the moment, no.
J: However, your album expresses a suffering...
M: Exactly. I was in the process of losing a love, that of my marriage, but I was also in the process of re-finding love with another girl...
J: It’s I who married you, you remember, in the name of the four elements: wind, water, fire and earth. Intelligence, emotion, sex and day-to-day life. I realize that your wife was in love with the symbol of Manson, not with who you really are...
M: It’s exactly what my father told me: she was in love with an idea of me, not with me. For a year, I didn’t know who I was any more. I couldn’t create, or write, nothing, emptiness. I tried to make music, nothing happened. I was alone. She wasn’t there, she was working, building her career. After only 6 months, I had to really search for myself, and that didn’t really happen at the beginning. I didn’t really know who I was.
J: In our subconscious we go away from the vacuum towards form. Thanks to you, this woman took form and you, during this time, went towards the vacuum.
M: That's exactly what happened.
J: What is the definition of alchemy? It's the spiritualization of matter and a materialization of the spirit. What is at the bottom is like what is at the top. A demon is an angel fallen to Earth, an angel is a demon raised to Heaven.
M: enthusiastically See why I like this guy! You really are the only person to understand these things...
J: A few years ago, every time a kid did something terrible in America, it was Marilyn Manson's fault. Has this changed?
M: It's became like in my personal life. As a human being, I was blamed for everything. Everything was my fault. I became a magnet for bad things in real life as well. A series of only catastrophes happened to me. Nothing good. Certainly during this time, Americans forgot about me a little, but I feel that with this record they will get back on my case. This new project is totally human. People will have to take it seriously. It's even darker this time around.
J: There is a verse in the Kabbala which says "make a rise out of your fall". I listened to your record. You take a dramatic situation and out of it make an alchemy, you record a philosophical album which will give you, behind the image of destruction, one of construction. What state is the world in? It is destroyed. We can no longer attack it, it's impossible. It is ourselves whom we have to attack, not the world.
M: I totally agree.
J: Everyone is a victim at the moment. We, the artists, have nothing more to destroy.
M: I wanted to say one thing with this record and I will say it to you: the Moon is rising.
J: It's very interesting that you say that... because for thousands of years, we have forgotten the Mother deity. We only respect the old male gods. What is happening now, this general state of disaster, is the end result of the Father's domination. With this record, you talk to us about femininity, the Great Goddess who is in you. When I saw you for the first time on TV, I watched you with passion. I said to myself: "What a magnificent freak" laughs. When I see you facing me, I think that you are the only actor I want to direct, as a director.
M: We have a film project together, I want to do it.
J: We still have time, if this unfathomable being which we call God gives me life...
M: I'll be there.
J: In the 60s, Jodorowsky and the group 'Panic' organized events. It was all about blood, nudity, madness and it was a shocking spectacle. Manson, your shows are done in the same spirit, aren't they?
M: Absolutely, it's what I always wanted. And even more now. All of the show business industry has become normalized, it's mundane, you buy a ticket for a show... myself, however, I believe that you don't know where the show starts, and it will never end. That causes more fear.
M: OK... Imagine now that you can change one thing about the human body. What would it be?
J: Change the brain. I would create a brain in 4 parts, starting with the 3: reptilian coldness, the emotional white matter and the intellectual cortex which is so enormous that, to fit inside the skull, it has to fold up like an accordion labyrinth. You would have to stop fighting against things of the brain. And I would create a fourth brain of pure telepathic energy.
M: Fantastic! Me, I think it would be good to have two mouths. I don't have time to eat and talk. Two mouths would be useful.
J: Fantastic! (taps the back of his neck) You'd put it there, right?
M: Exactly. You need more mouths to kiss better.
J: When you are alone... what happens? Because you are two people. There is Manson the symbol and a human being as well. There is a famous Manson and a private Manson. How does the private Manson live?
M: When I made this record, I realized a lot of things. Apart from a very close circle of friends, few people know my true self, and it's normal, I never put it into my music... this record is me. Listen to the first songs, it starts with these words: "6am, Christmas morning", and effectively I wrote it on the Christmas morning and sang it that day. I decided that the private Manson would be at the centre of this record.
J: And that is why this album is a lot richer than the ones before! This one, you did with your twin. Your inner twin is starting to express itself...
M: Thank you!
J: Manson, you talk a lot about the Devil, but have you already met him?
M: He is in me, and that could perhaps be my twin. In any case, that's why I wrote 'You, Me And The Devil Makes 3'. If you listen to this song, it's really me talking about myself.
J: The Devil is the Ego. The ego is a box which contains your essential being, infinite and eternal. This box can be open or closed. Take the example of a politician... the true self of the politician stays in the box. Limited. Very quickly, you can suffer because of these limits. Manson does things differently: he opens the box and allows his true self to exit. He allows it to have a voice. This is why my friend Manson pushes the limits. But with this record, Manson breaks these emotional limits. Am I right?
M: You are right. For my new video, I asked for a decor where I found myself literally right inside the heart. I combined that with 'Lolita' and 'Bonnie and Clyde', and it talks of a new love, with a dangerous girl. The girl holds out a dagger to me, she brings me back to life. We go over the edge in a racing car surrounded by a mountain of fire....
J: One day, you will have to take your Manson costume and bury it. Afterwards, you can lock yourself in for a night and a day without make-up, or costume, to find yourself. But is this possible commercially?
M: In the video, I'm not even wearing make-up. I filmed a sex scene in a bed which interests me a lot because it's raining blood on the girl and me. You find yourself truly at the centre of the heart.
J: I think that there'll have to be a Manson video where rats devour your testicles!
M: No, thanks, no rat will devour my testicles laughs.
J: For me, the rat is a vampyric animal, stronger and more intelligent than man. The rat who eats your balls eats your sperm, it's a sacred substance and the rats become chalices. I can envision quite well a video culminating in a pope brandishing with ecstasy a rat filled with Mansonien sperm... that's the video I'm going to make...
M: Wow! I internalize everything. I created my own world.
J: And that's what you have to do. There isn't time to behave like normal people. You have to have the attitude of the old wise man who says "Make construction from destruction". Animals have ways of defending themselves. You can choose to change things, you can choose to save yourself, you can choose to attack. But there is a way of winning against the world, and it's to go into yourself very deeply. I would say that that's exactly what you've done with this record.
J: Manson, what is your favorite Jodorowsky film?
M: 'The Holy Mountain'.
J: I'm pleased to hear that, I really suffered to make that film! No-one understood anything that I wanted to do. It was a great happiness for me when it finally came out... if my films come out, it's also thanks to you, Manson. You talked about me in your journal and since then, everywhere I go around the world to give conferences or present my films, there is a huge group of gothic kids who come to see me...
M: And it's expected, you are really the only person to say incredible things to us.
J: Very well... goodbye. I will go to your concerts, it's been a good day, I've just interviewed my first rock star!
M: Thanks a lot.