Holy Wood Interviews

Kerrang!

Twiggy Ramirez
2000 Nov 11
MANSON'S RIGHT HAND MAN ON FAME, FAILURE AND MASTURBATING WITH PIZZA DOUGH...





Where and when did you first meet Marilyn Manson?
"If I recall correctly, it was probably around 1989 in a shopping mall in Coral Springs, Florida. I had a big giant brown afro at the time and Manson looked something like a Satanic Emo Philips (Nerdy '80s comedian - Comedy Ed)."

What were your first impressions of him?
"I tried to sell a Love And Rockets tape to him. He was looking for Judas Priest's Painkiller. Because of that I thought he was a metalhead.

And was he?
"Isn't everybody?"

What is your non-musical role in the band?
"I'd say I'm the instigator. It's my job to instigate things and wind people up. Sometimes I like to make situations seem a lot more stressful than they really are. You know, simple situations; if the band is waiting to go onstage then I like to wind everybody up and to make them really pissed off - not at me - but to get everyone pumped. It doesn't have anything to do with sports, it's not like it's a hockey team or anything, I just do it to push people's buttons. It tends to make everyone a little more aggressive."

What's Manson like to work with?
"He's my musical soulmate so it's great. I wouldn't say we agree on everything - we have a lot of the same tastes but we have different opinions on certain things. But it all balances out. We disagree on some stuff but we respect each other's opinions. And it's tough to disagree with someone 100% if you trust their opinions."

What's the most hedonistic thing you've done since joining the band?
"Continuing to be in the band, I guess. The most hedonistic thing I did was probably before I was in the band. It was when I worked at a pizza parlour. What happened was that one time I masturbated with pizza dough. It was okay, though, 'cos I threw it out, I didn't serve it. But for some reason I still feel guilty about having sexual relations with the pizza dough."

You're seen as the typically wasted rock n' roller in the band. Is that fair?
"Yes and no. I can be responsible, but I can see how people would perceive that as being the case. Yes I live a rock and roll lifestyle, but I don't plan on dying yet. At least not from drink and drugs. But I do like that lifestyle and I don't try and hide it, so if people want to point the finger at me for being that type of guy then that's fine with me. It's better to be used than useless. At least I'm good for something."

What's your favourite Manson album?
"I'd have to say the new one, Holy Wood (In The Shadow Of The Valley Of Death). Obviously Antichrist Superstar has a place in my heart 'cos it was my first record, the songs I really wrote with the band. But now, with the evolution of the band, we're making better records and I'm more proud of them. But it's kind of like picking kids, which of your kids you like the best. I do like where we're at now. That's why I'm doing this interview."

What's your favourite song to play live?
"Irresponsible Hate Anthem."

You recorded Holy Wood at legendary escapologist Harry Houdini's house. How enjoyable was the recording?
"I remember very well when we were writing the record and when we were mixing the record, but when we were at the Harry Houdini house, where the album was recorded, it's all a bit of a blur actually. I can't really remember recording the tracks. I guess the reason being, that there were a lot of different emotions racing around. Plus there was the rumour that Houdini's house was haunted - which I kinda laughed off at the time, but there was definitely something weird going on at that place. All I can say is, I definitely felt like something was there."

Do you fully understand the album's concept?
"Yeah I do. It's pretty difficult to put into words, but I definitely understand it. To listen to the album is the only true answer."

How did the aftermath of Columbine affect you?
"It gave me the opportunity to have some time off. We got to go home, 'cos nobody wanted to professionally be around us for a while after that happened. I don't mind you asking about it here, but the only thing that really bothered me at the time was that people kept asking about it. You automatically get associated with that. But people like to point the finger at things and I guess the biggest thing they could point the finger at was Marilyn Manson. It's unfortunate that people are that ignorant.

Do you mind that Marilyn Manson the man seems to have overshadowed Marilyn Manson the band?
"No, 'cos I'm a fan of both Marilyn Manson the man and Marilyn Manson the band. I enjoy both. I don't find it too restrictive, I'm able to put my foot down and keep myself visible. Also, being in the shadows, I donít have to take responsibility for everything that comes along. The attention that Marilyn Manson gets also comes with responsibility. I'm glad I donít have that on my shoulders."

Why do you think Mechanical Animals didn't live up to commercial expectations?
"Because I think people have unrealistic expectations when it comes to Marilyn Manson. We're not a pop band. It did as well, if not better than Antichrist Superstar, so it wasn't a failure to me. We're not here to sell records like the Backstreet Boys."

Who's your closest friend in the band?
"I would have to say Manson. I've known him the longest."

What do your parents think of what you do?
"I don't know my real father, but my mom loves what we do. She comes to our shows all the time."

How easy is it to maintain a relationship in a band like Marilyn Manson?
"For me personally, I can't be monogamous right now, so I don't want to have to lie to anybody. I try to be honest."

What's the best and worst things about being in Marilyn Manson?
"The worst thing is not getting any sleep and the best thing is not getting any sleep."

Do you still like the drugs?
"Yes. But I don't take drugs to be creative, I am creative and happen to take drugs. I just happen to recreationally use drugs. Either way, I'm creative whether I use drugs or not. My drug of choice? Viagra."