Holy Wood Interviews

Herald Sun
Marilyn is asked about touring in Australia, the similarities of Marilyn Manson and Slipknot, and the student who had Manson shirt troubles in America.
Marilyn Manson
2001 May 10
Marilyn Manson talks to Neala Johnson about his image, confirming what you see is pretty much what you get....

Herald Sun:
You played in Moscow recently. Can you describe the atmosphere there?
Marilyn Manson:
It was a sense of danger, and a sense of surrealness, because it's a place that you were taught to fear as a child. When you've travelled the entire world and seen all these different countries - a lot of places have been very westernised and you find McDonalds everywhere - but there were things about Russia that were unlike any other place I've been. But overall I would say it's one of the scarier places I've been.
Herald Sun:
Did your show go off without a hitch?
Marilyn Manson:
It did, as a matter of fact. In fact, we had some members of the Russian army on stage with us during 'The Love Song', brandishing their weapons, which was quite exciting.
Herald Sun:
Is it fair to say that your last tour of Australia - with the Big Day Out in 1999 - wasn't the easiest tour you've ever lived through?
Marilyn Manson:
I don't think that was the fault of Australia or the fans there, I've just never found myself to enjoy those festival environments as much as I do a refular concert where your fans are coming to see you. I don't mind dealing with a hostile audience, but at the same time I also like to create a real bond between us and the crowd, and that's hard to do when you're in that type of environment. I much prefer doing our own tour. That said, we are about to set off on this Ozzfest tour. But fortunately we were very involved in approving who was allowed on the tour, and it was mostly that we really wanted to do something big with Slipknot because we get along well. I like the fact that they are very nihilistic and there's a lot of chaos in their show.
Herald Sun:
Do you see a big crossover of fans betweeen Marilyn Manson and Slipknot?
Marilyn Manson:
I see a lot of Slipknot T-shirts at our concerts, and I've seen a lot of Marilyn Manson T-shirts at Slipknot concerts, so yeah. I think it's because we're two of only a few bands that have genuine attitide in what we do. Angst and heavy music has become such a trend, but young music fans in particular are able to see through fake ones, and they know which ones are for real. I think people know that I'm for real and I've been and done a lot of things that people wouldn't do or say. And that's because I live what I am. Marilyn Manson is a 24-hour thing for me because it's not about how I look, it's about what's inside me, it's about what I think, and that never changes. That's not something you turn off when you walk off stage.
Herald Sun:
Have you found it funny that throughout your career, many media outlets have tried to demystify Marilyn Manson and turn you into a "normal" person, so that they can deal with you a bit easier?
Marilyn Manson:
That may be one reason why they do it. It may also be because they know that people are interested in what's behind the music, or behind the image, and they know that they can profit off that. Whether they want to make me out to be the cause of everything that's bad or whether they want to make me out to be just a normal person, it's always just and excuse for them to sell magazines, that's their ultimate agenda. I know from being a journalist, and I don't despise them for that, it is just what it is, and the sooner you learn that, then you don't have to take it personally.
Herald Sun:
Did you enjoy appearing in Eminem's video 'The Way I Am'? Do you think he has made some pertinent points in that song?
Marilyn Manson:
I appreciate him for defending me, so I thought it was cool to do that. We got a chance to hang out a little bit more in Germany, and we might want to do something together. But I think we're both smart enough to know that we need to do something together that isn't what everyone's expecting. Obviously people see us both as setting out to shock people, but I think what will be most shocking is if we do the opposite of what everyone really wants from us. And I really, really don't ever want to be part of that rock and hip-hop combination trend that has taken over the world, because I think when it dies, it's gonna die in a big way.... like disco (laughs).
Herald Sun:
Is that the way you see it in America? Are people justpiling onto a band wagon?
Marilyn Manson:
Absolutely, and that's why I refuse to. And that's why when I made this record (Holy Wood) I knew that it was gonna stand out like a sore thumb in the music scene. I knew it wasn't what the general public was looking for, but I wasn't giving it to them. I was giving it to my fans.
Herald Sun:
One of your US fans was in trouble for wearing a Marilyn Manson T-shirt to school. Did you get involved at all?
Marilyn Manson:
It was a long time ago and what happened was he took it to the Supreme Court trying to defend his rights. But the outcome - which is being appealed - it was very interesting what the judges said. They said that my persona represented a satanic and pro-drug message, so even my face can be deemed offensive and not allowed on a T-shirt in a school. So my face alone is so terrible and evil that you can't bring it to school, which I find kind of amusing and complimenting in some way. But when it first happened, I sent the kid every shirt we had so that he could wear a different one every day and get sent home.
Herald Sun:
Are you shocked when those sorts of comments appear, or is it just water off a ducks back these days?
Marilyn Manson:
I'm not surprised by it, and I'm nearly numb to it, but I try not to be jaded. It still amuses me when people find me to be everything that's wrong with America. But maybe in some ways I am (laughs). But maybe in some ways I'm the only thing that's right with America. Who's to say?