Holy Wood Interviews

MansonUSA
Marilyn takes the time to talk with Alexander of MansonUSA.com to answer a variety of questions asked by the members of our bulletin boards. Thanks to all who participated and thanks to Marilyn for talking with us!
Marilyn Manson
2002 Jul 06

Marilyn Manson Interview
By Alexander


Before we get on with the interview, MM wanted me to clear something up regarding rumors of him covering a Black Flag song:

I am not covering a Black Flag song, but I would love to help the WM3 in any way I can, since I believe they are innocent. I would really like to paint the album cover, and I have suggested that.

MM

Without further delay, here is the interview:

Alexander:
How does it feel to finish the story (triptych) told on ANTICHRIST SUPERSTAR, MECHANICAL ANIMALS, and HOLY WOOD and now being able to move onto material different than that of your previous albums?
Marilyn Manson:
I feel that I have come full circle creatively and I also think I am at a point in my career when I have the least amount of creative obstacles. This goes for my personal life which is reflected greatly in everything I create. I feel like a confident leader of a dedicated band that is willing to stand behind my decisions.
Alexander:
How much research do you actually do when looking into a particular style of music and the era it's related to and does the research stem from something you have read, for instance a novel? For example, the upcoming album and the references made to burlesque.
Marilyn Manson:
My new album actually is more inspired by cabaret and vaudeville. Burlesque was for men looking to see beautiful ladies undress. Vaudeville was for the not-so-beautiful to entertain in other ways. I do like both. I have always looked to vaudeville and theatre in general, from the beginning. "Driven" even referred to my early performances as being "vaudville." My interest in 30s style started in ACSS when I got into corsetry. I began collecting things: my antique barber's chair, old medical equipment, and '30s pin-up bondage "porno." The strange thing is that this record looks, sounds and feels like me and my home. That is, my close friends feel that it shows more of my innerself than anything I have done before. I suppose, it is my complete dedication and focus that has kept this album close to my heart. Sometimes the pressure and expectations affect your art, but I have really let my guard down and have not been afraid to go all the way. I feel like I have nothing to lose, because people have attacked me and robbed and raped me so much this music is all I have to make me alive. I am really having the time of my life. My world has just begun.
Alexander:
Have your ideals and thoughts on society and religion changed much since the "Portrait of an American Family" era? If so, in what way(s)?
Marilyn Manson:
God is odd. I think that I have dwelled on the subject far too long and explored every facet. I have reduced this record, lyrically, to man's simplest equations. Our identity, our loves and how we sacrifice one or the other to be happy. Extreme personalities are hard to control. So is extreme art. When you find a person who loves all of you and fans that embrace your growth you have finally "become." This is my time and I am grateful that you are my accomplices.
Alexander:
Do you take criticism from fans into consideration, or do you try to make the music you feel like regardless of the possibility that it may not be well received by your fans?
Marilyn Manson:
I give everything and that is why people liked me to begin with. Creation is dead when the creator consults nature. I want to make what makes me happy and always remember that it is made for others to enjoy. It is a fine line, and I hope to never fall too far into pandering or self indulgence. I trust my gut feeling and never look back.
Alexander:
With your exploration into other forms of art such as the massive amounts of paintings themselves, the music scores and acting on the silver screen, do you honestly see yourself progressing away from what you are doing now in the music scene, as in permanantly and what would you say to your fans about this?
Marilyn Manson:
Music is definitely more demanding than other mediums. Fans are critical, demanding and deserve to be. Rock and Roll is a way of life. I dedicate myself to the fans as much as they do to me. Painting relaxes me. Acting liberates me and lets me be the 5,000 other characters in my head that I don't have room for in songs. Scoring movies lets me take the focus out of singing and is really exciting. I think directing, without the confines of major studios, will be my strongest voice. This is something I aim to prove.
Alexander:
Having said in your recent Metal Hammer interview that you are very influenced by the Dada movement, Do you view your entire life as one big work of art? Planning out your death to be the most unexpected completion of your artistic existence. Only then, will they truly understand what you have done?
Marilyn Manson:
Whenever I am understood, I am boring. Art, blah, blah. It is to open your mind, not close it. I've died a hundred times already. It's not as fun as being born again. Ha. Dada is not to be understood and it's not a crutch for lack of creativity, it is a key to what some will think is absurd. I like that. It is more sardonic. People always pick apart every word I say.
Alexander:
Your fans have witnessed your on-going evolution both musically and image-wise. When you started Marilyn Manson did you ever imagine it getting this big? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Marilyn Manson:
I was laughed at when I said I would succeed. Pogo was really the only one that has always believed me from the beginning. I convinced him to quit a job offer at NASA to learn keyboards. He's a genius. The 10 year question is way too cliché, and I hope it won't exist 10 years from now.
Alexander:
How do you feel about the music industry now? Some feel that not getting a Grammy means not being recognized by your peers, and that makes the musician think their music isn't worth listening to. Does a musician's popularity support the fact that their music is good? Or is music now just one big record sales battle?
Marilyn Manson:
I hate what music has become for some people: an advertisement for slavery. I make chaos, I make messes, but I don't know how to make my own bed. Why would anyone care what a panel of old fuckasses think of your songs? I would melt my grammy down and make a gun. Or maybe throw it through my neighbors window; I hate my neighbors. I like when the fans vote. Kerrang awards is much more important than MTV or Grammy's. Hell, Grammy's sounds like grandma's. Trust me, I'm not saying this because "I'm bitter, and jealous." I also got the white ribbon for "participation" in the school Olympics. It makes for a gentle toilet tissue.
Alexander:
Is it humorous to you how the band seems to be hated in some countries and loved in others? Those who try to give the band bad press seem to be only raising more curiosity about you guys. Are you the definition of "there's no bad publicity"?
Marilyn Manson:
I think I have grown beyond any definition of good or bad publicity. I have been used as an adjective. I can't really answer that anymore.
Alexander:
Do you welcome varying interpretations of your songs from your fans or do they all have one specific meaning to you? Does it irritate you when reviewers include blatant misinterpretations into their articles that conform with their biased views on Marilyn Manson?
Marilyn Manson:
I have always assumed that we as a community of outsiders, are against predjucices, so the only thing that annoys me is malicious and anonymous criticism. I think people should make their comments into eloquent essays or crayola drawing or shit sculptures. If I take all of energy to make my opinions of the world into songs, people should be obligated to critique them with the same amount of effort. However, I do welcome all interpretations good or bad, that is the point isn't it?
Alexander:
In 1998, I believe you mentioned that you had plans to cover Guns N' Roses "One In A Million". Has the project since then been dropped? The song caused alot of controversy for Axl Rose, who actually put an apology on the front of Lies for those who didn't know where he came from when writing those lyrics. Would you enjoy the controversy that would surely follow you because of that song? Would you be able to defend it if that was possible?
Marilyn Manson:
I wanted to do it simply because he apologized. I don't think you should ever make something you will have to say "sorry" for. I lost interest and never pursued it, but we play it at soundcheck sometimes.
Alexander:
Can you actually make it out of your home, or has becoming popular put a damper on how you move around?
Marilyn Manson:
I hate leaving my house period. It has nothing to do with popularity. I prefer to be alone. I choose to deal with that by performing to people. It is a strange phenomenon. I don't dislike attention, but I find that music is the way I deal with that element of human relations best.
Alexander:
What's currently in your CD player?
Marilyn Manson:
The new Prodigy.
Alexander:
Which painters and visual artists have inspired you most?
Marilyn Manson:
Egon Schielle, Gottfried Helnwein, Luis Bunuel, Dali, Jodorowsky.Bosch, Warhol, Mark Ryden, Fellini. On and on...
Alexander:
What's the status of your new album (The Golden Age of Grotesque) in the studio? Have you finished recording?
Marilyn Manson:
Yes, ready to mix.
Alexander:
Do you have aspirations to work with any other artists or persons (aside from Tim Skold) on new projects?
Marilyn Manson:
Maybe Felix Da House Kat. D12 keeps trying to get me involved. I have my hands full with Helnwein on a few intertwined projects. It really depends on the circumstance. I don't like to collaborate with music outside of the band. It gets too distorted and unfocused.
Alexander:
With the recent edition of the "red room" in your home, it is apparent that you are very comfortable with the new '30s cabaret-esque image that you're portraying. Do you find the image/lifestyle of the "Arch Dandy" to be more fun to live than that of your previous images?
Marilyn Manson:
Recent? Anyone who knows me, knows that I always have a red room. My apartment in New Orleans is pictured in ACSS. In fact, I have two in this house. It's funny people see this as new, but Marilyn Monroe and '30s Hollywood have always been fascinating to me. I went through my latex/b&d phase in "Sweet Dreams," and had the whole WWII pilot helmet. People seem to look too much into the color of my walls. My new image is the most "me" of all and it fits well. It has always been there waiting to be found and now it is alive. I really was drawn to Dita because of my love for the '30s and '40s. People assume she brainwashed me into liking this overnight. I do find her as a very positive muse in my life and this is the most creative time I've ever experienced.
Alexander:
In essence, what can fans expect from your next tour?
Marilyn Manson:
To be amazed.
Alexander:
In what ways has your new bassist, Tim Skold, contributed to your new material?
Marilyn Manson:
He reminded me of the power that attitude brings to an album. His positive influence has made this album possible. I think that he as a producer, has been the most inspiring of anyone. His attitude as a bandmate is great. He and I don't let our egos limit our creativity.
Alexander:
Do you spend time perusing sites about the band made by your fans? Are you concerned about how you are represented or portrayed on these sites?
Marilyn Manson:
I appreciate the effort but compliment and insults are equally dangerous so I avoid both.
Alexander:
Anything else you'd like to say to our readers at The Heirophant/MansonUSA?
Marilyn Manson:
You are a talented guy and I hope we will work together someday. Thanks always to the fans.