Mechanical Animals Interviews

Clarin
An Argentinian magazine asks Marilyn about heroes, Alice Cooper and shocking musicians.
Marilyn Manson
1998 Sep 08

"It was important to me to treat with a person who instead of recommend me some S&M draper's shop would suggest me an artistic direction." Guess who is Manson talking about, from his house in LA in a very serious voice in his only Argentinian interview while he finishes mixing his new record? Billy Corgan, of course, the friendly ghost of the year. Just a few weeks ago it was Courtney Love who had to deny Hole's record was almost all work of the Pumpkins masterhead and now it was the reverend who had to admit Corgan was "definitely decisive in the project, even though he didn't play". For Mechanical Animals Manson left Reznor's guardianship and put Michael Beinhorn in charge, responsible for "cleaning-up" the sound of Ozzy Osbourne and Soundgarden. And what about Reznor? "I prefer not to talk on the subject", he would apologize.

Clarin:
Why do you called the new album Mechanical Animals?

Marilyn Manson:
It's kind of a reflection about the way animals react to stimulus. Obviously this includes man. Even feelings are based in a dictatorship. If you see someone starving or lying in a corner because he has AIDS you're gonna worry about it and cry. But twenty steps ahead, you already forgot it and begin to think what show is on TV that night.

Clarin:
And what can rock, or Marilyn Manson do to change that?

Marilyn Manson:
Another Live Aid, sure not (laughs). I'd like people to confront their true feelings. For this album, I went back and looked for my heroes: Iggy Pop, David Bowie, early 80's techno, people like Gary Numan. Guys who supposedly did a cold, dehumanized music, but if you listen to them alone in your room it produces you more feelings that any punk or heavy metal band.

Clarin:
In an interview, last year, you said you wanted to make a more human record. Do you think you achieved that?

Marilyn Manson:
I said that somewhere? Wow, I suppose I'm getting old...well, it's true. But it has nothing to do with any Charles Manson subject, like it was said.

Clarin:
About the subject...Is it true you signed a plea to free him?

Marilyn Manson:
No. He's a well-jailed guy...but he's not the responsible for all the bad things that happened in the 60's. Those murders he committed happened the same year I was born and also I always though his face was the one of a rock star. I was convinced of it, until I discovered his story.

Clarin:
And who are your real heroes, then?

Marilyn Manson:
I am my own hero...Kiss, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Iggy Pop...

Clarin:
It's really strange you didn't mention Alice Cooper...

Marilyn Manson:
I admire him but I dislike the fact he thinks he's Vincent Fournier and Alice Cooper is a character: pure schizophrenia.

Clarin:
Then Brian Warner is Marilyn Manson?

Marilyn Manson:
Twenty-four hours a day.

Clarin:
Brian or Marilyn, whatever you prefer...All around the world there are boys and girls dressing like you. Are they converted to your cause or merchandise victims?

Marilyn Manson:
I think they are people who try to express themselves without taboos. Although sometimes MTV is an intermediary to sell an estereotype of mine.

Clarin:
Your fans need you as a shock artist or as a musician?

Marilyn Manson:
I'm a musician who shocks, precisely, with my music. And that's where this record points: I want to be respected for my music.

Clarin:
Record stores got scared once again with the cover of Mechanical Animals. What are you afraid of?

Marilyn Manson:
Of what I said before, about the dictatorship of feelings. In Mechanical Animals I found a way in which music has a theatrical direction. In that way, it has to do with Ziggy Stardust or The Wall.

Clarin:
A rock opera?

Marilyn Manson:
"The phantom of the opera" (laughs again). I would say it's conceptual.

Clarin:
Do you remember the last time you cried?

Marilyn Manson:
While I was writing the songs on Mechanical Animals.

Clarin:
What was the best advice you ever received?

Marilyn Manson:
Anyone that my inner voice gave me.

Clarin:
Working in an autobiography was as interesting as recording or playing live?

Marilyn Manson:
I think no. At least I'm satisfied how things ended up, people can be sure of what's written there. But my thing is recording and playing.

Clarin:
You've been twice in Argentina. Some memory?

Marilyn Manson:
Mmm...last time Ginger Fish broke everything and we had to stop. Not much else.

Clarin:
Is it true you bought images (statues)of Argentinian saints?

Marilyn Manson:
Yes, it's true.

Clarin:
Do you remember the name of any one?

Marilyn Manson:
No. I'm sorry.

Clarin:
What's your most appreciated material possession?

Marilyn Manson:
My sunglasses collection.

Clarin:
Would you live this way if you weren't a rock star?

Marilyn Manson:
I would be Marilyn Manson, anyhow. I would have censorship problems, but nobody would notice so it would be easier to finish with me. A lot of people say it's a way of getting more free advertising. The ones who censor me act like Mechanical Animals.

Clarin:
In Sweden and Norway rituals and murders are committed in name of black metal. Don't you feel responsible there are fans that follow you to that extremes?

Marilyn Manson:
Those Scandinavians are regular murderers. I don't promote anything that has to do with that. People usually go further than you...A short time ago I was invited to a big black party, pretty boring by the way. They wanted me to decide something, to follow my orders. So, joking, I said the last thing was to smoke human bones. Later on they showed up with some bones and lit them. Incredible!

Clarin:
Sometimes it seems you present yourself as the savior of rock music. You really think it?

Marilyn Manson:
I usually think in that terms about myself.