Mechanical Animals Interviews

Kerrang! Magazine
Marilyn is asked about being a celebrity, what shocking really is and how Marilyn Manson the name still holds its meaning today.
Marilyn Manson
1998

Marilyn Manson - Spooky Pop Star
On plotting to kill a girlfriend, joining the Church Of Satan and exactly why he’s like Monica Lewinsky
by Paul Elliot


Paul Elliott:
When you were a kid you found some pretty disturbing porno pics that your granddad was "using." After that experience did you stand a chance of being normal?

Marilyn Manson:
I think I am normal, by my standards. A term like "normal" is kind of relative and I don’t go by other people’s definitions. Equally, I don’t think I’m gonna behave abnormally or I’m gonna do things that are evil or wrong. I just do things the way I like to do them. That’s my standard.

Paul Elliott:
So knowing your standard, how well do you like yourself?

Marilyn Manson:
I like myself fine half the time. When I don’t like myself, it’s pretty evident from my behavior.

Paul Elliott:
Describe your music to someone who’s never heard it.

Marilyn Manson:
If they haven’t heard it by now, they can fuck off, because if you don’t know who I am by this point you can go right to Hades! You can bypass Hell and go straight to Hades, where I’ve heard it’s worse. I think I’m famous enough now.

Paul Elliott:
So if you won’t tell us what your music sounds like, tell us who you like. We’ll guess the rest.

Marilyn Manson:
Fair deal. I have great admiration for David Bowie. Queen and T Rex and Kiss were all big for me when I was growing up and my new recordMechanical Animals reflects the music that meant a lot to me as a kid, while bringing it up to date.

Paul Elliott:
You’re something of a mainstream celebrity in America after your last album, Antichrist Superstar, aren’t you?

Marilyn Manson:
Well even Monica Lewinsky’s a celebrity here now because she sucked a dick. That’s America. That was the inspiration for Marilyn Manson ten years ago and it still kinda holds true today.

Paul Elliott:
Your look will shock a lot of people. Do you ever go out in jeans and a T-shirt?

Marilyn Manson:
If I’m sitting around the house in my underpants that’s probably the closest I’ll get to "regular" dress. I have plans to get a fake mustache and glue that on to disguise myself as an everyday guy. Smoke a cigarette, talk to people, do "friendly," drive around waving.

Paul Elliott:
That’s nice, but we suspect unlikely. Tell us - has your image made you a fanny magnet?

Marilyn Manson:
At various stages of my career it has. Initially I tried to present myself as unattractive - and people seemed to find it appealing. Now I’m evolving into something else and it’s all part of redefining what beauty is. I don’t think I’m conventionally good-looking, but I present myself in a way that, in the long run, results in a lot of blow jobs. Does that answer your question?

Paul Elliott:
Yes, thanks. OK, what shocks you?

Marilyn Manson:
I’m sitting in a bathtub and someone throws a hairdryer in, that will shock me.

Paul Elliott:
Not bad. You don’t look like a fun guy, though. What’s your favorite comedy on TV?

Marilyn Manson:
The Jerry Springer Show. It shows how low we Americans have sunk. It’s now evolved to the point where they should give people handguns and let them go on there and shoot each other. I think that would be very American.

Paul Elliott:
Making money’s very American. How much have you made?

Marilyn Manson:
Not nearly enough. Money merely gives me the opportunity to create more things. I don’t own a home or a car. I wouldn’t describe myself as successful financially, but I’m getting to do more of the things I want to do.

Paul Elliott:
What items do you always carry with you?

Marilyn Manson:
A pair of sunglasses.

Paul Elliott:
Not your Church Of Satan membership cards, as awarded by Anton LaVey?

Marilyn Manson:
I don’t think I have that anymore. I lost it.

Paul Elliott:
Maybe you misplaced it on a glass-topped table somewhere.

Marilyn Manson:
For cutting up drugs? Is that what you are referring to? Trust me, I have done that. A library card works pretty good too, I’ve found.

Paul Elliott:
Tell us Marilyn - do you fear death?

Marilyn Manson:
My new record represents not so much a fear of dying, but more a reason to live. I’m finally having feelings, having things to fight for, which represents a reason not to die.

Paul Elliott:
Let’s talk about "The Little Death," then. Did you really shag top porn model Jenna Jameson?

Marilyn Manson:
If you’re talking about the story about me and her in my book, then no, I didn’t fuck her. Not at that particular moment, anyway.

Paul Elliott:
Ah, your book The Long Hard Road Out Of Hell. In it you tell of how you meticulously plotted to kill a former girlfriend. Were you serious?

Marilyn Manson:
I came close. Fortunately for me I didn’t go through with it because I’d be in jail right now. Unless I got away with it, of course.

Paul Elliott:
On you last tour you used a lot of imagery that looked suspiciously Nazi-like. A bit of a fascist, are you?

Marilyn Manson:
I like the idea of elitism when it comes to intelligence, because that’s a commodity that’s available to anyone - you can learn as much as you really want to. Obviously, some people are always going to be smarter than others, some people are mentally handicapped, but to be as smart as you’re capable is a fair and almost politically correct form of elitism. Fascism, when it comes to racism or sex, is too lenient. Accept all white people? There are lots of really ignorant white people I’d never consider my friend. Accepting all men wouldn’t work either. But intelligence is universal and anyone can achieve it by their own willpower. That’s a healthy, positive thing.

Paul Elliott:
And so, no doubt, are you. Are you a good, clean boy at heart, Marilyn?

Marilyn Manson:
I usually disinfect my hands after I’ve shaken hands with people, but then again, I’ve had sex with porn stars, so there’s no clear line of what’s clean and what’s not. Actually, for me to have sex with myself is probably the most unsanitary thing I do. Whenever I masturbate I have to immediately wash my hands afterwards.

Paul Elliott:
And what else disgusts you?

Marilyn Manson:
Excessive body hair. And people who live up to stereotypes. People who perpetuate ignorance disgust me too.

Paul Elliott:
How about the fans who come to your shows and beg you to sign your name in their flesh with a razor blade? Or are they just pathetic?

Marilyn Manson:
Just because my fans emulate, that doesn’t mean they’re as stupid as what we as a band are reacting against. I think it’s just their way of identifying and saying, "I’m a part of this. I believe in this." They’re shunning the way their family wants them to behave, shunning the way society wants them to look. Next year they’re not going to be doing the same thing, they’re going to have their own identity. I think that’s very positive. You have to be intelligent to appreciate half of the things I do anyway - but if you have a sense of irony, most of the time you’ll enjoy it. So there are really only two kinds of people in the world: people who like Marilyn Manson - and stupid people.