Mechanical Animals Interviews

Triple J
Marilyn explains his early influences, the influence of his music on others and a humorous part where he analyzes who could be him.
Marilyn Manson
1999 Jan 21

Adam Spencer:
Marilyn, there are some very serious allegations about you and your work. I mean, people seriously say that you contribute to youth suicide!

Marilyn Manson:
I don't think I've ever said anything that promotes suicide. I think a lot of people, particularly politicians, always focus in on an early T-shirt that I used to make, which was, I thought rather clever because in bold print it read "Kill God. Kill your Mum and Dad. Kill Yourself." Then when you read the fine print on the shirt that's in-between the lines, it says "Warning: Music like Marilyn Manson may kill God in your impressionable teenage minds. As a result you could kill your mum and dad, and then finally in a hopeless act of irresponsible rock and roll behavior, you could kill yourself. So please burn the records while you can." And it's something that those people would say, and that's is why I made the shirt. And they always focus in on that and say that I tell people to kill themselves. But if anything, and album like AntiChrist Superstar is a testimony to surviving the desire to kill yourself. And I think I've proven to people no matter how fucked up things that you go through are, or how much people dislike you for what you believe, that gives you more of a reason to live.

Adam Spencer:
So you're saying your T-shirts, just like at 3 in the morning when you're watching those infomercials and they're selling a tummy trimmer, you've gotta read the small print.

Marilyn Manson:
[laughs] Well it's about reading between the lines, really. And it's not so fine that you can't read it. I think it's just a matter of paying attention.

Adam Spencer:
We're lucky enough on Triple J Breakfast a few weeks from now, we're chatting to Tony Bennett. When you're 70, are you going to have just released a children's album of your old hits?

Marilyn Manson:
It's funny because I actually hit Tony Bennett with a bottle once at the MTV Music Awards 2 or 3 years ago.

Adam Spencer:
[laughs] It's probably just as well that he's not here now!

Marilyn Manson:
Ah, he didn't mind though.

Adam Spencer:
What, he said, "Thanks"?

Marilyn Manson:
He enjoyed the performance in his own special way. His, I guess they were grandchildren or his children, I'm not sure which. Probably his grandchildren, were big fans and he brought them and asked me for my autograph, so it was kind of interesting. But... making a children's record? Yeah, I could see that happening. I've always been a big fan of children's stories and children's songs. You know, things like Willy Wonka and The Cat in the Hat have always been huge inspirations to me.

Adam Spencer:
That's one of the things about people reading stuff in a contemporary cultural music, like your standard Grimm's fairy tale that kids are brought up on, it doesn't get any... You know, things like Little Red Riding Hood goes through the forest, is confronted by an animal that's eaten her grandmother, then a guy with an axe comes in and slaughters the animal and we all live happily ever after. That's about as intense as it gets.

Marilyn Manson:
Well, you know. When people try to blame kids for the way that act and they say, "Well, we found a Marilyn Manson record in his room," the same house is gonna have a history book, it's gonna have a King James Bible, it's gonna have Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, probably also, and I think anything can influence anybody. That's even more of a reason for parent's to want to raise their kids to be more intelligent. And I try and promote intelligence more than anything.

Adam Spencer:
You've got a lot of rumours flying about about who you were before you were Marilyn Manson. If it's all right with you, I'm gonna run a list of names past you. Can you comment if you have ever been any of these people?

Marilyn Manson:
[laughs] All right.

Adam Spencer:
Leonardo DiCaprio.

Marilyn Manson:
No, he's way too fat to be me.

Adam Spencer:
Former British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher.

Marilyn Manson:
[silence] No, but I have dressed up in a similar outfit to her.

Adam Spencer:
Florence Henderson who used to by mum on The Brady Bunch.

Marilyn Manson:
Actually, Florence Henderson made sexual advances towards me on Politically Incorrect, cause I appeared on it with her. And in fact, she liked me. So I figure if The Brady Bunch's mother can like Marilyn Manson, why can't all mothers?

Adam Spencer:
You're getting into bed with middle America if you bed Florence Henderson, aren't you!

Marilyn Manson:
[laughs]

Adam Spencer:
Josh Saviano. Paul Pheiffer from The Wonder Years. That's the big one I hear.

Marilyn Manson:
That's the big one. Actually, no. Though I did see Fred Savage once at a restaurant and he looked at me like maybe he had heard that story also. I think if anything, I would've been Winnie Cooper.

Adam Spencer:
[laughs] Wouldn't we all!

Marilyn Manson:
Ah, you know!

Adam Spencer:
I think it's Fred Savage who started the rumour. I think Fred wanted to get a bit of publicity to get his latest shows up, has started the rumor so he could run the, "Hey, I knew Marilyn Manson when he used to be on my TV show," line.

Marilyn Manson:
That's probably true because he's washed up now. But there's also the rumor that I removed a rib so I could perform oral sex on myself. So if that had happened, everyone knows I wouldn't have been Paul, I would've been busy locked in my room giving myself oral sex, waiting for Fred Nile to call.

Adam Spencer:
[laughs] Of all the times people have asked me that question, I've never had that simple explanation.

Marilyn Manson:
[laughs]

Adam Spencer:
Thanks for popping into Breakfast on Triple J, Marilyn.

Marilyn Manson:
All right. Thanks.