Portrait Of An American Family Interviews

LiveWire

Marilyn Manson
1994
"I want my son off your mailing list. I have already contacted the Post Office about the pornographic material that I have received in the mail, and the next step is my attorney. I do not want this number called anymore and I do not want anything delivered to my address. If I receive anything else from this band, the next phone call will be my attorney and you will be contacted. Thank you and good bye!"

Yes, this reaction by a Florida mother to the band themselves, is probably what most of the establishment will have towards Marilyn Manson. Not that they give a shit, on the contrary, the band feels that the populous have only themselves to blame - Marilyn Manson is only a mirror of the crap that they have fed the new generation. Now they is here to proclaim the consequence.

Emerging from the depths of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where it's "It's not the humidity, it's the assholes!".
The five members: Mr. Manson (vocals), Daisy Berkowitz (guitars), Twiggy Ramirez (bass), Madonna Wayne Gacy (Hammond BJ Organ) and Sara Lee Lucas (drums) hated it. Daisy describes, "Well, if you went to high school anywhere near South Florida, you're basically overwhelmed by jocks, idiots, and children of inbred relatives."
Gee, kinda sounds like Queens, NY.
Mr. Manson continues, "Fort Lauderdale is a very tourist town, the people are very tame and weak down there, so it's a good place for a band like us. There's a scene starting to develop now, an underground scene, and when we started four years ago, there were a few live venues, but they were all geared to the heavy metal audience, so we sorta started it all, we paved the way for the local underground scene. The only other band to come out of our area was Saigon Kick."

"The name Marilyn Manson and the concept behind it had come out of watching a lot of talk shows. Marilyn Monroe and Charles Manson are both equally famous for two completely different reasons, it makes no sense." Mr. Manson says, a nefarious smirk passing over his face, "That concept signified everything that I wanted to stand for and I wanted to have a band that conveyed that - not that I actually had a band, it was just a concept and some words. Then when I met him (gesturing to Daisy) and listened to his music, it was just totally what I wanted to work with."

Starting off with four members and a drum machine, the band ventured out to the South Florida scene, which then consisted of mainly metal clubs. Still the unit managed to go over surprisingly well.
"Our crowd was seriously diverse and sometimes it caused conflict. The metal-heads thought we were fags, but they still beat the shit out of themselves in the pit. Usually they feel good enough by the end of the show to go out and harass some other little kids and leave us alone."
After two years of struggling with the industrial dogma, the band came to the decision to switch to a real, live drummer.
Mr. Manson explains, "Well, we used to play the metal clubs and we had a drum machine, so it went over pretty strangely, then our music started getting harder, veering toward punk and rock rather than industrial, so we needed a drummer. I mean, one that breathes. It makes it more real."

So now, after an additional two years, they have a devastating album, Portrait Of An American Family on Nothing Records (Trent Reznor's new label), and have just wrapped up a national tour opening for Nine Inch Nails. Quite a stretch from battling inbreeds in Florida, unequivocally a good excuse for partying. Has there been much?
"Not really. If we had a bus it would be different. We pick up hitchhikers, we like to scare them."
Pray tell how, Mr. Manson?
"Just sit there, and stare at them. We don't like to discuss any personal goings on."
Uh, okay. I'd rather not hear anyway (I wanna participate! Whoops, sorry!). So, feeling a tad uncomfortable, I gingerly ask if there are any last words. Mr. Manson smiles, "Read the bio."
So helpful, thanks!

"It's too late to take it all back. This is your world in which we grow and we will grow to hate you."
Indeed.