Smells Like Children Interviews

Fan Interview

Twiggy Ramirez
1995

Melanie: Hi. You ok? [He came out sniffiling and sneezing]
"Sorry, I'm a little sick. Daydreaming."

Yeah, you don't sound healthy. Did you enjoy your day off?
"Yeah. We stayed up late and drank a lot. So I'm also a little hung-over."

Ahhh... so now the truth comes out...
[laughs]

Do you want Marilyn Manson to be a significant influence in others' lives?
"Well, I think we are."

Is that what you want?
"We want to raise the children the parents aren't raising, if that makes any sense."

How do you guys feel about the people who seem to go through a metamorphasis when they come to a show, the ones who wear the make-up and dresses just for the shows?
"I think we want to press individuality on people, though that doesn't mean necessarily being like us. But, it doesn't mean that if you come dressed like us that you aren't being yourself. If you want to do that, that's fine. At our shows, it's like a halloween party, which isn't a bad thing. I'd like to see more of it actually."

There was a posting on AOL recently attacking your originality, for doing cover songs, and others, saying that you're a rip off of Alice Cooper. What would you say to these people, if you could speak to them, face to face?
"I don't really care, to tell you the truth. I mean, we put out our records for ourselves, and we did those songs cause we wanted to, and if you don't like it, good. I hope so. I hope you don't like it. We're not out to entertain everybody, at this point we're in it for ourselves. We're very selfish about this. When I say that, it's not about making money, cause that's the last thing it's about. It's just about entertaining ourselves, and it's just the next step toward our next record, which is basically the end of Marilyn Manson. Or the end of everything, basically."

Really? So, do you mean in 5 years, you don't see the world being here, maybe kind of an apocalyptic view?
"If you are in our world, there will be nothing. But, our world is different."

Different? How?
"It's just different. I mean, our version of reality is different."

Are you in your own little world?
"Well, it's not 'our own little world'. It is the world. But, everyone else's is a little different."

OK. When you say you don't care if other people like it, how about your fans? I know people who drive from Maryland here to Charlotte, who've given the Reverend a very detailed sculpture of himself, and tonight will be their 36th show. They're very dedicated.
"Yeah, I know who you're talking about."

Do you like it that people follow you like that?
"Yeah. Yeah, I like it when people come out to all the shows, and follow us across the country. Sometimes you get a little nervous, you get de ja vous, when you've see the same people in the front row for the past couple weeks. But, yeah, I think that's great."

There are a lot of fans, who have been listening to Manson either before tha album was ever released, or just after, that have expressed some discontent with you getting as popular as you are. "It's almost like it's a secret they want to keep. They don't want to share with anybody.
Yeah, I think we are a real personal band."

So, do you not want to be big?
"No. I want to be as big as we can possibly be, and then quit. We'll have no choice. I mean like I said, it will be the end of our world. But, the people who are our fans, they know who they are. I don't want them not to like us anymore cause we're big."

What do yo think is the greatest downfall of society?
"The greatest downfall? As in good or bad?"

Bad. What is it about, especailly American society, that is really wrong?
"Well, I think everything that is wrong in America is a good thing. Something drastic has gotta happen soon. People have put themselves in this politically correct, imaginary world. It just doesn't exist. They want to feel good about themselves, not hating somebody, or doing good things, and it's a very selfish thing. They're doing it for themselves, instead of doing it for someone."

You're kind of touching on some of the philosophies of Nieztsche, or Ayn Rand, where altruism is the ultimate evil, because people are forced into it. They don't really WANT to do good.
"Yeah, which I agree with. I mean, I guess I'm very selfish, but I wouldn't really apologize. But, as far as the greatest downfall of America goes, I think it IS America. But, I don't think that's a bad thing, I think it's good, because that brings change. You can get good out of bad, and bad out of good. Good and bad are the same exact thing. It's all two sides to everything. It's not necessarily bad. And, I hope that we're contributing to it, or at least helping it. But, then again, helping it could mean making it worse, cause maybe that's what our definition of help is."

Is there any particular philosopher that you identify with?
"I respect what Nieztsche has to say, and Anton LaVey, I use some of their philosophies. But, I don't follow one. I think by choosing to follow one, you're limiting yourself. We do enjoy reading Nieztsche, but that doesn't mean we follow it word for word. I agree with some of the things he has to say, but I think we're all hypocrites. I think Marilyn Masnon has it's own thing. We live similiar, but different, to Nieztsche and LaVey, but there's more of a balance. It's more androgynous, a little more heartless."

There's obviously a lot of tagging to Satanism, with Marilyn being an ordained minister, by the general media. Does that bother you?
"Of course that's going to happen, but no, I have no problem with it. I wish more people understood it. No, wait. I'm glad more people don't understand it. But, I don't consider myself an ist or ism or anything like that, because I change too much to. And I like to experience so many different things every day."

Do you think essentially everybody is like that? Maybe they just don't recognize it?
"I think they are, but a lot of people buy into identities really quick. They go to college to become whatever. Or they buy who they are. People that society calls lost, the schizophrenics, insane or whatever, are actually more intelligent than most of the people. Than the psychiatrists that diagnose them. They're smart enough not to buy into one identity. Why be one person, when you can be everybody, and believe in everything, and do many different things."

What's the most memorable thing that's happened while on tour?
"Tony Wiggins, probably. He might be here tonight. He might perform here, yeah, he's crazy."

Do you guys consider him a friend?
"Well, he tried to kill us, but...I think he meant that in a good way. I think. I hope. Actually, I hope he didn't mean well, I mean he tried to kill us cause he hated us. But, he should be here tonight, and he won't try to kill us."

At the show in Winston-Salem, the barrier broke during the first song. Do you ever get scared when things like that happen?
"No. Me personally, I hate the barricade. I wish it wasn't there."

What do you think would happen if there wasn't one?
"I wish I could find out. People have come up onstage, and hit us with bottles and stuff like that, but you know, like people throw stuff on the stage, but that kind of stufff is going to happen. They have to do it."

Do you like to do interviews?
"Sure. I like em."

What is your favorite Dr. Seuss book?
"It would have to be the classic Cat In The Hat one. The parents go away and he comes and starts trouble, you know, it's just classic."

Do you identify with The Cat In The Hat?
"I think I identify more with Olivia Newton-John. I was brought up on Tony Wiggins and Olivia Newton-John. I mean, Dr. Seuss is dead. He died. Which isn't a bad thing, I don't mean that negatively like you ask me a question, "What's your favorite Dr. Seuss book?", and I answer "Dr. Seuss is dead." Sometimes, people like to quote me like that."

Speaking of dead, how do you want to die?
"I don't necessarily WANT to die, but probably, I guess drugs, cause it would be painless."

You don't like pain?
"I don't dislike it, but I'm not crazy about it. It's more that I wouldn't worry about it. It's just drugs. It would happen, and I wouldn't even know about it."

Is there ever going to be an official release of the old songs from the demos that have been bootlegged?
"Since it's already being put out there by other people, why bother?"

Will there ever be any of the old songs on future recordings?
"Possibly a couple of them."

What do you think the word JEVA means?
"Jeva? Ummm... something to do with the end of the world,, I guess.

If you could be invisible for one day, what would you do?
"I am invisible."

I can see you.
"But I can be invisible... I think Marilyn Manson is invisible sometimes, cause we live in the minds of young children."

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
"To lose everything, I guess. Not life, cause then there would be no emotion. But lose everything, then you have something to look forward to."

What do you most admire in other people?
"Kindness. That's something that I have a hard time with.Not that I'm mean spirited to people, but you know, going out of your way to be nice to other people. And, Tony Wiggins, I admire him. He's very kind."

What are the traits you most despise in others?
"People being in control of their lives, cause that's just a lie, a front, they're not.They think they have it all figured out."

So, you admit that you have no control over your life?
"No. I have complete control. But, I'm controlling chaos, nonsense, I know exactly what I'm doing. But, it's all a bunch of nonsense."

How did the tour with Clutch come about?
"We just asked them to come on tour with us."

It's considered an odd pairing.
"Definitely. It's an odd pairing, but anything can make sense."

Do you like touring?
"Well, it's my home basically. I've been on the road for about two years now, it's all I really know."

What is your favorite smell?
"There is a certain smell that young teenagers have about them, it's like a body odor. It's not good, but it's not bad either. Not children or teenagers. But young teenagers. There is just this certain smell that can't be beat."

You sound like the children catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
"That's not really what inspired it."

Do you have fond memories of Florida?
"I don't know, everything is different now."

Do you keep in touch with any of the people from down there?
"A few selected people. I'm afraid that when we go down there we'll get assasinated. There's a lot of spiteful people. But that's good, there should be. I wish there were more."

What do you consider the most overrated virue?
"Wow. The most overrated... [Shakes his head with an odd expression on his face]
That's the answer. Just...[same thing]
Everything's overrated."

Including yourself?
"Of course."

Will you guys still be working with Trent on Antichrist Superstar?
"Yeah. We will probably be working with some other producers too, but we'll still work with Trent."

There was a rumor that you guys weren't speaking to him.
"No. But when we were in the studio for Smells Like Children he brought in these male strippers while we were playing. He said it had something to do with the vibe in the place. He made his engineer, Sean, wear this grey old lady wig. Scouts honor, I swear. It sounds crazy, but I swear it's true. Male strippers, and they were terrible, they were these big muscular guys. And he made the engineer wear the wig, and these gaudy earrings. These really gaudy clip on earrings."

I know I've read that at the end of the tour with NIN they really embarrased you guys on stage one night.
"That was fun."

Did you have fun on that tour?
"Yeah. I would say so. We got 'em back though. That was the fun part. I can't say what we did, but we got 'em back good."

What's your favorite word?
"My favorite word right now probably would be nigger. Not that that's a bad thing. I don't want to get into what the word really means, but I'd like to de-mystify it. I think we'd all like to de-mystify it. It's such a powerful word, it shouldn't have that much power. I don't really even want to go into it. I mean I do, but I don't. I'm not saying it in regard to black people, it doesn't have anything to do with black people, or African-Americans. I'm not really sure what to call people anymore. Every day it's something new...

Yeah, you have to be politically correct. But, I guess Marilyn Manson isn't really politically correct at all.
"We're not any 'isms' or 'ists' either. We aren't racist. We just are. We just exist. That's why we did the song Rock N Roll Nigger.That's how we feel. I think we're more outcast than any group of people. No one cares about kids like us. But, that's my favorite word. And that's meant in a good way. I identify with artists like Dr. Dre more than I do with any other bands."

Do you listen to rap?
"No. I don't listen to rap. But, it's not about the music. And it's not about the lyrics either. There are things about bands, and it's not in their music or lyrics, it's what they stand for."

Like the censorship fight?
"No, I agree with censorship. It just gives us more room to be as bad as we can be. When there's more laws, there are more rules to break. When everything's good, things just aren't right. They make us bad. They are truly the most evil people."

So, what do you think when you get banned from places like Salt Lake City, Utah?
"I feel bad that there's kids who don't get to see us, but I think our message is stronger there. I think the people who were be hind it do understand it, and I think they're our biggest fans. They saw us as something powerful. They found a bad guy, so they latched on. It riles people up, gets their people back into religion. I thank them for banning us. I'm sorry that people didn't get to see us, but I wish we were banned more often, cause then we wouldn't have to tour."

But you said you like to tour.
"Exactly." [Grins]

Well, that's pretty much it.
"That's a good way to end. Exactly."