The High End Of Low Interviews


Marilyn Manson
2009 Mar 18


Marilyn Manson has spoken exclusively to Kerrang! About his band's upcoming new studio album, The High End Of Low.
The 15-Track record sees Manson reunited with former bassist and writing partner Twiggy Ramirez - who left the band in 2002 citing creative differences - and producer Sean Beavan (Nine Inch Nails, Slayer) who recorded the band's 1996 breakthrough album, Antichrist Superstar.
Tracks set to appear on the release include I Want To Kill You Like They Do In The Movies, Arma-Goddamn-Motherfuckin'-Geddon, Devour, Four Rusted Horses, album closer 15, and We're From America, which was made available as a free download from the band's site, earlier this week.

We're From America is the first track fans will hear from the album, can you give us more details about the song?
"I think a lot of people will hear the track and initially think it's just political, but it's not just that, it's also me describing a lot of fucked-up scenarios that I'm going through in my personal life. Someone asked me, 'Why are you so fucked up?', 'Well, I am from America.'
I hate the fact that so many people have fucked the country up, and so many people fucked up my personal life and I allowed it to happen. So in a way, I feel like America as a whole feels, but in no way does that make me a tree-hugging patriotic freedom rocker."

What sound were you going for in the studio?
"It was just to not worry so much about trying to be professional, or trying to be anything. The guitar sounds like [Twiggy's] dick when it's hard. That's why I describe the record as 'hard', not 'heavy'. Because if you're going to have a music that is going to be called a 'dick' - would you want it to be heavy? That's a burden. Or 'hard' Cos then you could do things with it. The record comes across - no pun intended - with the confidence of someone who is cocksure - no pun intended. It's completely unafraid of anything."

Were you concerned with what the record company would think of it?
"No. At one point I told everyone, 'I don't really care'.
What are they gonna do? Return it? You gonna fire me? Call in some special police who come down and yell at me. Did you forget what band you are dealing with? The record companies seem only recently to be having some strange concern that I might be crazy. Really? I might be crazy? I think they're a little late on that one!"

How would you describe the overall attitude of the album?
"This is not a record that we would leave black and self-titled and mature. This is the experienced record. This album is the 12th Grade guy that has VD and did cocaine in high school, who has been arrested once and the 9th Grade girl wants to fuck him."

Does the album have a running concept or any specific themes?
"The songs on this record are quite autobiographical, but they're also very much their own stories in the same sense as some of my earlier work on Antichrist Superstar. The songs are in the order in which they were written and sung. It was a story that took place and I didn't really know what it was going to be till it happened. I had to find out how it was going to end in order to end the record. This album left many scars, and I think they are good ones."

Literal scars too?
"Well, I gave myself 158 scars in one day. It was me trying to prove a point to someone - myself. It wasn't like my years in the past of self-mutilation, something to be hidden, or a type of compulsion. This is more like tattoos, 158 things that happened that day and I wanted remind myself."

Are there any other reminders of the record's creation?
"I wrote all the lyrics on the wall of my room. It wasn't to be decorative; it was one of those things, like it's the last thing someone sees before they put them somewhere else. I think it looks good. And if anyone wants to come into this room and fornicate with me, I think they are a keeper... and when I say keeper, I mean kidnapping. I am probably going to do most of the press for the record from my house, before I leave or destroy it, because you can see the story and what the record as made from within the house."

How else did you document it?
"During the whole process I took a lot of photos, so the artwork is a lot of storytelling and the way that the songs have turned out is more from my point of view rather than looking at me. Because I always wanted to take pictures, my house is set up like a movie set. Instead of lamps I have movie lights and smoke machines and things."

Does the album also have a movie quality to it?
"Yes. I really look at this record as a film, maybe because I sort of directed it. I stopped trying to conform regular life into the idea that it's regular life. Why isn't it all just a movie? If people are watching, they're watching me being an asshole or being boring or creating something amazing. That's just a part of the movie. It allowed me to be more creative."

Are there any tracks in particular that surprised you or will surprise fans?
"15 is track 15 on the album. It's the most important song I think that's been written by Marilyn Manson as an entity. It's the most unusual song I have ever heard. I thought that the album was done, as there is a glorious epic track [before that] that I think will make Twiggy forever recognised as a guitar hero. That felt like the end of the record, but what was happening in my life had not resolved itself. So on January 5, one five, I sung 15 and the lyrics will tell the story of that day..."

Did finishing the record mark the end and a resolution of your problems?
"I think that my life definitely ended and began. The record sounds very final, but it's almost optimistic - though that feels a strange word to use. It's a Phoenix from the fire and a redemption, resurrection."