So, you’re in North Dakota now?
I guess so. I never know.
How long have you been out?
This tour, the Danzig tour’s been about two weeks, so far.
Have you been going non-stop since opening for Nine Inch Nails?
How long has it been?
About a year, I think. I think we started in May, so it will be a year.
After this is over are you going to take some time off?
We’re taking a couple weeks to a month to work on our new album, and work on some songs that we’re doing for soundtracks and things like that. Then, we’re going back out on tour again. We’re either doing a club tour or opening for someone else.
Much diff being headliner/opening act?
The big difference is that you can’t do what you want when you’re the opening act. And, you’re also playing for someone else’s crowd a lot of times. It worked out really well with the Nine Inch Nails tour. This tour’s a little different.
How does the Danzig crowd take to your music?
It’s kind of split. It’s about half Marilyn Manson, half Danzig, so it’s not quite so much Danzig, but it’s different in different cities. I think the real Danzig fans aren’t really into it. But it’s a special kind of crowd, testosterone-filled teenage guys who want to fuck me, but that makes them uncomfortable so they want to beat my ass instead.
What kind of place was Canton, Ohio? Was that a small town?
It was a real small town, and I went to a private Christian school, so it was a real small class that I was in, you know 20 people or something like that. And of those 20 people, I didn’t really have anyone that I could have called a best friend. I was basically alienated by all of them, because I didn’t fit in with the majority in that my parents didn’t go to church. I really didn’t give in to the whole born again mentality. And there were a couple kids in the class that were the rebels who listened to KISS and things like that. Those kids who smoked cigarettes and vandalized everything, and I didn’t really fall into that category either. So, I ended up just spending a lot of time on my own and developing a chip on my shoulder which I’ve taken out later in life.
We’re all reaping the benefits of that now.
Is that where the genesis of Lunchbox began?
I was definitely thinking about that period in my life when I wrote that song.
NINE INCH NAILS/Philly gig… prank.
It started when they brought some guy in the dressing room who they thought would, I guess, intimidate me or make me back down. The guy came in the dressing room and he said that, you know I’ve made comments about fist-fucking people and stuff, and he challenged me to do that, and I didn’t back down. I did that, and everyone in NINE INCH NAILS was astonished and entertained. So, I figured that was the big prank that they were going to pull at the end of the tour because they always do that. Then when we were going to go on-stage, we got pelted with a bunch of flour and salsa and other garbage. So, when we went on-stage, we were covered in a bunch of shit, and about halfway through the show they sent five Chippendale dancers on-stage, which I was concerned that the crowd was going to think was part of something that I had put together, and that was the last thing in the world that I would want them to think, that I had something to do with that. And it ended up making sense. We walked offstage, and by the end of the show I had pretty much gotten down to nothing, just a pair of shorts and I was soaking wet and I walked offstage, and everyone in the band got handcuffed behind their backs, thrown in the back of a pickup truck and then we were driven to the middle of Philadelphia somewhere and dropped off there and left to freeze in the cold and find our own way home. But, being the survivalists that we are, we did find our way back. And then we were going to get NINE INCH NAILS back, but they were heavily guarded and they ended up so drunk that they fucked up their own show, so we didn’t really have to take revenge on them. At the time, I was pissed off because I thought, wow, this is a pretty severe, pretty harsh prank to pull, but then I grew to respect it, because I don’t even think I would have done something so cruel to someone else, but in that sense, I liked it, just for its sheer heartlessness.
For the uninitiated, who are probably most of the people who will be reading this: How would you describe Marilyn Manson?
Marilyn Manson is everything that parents could hate and everything that their kids would love. Everything that heavy metal was intended to be, dark and misanthropic and anti-social. It’s everything that punk rock was ever intended to be, the great rock and roll swindle and a big Fuck You to anyone who would question what you’re doing. MM is also taking extreme positive and extreme negative and putting them together, much in the way that a philosopher like Hegel had created his thesis of juxtaposition of diametrically opposed archetypes. He would take things like the extreme Zionists and the extreme Nazis and put them together to create this thing that would contradict itself, but was stronger than the two that originated, and that’s what MM is. Obviously taking the Marilyn and the Manson and putting it together and creating something that’s neither of the two, but it’s stronger. At the same time that I respect strong feminine archetypes and strong male archetypes, I like androgyny as well. And I like putting morality into that equation, extreme conservativeness, extreme chaos. I like a little bit of both, and it’s also about responsibility to the responsible. It’s about being an individual if you’re responsible enough to handle that burden. A lot of people want the freedom to do and say what they want, but they are not willing to accept the consequences. That’s something that I try to make part of my credo.
Do you think people take a positive message away from your music?
I think my message is positive if you’re interpreting it the way I’m intending it to be. I say things in a negative way, and I say things in a shocking way and there’s a lot of shock value. That’s the vehicle through which I try and relate the semi-positive message, and that would be: individuality. But a lot of people are going to take that in a negative message because a lot of people don’t want that. A lot of people don’t want America thinking for itself. That’s going to tear down the very structure of what it stands for. They send out these confused messages: Capitalism – if you work hard enough, you can be better than your neighbor. But at the same time they’re telling you that everybody’s created equal, and you should feel responsible for somebody not as fortunate as you. And the strong are always being made to feel guilty, and always having to clean up after weak people. I don’t think that should be the case. I think a little bit of social Darwinism wouldn’t hurt everyone. I think a little bit of survival of the fittest. There’s too many people in the world, and I don’t think it should be anybody’s responsibility to constantly be cleaning up after the weak. If they’re not strong enough to survive, then that should be the case. The same thing goes with anything else. Parents are always going to try and blame movies or books or heavy metal music for their kids growing up fucked up or for teen suicide. I think if the kid is stupid enough, or was raised to be stupid enough to kill himself over a rock album, that’s exactly what he should do because that person’s not intelligent enough to contribute anything to society if they’re thinking like that. I don’t want people to be like me, I want people to be like themselves.
Do you think the current social and political landscape in the country created the need for a MM?
Absolutely. I think people’s desire for something as terrible as MM. People’s fear of a thing like MM has created it. People’s fear of the end of the world has also created that. People’s fear of an anti-Christ has also created that. And these are the roles that now I’ve fallen into. And over the course of the next couple years, we’ll really grow and become stronger, because of people’s need for it.
What’s your connection with Willie Wonka?
I think Willie Wonka, besides being one of my favorite movies since I was a kid. WW represented the character that I’ve always been able to relate to, the archetypal Satan persona. The ultimate rebel doing things the way they;re not supposed to be done. He was the eccentric candy maker who did things differently then all the other candy makers in luring the children to do things that they weren’t supposed to be doing. He even had a bit or morality because the kids who didn’t listen to what he was saying were punished for it, and they didn’t win in the end. I’ve always related to him on that level. I think that’s what a lot of people misunderstand about the archetypal rebel and Satan persona is that there is a morality there. The mainstream would think it’s immoral, but it’s just a different morality, because good and evil is what you like and what you don’t like. Everybody has different tastes, and you can’t expect everyone to have the same morality.
Prelude/Wonka song on Portrait
It’s just a really strong part of the movie. When I thought about how it would relate to the album and the rest of the lyrics, I thought it was really appropriate because it’s a Doomsayer prophecy and he’s basically, to me, speaking about the demise of mankind in general by its own hands, and I thought that was really appropriate. I think it’s very similar to the things I’m saying in the middle of My Monkey and a lot of the other songs, in that it was related to a children’s story or what is to be believed to be a children’s story made it make all the more sense because a lot of my lyrics are from a childish point of view.
I only write about what I know. I never fictionalize. Sometimes I’ll try to see things through other people’s eyes and look at things from a different perspective, but I only write about things I know and things I’ve experienced and people I’ve met. So, in that sense, it would all be autobiographical.
Trying to shock people or make them think? Does it even have to be one or the other?
The point isn’t just to shock people, anyone can do that. The point is to make them question why they’re being shocked. Being able to be shocked, for me, is almost a weakness. I don’t like to know that there are things out there that could shock me. I don’t like to be desensitized at the same time, but I like to find out what I’m afraid of, and I do it, and then I’m not afraid of it anymore. That’s why I often get myself into trouble because I’m willing to do anything that I’m afraid of just to get over it. If more people got over some of their fears, I think people would get a lot a little bit better. It’s always fear and things that are taboo that separate a lot of people. Not that I’m looking to promote love and harmony, but I think people are going about it all the wrong way. I think TV will want to try and sell you solutions for peace and cures for cancer and everything else, and it’s all just a game they’re playing because they don’t really want to solve any of these problems because without any of these problems, everyone will be out of business. Without disaster and crime, the news will have nothing to talk about. So, I wouldn’t be surprised if they were creating their own crimes at some point just to gave something exciting to catch people’s attention. There’s always going to be animal rights groups looking for someone like me to complain about because I had a chicken on-stage, or women’s’ rights groups calling me sexist. I speak openly about how I feel, and people call me a Nazi and racist because I say things like strong people shouldn’t have to clean up after weak. I never said anything about race, gender or anything like that. But peoples’ mindset is that I’m speaking about that, because that’s the way they’re thinking. So, they’re going to automatically assume that that’s what I’m talking about. Which goes to prove my point, anything I say or do is only as sick as you make it. If I show you a picture of me as a boy, six years old, nude, it’s an innocent picture unless you want to make it child pornography. If someone sees that and they see it as sick, then it’s in their mind. That’s what I’m trying to say to people more than anything. I haven’t said these things, that’s the way you’re interpreting them. If it’s in your mind, and you’ve been able to interpret it that way then it’s your sickness.
Most of my friends who I had listen to the album got to about Lunchbox, some got past but not many, and they were just like it’s a little too spooky or something. Is MM too over the top to get the message to the people who need to hear it?
(pauses) It could be, but I think society is steadily going to pass me out as far as being over the top. I think maybe, if anything, what I said on Portrait of an American Family was a few weeks or months ahead of its time and that was about it. All of the ugliness is just catching up with it. I may have said it just a little sooner than someone may have wanted to hear it. But I think in a year from now f they hear it, it’s not going to phase them any more than a Madonna song.
What do your parents think about you being in the band?
They understand it. They contributed to it in a positive way, so I think they understand.
Violent on-stage against fans?
People got to understand, if someone’s going to hit me or pull at me, then I’m just going to do that back. I don’t change my feelings as a human being just because I’m on-stage performing. If someone’s going to act violently toward me, I’m probably going to react back the same way. I don;t ever intend to harm fans or come across like I don’t like my fans, but people can only expect me to be human because that’s what I am. If I tell people don’t come up on-stage because you;re going to get hurt, and they do, then they can’t blame me for it. Especially when I’ve warned them. When I was on Donahue, people were asking about stage-diving, and I said if you;’re stupid enough to jump off a stage and you expect not to hurt yourself, what do you want me to do about it? When I jump off the stage every now and then, I know there’s a chance that I’m going to break my neck. That’s part of the thrill. I’m sure that’s why people do it, and I think everyone likes that sense of danger.
Any diff between the person I see on-stage and the person I’m talking to now?
There’s definitely more than one side to my personality, which sort of comes into the Marilyn and the Manson. It’s not as easy as on-stage and offstage. Sometimes offstage, I tend to be more violent or open up more, or I tend to perform more, or whatever the case might be. I haven’t been able to analyze myself enough to know where the differences lie.
Our previous drummer wasn’t really growing in the same direction as the band, and we decided to split ways. We needed someone who was going to be able to play the new material that we’re writing, because our old drummer wasn’t able to do the things we want to do on our next record.
Material written yet for next album?
A lot of it, yeah.
On Marilyn Manson Internet List, there’s stuff — have you ever checked that stuff out?
I’m not into the Internet at all. It seems to be more aggravation than it can be worth. To me it comes off as a group of ten teenagers who don’t have anything else to do who just exchange gossip. And there’s no real guidelines as to what you can say. And if you’ve got someone stupid enough to believe anything they read, there’s tons of rumors that aren’t true.
The new rumor is there’s a New EP coming out that’s going to have Dune Buggy and covers of Justify My Love, Sweet Dreams and Helter Skelter.
(Laughs) Shit, that’s not far from the truth. We’re doing a single for Dope Hat, which is going to have another version of Dope Hat that’s a Lounge version, and it’s going to have our version of Sweet Dreams, a remix of Dope Hat, and a remix of Cake and Sodomy. As far as Dune Buggy, that’s probably going to be on our next album but the title has reverted back to Chocolate Cow.
I don’t really know what the Internet is trying to accomplish. A lot of it is chaotic. It could do a lot of positive things, but no matter how much I like chaos there has to be some order to balance it out. There’s no guidelines for slander or libel. There should be some sort of rules.
I think it’s cool that fans can correspond or find out more information, but I’m sure they’re finding out a lot of inaccurate information. It takes away from a lot of the things I’m trying to do, which is to tell people the truth and expose people to reality. The gossip like what girl I used to date, or the color of my pubic hair are the kinds of things I’ve seen on there.
Anyone that’s seen the band live should know the color of your pubic hair.
You would think so, wouldn’t you?
Back to Lucas being out of the band—You basically kick these people out?
Yeah, that’s a nice way of saying it. The bottom line is we’ve got a plan and we want the people in the band to be a part of it, and if they’re not part of it, I don’t think they should be in the band. We don’t remain involved with someone who’s not a part of what we’re doing. I think that’s just being true to yourself and true to that person. It’s both how they think, as well as how they play. And this was more of basic problem with performance, it didn’t have anything to do with him as a person.
Rev. Manson? Mr. Manson? Does it matter which?
Usually when I meet people I’ll introduce myself as how I’d like to be referred to. Other than that people usually call me whatever they feel comfortable calling me. I’m sure at this point everyone knows my real name, and I don;t mind that, but I’ve chosen not to go by that. Usually when people call me by my real name, it’s more… I wouldn’t say it’s an insult, but I feel it’s a disrespect to what I’m trying to say, because it’s something that I’ve made a point of not going by.
In a life where I find so many things that I hate, I like to surround myself with the very few things that I like. So, when I’m in my little circle of things that I like, and someone enters, I only expect the respect of abiding by the way that I like to do things. Otherwise, then you don’t have to be involved in my little circle.
I’d always written, but I didn’t know how I wanted to get my ideas across. So, I tried journalism and initially just music journalism since that’s the easiest. And then I went on to write about people, but I wanted to get to the point where I could have an opinionated column or something where I could say what was on my mind. Because I had been writing all these things which eventually turned into lyrics, but I realized music is the only place you can say what you’re thinking and make it last forever. That’s how you become immortal. If you do it with an impact and you do it right, and that’s all I can ever hope to do. I obviously don’t think I’ve gotten to that point now where if MM were to disappear, we’d live on forever. There’s a lot more hard work to do.
MTV? Problem they don’t play your stuff?
No. We’ve already sold over 100,000 records without MTV. That’s just by touring, and if MTV did, you could only imagine where we would be. But the danger is that we would just be like Offspring and Rancid, which is not necessarily the way that I want to build things up. I want to be that big in a year down the road, or two years down the road, but what’s the point of having that all now? It’s like cheating and going to the end of the book and then reading it. Plus it’s like cheating your audience, because if you;re on top of the world, the minute you come up, you don;t have any time to build up your fans and make them understand what you;re about. And they don’t have a chance because they’re thrown in the middle of them and every kid in the mall liking them, which will eventually happen.
You think you just don’t fit in with the MTV scene now?
I don’t know. I could worry and think “Is the music good enough?” I’m happy with our music, so I’m not worried about that. I think they’re just not really into dealing with the lyrical content of the songs we’ve released as singles so far.
Dope Hat shouldn’t be a problem for them.
Dope Hat shouldn’t be a problem, unless they … who knows, who knows what they’ll find wrong with it.
Video for Dope Hat?
We’re getting ready to make one, and it’s going to be something that our fans will appreciate, particularly you after this conversation, but I won’t tell you what’s going to be in it.
Hmm, I’d like to see a remake of Willie Wonka with you in the candy set.
Well, sometimes people get what they want.
Slugworth registry at hotel?
There’s probably people who found out what name I stayed under on the last tour and are girls trying to track me down with paternity suits. I’m kidding of course. Just for the sake of doing it, actually… maybe if you print it, someone will come hang out with me.
Well, I’d like to hang out with you, but you’re way over my head with this philosopher stuff. You mentioned someone earlier, and I was like, umm, OK, I’ll have to look that up.
Oh, the Hegel reference. H-e-g-e-l. I’m not a big philosophy fan, I just know that he has the theory that corresponds to my theory, which I didn’t even know that he had, until someone said “Oh, you know, you’re MM is Hegel-ian dialect.” And I said, “Oh.”
MM is 26, and is cool with doing an OUT interview.
New music, how written.
The new songs are split about 1/2 music written by Daisy, 1/2 by Twiggy and if I can provide an unbalanced fraction 1/4 by me. I’ve written 2-3 new songs, Twiggy 5-6, Daisy about 4. All written a couple together. Everyone really writes their own parts, but on the new record a lot of the songs we’ve written in the back of the bus on an acoustic guitar. They’re just more like rock and roll songs that can be translated into other formats. Then we just put them into the MM shredder and turn them into whatever they’re going to be.
The new record is going to have a lot dynamics as far as not all the songs being extremely heavy. There’s going to be something extremely mellow, but the stuff that’s heavy is even going to be more intense, more violent. It’s a lot more punk, in that the lyrics are a lot more inflammatory than the first record.
That’s saying a lot.
I know. It’s not something I thought that I could outdo. And I’m not trying to outdo it by any means, it’s just, I guess, as we’ve become more extreme, my ideas have, and it’s a record that’s going to piss off a lot of people, but there’s an important chorus on the album: “everyone’s someone else’s nigger. I know you are, so am I.” That’s a line that’s going to piss people off because the word nigger’s in it. But the statement is self-debasing and it’s really politically correct if you think about it. I’m just doing it in a real negative way.
What’s the name of that song?
Irresponsible Hate Anthem, because I figured that’s what people would call it, so that’s what I called it. It’s a real concept record, and I don’t want the say the title, because I’m trying to protect it. I’m afraid someone’s going to steal it from me. It’s going to crack open the world and either destroy it, or it’ll fail miserably.
We definitely are going to do a home video. It’s on the back burner.
(talk about other projects, nothing confirmed, so don’t print, he said)
Do you ever have a really up day when you wear all white bright clothes and are just happy?
I am happy. I enjoy doing this. That’s what really makes me and Trent different. We’re both hateful, but he’s miserable and he just hates his entire existence and his music is the only way he deals with it. I enjoy hating. It makes me happy. I’m not miserable.
I save whatever energy I might have that day, whether its sexual or hateful, and I put that forth on-stage. That’s why people will think, you’re not as exciting in person. Well, that’s not my focus at all. In the end it’s all you, because who else is doing it. You’re not a puppet or something.
That’s why I always get pissed off when people say “Is this really you?” Well, if it’s is an act, at some point in my life it has consumed and it’s no longer an act, because it’s all that I know.”
The problem is there have been so many false role models who decided somewhere along the line that this is how it’s supposed to be. It’s supposed to be a show. People over the years like Alice Cooper and Ozzy Osbourne who have said, “No, this is only a show.”
But, it’s not the case for me. This is my lifestyle.