Interview:1995 Underscope

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Marilyn Manson (Interview)
Interview with Marilyn Manson
Date November, 1995
Source Underscope
Interviewer Dierdre Pearson

"You don't understand; the chicken is not just sick," yells some unknown member of Marilyn Manson's road crew. "The chicken is dead and there's blood everywhere!"

At any other time this would be a tragedy, but four hours is an extremely long time to be kept waiting for an interview, so there 's little sympathy for this chicken. Of course Mr. Manson finds it easy to laugh about the situation.

"Yeah, somebody said something about that, but I don't know what they're talking about," Mr. Manson's voice oozes sincerity. "It is a little odd," he admits. "But it doesn't surprise me too much. As far as I know there was no chicken there. But if there was a chicken there," he threatens, "it would have gotten killed."

It's not surprising then that all the members of Marilyn Manson are named after killers: Reverend Marilyn Manson, Madonna Wayne Gacy, Twiggy Ramirez, Daisy Berkowitz and their newest member Ginger Fish.

"I'm not sure what he did for a living," Manson says of Ginger's namesake. "He was an older fellow who had a thing for putting needles and other household items under his skin and particularly in his testicles," he says, in gory detail. "So, as a hobby he killed and ate children. He's one of the more interesting individuals who have entered into the crime archives. Obviously we borrowed his last name for the newest member of our band along with Ginger the famous dancer."

According to Mr. Manson, Ginger seems to fit in quite well with his creepy cohorts. Well, as far as he knows.

"Um, he's working out real well," Manson says thoughtfully. "But I don't talk to him. I don't know him too well. I just kind of stay to myself. I write people notes or I just make 'em a video."

Despite naming himself after the world's most notorious killer, and despite his vast knowledge of crime and criminals, Mr. Manson denies any fondness for them. "I don't necessarily really pick favorites or even really like killers," he claims. "Some of them I admire the craftsmanship they've put into their art. That's what it is to them," he explains as if he knows all too well. "I've read a lot of interviews and have kind of gotten into the psychology of some of these people and I've realized that there's not much difference in the way they think and the way I think. The only difference is that they've not found an outlet like I have, and they've gone off and expressed themselves in a completely different way that is currently unacceptable by society. But that is only currently," he reiterates. "You never know how things can and will change in the future."

He's absolutely right. It's not totally out of the question that the Reverend Manson could become part of the killing crew. Of course, he's already thought of that.

"It's not out of the question if I hadn't found a way to express myself that I could have ended up that way," he confesses. "They're just people. There's not much that separates us from them. That's why people are so fascinated with them."

The only question that remains is, how would Mr. Manson complete the deadly task. "I'd have option anxiety," he laughs. It's easy to picture him sitting in the dark with a sinister grin from ear to ear just pondering the possibilities. "I don't even know where to begin. It would be like for me when I walk into a toy store or a record store. There's be so many choices. If I disliked the person I'd most definitely torture them," he decides. "I'd like to see those who oppress me suffer in the end. I'd most definitely do that." Suddenly Mr. Manson becomes dead silent as if he's mistakenly released a most precious secret.

"I don't know," he begins. "It almost takes away the beauty of it to even talk about it. I mean we're not really doing it. Are we?"

What Marilyn Manson are doing is releasing an EP titled Smells Like Children and eventually their second full length album. "We haven't recorded the other one yet, so you have a ways to wait," says Mr. Manson. "It's written; it just needs to be put down. It's called Antichrist Superstar. You can expect the end of music and everything as we know it."

Now before you work yourself into a frenzy and start begging for forgiveness of your sins preparing for the world's end, remember this is just another one of the Reverend Manson's twisted ideas. On second thought maybe you should be afraid.

"I just have a few theories on reality, and one of them is that it only exists in my head," he explains. "So if I destroy myself then I destroy the world. These are the subjects I talk about on the next record. It's the soundtrack for the end of time," Manson reveals. "If your reality is the same as my reality then you're in trouble. I think if I die then the world ends. I contemplate testing that theory in Antichrist Superstar, but we won't know until it comes out. And it's not just me at all," he insists. "It works for anyone. I'm willing to face that. So if that's what makes me special then that' s about the only thing. There's more important things to deal with in Antichrist Superstar," reminds Mr. Manson.

"That is gathering together in one last effort to make a difference much like an almost fascist movement of strong minded individuals to get together and say 'we want to make this world what we want it to be. We're not going to sit back and accept Christianity. We're not going to sit back and listen to everybody cry about how the world hasn't treated them fairly. I think that's the most important thing," Reverend Manson expresses his beliefs passionately. "To at least try to make a difference, to promote individuality, for everyone to be responsible for themselves, and for the people who just aren't tough enough to just lay down by the roadside and let the others crush them with the wheels of progress." It's not entirely surprising that Reverend Manson's idea of individuality is following him.

"I think the people who follow Marilyn Manson are strong minded people who have decided to be individuals," Mr. Manson praises his admirers. "They're strong enough to break away from a lot of the mentality of their classmates, fellow workers or whoever that may be. Of course it's a catch 22," he continues. "Someone would assert the question 'well, yeah they not be listening to Christianity or their parents, but they're still listening to you,' meaning me, but I think that's at least a little more in the direction of individuality than the other choice. I'm not telling them to be like me," Manson explains. "I'm telling them to be themselves. It's a group on non-joiners and I'm just trying to assert myself as some sort of leader because that's what our generation needs right now. As far as being and Antichrist, there's been many in the past. What people don't understand about the idea of an Antichrist is that it's not necessarily one person that embodies that title," enlightens Manson. "I believe the Antichrist is the embodiment of disbelievers in Christianity and that's the entire secular world. Just as everyone who doesn't agree with that particular organized religion is the Antichrist as much as I am, I think the people who agree with what I'm saying are just as Marilyn Manson as I am."

Now before anyone jumps to any hasty conclusions about what sort of religion the Reverend Manson is involved in just calm down. "I don't know how to practice a religion," he tells. "Is that consistent praying and praying until you get it right? Would that be how you practice it? There are many things that have influenced me as you know: Satanism, Social Darwinism. All of these things as much as the writings of Dr. Seuss are parts of what I incorporate into my personality," Manson describes his background. "If you want to call that a religion then maybe I'm on the brink of developing a new way of thinking. But I wouldn't degrade it by calling it a religion. I'd just call it a way of thinking or a social movement," he decides. "I mean that's what rock and roll was invented for in the first place other than setting your piano on fire or having sex with your fourteen year old cousin much like Jerry Lee Lewis did. Rock and roll was invented for making a social statement." Would Mr. Manson make his statement by having sex with his fourteen year old cousin?

"I don't have one," he laughs. "No I wouldn't have sex with anyone in my family." What?!? Mr. Manson has boundaries, even morals? Well, maybe not. "It's not that I think having sex with someone in my family is wrong; I'm just not attracted to them." Sex with family members may not be offensive to him, however one of the most common acts people perform daily absolutely repulses him.

"Probably the most offensive thing someone could do is offer me a cigarette," Manson reveals. "It's just my personal preference; I don't believe in cigarettes. In fact," he continues, "when people smoke I can't hear what they're saying. I've fine tuned myself to shut out the words of smokers. So I miss out on a lot of the conversations," Mr. Manson says, acknowledging that a lot of people he interacts with smoke. "Most of them don't know, but later on they wonder 'why won't he talk to me?' They think I'm rude, but I'm not. It's a social impairment that I have, one that I"ve chosen to adopt. The thing in life is," Manson suddenly becomes more serious," and you can take this on many levels, you can go deeper than just cigarettes, is that it's ignorant for you as a person, because you cheat yourself, to discriminate against anything as a whole. But," he insists, "you should have discriminating tastes. I think you can assert that into sexism and racism and things like that. Obviously it's stupid to say you hate this group of people or this sex of people or anything like that," he continues. "You need to have preferences, of course otherwise you're a wishy-washy person. That's an important thing to keep in mind as America gets more and more wrapped up in it's political correctness and it's fear to speak its mind."

Is it surprising that the Reverend Marilyn Manson has intelligent opinions and comments? Not really, but there is one thing that he thinks might surprise his loyal following.

"I shave my legs," he readily admits. "Initially it turned me on because you fall asleep and you feel your leg brush up against your own. Now it's out of necessity. I also shave my eyebrows, my face and my armpits."

Not shocking enough? Ok, how about the fact that the Reverend Manson, the God of Fuck, the man who threatens to sodomize mothers, corrupt children and create the soundtrack to end the world doesn't see himself as anything other than normal? "I consider myself to be very normal," Manson insists. "It's what society considers to be the most normal things that I find very incomprehensible and very bizarre. For example, the other day I watched Baywatch for the first time, and I found that show to be very disturbing,"he says. "I think it's very dangerous for people to watch that program. It presents a fantasy reality. It's dangerous if people think that that is real life. I didn't understand the show," Mr. Manson is obviously disturbed the program. "If I'm not mistaken I think the show may be written and casted by white supremist Aryan nation people because everyone on the show has blonde hair, blue eyes. Then again it might just be people from California. I just don't understand. It's a very strange show; I'm going to start watching it more often," he decides. "I think I'm going to watch it all the time now. It's shocking; it scared me."

What is perhaps even more frightening is that Mr. Manson was featured in an issue of Family Circle magazine. "They called me after the Donahue show and they wanted to know what my pointers were for parents to protect their kids from the mosh pit. I thought it was hilarious that they were asking me," Manson laughs. "So I told them, but they sort of edited what I said and made it seem very positive. What I said was this: 'If your kid is stupid enough to stage dive or go in a mosh pit, they deserve to get hurt. And if you come up on stage while I'm singing, I'll bash your fucking head in.' They didn't print that like I said it. If you come on stage you're liable to get hurt. That's just common sense," Manson informs. "I go on stage to get hurt. I often, as part of the catharsis that every show is for me, end up hurting myself. Whether that's intention or not I don't know. It happens the way it happens. And if that translates into if I like people to hurt me, the answer is no. That's not something I'm into, but a lot of people think that," he says. "I think I'm just kind of rather than a sadist or a masochist or a sadomasochist or whatever terms people like to use, I just like to inflict pain in general whether it's on myself or others. It doesn't really matter. I think that's how it works if I have to analyze myself for a moment. I just have a need," Manson concludes. "Maybe because I feel that I was given a considerable amount of pain as a child that I have to dispense it as an adult.

"Tony Wiggins," Mr. Manson suddenly blurts out.

Who the hell is Tony Wiggins?

"He sings the country version of "Cake and Sodomy" on Smells Like Children, " Manson explains. "He's a country singer from Nashville (although it was later discovered he is Marilyn Manson's former bus driver). He's the reason your interview didn't happen that night," he confides. "I carved a star into his chest. Ask anyone they'll tell you. He was there that night," Mr. Manson's voice becomes quite, softer, as if he's about to reveal a deep, dark secret.

"He killed the chickens!"

Wait a minute. Supposedly there were no chickens.

"In our hearts and minds," Mr. Manson whispers, "there will always be chickens."