Interview:Radio Alternative Interviews Marilyn Manson

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Marilyn Manson
Interview with Marilyn Manson
Date 1994
Source Radio Alternative Digital
Interviewer Jeff Jolley

The following is the only report taken back-stage at the Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson show in Salt Lake City, where Marilyn Manson was banned from performing at an all-ages show at the Delta Center. RAD was backstage with the Jim Rose Circus and NIN watching the local news reports regarding the Marilyn Manson show. I knew I had a firm interview set up with the band, but wasn't sure what would happen with this whole cancellation thing. Immediately following the report, Marilyn and the band come walking into the catering area. Everyone asks Marilyn what happens and talk about the city and plans for the show that night. This is what Marilyn told RAD right after that.

Jeff Jolley: What is the History of Marilyn Manson?

Marilyn Manson: Marilyn Manson sort of started coming about in 1990 -- the name. It's something that sort of came to me from watching a lot of talk shows and Hollywood Babylon and those types of things and realize that Marilyn Monroe and Charles Manson were some of the most memorable people from the '60s for me. I thought - in the tradition of philosophers like Hegel - the juxtaposition of diametrically opposed archetypes: taking two extremes, putting them together, and coming up with something totally different. And that's kinda what we did with Marilyn Manson, it's male/female... good/evil... god/satan... push/pull, whatever words you want to come up with. That kind of defines my personality and represented the lyrics that I was writing. Then I met the guitar player and we wrote some songs together. And from there we just found some other people who were into what we were into.

How did you meet Trent (Reznor)?

I met Trent about four or five years ago, and over the growth of Marilyn Manson I always passed along demo tapes and things. And then when he got the opportunity to start his own label, he contacted us.

What are you about? Identifying the different parts of society - good and evil?

We're about that balance, you know. For example, this really comes into play here in Salt Lake City. It's a very moral, christian sort of environment, so we're that balance that has to go against that. We're the devil's advocate, the accuser, the opposing side, you know, the underdog. That's kind of always our goal is to be on that side of the fence. We really represent individuality. Kids should think for themselves. Not to be like your friends who think they're individuals, but to be like you. Not to be like us, but to be what YOU are. Our music doesn't have anything to do with the way you look, or anything like that, it's what's in your head. Break out of the herd mentality and realize that it's the here and now. That there's no afterlife that's going to justify or punish. You have to make what you've got now work for you, and realize that everything pretty much is a lie, everything's a hoax. That's why Marilyn Manson is such a beyond fake stage name, is to represent that it's so fake that it becomes real at that point. If you realize your hypocrisy, then you go past it. A lot of people in this city that have prohibited us from playing are sort of cheating themselves with self-deceit, saying, 'It's OK for us to do this behind closed doors, but they can't do this here.' Really all it comes down to is money, and someone here was at risk of losing money, obviously. I don't think it was ever about morals, because morals are always decided by who has the most artillery or money. It's not really about what really matters, nobody really cares about the kids here, nobody cares about exposing the kids to this obscene Marilyn Manson show, they just care about money. We, on the other hand, actually DO care about the kids, and what we're saying is a very harsh reality, and it's not diluted and wrapped up in lies like their parents are giving them. That's why their parents don't like it, because we're ruining their game, their big scam. I mean, the bottom line is that if any one does find what we do offensive, they should just turn it off. There's a lack of listener responsibility. People always want to put the responsibility on artists, or movies, or T.V. It's kind of late for that, you know. I was brought up with all of these things: T.V. and violence and sex, drugs, rock & roll, caffeine, sugar, all these things. We've turned out a certain way and we've become accustomed to it, and now they've decided, 'well, this isn't going to work. Let's use Nutrasweet, let's have less violence.' It's too late for that. You've made us out like this, and you have to deal with it. It's not that bad. I'm not saying we're "bad" from our perspective. We're moral people. We're not trying to be immoral. We're just showing them that not everyone has the same morals. This is what we believe, and you believe what you want.

You're with NIN on a HUGE tour. Is that great exposure? Is this the directions that Marilyn Manson wants to go with things?

Um.... We're not going to try and kid anyone and say, 'we don't want to become popular, and anyone to know who we are.' That's part of being a band, being entertainers. The more people that we reach, the better. I don't want to remain an underground secret. However, we still want to hang on to what we're about. We're not going to change what we're doing to fit into that. Like tonight, for example, they asked us to change what we do, and we said, 'no' and they refused to let us play. This tour has been great exposure and we have no complaints at all about it.