Marilyn Manson is currently on the receiving end of a right-wing backlash that includes condemnations and lawsuits of nearly every variety. Manson, it seems, has been accused of everything from provoking teen suicide to causing the planet Jupiter to stray from its rotational course (he’s obviously a very busy man).
NY Rock freelancer Gabriella recently had a brief conversation with Manson in which she discussed these topics and other matters with the controversial star. Gabriella started the interview off on a lighter note, Manson’s contributions to the David Lynch film Lost Highway...
NYROCK: You played a small part, together with Twiggy, in Lost Highway. How did that come about?
Marilyn Manson: We’ve known Lynch for a very long time and because we always got on, he asked us to participate in his movie and to write a song for the soundtrack.
NYROCK: How do you like the way the movie turned out?
MM: I like it. I think it's most definitely one of David's better movies. The dimension in which he tells his stories is different. It's completely different from other structures but I still don't quite understand what he's trying to say...
NYROCK: I heard that you plan to work together with W.A.S.P. Is that true or is it just another rumor?
MM: [W.A.S.P.] might have thought about it but they never asked me. Looks like I wasn't included in their plans -- that seems to happen frequently.
NYROCK: You once said the shock rockers from W.A.S.P. were among your biggest influences, but their new album K.F.D. sounds as if they are trying to copy you...
MM: don't see any connection between us and W.A.S.P. and I wouldn't call our music shock rock. I think that's something that people who write about us made up. When I went to high school, I thought W.A.S.P. was a pretty good band, but that was a while ago. I still like some of their old stuff but at the moment I can't see why we should collaborate with them. It's nothing I'm really interested in.
NYROCK: Is it true that Smashing Pumpkins' Billy Corgan and Marilyn Manson are planning to work together on an album?
MM: We're planning to record a new album in November or December, but we haven't written any songs yet. We just thought November or December would be a good time.
NYROCK: But you plan a collaboration with the Sneaker Pimps...
MM: Yes, we're going to record one song ["Long Hard Road Out Of Hell"] for a soundtrack together with the Sneaker Pimps.
NYROCK: What's the movie about?
MM: The movie [Spawn] is about a guy who gets killed and is condemned to find a way back into his former life and to find his wife who left him and to set things straight. It's one of those heroic stories the American audience adores. The story is based on a very popular comic.
NYROCK: You won a law-suit against the governor of New Jersey when he tried to ban you from performing in Giants Stadium during the Ozzy Osbourne tour. Do you think it was a victory for art over bureaucracy?
MM: Definitely! We're the first band they tried to stop from performing in Giants Stadium and just the fact that we took them to court and won makes one hope that something like this will never happen again.
NYROCK: Did Ozzy help you?
MM: Basically, we settled it on our own and fought our own lawsuit but it was good to know that he was there for us. Stuff like that happened to him during his career so he understood what we were fighting for: The liberty of art.
NYROCK: The British magazine Kerrang! claimed that a girl in Australia tried to commit suicide because she was too young to see your concert.
MM: I don't know. That's the first time that I heard the story but in case it should be true -- somebody should have given her a ticket for the show.
NYROCK: Do you feel responsible if your fans go to such extremes?
MM: I don't think anybody would feel responsible if I slit my wrists. A lot of different people come to our concerts, people who love us and people who hate us. Some people react in strange ways. Maybe it's the way I present things. I do it in an extreme way which provokes extreme reactions.
I think it's very interesting how people react differently, no matter how. I think people behave different to get attention and we all need attention.
NYROCK: Do you see a lot of strange fans at your shows?
MM: There are so many that it's hard to focus my attention on just one person. When I look into the audience I see a lot of people who do all sorts of strange things just to get my attention.
There are a few girls who follow us all over America and they're always in the first row. They dress like we do and each time we play a song it seems to be such an intensive emotional experience for them.
NYROCK: But you said that you don't like to be copied and that individualism is the most important thing.
MM: It's their way of expressing themselves, their way of feeling happy. If I judge them, I put myself into the [same] boat as the people who try to criticize me and who are trying to stop me [from] performing. If they're happy with what they create, who am I to condemn them?