MARILYN MANSON: 'I Am Misanthropic And Self-Loathing, But Never Nihilistic'

January 20, 2008

Michael Hamersly of recently conducted an interview with Marilyn Manson. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow: When you were in high school, did you have big artistic hopes? Or did the Marilyn Manson vision evolve more slowly?

Manson: It started in Miami. I was writing for a magazine called 25th Parallel — I was 17 and lied my way into the job. I dropped out of Broward Community College after two weeks of studying journalism because I really wanted to be near music. After interviewing a lot of important people at the time, I felt like the answers I was given weren't enough and I had to make what I wanted.

It took a while to find the person who was really gonna go all the way with me, the person who was not afraid to hit rock bottom, and it was Twiggy [Ramirez, bass]. We both eventually ended up going our separate ways, but when we saw each other again recently, we both knew: We can't do it as well separately. How will having Twiggy back affect you creatively?

Manson: It's gonna make my life in one part a whole lot better and also a whole lot worse. The combination of us as friends is nothing but trouble. What brought you to South Florida originally?

Manson: My parents moved there — it inspired me to make the type of music and have the type of personality I ended up having. All the sunshine and tourism and being the happiest place on Earth could do nothing but create Marilyn Manson. "Let's see if we can make the most evil person possible. Sprinkle in some drugs and some anger, knives, naked women and fire and tell him everybody wants to kill him and see what he does, and you make the `Antichrist Superstar'. " You've turned ugliness and horror into an art form that some say is actually beautiful. Is this some sort of comment on mainstream values?

Manson: It is, and it's also probably the way someone who isn't accepted conventionally deals with it. I didn't feel like I could fit in as the "handsome guy" or the "cool guy" or the status quo. And instead of putting those feelings of isolation into something violent, I put it into music. Are you anywhere near as nihilistic as your persona?

Manson: I think people have always misinterpreted my self-destructive nature as nihilistic, because if you don't care about the world, you can't create art. I am misanthropic and self-loathing, but never nihilistic. And I think I act far worse offstage than onstage. How often are you in character, dressed up like Marilyn Manson? Are you in makeup when you're just sitting on the couch watching TV?

Manson: I am a character, so that's the problem. There are many, many levels to how I behave. Some people might associate being Marilyn Manson as having lipstick on, but I don't really have some sort of other lifestyle. Sometimes I don't have the energy to put on clothes or even change my underwear. But there's a difference between being on- or offstage that's not the same thing as being Marilyn Manson. I can't turn off the way I think, and that's essentially who I am, who anybody is. You're commonly labeled as evil and a bad influence on America. But those who say so seem to miss the irony of many of your so-called shocking statements.

Manson: It's always been a part of the big picture. Marilyn Manson has always been intended to confuse some, anger some and make some people feel at home. There's no way to misunderstand what I do — but everyone can understand it differently. That's the only way I've learned to embrace art — it has to be a question mark, not an answer. Does all the tabloid attention surrounding your relationship with Evan Rachel Wood bother you?

Manson: It doesn't bother me. It would bother me if it had a damaging effect on Evan's career, and I told her from the beginning her talent outshines anything I can ever do to tarnish it. And there's nothing more you can say about me that hasn't been said: I lived through Columbine. Bring it on. You've said that the relationship drama influenced your writing on "Eat Me Drink Me". What does the title mean to you?

Manson: At the time, what was going through my head was . . . me being confused about the idea that I was a product being consumed, and that romance is total consumption. That is what romance should be, being completely consumed by something. You see that with vampire mythology, communion, Christ, and it's part of man's makeup — it's what we want. So it was a bad time, and it was a good time.

Read the entire interview at

(Thanks: Marilyn Manson Singapore)

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