Marilyn Manson Plays the Villain: The Uncut Edition
[Editor's note: Space constraints kept the prose version of our interview with Marilyn Manson out of the print edition, but here you can read the stuff that was left on the cutting room floor. Point your mouse here for the Q & A version in the paper this week.]
Once, there was a subculture of people with shaved parts of their head and brightly-dyed dreadlocks. They casually wore bondage gear and did drugs most people couldn't find. They were true freaks of a different sort - 1990s industrial cybergoths, or whatever the fuck you want to call them. Some of them were even kind of hot.
As with most subcultures in this country, music was an integral part of the culture. Nine Inch Nails, My Life With Thrill Kill Cult, Wumpscut, Velvet Acid Christ, KMFDM, Lords of Acid, shit like that. Some of it was great, some of it was horrible. But the artist that brought it all to the forefront was undeniably one person: Marilyn Manson.
Myself, I was big into Nine Inch Nails but never got into Marilyn Manson. Marilyn Manson was for the screwed-up, sexually active kids wearing black and white striped arm-warmers, chugging jolt cola and trying to score pot. Being a repressed young man, it was simply too odd for me and the sexual aspects of the band's image freaked me out. I remember listening to the Smells Like Children EP and being spooked out by all the noises. So I did what a lot of sexually intimidated losers did: I got into thrash and death metal.
In 1998, I found myself going to see Ozzfest with my father, my friend Alex, and my friend Andy. I saw Black Sabbath and Pantera. I saw Neurosis. I saw Type O Negative and met a fat guy covered in flour who had just had his nipples pierced. When I ran into him the second time, he was missing the piercings and had some blood in place.
I also saw Marilyn Manson. He was in a giant one of those pop-up boxes, the kind you turn the crank and it plays "Pop Goes the Weasel." I don't remember much about the performance other than that I was interested and Dimebag Darrell from Pantera came out on stage and chugged whiskey. Dimebag Darrell died. Andy went into the army. Alex went to college and started working for the government. My father stayed my father and still has the Ozzfest '98 t-shirt.
And I always remained slightly interested in Marilyn Manson. Needless to say, when I was presented the opportunity to interview the guy, I immediately agreed. Who the fuck wouldn't want to interview Marilyn Manson? Nevermind the fact that I didn't know a great deal about him, hadn't listened to any of his records in ten years, and hadn't interviewed someone in four years. I was going to interview Marilyn Manson for his upcoming tour with his idol, Alice Cooper.
I went home from my job where I was rearranging jumpers on motion sensor motherboards and started researching one of the most controversial figures in rock music in the last thirty years. I listened to his latest album, Born Villain. Dark, moody rock with "creepy" production shit laid underneath every track. "Good," I thought, "seems like not much has changed."
I took to the internet, soliciting questions as to what to talk to him about. The replies were varied: