Marilyn Manson: "I Like To Smoke and Hang Out With The Gangsta Rappers"
Love him or loathe him, let's face it: Marilyn Manson is the last great living rockstar. Other stars and other bands sell more records these days, but he was on to something in 1998's Mechanical Animals when he wrote "Rock is Dead," because the genre is in serious need of a make-over. For better or for worse Manson is still unpredictable-- sometimes he barely makes it through shows, and some nights the shows are just downright bad. Other nights there are still glimpses of greatness, and that is what fans will be hoping for tonight as he plays an intimate show at Marquee Theatre. Interviewing Manson is a totally different--sometimes difficult--story.
But if you can get through the barriers--and his opening monologues--and get him talking about the music that transformed him from Brian Warner to Marilyn Manson, he's charming, witty, inappropriate, and everything you want in a rockstar.
Marilyn Manson is scheduled to perform at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe Thursday, May 30.
Manson: You're in the capital of methamphetamine. I just used a medicinal drug that you people call marijuana. I used to never smoke pot as a kid, but now I get it--now this is music and it sounds different. I've been meeting a lot of different people and they've been having an effect on my life.
I like to smoke it and hang out with the gangsta rappers and the hip hop crowd. I finished a song last night with a guy that produces and writes a lot of Chris Brown's music, and I met the choreographer and asked him if he taught Chris Brown how to punch, which was an interesting conversation. So I started smoking blunts--so there ya go, that's the new Marilyn Manson.
But I wrote a song last night and finished it that has Prince sort of feel to it, but I did a bunch of other songs that had sort of a Revolting Cocks [feel]. My friend Roger Avary and I have been hanging out a lot and he asked me about my Phantasmagoria script about Lewis Carroll losing his mind. I sort of lost my mind when I was writing it, and that's why the movie had never been made yet. He encouraged me to go in and do it and I did it, and it was very liberating because I afraid and I just kind of put it away. And that let me start putting together and releasing my Hollywood novel, and turning it into a mini-series, and getting ready for the Alice Cooper tour. How that relates to marijuana is irrelevant.
Me: I have to cut you off because like I've said before, if I let you talk you will literally interview yourself.
Manson: [Laughs] my monologue.
You drink canned beer onstage.
It's white trash. The one thing that keeps me most sober from drinking alcohol is smoking pot, because I drink absinthe [and] smoking pot makes me not want to drink as much. I leave my drinks everywhere and I forget where I put them, so I never actually finish them.
I only like to drink beer because it's white trash and and tough having it in your hand, when you want to look masculine around a bunch of other men with beards on a Mayhem type tour. A beer bottle is always better, because you can use it in a fight-type situation--which is not really good, because that's what happened with the guy I only got to make a minor acquaintance with, Gucci Mane. He wanted me to do a video for a song, so I almost did get shot at in a drive-by last night when we were recording in this particular studio. I'm here, I made it and I like to live on the edge.
Let's get down to business, I'm interested in cameras and rock n' roll.
I've always photographed my paintings because of the paint on the floor--I have to photograph them to get the depth of the painting, and that's how I got started. Then I would photograph people that I wanted to paint, and you know cameras were invented orginally to photograph the dead... My Lewis Carroll script is strongly about his photography, and he was really one of the first photographers.
What I really like about being a photographer is that you can get girls to be naked. I've always said that there is a combination in photography--it's about circumstance, and that's 50 percent of it, and knowing the talent, and having a sense of light and having a sense of the goal or ratio. Knowing the chemical mathematics to make something strong and the person you're taking a picture of. A photographer like Mick Rock has all those amazing historic Bowie [photos], and all these different people, but half of the beauty of that is that the photographer has to be able to get that intimate with the subject.
The difference in this day and age is that photographers don't have that kinda of access to the artists to take those kinds of shots.
Maybe you just opened up the door for that.
You're going to be at the Marquee Theatre here in Tempe before you start your tour with Alice Cooper.
Manson: Yes, and let it be said on this tour we will be playing just singles and opening with "Angel With the Scabbed Wings." I think the first song on a record should always be the single, because it's the first thing you want people to hear.
After the jump: Marilyn Manson talks about his own catalogue.