AOL.com, October 2000
Marilyn Manson AOL Halloween Chat Transcript
LiveDrew: AOL Live would like to welcome Marilyn Manson for a Halloween chat about his upcoming album, "Holy Wood (In the Valley of the Shadow of Death)," and fall tour. Do you have any opening comments?
Marilyn Manson: It's good to be here today on Halloween, since I was voted the Scariest Celebrity.
Question: Why did you turn down the offer to be in "House on Haunted Hill"? I think you would have made the perfect deranged doctor in that movie!
Marilyn Manson: It was a matter of trusting a director to portray you in a way that you'd like to see fit. And for me, when it comes to acting, I'd rather do something more out of the ordinary, and I felt the role was more or less how people view me, so I wouldn't be acting much. I actually like the original, so it was a tough choice.
Question: Do you have any special plans for Halloween?
Marilyn Manson: Playing a very big show tonight here in Kansas City. It's hard to do more than something I do every day, when it comes to Halloween, so I expect the fans to take it that extra step.
Question: When will you be touring in Britain?
Marilyn Manson: We'll be in the UK in the end of January. I believe we're doing three shows.
Question: What was your involvement with the "Blair Witch 2" soundtrack? Did you handpick the songs featured on the CD?
Marilyn Manson: The soundtrack came to me at the very last minute, and I wasn't able to see the film before agreeing to work with it. But the director was someone I'd known before, who had done a film called "Paradise Lost" that I liked very much. So I agreed to do it, and it was a collaboration that already had some songs picked out, and I had a few picked out, so we just combined our lists and picked out what was most appropriate for the movie.
Question: How do you feel about witchcraft and the Wiccan faith? Also, some people say you worship Satan... is that the case?
Marilyn Manson: I've learned a lot about every element of religion, and I think there's something valuable to find in Wicca or Satanism or even Christianity. I don't really feel my belief could be in any one. But I do find myself gravitating toward the darker side.
Question: I'd like to learn more about PostHuman Records. What's up with the label? Any new bands?
Marilyn Manson: The band that's on tour with us, Godhead, is the first band that I've signed. They also contributed to the "Blair Witch 2" soundtrack and "Dracula 2000." They contributed a song called "Break You Down." I'm still looking for bands, and if you're interested, you can go to posthuman.com.
Question: What is your album "Holy Wood" based upon?
Marilyn Manson: The two main themes that I propose on the record are revolution and evolution. I try to examine why man behaves the way he does, because many people feel it's from entertainment. And I also try to examine the way man revolutionizes, and what I've learned through the record is that you can only revolutionize yourself.
Question: Do you believe in God?
Marilyn Manson: I think that God exists in what you create. And as long as you're a person that doesn't sit back and criticize and try to destroy what other people create, then God exists in what you contribute.
Question: What CD(s) have you been listening to lately? Are there any new bands out these days that you are enjoying? Marilyn Manson: The couple CDs in my player right now are the new P.J. Harvey record, Queens of the Stone Age, Aphex Twin and the Sex Pistols.
Question: How did you come up with your look?
Marilyn Manson: Sometimes I just roll out of bed and that's what happens. It's usually an extension of how I'm feeling. That's why with each record there's a musical change and a visual change. It enables me to use my body as a canvas as well. I do remember the kid wanting to look like the child catcher in "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang."
Question: I was wondering how much of the music you write is inspired by your childhood. (I read your book a few times after I got it for Christmas a year ago.)
Marilyn Manson: I don't think that my childhood was any more difficult than anyone else's. But I do draw a lot of inspiration from it, because I believe if you don't draw from the past, you're condemned to repeat it. I believe "Holy Wood" draws most from my past, as did my first album.
Question: What's it like to have so many people love you but so many people hate you because of what you are and what you do?
Marilyn Manson: I suppose that was always my goal in some way, to create that extreme spectrum of emotions. If everyone liked what you did, it probably wouldn't have any relevance in the world. And you'd also have to think that if everyone hated what you did, you might be doing something wrong also.
Question: What do you wish to have under your Christmas tree this year?
Marilyn Manson: I like when people find or make very out-of-the-ordinary presents or make things for me. It just seems more thoughtful than when people buy stuff. I remember last year I think I got about 10 Furbies and it drove me crazy, so I don't think I'm going to ask for anything this year.
Question: Do you see any kids for you and your wife in the future? Do you think you would make a good dad? If so, why?
Marilyn Manson: I'm not married, but there's a possibility of always having kids. I feel that, a lot of times, the people that listen to the music and support me are an extended family. I have lot of fun meeting them and talking with the fans, and I do find myself being sort of a father figure at times. If I was a dad, I wouldn't have too many strict [rules]. I'd raise them to understand the world, rather than try to hide it from them.
Question: First of all, I think your music is great, but do you think you will be more mainstream with this record?
Marilyn Manson: Starting out, I never anticipated radio stations to play my music. Eventually they started to catch on, because the underground eventually becomes the mainstream. But my main interest is in making something the fans can enjoy. With the Internet, music isn't shoved down your throat with any [certainty], and I just want to make something the fans can enjoy.
Question: What are some of the wild things that you'll do tonight at the show?
Marilyn Manson: It's hard when people ask what kinds of wild things we'll be doing, because I don't really consider them to be wild; it's just how I like to express myself. There's a strong presence of guns, gore and God, so it does express that. I'm really glad that the fans have been able to hear some of the songs off the Internet, because they'll know some of the words before we play them at the show.
Question: I read that you enjoyed spying on your grandfather. What prompted you to do that?
Marilyn Manson: It was fascination with the forbidden. And as a kid, I saw him as a bit of a monster and a pervert, in a lot of ways. But as I grew up, and through writing my book, it let me see that I had a lot more in common with him, and I realized it wasn't fair for me to judge him.
Question: What do you think was the hardest show you ever did?
Marilyn Manson: Well, there's been a lot of difficult ones -- particularly the shows following the Columbine incident were very difficult. But I'd have to say the first three I've done on this tour have been the most difficult, just getting back into the routine and remembering how difficult but rewarding it all is.
Question: Do you use the Internet a lot?
Marilyn Manson: I do. I originally found it to be something about four or five years ago that I thought could be potentially dangerous for me, because there were a lot of Christian Web sites that were spreading rumors that people were believing, and it was causing a lot of problems getting shows booked, animal rights groups, the police and staying in cites. So originally it was quite scary. But with any fear, I find it is better to overcome it, so I've discovered that I like the Internet, because it's the one place where a revolution can occur. It's just a matter of whether people want that or not.
Comment: On the song "Cruci-fiction in Space" you say, "This is evolution. The monkey. The Man. Then the gun." What does this mean? I would like to understand.
Marilyn Manson: On the record, I talk a lot about the irony of how man has come so far but has learned so little. And I tried to use those three words as emblems to represent those points in time, and how ironic it is that even though we have so much knowledge at our fingertips, we're still behaving like Cain and Abel. And also the irony of the gun and how even though it's the gun that hurts, man would hurt himself anyway, even without it. So I try to bring up those points in evolution.
Question: I heard that you recorded a song for the "Dracula 2000" soundtrack. What song will it be?
Marilyn Manson: That was something I was mentioning earlier. Actually, Godhead has a song called "Break You Down," which I sing backup vocals on. That's another film I haven't seen yet, but I find Wes Craven to be very credible, so it looks like it'll be a good one, although I'm not sure how many times they can make a vampire movie.
Question: What record label do you plan to record on in the future? Nothing? PostHuman? Interscope? Or another?
Marilyn Manson: My obligation right now is still to ultimately Interscope and through Nothing Records. The future of Nothing Records and Interscope is kind of up in the air right now, and that's a reason for the delay in my record. But right now, I have no reason to change.
Question: I recently saw the Smashing Pumpkins in the ECW. Do you have any plans on branching out in entertainment and possibly getting "scary" in sports entertainment, say the WWF?
Marilyn Manson: I'm not that big of a fan of sports. Wrestling, though, does have a theatrical element that kind of goes back to the origin of sports. If I were to go back to any sport, it would be feeding the Christians to the lions. That got lost, and I think that'd be good to bring back on The WB network.
Question: What does Halloween represent to you?
Marilyn Manson: It's a time when people can be imaginative and be something that they don't get to be every day. It was always my favorite holiday as a kid, but for me, even growing up, I couldn't limit that to one day, because it's always better to be 1000 things rather than just one. Last year I didn't dress up as anything, but everyone thought I was from "The Exorcist," because I had a long, black hat and coat like from the movie. But this year, I'll just be myself again.
LiveDrew: Do you have any closing comments?
Marilyn Manson: I guess just thanks to everyone who voted for me for the Scariest Celebrity. It wasn't something that I was necessarily trying to do, but I'm proud to be that, because I believe playing the villain in society is something essential for any artist who wants to shake things up and cause chaos. I'm very happy with AOL and all the chats and message boards. I've seen it grow from just a few some years back to what it is now. And I'm also looking forward to this tour and to seeing everybody soon.
LiveDrew: AOL Live would like to thank Marilyn Manson for chatting with us this evening. Be sure to check him out on tour and look for his new album, "Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death)" in stores soon. Thanks again.