Marilyn Manson - Spooky Pop Star
On plotting to kill a girlfriend, joining the Church Of Satan and exactly why heís like Monica Lewinsky
by Paul Elliot
Winter 1998

PAUL: When you were a kid you found some pretty disturbing porno pics that your granddad was "using." After that experience did you stand a chance of being normal?

MARILYN: I think I am normal, by my standards. A term like "normal" is kind of relative and I donít go by other peopleís definitions. Equally, I donít think Iím gonna behave abnormally or Iím gonna do things that are evil or wrong. I just do things the way I like to do them. Thatís my standard.

PAUL: So knowing your standard, how well do you like yourself?

MARILYN: I like myself fine half the time. When I donít like myself, itís pretty evident from my behavior.

PAUL: Describe your music to someone whoís never heard it.

MARILYN: If they havenít heard it by now, they can fuck off, because if you donít know who I am by this point you can go right to Hades! You can bypass Hell and go straight to Hades, where Iíve heard itís worse. I think Iím famous enough now.

PAUL: So if you wonít tell us what your music sounds like, tell us who you like. Weíll guess the rest.

MARILYN: Fair deal. I have great admiration for David Bowie. Queen and T Rex and Kiss were all big for me when I was growing up and my new record Mechanical Animals reflects the music that meant a lot to me as a kid, while bringing it up to date.

PAUL: Youíre something of a mainstream celebrity in America after your last album, Antichrist Superstar, arenít you?

MARILYN: Well even Monica Lewinskyís a celebrity here now because she sucked a dick. Thatís America. That was the inspiration for Marilyn Manson ten years ago and it still kinda holds true today.

PAUL: Your look will shock a lot of people. Do you ever go out in jeans and a T-shirt?

MARILYN: If Iím sitting around the house in my underpants thatís probably the closest Iíll get to "regular" dress. I have plans to get a fake mustache and glue that on to disguise myself as an everyday guy. Smoke a cigarette, talk to people, do "friendly," drive around waving.

PAUL: Thatís nice, but we suspect unlikely. Tell us - has your image made you a fanny magnet?

MARILYN: At various stages of my career it has. Initially I tried to present myself as unattractive - and people seemed to find it appealing. Now Iím evolving into something else and itís all part of redefining what beauty is. I donít think Iím conventionally good-looking, but I present myself in a way that, in the long run, results in a lot of blow jobs. Does that answer your question?

PAUL: Yes, thanks. OK, what shocks you?

MARILYN: Iím sitting in a bathtub and someone throws a hairdryer in, that will shock me.

PAUL: Not bad. You donít look like a fun guy, though. Whatís your favorite comedy on TV?

MARILYN: The Jerry Springer Show. It shows how low we Americans have sunk. Itís now evolved to the point where they should give people handguns and let them go on there and shoot each other. I think that would be very American.

PAUL: Making moneyís very American. How much have you made?

MARILYN: Not nearly enough. Money merely gives me the opportunity to create more things. I donít own a home or a car. I wouldnít describe myself as successful financially, but Iím getting to do more of the things I want to do.

PAUL: What items do you always carry with you?

MARILYN: A pair of sunglasses.

PAUL: Not your Church Of Satan membership cards, as awarded by Anton LaVey?

MARILYN: I donít think I have that anymore. I lost it.

PAUL: Maybe you misplaced it on a glass-topped table somewhere.

MARILYN: For cutting up drugs? Is that what you are referring to? Trust me, I have done that. A library card works pretty good too, Iíve found.

PAUL: Tell us Marilyn - do you fear death?

MARILYN: My new record represents not so much a fear of dying, but more a reason to live. Iím finally having feelings, having things to fight for, which represents a reason not to die.

PAUL: Letís talk about "The Little Death," then. Did you really shag top porn model Jenna Jameson?

MARILYN: If youíre talking about the story about me and her in my book, then no, I didnít fuck her. Not at that particular moment, anyway.

PAUL: Ah, your book The Long Hard Road Out Of Hell. In it you tell of how you meticulously plotted to kill a former girlfriend. Were you serious?

MARILYN: I came close. Fortunately for me I didnít go through with it because Iíd be in jail right now. Unless I got away with it, of course.

PAUL: On you last tour you used a lot of imagery that looked suspiciously Nazi-like. A bit of a fascist, are you?

MARILYN: I like the idea of elitism when it comes to intelligence, because thatís a commodity thatís available to anyone - you can learn as much as you really want to. Obviously, some people are always going to be smarter than others, some people are mentally handicapped, but to be as smart as youíre capable is a fair and almost politically correct form of elitism. Fascism, when it comes to racism or sex, is too lenient. Accept all white people? There are lots of really ignorant white people Iíd never consider my friend. Accepting all men wouldnít work either. But intelligence is universal and anyone can achieve it by their own willpower. Thatís a healthy, positive thing.

PAUL: And so, no doubt, are you. Are you a good, clean boy at heart, Marilyn?

MARILYN: I usually disinfect my hands after Iíve shaken hands with people, but then again, Iíve had sex with porn stars, so thereís no clear line of whatís clean and whatís not. Actually, for me to have sex with myself is probably the most unsanitary thing I do. Whenever I masturbate I have to immediately wash my hands afterwards.

PAUL: And what else disgusts you?

MARILYN: Excessive body hair. And people who live up to stereotypes. People who perpetuate ignorance disgust me too.

PAUL: How about the fans who come to your shows and beg you to sign your name in their flesh with a razor blade? Or are they just pathetic?

MARILYN: Just because my fans emulate, that doesnít mean theyíre as stupid as what we as a band are reacting against. I think itís just their way of identifying and saying, "Iím a part of this. I believe in this." Theyíre shunning the way their family wants them to behave, shunning the way society wants them to look. Next year theyíre not going to be doing the same thing, theyíre going to have their own identity. I think thatís very positive. You have to be intelligent to appreciate half of the things I do anyway - but if you have a sense of irony, most of the time youíll enjoy it. So there are really only two kinds of people in the world: people who like Marilyn Manson - and stupid people.