Interview:2012/10/19 Marilyn Manson Finds Inspiration in His Roots

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Marilyn Manson finds inspiration in his roots
Interview with Marilyn Manson
Date October 19, 2012
Interviewer Ed Condran
Sometimes, change isn’t for the best.
When Marilyn Manson evolved from nihilistic, arty industrial/metalist to a relatively predictable glam artist during the last decade, it just didn’t have much of an impact.
His music lacked bite and the band’s shows did not have that palpable sense of danger and unpredictability.
But Manson, who will perform Friday at the Susquehanna Bank Center, had the sense to return to his early sound with his latest offering, “Born Villain,” which is full of songs that are gloomy, witty and wicked.
Manson, 43, explains why he returned to his sonic strength, laughs at a popular band for rehearsing before a show and reveals what he does just before hitting the stage. Manson also shares what it was like hanging with John Mayer and he details why he was tempted to sock him with his sock.

Q: Why return to your sonic roots with “Born Villain”?

A: I was going back to a clean slate. When you see a peacock with its feathers out, you realize that its feathers are supposed to be out and that relates to me. I strayed from my roots, the stuff that inspired me like Ministry, The Sex Pistols and The Stooges and I’m thrilled to be back there.

Q: But why did you ever leave that zone?

A: It’s kind of like when you get a “C” for the first time in school, not that I ever paid attention to grades back when I was going to school. But you want to go from a “C” to an “A.” But you’re doing it for the wrong reason. That was me over recent years. There’s a difference between wanting to do better and wanting to please people.

Q: You might be our last rock star. The backstage scene has changed. Bands are rehearsing, not engaged in debauchery. I guess it’s different with Marilyn Manson.

A: Absolutely. You’re right about the backstage scene. I was backstage on a tour and I would hear “la la la,” and I won’t name names, Linkin Park, but not only are they sober before a show, not that I’m judging Linkin Park, but they were jamming on acoustic. It was heartfelt, like “unplugged,” if anyone would ever care about that anymore. I walk in with a pink stripe across my face, looking like someone who shouldn’t be around children or acoustic instruments. I said, “I don’t want to interrupt you guys. Are you writing a song?” “No, we’re rehearsing.” And then I said, “But you guys are playing in about a minute.’ It blew me away since I was getting screwed up and having sex, which is what I told them. It might sound crass, but it was accurate.

Q: No one was rehearsing before a show a generation ago.

A: — damn right!

Q: About 20 years ago, so much changed in the world of rock showmanship.

A: You’re talking about grunge, which was the communism of rock. Yeah, things certainly changed.

Q: It’s hard to tell the performers from the fans in this John Mayer-ization of rock.

A: (laughs hysterically). I met him right after he got in trouble for saying the “n” word (during a Playboy Magazine interview). You don’t want to say that word, even if you’re black because you’ll get your ass beat. He was shifty, cagey and weird. Mayer invited me up to his room and he proceeded to show me out of his safe his collection of Rolex watches. They’re about $20,000 apiece. Why do you need a watch? I have an iPhone. I was contemplating going into the bathroom, putting whatever metal objects I had in my sock and just rolling him. When he would tell people, “Marilyn Manson stole my watches,” who would believe him?

Q: As a kid, did you ever have any dream or have any idea that you would become a rock star?

A: I remember listening to The Doors’ “Strange Days.” I stole the cassette from the library and I thought it would be cool to sing and be like Jim Morrison someday.

Q: Didn’t you recently get a chance to play with the surviving members of The Doors?

A: Yes. A of couple of weeks ago in Europe. I got onstage with Robbie Krieger and Ray Manzarek to do “People Are Strange,” “Love Me Two Times” and my favorite Doors song “Five To One.” I felt the spirit. Ray Manzarek said that I remind him of Jim since I’m a wildcat just like he was.