THE XFM ROCK SHOW • IAN CAMFIELD MEETS MARILYN MANSON
So, about a week ago Marilyn Manson came in to the XFM studios [with Twiggy Ramirez], and... uh, to say he was out of his mind was a bit of an understatement. To be honest, most of what he said, I can't broadcast tonight on The XFM Rock Show, but what you're about to hear is some clips of some of the more broadcastable stuff and also some cuts from his new album, which is out now.
I should warn you at this point, even though this interview has been heavily edited there are a few bits in it which may cause offence, so if you're likely to be offended by anything that Marilyn Manson may sing, or say, you should tune out now. But these are the bits that I deemed approapriate to broadcast. Marilyn Manson, on The XFM Rock Show.
Welcome to London. You like coming back to London don't you?
"I like cumming, and I like coming to London. Okay, I'm using double-entendre. I'm Dr Double-Entrendre. Yes, I love London. The answer is yes."
Let's talk about the new album, The High End Of Low. When did you start work on this new album, do remember how far back you started putting together some ideas for it?
"We never unpacked, straight out of the gate. We uh, did music first, and it was this guy... We really did 45, uh 45 songs. When I say 'we' I mean 'he'. But I sat there with him and I was a cheerleader, clown, a producer, I was a hand-job artist, it was everything and I was like 'yes, just do it'.
And it was different, it wasn't the same way we ever made a record before. But I had to pick where to start and track one was the most difficult place to get to and it took an attempted muder-suicide event, which sounds like comedy, which it should be. Because any girl should be... you should never, kill yourself after killing a girl. It's a bad idea."
"You get a shovel, plastic bag, call your manager, and you say 'look, this is a situation'.
But, I was foolish, and I didn't do either."
The record's kind of like a diary isn't it? The songs appear in the order they were written, and they were kind of written about your state of mind and what you were going through at the time?
"Sort of, but not entirely. I mean, I sang them in the order that they appear on the record but he wrote them musically in the order that they were inspired, because he ignored me during the recording of the vocals, he hated my guts, he didn't want to talk... just kidding!"
Twiggy's saying no, that's not case! I heard Twiggy loved being back recording again...
"Of course he did! I was intimidated, he wrote the music and I was sitting there like, in a chair looking at him and sometimes he had a penis, sometimes it was a guitar you know..."
Penis more than a guitar?
"Penis with a guitar, that's how he plays. He plays from the heart, and from the hard-on. And I was intimidated because I didn't know if I could sing, I didn't know what I had to say that would amount to what he played, because he was playing emotionally, like the way I felt. So this record was hard to start for me, it was hard to get to track one, but once it got there it was very, fluid. It was very channelled, I don't remember it in the same way he doesn't remember recording a lot of tracks.
Our production style was - I did not let him re-do tracks. One of my favourite songs, to give you an example, is Four Rusted Horses. He recorded it with an acoustic guitar, and it was tuned enough to play the song. If you were to use a tuner, and you're like some mathematician, or producer, then you're going to get mathematical and you're going to say 'that's not right'.
But at that point the record started to form and the whole concept for me - from a producer/cheerleader point of view - of him as a guitar player, because everyone's always looking at him as a bass player. But he played the bass also, which is by no means an afterthought, but as a guitar player he really stood up and took his pants off."
Is it true that you were at the Led Zeppelin show, and decided that was when you had to work with Twiggy again?
"I was there with a friend, and make no mistake I wasn't saying 'We're like Led Zeppelin', because I've never been a gigantic fan. First of all we're better than Led Zeppelin, let's make that straight."
You're better than Led Zeppelin...
"Yep. Twitter it."
"I'm better at them at different things, having sex with hot girls."
Robert Plant probably had sex with a lot of hot girls back in the day though.
"Does he still?"
I don't know, you'd have to ask him.
"Is he here?"
No, he's not around.
"The point is, we're not comparing myself - ourselves - to Led Zeppelin. I was at the concert, and I saw Robert Plant and Jimmy Page. And they're playing Stairway To Heaven, which you know, everyone is a bit exhausted of, if you've seen that you know, Bill & Ted's Excellent Fucking Wayne's World. So they started playing it, and for the first time I actually was captivated by it, you know - "There's a lady, Et Cetera..."
And I'm watching it, and they look at each other, and I see this glance, and in my mind I have this rehearsal of you know, 'we wrote Stairway To Heaven', when they look at each other. And I thought, I don't have that guy to look at anymore, because that guy's off looking at someone else. So I had to call him and I'm like, 'listen, we wrote The Beautiful People, The Dope Show...'
It's not Stairway To Heaven, but I'm like, 'I don't want to go to stairway... I like, uh, escalators, I don't want a stairway'.
So we got back together. So it was really me seeing the fact that Marilyn Manson is not about me, and 'me et cetera'.
It's about me, and Twiggy."
What do you think the public's perception is of Marilyn Manson, for 2009?
[laughs] "No, I care what the people think. When I say 'the people', it's like, you people, and they go 'what do you mean "you people"?'
The concept of 'I don't care what people think' is a misnomer, for anyone who is an artist. I care what the people I know and love care about first and foremost. I also care what people that don't know me think, but I won't be controlled by what they think. So what they think right now, is hopefully fear, confusion, hatred, et cetera."
What about the fans, I spoke to some kids who were waiting a day before your HMV appearance in London, there were some kids that were out there like a day in advance you know, and the way they've stuck by you and that kind of dedication, that must be very... must make you feel very good after this amount of time.
"I do appreciate it, and I want them to know I've stuck by it for thirty... some-odd years. When someone says 'how long did it take to make that song?', I could say five minutes, but it takes twenty years to be crazy enough to make that song. So if they sit a day, that means I didn't shower in three days. So do the math, we'll meet afterwards."
One more thing, what do you want to achieve with this album?
"What do I want to achieve?"
"We want to achieve the fact that we've started from scratch, but this isn't the record where we self title it, and it's all black, a black record and it's Marilyn Manson Epinonymous. Eponymous. Hippopotamus. Psycho Elephante. No, this is the beginning of the end."
Well, thank you for coming into XFM, today.
"Thank you for letting me come inside of you."
[laughs] That's a perfect ending.
So there you go, that's what happened, or part of what happened, when Marilyn Manson came into the XFM studios about a week ago. Absolutely out of his mind, those were the more broadcastable parts of the interview.