Interview: Marilyn Manson
Mon, 16 Jul 2007 10:54:35
Marilyn Manson Photos
Marilyn Manson Videos
After a four-year hiatus filled with headlines and hedonism, the
ever-controversial Marilyn Manson (aka Brian Warner) has returned with
his sixth studio album. Eat Me, Drink Me is perhaps his most
accessible record to date: a pop-goth collection co-written with
long-time collaborator Tim Skold.
Manson opened up to ARTISTdirect about depression, divorce and the quest for desperate romance.
You've talked about how you wanted Eat Me, Drink Me to be a more personal album than past releases. What was driving you to record this time around?
I actually didn't have any intention to make this record. I was at a point where I wasn't sure what I wanted in life, my darkest fears were coming true. I started having no real feeling, no real reason to live. It wasn't like I wanted to kill myself, I just didn't really have anything to believe in. So looking back now, it seems like the music that Tim [Skold] had been working on for me was scoring whatever I'd been going through. I don't know if he was in-tune with me, or if it was just that obvious how much confusion and pain I was in. "Just a Car Crash Away" was the first song I picked to sing, and when I played it for a couple of people, one person cried. I realized that that person had felt that way about something I had made. That's what I needed most: I needed to make a record that made me feel like the records that I listened to when I was trying to find something to make me feel better.
Which records were those?
I was predominantly listening to Diamond Dogs, Purple Rain and To Bring You My Love by PJ Harvey.
Those are pretty visceral, emotional records…
Right. So when I played "Just a Car Crash Away," it started me realizing that I was disappointed. I was at a point in my life where I should be happy for all the mathematical reasons, but I was watching movies like The Hunger and Bonnie and Clyde and Harold and Maude and True Romance, and I was thinking, "I don't understand why my life doesn't feel like that." Not the gun-play, but the desperate romance of it.
Why do you think you were so unsatisfied?
There's two parts to it. I don't think that I had let down my guard and was willing to give myself over completely, but also I had somebody who I had committed myself to marriage [Dita Von Teese], but I didn't feel like… I had always had this idea of romance, of Shakespearean "live for today" feeling, and I don't think I've ever until today found that. I'm not just talking about my relationship (with Evan Rachel Wood, 19), but my family, friends, everything.
So, creatively, what did you do differently this time?
I always think about performance and visual when I'm recording the songs, but with this record I really concentrated on just being a singer and writing lyrics. I made things very seductive. I actually wrote the songs like I would write a love letter or a poem, just a different style: more an expression than an observation. I allowed myself to have a real collaboration with Tim, we really began to feed off each other.
It feels like this record is more accessible than others. Was that a conscious decision?
With "Heart-Shaped Glasses," I knew when I wrote the song that it was really pop, and I feel very sarcastic about it. I like it in the same way as "Let's Dance" by Bowie, and I wanted to make a very subtle lyrical situation, where there are some double entendres but they're very subtle. You know, I always liked that about pop songs. The thing I said in the chorus of the song, "Don't break my heart," is something that I said to Evan when we first met, and looking back at it, I think it defined the whole attitude in my life. "Don't fuck me over, I'm going to let down my guard." I think I did that everywhere, and I think it changed my life.
You've become involved with a lot of creative projects—your photography, artwork, the Phantasmagoria project about Lewis Carroll. Have these brought new perspectives to your music, or do you keep everything very separate?
keep reading »
1 | 2