ROLLING STONE • Q&A
The Antichrist returns with a crushing new disc, a bloody new video and a serious jones for absinthe
Traditionally, May Day is a holiday celebrated among anarchists. But according to the Antichrist, Marilyn Manson, "It's the most evil day."
Aside from signing the papers to legalize his divorce from Dita Von Teese on that day, Manson, 38, learned that his new record, EAT ME, DRINK ME had been leaked onto the Internet. Manson didn't sweat it, "When I woke up, I felt like a kid on Christmas," he says, "Santa Claus had delivered my record to the world, and people were really responding to it."
EAT ME, DRINK ME is Manson's most reflective record, which the singer says he wrote with Tim Skold (who joined Manson's band as bassist in 2002) to seduce his current girlfriend, actress Evan Rachel Wood. After he suffered a period of deep depression in 2006, Wood helped Manson rediscover his connection to his music, and co-stars in the bloody, erotic video for Heart-Shaped Glasses
"For a while I felt completely alone and untethered," he says.
"But now I feel like I've become me again. It's probably a curse, but I kind of like it."
What did Evan's parents think of the video?
"Well, I had to have a drink with Evan's mother and father. The main thing that needs to be established is that I might share my life with her, but that does not incriminate her in my behavior. so, if I want to go dig a hole and bury my genitals in it, that doesn't mean she dug the hole. Basically, I'm not as bad in the way they'd like to think I am. But I'm bad in a different way. I'm always going to be bad. More band than Michael Jackson, but that's probably not a good comparison, considering."
They'd obviously be concerned with what she's up to around you.
"Absolutely - I'm not surprised by that. But I found a strange ironic similarity with what her father said to me, and what my dad said to Evan, which was, 'If you break his heart, I'll kill you', or something along those lines."
You always have a unique woman with you, whether it's Rose McGowan or Dita Von Teese or Evan. What separates Evan, in a professional sense?
"Evan was a real catalyst to help me realize that I wasn't delivering the message that I always stood for, and if you were to speak about her talent and personality, she's the most unique, stand-alone person who doesn't need a relationship with me to further her career. If anything, I could only take away from it."
You've shocked plenty of people. Growing up, what shocked you?
"The shootings at Kent State - because I grew up in Ohio and could have probably ended up going to Kent State. I grew up very afraid of war, and for the oddest reasons. I wasn't afraid of dying as much as I was really afraid of getting my hair cut. It might sound funny, but it's really true."
You received death threats after the Columbine massacre. What was the scariest moment?
"I had just been interviewed by Michael Moore [for Bowling For Columbine]. I was going to perform at Mile High Stadium in Denver, where if someone wants to kill you, you're dead, that's all there is to it. I was being followed around by about twenty plain-clothes police officers. Everyone, my family and loved ones, so to speak, begged me not to do it, but they knew I had to."
Your European tour will hit a former monastery in Slovenia. Who booked that?
"Everyone who's with me now are people that have actually stood by me after a really bad period in my life, my manager, and the people who arrange the tours, are trying to accommodate my happiness - if that's tat right word. So when a show like that comes up, it's pretty irresistible. The question shouldn't be: 'Why is Manson playing a monastery in Slovenia?'
It should be: 'How are we going to get naked girls and chimpanzees in there?'
That said, I'm not into interspecies erotica."
How would you describe how you look without makeup?
"It's not like I wear makeup to look like a mime, or a clown, or Gene Simmons - all of which are essentially the same to me. I wear makeup like a girl wears makeup - I always wear makeup. I even have the no-makeup makeup look, which is a trick that college girls will use on you. They'll say, 'I'm not wearing makeup', but don't think they're not wearing makeup. They may be wearing vagina liner."
You love to drink absinthe. When did you discover it?
"The first time I drank it was in New Orleans, in 1996, when I was making Antichrist Superstar. It was very undistilled, similar to moonshine. I didn't drink absinthe again until Y2K. I spent that New Year's Eve drinking absinthe with Johnny Depp in the south of France. We were ready for the apocalypse, and when it didn't come, we were disappointed, so we drank more absinthe and set off fireworks. Since then, I don't drink booze, I drink absinthe."
You love double-entendres and puns. Like the lyric, "The hole is where the heart is."
"They call me 'Dr. Double-enten-Dre.'
What Marilyn Manson is listening to.
David Bowie - We Are The Dead
"That's the one song that if you put it on, it will calm me down," says Manson about this gem from Bowie's 1974 classic Diamond Dogs.
"It will also make me melancholy, but mostly it soothes the savage beast."
Radiohead - Exit Music (For A Film)
"I escaped from a treatment facility and listened to this song as I was standing on the edge of a cliff, thinking about jumping." he says of this cut from OK Computer.
"Then I walked down the hill."
Amy Winehouse - Rehab
"I recently saw that this drunk, tattooed girl has got a song about rehab, and I was delighted by it," Manson says of the British retro-soul diva.
"I don't know much about her, but I want to party with her, and if I see her, I'm gonna smack her ass."
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