GIDGET GEIN • EVOLUTION
Gidget Gein Interviewed By Emma Page
Just as his ex-bandmate has continued to evolve with each new era brought in, former bassist for Marilyn Manson, Gidget Gein, has himself come out of his own chrysalis.
After leaving the band due to an excessive heroin addiction that more than once left him teetering on the edge of death, to a new band The Dali Gaggers and now as an up-and-coming artist, and master of his own website www.gidgetgein.com (whilst still paying the bills as a 'bagboy'), where will his evolution end?
Kindly taking time out between art shows and a guest appearance in Marilyn Manson's new video (s)AINT, Gein has granted this interview to tell us about the past, present and hopefully the future too!
The last that most Manson fans will remember of you is your expulsion from the band, which in your own words you have described as: 'exiled for being too out of control'. Is this acknowledging Manson's perception of events, or did you yourself think enough was enough?
"A little bit of both. I knew I was out of control from the get go. Manson knew this too. He wanted someone like me in the band to add to the degeneracy and debauchery of the band. In the end we both became each other's Frankenstein."
Your band The Dali Gaggers are 'on hold indefinitely'. Does this mean that the bass, professionally speaking, is hung up for good?
"I will always play the bass, and the guitar and the accordion and the banjo and the saw and whatever else I can get my hands on. The Dali Gaggers are on hold because I have too much going on with the art thing."
It took a long while for you and Manson to properly reconcile your differences, but now you are back on track, how did you get involved in the (s)AINT video and what was it like being a part of Marilyn Manson once again?
"Manson is into the art I'm doing. He asked to use one of the pieces for the video. Since I was going to LA it just worked out that I was in the video. For most people, working with Manson is just that. I have a lot of respect for him and was always into what he was doing."
The line-up has seen it's fair share of changes since your day. In your opinion, do you think the vision still exists?
"The vision has evolved and transgressed. In my opinion."
It's been ten years since your departure from the band. How would you describe yourself - grown up or simply grown?
"I have evolved and transgressed. I'm not the same kid I use to be. Maybe I don't remember my exact personality from back then, but it seems I'm more uptight. Darker."
You work for the South Florida Medical Examiners Office. What was it like when your fellow colleagues found out about your colourful past?
"For the most part I don't speak about it. When someone asks me if I use to play with Marilyn Manson, I ask, 'Who's she?'
One funeral home I was affiliated with won't let me in there anymore. Apparently because of my past. Or maybe it was because of something else. But I don't believe they have security cameras in the facility. Therefore there is no evidence!"
Drug rehabilitation is not an easy road to travel. How hard has it been to stay on the straight and narrow, and what kind of support did you receive? Are there times where the recovery has been more difficult than most other times?
"The last three plus years have been pretty easy. Only because I remember where I came from. I think that's the key. You can't forget how bad it was. It's like a relationship that ends because all you do is fight, etc. You keep going back to that person because all you can think about is the sex. You have to remember the pain."
From Marilyn Manson, to The Dali Gaggers, and now to your art, some would say that Gein is in a state of evolution? Would you agree? And where further will you evolve?
"I have evolved and transgressed. I'm in the process of merging the fine art world with the underground. I will make art available to everyone. That's the reason for Gein's Art Sale. My art shows are filled with an eclectic crowd. It is a place where the filthy rich can rub elbows with the filthy."
Your art is taking you to interesting places, and meeting interesting people - for example Nico Claux. How does one get involved in an art show with a Killer?
"Nico and I have been friends for some time. We have a lot in common. He is a killer - I am named after a killer. He used to work in the morgue - I work for a morgue. He is an artist - I am an artist. We are in the process of planning some shows that will take place sometime this year. Probably worldwide."
Do you see the Surreal Pop Exploitation as a, excuse the term, future career, or will it always been an escape from the day job?
"It is a career, as you put it. I need to be doing something to express myself. Since I have a tough time doing it verbally in intimate situations, art seems to be the only way. Be it painting, music, film, etc..."
What's it like dealing with the surreal world of interacting with your fans on a one to one basis?
"It's easier than dealing with people in my world. The fans are genuine for the most part. I know where they stand. I am very grateful for the fans."
What's the strangest post you have yet seen on your site?
"It's hard to choose. I'm interested in posts that are negative towards me because they are not typical. Lately I've been a fan of a member named Revolution of Thought. He/she's a cough medicine-guzzling transvestite who is partial to Hello Kitty."
You use many mediums in your art, but which is the one that really reflects Gein? I prefer drawing, black and white, no colour.
"Everything I use reflects me. 99 percent of the stuff I do is autobiographical. I really like doing watercolors because I can do them very quick. So maybe watercolors reflect my personality because I am very impatient."
What's the saddest example of human behaviour you last saw committed with your own eyes?
"A friend of mine, who I love very much, is very depressed and insecure despite the fact that she is an incredible person and one of the best all around artists. I saw a lot of myself in her. This made it even more depressing."
What has been the best example of human kindness you last saw with your own eyes?
"Tough question. The last one was easier. Someone let me get in front of her at the grocery store."
Is there anything you miss from being part of a band? And anything that you are glad to be without?
"Sometimes I miss performing. I get the same feeling now when I do art shows. I don't miss going to practice all the time. I don't miss trying to express my vision to others who don't get it. I don't miss other people’s egos. I don't miss managers who get paid more than I do."
How do you respond to critics who say that you are still trading on Marilyn Manson by using the name Gidget Gein?
"When you go to a job interview you show them your job history. Why should this be any different? For a long time I turned my back on my past. I've accepted the cards that have been dealt. I use my name because it is my name. Maybe in the future I'll change my name to a symbol. A fist with the middle finger extended."
Do you get requests for one off art pieces, and if so, what is the strangest request to date?
"Define strange? I get requests all the time. I do commissions. I'm still waiting for some requests that are strange to me."
What would be your dream venue for an art expedition?
"I haven't thought about that. My dream venue would just be the future."
Where do you see yourself in ten years time?
"See above answer."
Was there any ill feelings towards your replacement in Marilyn Manson? After all, some say that Manson was actively seeking to replace you with Twiggy regardless of your drug problem at the time. In one interview you replied 'Who's she?', when asked about him!
"I would have done the same thing. So I know where Manson was coming from. The thing that hurt me was that Manson and Gordy White's (sic) insecurities got the best of them. Which caused them to say and do some pretty uncool things."