Polly Vernon of the U.K.'s The Observer recently conducted an interview with Marilyn Manson. A few excerpts from the chat follow:
On his new album, "Eat Me, Drink Me":
"I don't think that I would... [long pause] exist, if it weren't for this record. . . I haven't... left my house in a year. I shut myself, literally, out of being with people, and I think I... no, I wouldn't exist without this record. . . To me, it was worse than wanting to die. I didn't want to live. When you want to die, you at least have a goal. You're aiming for something. It's not a good goal, but at least you want something. And you've got anger and fear, but at least you're feeling something. But I wasn't afraid, I didn't have fear, I didn't care and I didn't have hope. . . Depression's something that people would... probably assume I've always had an element of it in me. But I know that I've never f... f... I was going to say 'felt,' but I don't know how I 'felt'... I didn't have any feeling — it's a void. But this record, it's a cliche, but this record saved me..."
On whether Manson blames his depression on his marriage to Dita von Teese:
"Yes, it has an inconvenient, unfortunate parallel to — you know — getting married. I think they ultimately have to be associated. I don't think that the relationship was... something to blame... as much as the, just the, the cliches of marriage. Being expected to change. Change who you are. I started to feel — and maybe this is only how I perceived it, or it's what my ex-wife genuinely expected of me — but to have to change who I am because suddenly I'm supposed to be more responsible or adult or to have to apologize for who I am... It just ultimately wasn't what I was prepared for."
On whether the conventions of marriage crushed what had been a healthy relationship:
"Yeah. That and the unfortunate coincidence that her career was really taking off. And I wasn't able to give up what I'm doing and follow her; like she did for me, in the beginning. But I never knew I was... going to be expected to do that. Sacrifice to me is something you do without expecting something in return. . . So to be expected... to... I guess be judged on how much you love someone by... if you don't do... what they did for you... because they did it for you. It got to a point where, where, I didn't know how to win, I didn't know how to explain... to somebody... that I don't... love... me. So for you to think that if I loved you I would change, or I would not be depressed, or I would want to... you know... give up my work for a moment, when I didn't think of it as work... what you create and who you are has to be the same, or both of them die. So that's what almost happened. My creativity died and I nearly died."
On whether he felt betrayed by the way marriage changed his relationship with Dita:
'That was one of the initial emotional confusions and responses. I felt that I was stupid, that I was taken advantage of. At first. But I wasn't, I wasn't taken advantage of. I realized that."
On whether there is any good way to divorce:
"I think that somebody's always going to suffer more. And I'd think I hurt her more. But only because she didn't understand the amount of pain I went through before it became apparent to her. She didn't understand that my idea of the relationship was suffering for longer than she knew. And so when things ended equally between us, she might have assumed that I didn't care. Not realizing that I had been experiencing it for much longer."
On whether anyone has blamed him for the Virginia Tech shootings yet:
"Not as far as I know. But I wouldn't be surprised if I was blamed. You know, it all seems very manufactured to me. . . in the way that there's candlelight vigils, but I haven't seen anyone crying. Not one single person crying. Someone said to me yesterday: I'm sure you're full of mixed emotions. And I'm not, really. I don't really care. I don't know anyone involved in it. If you lose emotion, and you gain it back, you realise that hate and love are very important to distribute properly. So I'm not going to waste any kind of emotion on things that aren't related to me. It doesn't mean that you have to be insensitive or cold, or have no sort of empathy. It just means that when you do have an emotion, make it extreme."
On whether he is really in love with his current girlfrield, 19-year-old actress Evan Rachel Wood:
"Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely! It's actually easy for me [to fall in love], because it didn't make me cynical. My current relationship gives me the ability to realize where I've always gone wrong in my life, not just in my divorce. To realize I was always thinking: I wish that my life could be like the movies, like 'Bonnie and Clyde' or 'The Hunger' or 'Harold and Maude'. And... it can be! It maybe just takes somebody else who is as fearless as you. It takes a person who will not hesitate. . . Because now, my only definition of romance is that somebody has to be willing to hold hands and jump off the cliff with you. At that point, you don't want to die any more."
On whether he's happy:
"For the most part, yeah. More so than I was a year ago. And definitely more than I was 10 years ago. I feel, like, being in a position where I simply have no reason to apologize for just being myself, and where I don't have to make what I do an apology for me, or a defense of who I am."
On whether he ever talks to Dita:
"Not recently, but um... yup. I mostly just get yelled at for things that I can't change, and don't want to change any more. No. That's not a fair characterization of what, um... But it is pretty true! Ha ha!"