A few weeks ago, Marilyn Manson attended a press conference in France where he answered questions related to his new album, "Eat Me, Drink Me". During the press conference, Manson talks about the inspiration he had in making the new CD, his movie "Phantasmagoria" and the upcoming tour.
Watch video footage of the press conference at this location. A summerized transcription can be found below:
Q: Why did you choose this specific title for your new album, and what was it about Lewis Carroll's work that inspired you so much?
Marilyn Manson: It's only in part inspired by "Alice In Wonderland". I thought that the concept of being consumed by someone else, it goes back to the Christ myth and it's why this is a man who became a symbol and the symbol is in the religion and consumed by the people that believe in the religion. And this record was me been my own symbol of Marilyn Manson becoming human for the first time in making this record and for me saying that I want someone to consume me, I think that it's the greatest gesture of sacrifice and admission of romance, so it's very much a romantic seduction and in a literal way if I had to pick a way to die then I would want to be eaten alive by somebody that I was in love with. If I had to pick a way then that would be the way.
Q: Can you tell us a bit more about "Phantasmagoria"?
Marilyn Manson: "Phantasmagoria" is postponed briefly until October, because it was supposed to take place when making the record and last year I think that I became so obsessed with the character that I was writing about Lewis Carroll/Charles Dodgson that I was writing about myself in a sense. So it's good that I have a bit of a distance so I can have a better perspective. If this record didn't exist then I probably wouldn't exist because I was in a state where I didn't want to make anything anymore and I really lost any sort of hope in general and I've never been in that position before and I don't ever want to be again. So on this record you can hear me been reborn, you can hear a romance dying, you can hear romance been born. This record is not anymore personal but if you listen to it you can hear what its like to know me personally probably more than on any other record. I wrote very immediately, the first song on the record says "Christmas morning, 6am" and that's when I wrote it and I sang it that same day, and that's kind of the way the record works. For me singing has only been finished very recently, so I havent really had that much time or distance to look at it objectivity.
Q: How do you explain the musical change on this album?
Marilyn Manson: The music occupied a lot of my time last year and the start of this year, because of the position that I was in and how I wanted to change who I was. I was making music solely for myself. If I went to bed then had an idea I would awake and just record it there and then. It was funny in the sense that when I got married I felt as though it would enable me to enjoy life more and make music but I needed to lose that to be able to really reveal my feelings and write personally on this album, particularly about love. The albums that I listened to most while recording was "Diamond Dogs" (DAVID BOWIE), "OK Computer" (RADIOHEAD) and "Purple Rain" (PRINCE). I tried to write an album that felt like something I had never made before. This one has more melody; it has guitar solos and less screaming. It's a good combination. I sing when I want to as well, I sing when I want to sing and as a result of that I probably sing more on this record than I have in the past.
Q: Given all the complex guitar solos on the new album, who's going to be your guitar player on tour?
Marilyn Manson: Tim Skold, who produced the record with me, played all the guitar and bass as well, and he's going to play guitar on this tour, and we have a new bass player who's name is Rob Holliday who's a former member of THE PRODIGY, which is good.
Q: If you could define your album in three words, what would they be?
Marilyn Manson: Four — "Eat, Me, Drink, Me" [laughs]. No, I think it's the books and movies I was engrossed in when making it were "Bonnie And Clyde", "Lolita", "The Hunger", so there's a very fatal romantic look at the way that love can be that it's all or nothing so as I ended one relationship with Dita, I started another and I started to look at romance in a way that it had to be all or nothing. Somebody has to be willing to step in front of a car for you.
Q: Are these songs that could not have sat easily on other albums because of their underlying concept?
Marilyn Manson: Before I wrote mainly about people around me but this album is more introspective but it is also when I have felt that I have had the most freedom. It feels as though it is written to allure and seduce somebody. It felt like a live performance and sometimes it felt as though I was the only person in the world when I recorded something. On the first song I sang while lying on the floor. It was comfortable enough anyway.
Q: Your musical identity seems to have changed. What about your visual identity?
Marilyn Manson: Are you talking about the size of my penis? [laughs] I had to make you guys lighten up a little. I think that this tour will probably be more theatrical than the last one. In a different way I wanted to be focused on been a performer and a singer. I knew the minute that I wrote the song "If I Was Your Vampire" I wanted it to be the first song of my show and the first song on my album so I think I'm just glad to be back to being comfortable been Marilyn Manson whoever that may be but right now it's who I am so I don't really know how to answer that question. If you're trying to tell me that you think I'm handsome then I'll agree with you.
Q: How do you think your fans will react to this change in your music?
Marilyn Manson: I think it's difficult to determine precisely who and what a fan is. I don't want to cater to the people who never listened to me, who haven't heard me or who don't really know who I am. My attention is for the people who are convinced by the sincerity of my actions and words and who feel as though they can relate to what I say and they can be new fans as well as long as they are in that mindset. Without them, the fans, this album wouldn't exist and I wouldn't either. It's as simple as that.
Q: What role did your drummer Ginger Fish play on this album?
Marilyn Manson: Ginger is still in the band but this album is an exclusive collaboration between me and Tim Skold. Even if it were important for me to regard us a group then it would not be the case of the live band going into the studio to record the album because of how quick the songs were coming out of me. The simplest part for me was to sing, I had to write the words, but as soon as I had finished the first song it all came spilling out very quickly and I didn't expect it to.
Q: What can you tell us about the forthcoming single "Heart-Shaped Glasses"?
Marilyn Manson: The song was written because I had been reading the book "Lolita" and it was very close with Evan Rachel Wood, who's now my girlfriend, and she came to visit me one day wearing these glasses like Stanley Kubrick in "Lolita" and part of it because of her sense of humor and knowing that people would make their comments about our relationship because she's younger than me and when I saw her wearing those glasses I had to write a song about it and that's the way I wrote most of the record. The video that I just filmed I directed it and I used this 3D technology that James Cameron invented or was part of developing and I don't exactly know what will become of it but I made a short film but it was very controversial as the content was considered pornographic by the people involved so I don't know what will happen with it. Also people keep asking me if she was paid to be in the video and I'm not going to say as to whether she was paid $1,000,000 to do it or that she wasn't paid at all and that she asked to be in it as I wanted to add and actress as a sexual being in the video and someone who I'd want to fornicate with.
Q: You once said that "Antichrist Superstar" was and always will be a work in progress, do you feel as though with this new album the Antichrist has grown up, lived in the world of men and that this once Antichrist has become human and felt the most powerful feeling anyone can feel: love?
Marilyn Manson: Somebody said to me yesterday that the whole world has tried to destroy me and the only thing that I've ever showed weakness over is women and I think that is a part of the whole vampire myth that you kill a vampire by stabbing him in the heart so maybe that's the same thing. It's funny that this record ends up feeling mature because I'm at a part of my life where I'm expected to be more mature and more responsible, more grown-up, more adult, getting married and things like that but it didn't work for me so I'm actually been the most immature I've ever been…If you try and know too much without living it and experiencing it so…I think that question asked as to whether that was a part of it and this is definitely a part of it in some strange way.
Q: What can we look forward to on the forthcoming tour?
Marilyn Manson: Tim Skold will be playing guitar, Rob Holliday on bass. Obviously the remainder of the group but perhaps some surprises as well. This will be a more theatrical show in the manner of the tour for "Mechanical Animals". In the USA I'll probably be playing with SLAYER which is rather unexpected. It will be the tour from hell where I intended to introduce the concept of the "black love song."