Marilyn Manson on ‘The Pale Emperor,’ ‘Sons of Anarchy,’ Tapping Into the Blues + More
Marilyn Manson recently sat down with Full Metal Jackie during the Loudwire Nights host's trip to Rock on the Range. Manson spoke about his newest album, 'The Pale Emperor,' his run on 'Sons of Anarchy,' tapping into the blues for inspiration and much more. Check out the full interview below:
Congratulations on The Pale Emperor getting such a great response. What's changed most about the things that you want to say through music?
Maybe partially learning the whole point of the blues on the record. One part being about the story of the creation of the blues with Mephistopheles and Faust, and making a deal with the devil to become a rock star. The record has me singing in a blues range, which I've never done before. Neither of those are what I learned about the blues, the blues to me came way late in the game and it was more about you telling your story, but you're telling your story in a way that everyone who hears it is sharing the story with you so they're going to hear the story differently. The blues is the same story, but it's told by different people in the way that you say it, the timbre of your voice or your good or bad deal you've made with the devil. [Laughs] You're able to convey that story differently. I think it's more of me telling people what I have observed rather than what I'm observing. In the past, maybe, it was what I was seeing around me and this is about my experiences, almost in a childish way.
Musically, The Pale Emperor took you in a bit of a different direction. Does taking that sort of risk make the creative process feel a bit more dangerous?
It didn't really feel dangerous, it felt natural when I did it. I just put up a mic and started singing and it felt like it was supposed to. I can't really describe it any other way than it just seemed like this is what I was meant to do. It was a little more of an enjoyment, going to the studio and making that record than in the past where you had to drag me to the studio at three in the morning. This one, I'd get up anxious to go at three in the afternoon. Maybe it was turning my schedule upside down that switched gears.
And your schedule was turned upside down during your time on Sons of Anarchy as well.
Yeah, I had to get up and go to work at 6 in the morning.
How did that feel?
It felt fine, as long as I sleep seven hours. I don't like to go out in the sun that much. I was in jail, there's no sun in prison.
What triggers reinvention for you?
I think it just comes out naturally; maybe ADD or maybe boredom or just that I can't even sit down and listen to one song over and over again. If I was a DJ, I'd be the worst. I can't finish the whole song sometimes, but the same thing goes for film and then my personality, I suppose. That's why I do episodic television. Like last year's True Detective was perfect. That's what drew me to Sons of Anarchy. It's just the right amount that makes you want more of it. That's what I think music needs to be. Usually for me, it's always dire; I'll shave my hair. I got bored and shaved a mohawk last week.
You've been doing music for a long time and you've been doing more TV lately. Is there one that you like more?
No, I like to be able to do all of them and my paintings. I try to separate each thing in the past because I didn't want to lines to be blurred. I wanted to be established, myself, going into acting. I didn't want it to be always just because of one thing or another. With music, I've always tried to make cinema part of it with videos and things like that. But I've learned over the course of the years that's it's not the same. I don't even like making music videos; the idea, the storyline anymore. I think it takes away from the viewer's ability to make the story for themselves. I like making visual and I like making audio. So, whichever one of my many personalities might strike up, I'll figure out a place to get it to work.
Last time we had a chance to talk, I was telling you about how the earliest Marilyn Manson show I've been to - I've been a fan for a long time - I had seen the Nine Inch Nails tour with that band Fem to Fem that opened up back in New York.
You know Fergie was in that band.
You told me that last time, and I'm not sure if it was Fergie. I think it was a girl that looked like Fergie.
I don't know. Let's just say it was Fergie. Call it even. I'm gonna play "Lunchbox" tonight, that'll take you back.
Looking back, there have been these clips that have resurfaced on YouTube and stuff, of when you've done television shows. So many times, you've been blamed for bad things that have happened. I think it's great when you put people in their place and I think they're not expecting you to have something to say about it. How do you feel about when stuff like that happens and it's sort of like, "Well, they listen to Marilyn Manson!"
It's sort of like how I was in Christian school, growing up in Canton, Ohio. In Christian school there was a saying that the Devil's greatest advantage is that no one thinks he exists. So I like to let people underestimate me. Let them think that I'm far less intelligent than my southern accent might portray. That's just because I went from Ohio and then to Florida, then New Orleans. So, I've got all sorts of red neck. I should just get the word "RED" tattooed on the back of my neck. [Laughs]
Many thanks to Marilyn Manson for the interview. Loudwire Nights With Full Metal Jackie & Tony LaBrie can be heard on radio stations around the country — for a full list of stations, go here.
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