By Jeremy Essig
By Jason Robinson
By Hans Morgenstern
By Joseph Hess
By Peter Gilstrap
By Julia Burch
By Jeremy Essig
By Nathan Smith
Isn't that a metaphor for a lot of your career? You started off hard, being presented as this demon either by yourself or by the media. And now you have to stand up every day and be Marilyn Manson. Is that something that's hard to contend with sometimes, or do you just fall in line and play the villain?
I find myself very adaptable in social situations, and I think I just apply that to the rest of my life. I say some of the most absurdly rude things in such a charming way at dinner parties, if you can imagine me at one. I never eat though, because I'm always talking so much. But I think that people do somehow find me fascinating. I think they're more acquaintances of friends that will invite me to hang out. I think they like to bring the clown to entertain everybody, in a sense. And I know that, so I like to enjoy that role. One of my biggest inspirations as an artist person is Salvador Dali because he was all over the place. He said once, "Confusion is the greatest form of communication," and I think that's where I am. People don't even understand what's going to happen next. It's usually in a bedroom situation — is he going to stab me? Is he going to fuck me? I think that's a new song I just wrote. I'm going to take that down and make it into a song.
I'm going to run through a few quick questions with you because I know your time is short.
OK. Wait! You mean I'm dying?
I hope not.
You said my time was short.
Yes, I am the grim reaper. The Grim Reaper is a bald, nearsighted interviewer.
[Laughs] What was your question?
How do you know when you're in love?
I think "love" is such a limited word. I love drinking absinthe right now. I love doing drugs. I love my cat. I think dedication and romance are important. I fall in love with things and ideas of things, and sometimes those get mixed up with people.
You're saying romance is everywhere.
Yeah. I'm a tender heart, and I open it up sometimes. I think sometimes if it's a volatile relationship, it's probably love more than it's not. As long as you're not the one getting your ass kicked, emotionally. I think if you are with somebody, metaphorically — I should put that word there — and if you were to kill someone and needed to bury the body and that person would help you, that's love. If your girl is willing to carry the shovel out to the desert with you, then that's love. Or she's just in fear that she's going to go down in the dirt too.
What's the best gift you've ever received from anybody?
That's a tough one. I know on Californication I did say that I wanted AIDS for Christmas, but I think the best gift anyone ever gave me was Lily, my cat. I'm looking at her. My cat, Lily White, and I'm staring at her in the eyes right now, and she knows. I got her February 14 about ten or eleven years ago.
How do you feel about punk rock in the year 2013? And I don't mean what's on the radio, I mean the weird shit that's going on in basements where people are getting punched in the face and hit with fireworks.
I wanna go there. Where is that?
It's everywhere — it's in every city. St. Louis is probably one of the best places for punk rock. People throw bowling balls around the room.
Well, when I was recording last night there was gunfire outside. I just didn't want to get shot because I need to do this tour. But, I don't know, I think that's....well, I like to fly a camera helicopter around my house. And my girl went to the hospital for some self-inflicted injuries yesterday — so I've got a lot of excitement going on in my life. I mean, that's not punk rock, none of that. I like to live life dangerously, but I don't want that in my life at any point.
You endorse it, but you don't want to get a bowling ball thrown at you.
Oh, I'd be able to dodge it. I'm very spry when it comes to sports. I have good aim, too. I would hit some motherfucker real good, too, but I don't like putting fingers into holes where I don't know who else's fingers have been in. I'm surprised you didn't tie in a "Bowling For Columbine" joke that you could've put in there.
Everybody knows you're a big David Bowie fan, but have you ever heard of the Legendary Stardust Cowboy?
No. I should check that out.
The guy that David Bowie says he got the "Stardust" from Ziggy Stardust from. Weird dude from the '60s.
Oh, oh, alright. Yeah. I've never heard him, but I shall check that out though. He also said he was inspired a lot by the Walker Brothers, and I like that one record with the electrician on it. I've been listening to an odd assortment of things. I used to only listen to stuff that I listened to growing up, I guess, for sentimental reasons. You hear a song and you attach it to a part of your life. That's what's exciting about making music, when someone comes up to me and says they lost their virginity to one of my songs. And if it's a guy I'll always say, "Did it hurt when you got fucked in the ass?" That's my little joke I like to toss in there. So yeah. There it is.