JEORDIE WHITE | BASE TENDENCIES
"It's great here, isn't it? It's incredibly kitsch, the guy who made Ratt and Quiet Riot photo session even asked me to pose for him. I said I agreed as long as I could use erotic gadgets. I don't think he really appreciated, that's a pity..." Don't let yourself be deceived by appearances, Twiggy pretends to be shy just to tell you about sleazy touring anecdotes or drag you into a place of debauchery where he probably lost himself before. But his reputation of decadent dandy shouldn't conceal his incredible musical talent. Twiggy is much more than a figurehead in Marilyn Manson, he writes half the tracks and plays 90 % of the guitar parts on "Mechanical Animals".
"I love this record, it's the closest to what we are as a band and this time we could really take the time to write, whereas for "Antichrist Superstar", we had to record all the tracks in a hurry and paid more attention to the production than the relevance of songs. When we were thinking about the way we would make the album, we said: 'Let's go to LA to make a Hollywood record, something pompous and glamorous.' LA is a place that gives you different images, its inhabitants never really live in the real world, everybody looks like a star, well, generally like a wannabe-star or a dead star!"
Twiggy doesn't deny the similarities between "Mechanical Animals" and Bowie's or T-Rex's glam rock, but if the musical references are rather obvious, he'd rather talk about it as a group enjoyment rather than calculated move. "Whenever I listen to the new songs, I'm taken back to certain moments of my childhood, certain musical eras which had an influence on me, but if "Mechanical Animals" is the opposite of "Antichrist Superstar", it's just because we wanted to reinvent ourselves and be more creative. We wanted to show that, now that we are on top, we won't just repeat a formula."
Twiggy is living success to the max.
"It's a nice victory, because, even if you know, deep down inside, that you're right and your music is good, you can't help being affected by those who say you're shit and think you're not capable of writing a song." He leans closer to the mike.
"We told you we would go far... Now it's gonna be hard to get rid of us."
Phantom of the Opera
Although Twiggy is now considered a musician in his own right (he was even featured on Guitar World's cover), he still stands in Brian Warner's shadow, who made quite a number of magazine cover photo sessions alone. Twiggy, a real punk, doesn't give a damn.
"It's no big deal. I feel good, the journalists know I write much of the music, I'm always available for those who want to talk to me and I've never had to complain about the way Brian handles his image and ours. Even if we're called Marilyn Manson, I think the audience sees us as a band. To me, there's always been Mick AND Keith, Bowie AND Mick Ronson, so I get the feeling that my work is acknowledged."
Even though they don't share the same management (which is typically American), Twiggy and Brian are still very close to one another, their fates sealed by the dope storms and psychic earthquakes they went through together. "Everyone wants to know what I think about Brian says, I don't necessarily want to talk about it, because we've already talked about everything he tells the press or he wrote in his book and it's our own business. I know what Brian went through over the last 3 years, because I was there with him. He's my friend, we've always helped each other and we're closer than ever. We've just started living together..."
Twiggy tells us how they were thrown out of their house by a scorpion and spider invasion, before going back to his relationship with reverend Manson:
"Marilyn Manson's story has always been linked to change, by making records, we learn who we are. "Antechrist Superstar" was the expression of the frustrations associated with this difficulty to be integrated and we transformed it into rage. There's a kind of viciousness transpiring of that record, whereas "Mechanical Animals" is more quiet, just because, between these two albums, we could get our message through and be listened to. Once in LA, after the end of the tour, we weren't in such a frenzy anymore and we had time to think." He sucks on his straw. "I've always been used to travel and I'm getting bored of LA."
With his Laura Ingalls-style skirt, Twiggy was the prototype of the androgynous creature pictured on "Mechanical Animals” cover. He sees it more as a representation of the man of the future.
"What I like about Manson's photo is that you wonder if it's a machine or a kind of human being and it's adapted to the feeling that everything is empty, fake, superficial. Where is the truth? Photography, TV, reality is distorted. Our evolution is similar to the cover: we represented something false, inhuman and we almost became it... then we discarded the costume and tried to rediscover the essence of man, even if it's a different-looking man."
Today, Twiggy would rather talk about music than sex and confesses his love of kitsch heavy metal, which many hide behind a pseudo credibility ("I'd love to make a cover version of Maiden's "Wrathchild"!"). He then leafs through RAGE magazine and spots Dave Windorf's interview on the couch. After we told him about the column, he cries out: "Can we do that?"