JEORDIE WHITE | BASE TENDENCIES
SECONDS: How did you meet and get involved with the other Twiggy?
RAMIREZ: You know Peter Asher from Peter & Gordon of the Sixties? I met his wife backstage at David Letterman's show. She was there because she was friends with David Letterman or something and her daughter liked Marilyn Manson. She said she knew the real Twiggy and that she was staying at her house in L.A. I was like, "I live out in L.A." She said, "You guys should get together." I met her and it was really neat to meet your namesake. We were doing our record and I had a couple of days by myself and I asked Twiggy if she wanted to come sing on something. She said she liked Dusty Springfield so I just whipped up a generic version of a Dusty Springfield song, "I Only Want To Be With You," and had her come sing on it. I think the Bay City Rollers covered it also. When I was doing it, Billy Corgan from the Pumpkins said, "Don't you know someone already covered that?" The point was to get her voice on tape with me playing behind it. I wasen't aware of how big she was in the Sixties. As far as merchandise goes, there's The Beatles and then there's Twiggy. She was one of the first Pop Stars to have a large quantity of merchandise.
SECONDS: She had her own lunch-pail!
RAMIREZ: I had a bunch of her stuff and I gave it to her because she said, "I don't have anything of mine." When we go on tour, everybody gives me Twiggy shit up the ass so I gave it all to her.
SECONDS: Since you've done a project with one of your namesakes, are there any plans to get together with your other namesake, Richard Ramirez?
RAMIREZ: That would be really interesting. In the song with Twiggy I sampled our first record because there's a sample of Richard Ramirez talking. So his voice does appear on the track with her-I didn't tell her that. [laughs]
SECONDS: You're the only person in the band able to do something with both of their namesakes because Albert Fish is dead, Marilyn Monroe is dead, John Wayne Gacy is dead-
RAMIREZ: Madonna sucks. To tell you the truth, doing something with Richard Ramirez wouldn't be that difficult. I could probably do it over the phone. Rick Rubin stopped by the studio and mentioned the same thing you did. He was telling me how the Bad Brains did a record when the guy was in jail and he did his vocals over the telephone.
SECONDS: Last time I saw you, Marilyn was talking about a new house. Do you live in that house?
RAMIREZ: We rented a place for the year to write and record the record in. We definetly wanted to move to California and do a Hollywood record. The plan was to change our environment and surround ourselves with people who used to be famous. We ended up being friends with a bunch of Seventies icons I grew up with and they were at our house doing karaoke and drugs and stuff. It was exciting to hang out with people who had fame and lost it.
SECONDS: Last time I saw you, you were hanging out with Leif Garret-
RAMIREZ: I don't want to mention any names.
SECONDS: A couple weeks after I was there, I read something in The National Enquirer about Robert Downey, Jr. going on a Cocaine beinge and ending up in Leif Garrett's hotel suite.
RAMIREZ: That's a classic story. You find yourself in bizarre situations here in Hollywood, you know?
SECONDS: Tell us about this Marilyn Manson album-
RAMIREZ: Mechanical Animals
SECONDS: Do you like it?
RAMIREZ: The last record was one emotion throughout the whole record. It was really angry. On this one, there's a side of it that's really glammy and there's a human side to it. Soundwise, there's a good mixture of human playing and mechanical playing.
SECONDS: You said Antichrist Superstar almost killed you. Was this one easier?
RAMIREZ: It was different. As far as the drug use and everything else, on the last record and tour I was sacrificing my own happiness just for art; whatever you want to call it. I realized I didn't have to do that. I don't think I was being honest-though I'm not saying I'm being honest on this record. It wasen't as painful as the last one; it was a lot more fun-but lyrically some of the material on this one is a lot darker than the last one.
SECONDS: Did you take music lessons as a kid or did you learn to play after deciding you wanted to be in a band?
RAMIREZ: My mom bought me a guitar when I was fourteen years old and I grew up on music before that. I never took any lessons, I just figured out the songs I liked. Now, I rip off the songs I liked. [laughs]
SECONDS: What's the first album you ever bought?
RAMIREZ: Probably a Kiss record-late Kiss, like Dynasty.
SECONDS: Does being accepted by a lot of people make what you're doing mainstream or are you mutating the concept of what mainstream is?
RAMIREZ: Before, I felt isolated as a musician because no one knew who we were. Everyone thought we were doing the wrong thing. Now that everyone knows who we are, I feel we're doing the only right thing. It's a different kind of isolation.
SECONDS: I've seen people all over the world who look exactly like you. Not only the hair and the shaved eyebrows, they've actually gone out of their way to produce the clothing you wear. Does that freak you out or do you find it flattering?
RAMIREZ: That's definetly flattering. In the same sense, while still keeping our image, we have to change it a little bit.
SECONDS: What's your idea of fun these days?
RAMIREZ: Karaoke with Leif and Cory Feldman. That's fun.
SECONDS: What do you like more-drugs or girls?
RAMIREZ: Sometimes you really like a girl and you do drugs and you're not interested in them anymore. Sometimes you're on drugs and you'll do things with girls you normally wouldn't do. When you're on the road, you try to convince these girls-whoever I'm victimizing at the time-that I'm a great person, and it doesn't really matter if you do because you get to leave. When you're in one place you can't really do that because they catch on to you. If they're only sleeping with you because you're in a band-which I don't have a problem with-
SECONDS: It's funny you said "victimizing," because on Politically Incorrect Manson said, "Lack of sex results in violence." I've also heard him call Cocaine "the impotence drug." Since you guys seem to like sex and Cocaine, does that explain the degenerate things that I've heard you do to women?
RAMIREZ: Cocaine is a good form of birth control; it leads you to do other filthy things you normally wouldn't be doing. It makes you do different things because you can't do a certain thing.
SECONDS: What's your current fetish?
RAMIREZ: Over the past couple of weeks, I've discovered Ketamine. It's an animal tranquilizer. It's not new-there's a famous story of Keith Moon passing out on stage from animal tranquilizers. It's almost like Acid; it's really weird. Just the other night I thought my room was shrinking so I had to have Dave Navarro come pick me up. We went back to his house and went out onto his balcony and it looked like something out of Flash Gordon outside. It was really scary but I've been a lot happier the last few weeks. I think the Ketamine knocked a screw loose somewhere.
SECONDS: If your house was burning and you could only save one thing, what would it be?
RAMIREZ: Probably my computer, because I just bought one. It's a little labtop that cost me over five grand.
SECONDS: What bugs the fuck out of you?
RAMIREZ: When I'm pissed off or depressed it's usually about nothing. What pisses me off is not knowing why I'm so frustrated most of the time.
SECONDS: For you, what's the best thing about success?
RAMIREZ: Girls, money and drugs. It comes down to freedom. The money gives you the freedom to do what you want to do.
SECONDS: What's the worst thing about success?
RAMIREZ: I guess the worst part is the freedom-finding stuff to do with all your time. I don't really do anything-but I don't have time to do anything, either. That's why you resort to drugs.
SECONDS: Your look is so distinctive you must get recognized all the time, even by people who aren't totally familiar with Marilyn Manson. Is that a problem?
RAMIREZ: I surround myself with places where I don't get bothered. When you're on tour, you're always in a place where people recognize you. When you get off the road, you still have the attitude that everyone's staring at you, even if they're not.
SECONDS: Being in Hollywood, it's probably a little different.
RAMIREZ: Yeah, I went out the other night and was hanging out with Scott Baio and one of the guys from Iron Maiden. It's all in a day. It's odd how people in the movie industry want to surround themselves with people in the Rock industry and people in the Rock industry want to surround themselves with people in the movie industry. All my life I looked up to people in bands and now there's not anyone else to look up to anymore. All the bands I was into, I've done more than they ever did.
SECONDS: Another sex question: If you could fuck anyone in their prime-living or dead-who would it be?
RAMIREZ: Who's that Breakfast At Tiffany's girl...Audrey Hepburn. I was watching it the other day and thinking, "Man, she was hot back then." Either her or Mary Tyler Moore when she was on The Dick Van Dyke Show. That's why I've been watching Nick At Night lately.
SECONDS: I always hear a lot of great rumors about you guys. Have you heard any wild ones lately?
RAMIREZ: Not lately. We did lose our guitar player, though.
SECONDS: Really? Which one?
RAMIREZ: Zimmy. He was unable to perform. That's a rumor that's going around that's true.
SECONDS: When did this happen?
RAMIREZ: A couple of months ago. He didn't show up at the studio that much and when he came down to rehearsal, he had a hard time just being in a band. Now he tells people that he quit but it'd be pretty stupid if he were to quit the band. Personally, he's one of the only guys that has left the band that I really liked.
SECONDS: Have you found someone to replace him?
RAMIREZ: This guy John's going to be doing the tour.
SECONDS: John is his actual name?
RAMIREZ: John 5 actually. Maybe it comes from the robot in Short Circuit, which was named Johnny 5, but he's the fifth person to join our band.