JEORDIE WHITE | BASE TENDENCIES
A few years back, Marilyn Manson appointed himself The Antichrist Superstar. The shock rock act is meant to put fear into the hearts of every parent, yet the irony is many of those who disapprove were once Alice Cooper fans some 25 years ago. What goes around comes around and Marilyn Manson aren't afraid to acknowledge that the retro thing has played a large part in the make-up of their sound. That sound is created in unison with singer Manson himself and long time bass player Twiggy Ramirez. Ramirez spoke the Undercover's Tim Dog.
So what's with this new image of the band?
TR: It's the next step and it's just a reflection of our personalities right now. It's not really a contrived image.
What's the concept behind Omega and The Mechanical Animals?
TR: It was basically, the music and the lyrics, were more of a diary. It was what was happening to us while we were making this record as opposed to "Antichrist Superstar" which was pretty much written before we went into the studio. This one was recorded while we were in the studio. As I said, it's a diary of moving to Hollywood. There's a more in-depth story there to be looked into.
Is there any symbolism with Omega being the last letter of the Greek Alphabet?
TR: You can take it many different ways. It's not one way. It is meant to be interpreted many different ways in your own way.
As the music writer in the band, do I take it you are responsible for the new sound of the band?
TR: I wouldn't take total responsibility for it. It is me and Marilyn. It's pretty much his vision and our vision when it comes to the music. We pretty much experimented. Like the concept, it really wasn't thought out too much. It was pretty much what happened while we recorded it.
And what about those David Bowie comparisons?
TR: On this record we pay homage to many era's of music and Bowie is one of those era's. Even like 80's Motley Crue or Iron Maiden or Pink Floyd.
Has John 5 had any contribution to the sound?
TR: No, he's just a live guitar player. No other guitar player has been on a record since the first record.
Where did you choose the name Twiggy Ramirez from?
TR: The London model Twiggy and Richard Ramirez, the nightstalker.
You got together with Twiggy for the song on "Dead Man On Campus". How did that come about?
TR: It was really cool. It was nice to meet one of the only people whose namesake is still alive or even exists. It worked out really well.
Does the movie "Dead Man On Campus" suit the image of the band?
TR: I don't know.
In Manson's book, you said the recording of the Antichrist album was a real tough time for the band. Have you overcome those tough times?
TR: Well there were just as many problems recording "Mechanical Animals", just different ones. "Antichrist Superstar" was my first real record. It was my first baby. This one was a little easier in a sense because I was familiar with recording records and creating things, such as Massive as a record. This one wasn't as hard, but it was hard in a way.
Explain how shock rock gets the point across?
TR: I never thought of it as getting the point across. It's just fun to express yourself visually. I don't know about any point.
Has the band stuck with the same morals over the last three albums?
TR: Absolutely not. It's pretty obvious the morals have changed from "Antichrist Superstar" which was a very hard "in your face" album to "Mechanical Animals" which is a different kind of feel.
Do you think the bands popularity is due to the music or due to the image?
TR: Both. Also attitude and with image comes more than a visual image comes even more. It's something for kids to identify with and rebel with. It has a lot more to do with just the music. It's more than just music, with just music we would just be whoever.
Have you as a person changed with the band's success?
TR: Absolutely. I don't think I've arrived yet to wherever it is I'm supposed to arrive, but I change with every record. As you do when you accomplish anything when you change things. I wouldn't say change for the worse. I would definitely say change for the better.
Is it true that Billy Zane is "The Dope Show" video?
TR: He's a friend of ours from Hollywood. I figured because he played the Phantom and all, well he is Billy Zane. The song is very Hollywood. It's a very Hollywood song so we figured we wanted to have at least one of our friends in it.
Why does the band only pay out on Christianity as opposed to other religions?
TR: I think we play more about drugs than we do Christianity. Christianity is pretty much passe.
What bands did you hang out with on The Big Day Out?
TR: Not Korn. I didn't say I didn't like them, I just didn't hang out with them. Courtney has been folding my clothes. Eric from Hole has been washing my socks.
There was a rumour that you and Courtney were an item once. Is this true?
TR: That was in the 70's or something, a long time ago. Not the 70's, the mid 90's.
The latest Marilyn Manson album is "Mechanical Animals".