JEORDIE WHITE | BASE TENDENCIES
Twiggy Ramirez wasn't a member of Marilyn Manson when their debut album, Portrait of An American, was made. It being a supposedly "live in the studio" recording of the band at that time. However, he has since become the band's main co-songwriter.
MH: You came in after the first album. Since then the band has continued to replace guitarists as soon as they've finished a record. It's all a bit Spinal Tap, isn't it?
TR: What happened to us is something that just happened, history repeating itself. I came into Portrait, and appeared on the sleeve, but I wasn't involved with the writing or recording on that album. At the time of Antichrist Superstar, Daisy Berkowitz was gone, and then again, after completing his guitar parts, Zim Zum had to pack up. I don't think there's a pattern emerging, it's just a coincidence, and I don't see Spinal Tap developing. Hopefully by the next album we'll not have one guitarist record it and another tour it.
MH: How much input have you had creating this Manson monster?
TR: A fair bit. It's like a science project for Manson and myself. We created all this and remodeled our characters so that they have come to replace our own identities. Our true selves have somewhat disappeared and now we are Marilyn Manson.
MH: Although you operate under the band's name, the spotlight is on Marilyn, which makes the rest look like rank-and-file. Does that cause any friction?
TR: This is Marilyn's own baby; it's been his dream for such a long time. The only way for us is to follow his lead and work within it. We used to refer to him as "Antichrist" and the rest were the Four Horsemen.
MH: The change of image has become expected because you have to re-evaluate it to maintain it's shock value. Was there any pressure to do so?
TR: No, it was a natural progression to go with the new musical direction. If we started complying with the public's wishes and only rehash what they expect and really want, then we would be cheating ourselves. We're not like that. Everything we've done has been different to what went before. We are very honest in our work and have never given any answers, but leave it up to the listeners to decide. Each of our records is very honest and represents what I felt when I was writing music and Marilyn was writing lyrics. It is only a reflection of the moment of creation and it's developing. I have no idea where it is going to go next.
MH: Does the recent spat of hotel trashing and the chaos that surrounds you still mark Marilyn Manson as a band capable of causing most panic?
TR: I'm glad that there is stuff left in rock'n'roll to change society. You can drive people crazy just by questioning their basic beliefs. When you do that you really actually question the essence of life. For instance, Antichrist Superstar was not anti religious, it was about being your own antichrist and about the world; the way you view it --it is different for everybody--and the way that you destroy it. On the personal level, not the global, not anybody else's and how you then rebuild it.
MH: The music recorded on Mechanical Animals is the kind that parents of your core fans used to listen to. Are you trying to win over the previous generation in your quest for world domination?
TR: I don't know if that was what we were aiming for. Our original influences were The Stooges, David Bowie, Bauhaus, Black Sabbath, and even Slayer and Iron Maiden. This time a different set of influences became dominant. Maybe we wanted to show the parents that what we were doing is not controversial, that it's not corrupting their children. All the people criticizing us actually promote to the world what we are doing, they are adding fuel to the fire, explaining what we are trying to explain. The truth about this band is much more extreme than the stuff that's been watched, written, or made up about us.