KERRANG! 12.04.02

Twiggy: Life After Manson
We're still friends, bassist insists

Twiggy Ramirez has spoken exclusively to Kerrang! about his decision to leave Marilyn Manson's band. For the first time, the bassist also sheds light upon his future plans.

Ramirez, Manson's best friend for the past decade, left the band in May, during the recording of Manson's forthcoming "The Golden Age Of Grotesque" album. Following the split, Manson commented, "Unfortunately, I feel that Marilyn Manson, as a lifestyle, is not where his heart is." The bassist has, until now, kept a diplomatic silence over his decision to leave.

"If I had said something when the bomb dropped it would have been too emotional so I chose to keep my mouth shut and not say anything I might have regretted," Ramirez tells Kerrang!. "But there was no big drama. We just grew apart and both decided we wanted to do different things. We were together for so many years without any waves, and something was bound to happen eventually. We had a pretty successful run."

"Manson and I are still friends," the bassist insists. "We might not be sending each other Christmas cards this year, but we spoke a few weeks ago. I'll be interested in hearing his new album."

Since leaving Manson's band, Ramirez has kept a low profile. The bassist has only made a handful of public appearances in his LA hometown in the past six months, guesting with Queens of the Stone Age bassist Nick Oliveri's side band, Mondo Generator, at a show at the Troubadour and making a cameo appearance alongside Amen frontman Casey Chaos at a recent one-off show by occasional rock "supergroup" Camp Freddy. Ramirez has put together a side band with Chaos, QOTSA frontman Josh Homme and former Amen drummer Shannon Larkin called the Head Band, but he has been mainly focusing on writing his own songs with QOTSA producer/Masters of Reality mainman Chris Goss, and former Black Grape programmer Danny Saber. This week Ramirez will head to Rancho De La Luna studios in California's Joshua Tree National Park to demo new material.

"It's easy when you're in a big band to get caught up in the machine and when I left Manson initially I was real cynical and didn't see much point to carrying on." Ramirez admits. "The celebrity was never really important to me, but the music was, and I've dug deep inside myself and rediscovered that even more. I'm singing now, and I've written over 20 songs. The songs are really all over the place, some are very hard, some are melodic, Beatles-style progressions. Not having to write under the curtain of Marilyn Manson is refreshing. I'm very excited and I think people will be surprised. I'm just getting back to making music for the reasons I started playing music, for the pure love of it."

Ramirez intends to record a full blown album of songs before shopping around for a record deal and assembling a new band. He admits that, having been off the road for a full year, he's "getting antsy" to play live again.

Says Ramirez, "I miss the feeling of being in a band. With Manson, we did fantastic stuff together, but in order for me to become successful creatively the split had to happen. Life is more satisfying than its ever been. It's a good time."