Marilyn Manson: ‘Born Villain’ Is My Comeback
Forty minutes with Marilyn Manson. That is the amount of time we spoke with the rock icon during a recent phone interview. As always, Manson provided a thoughtful and unique insight on topics such as his new album, ‘Born Villain,’ his role in ‘Bowling for Columbine,’ the recently released West Memphis Three and most intriguingly, himself.
Today we present you with Part One of the fascinating introspective, where Manson discusses the beginning of what he refers to as his “comeback” album. Manson describes the internal shift he was forced to make, his willful isolation to gain a sense of rebirth and the many concepts that dwell within ‘Born Villain.’
Part One of our interview consists of an observation about the album, to which Manson gave us an incredibly in-depth response:
Today I was listening to ‘Born Villain’ and I feel like it paints a very visual picture for the listener. To me, it felt very anxious and claustrophobic at times. I was sort of picturing you in a small room clawing against the walls — trying to escape.
I like that. No one has said that before, so that’s a very unique perspective on it. I love to play, and while I was making [‘Born Villain’], playing to people that I know — whether it be people who may not have been old enough to have even heard my first album, to people who don’t even like my music, or people that I’m best friends with or are other artists — I like to hear everyone’s opinion. I’ve never gotten that one before, so that’s a cool one.
Restriction creates the desire to have the necessity or the determination or confidence to deal with your situation. It’s like a zombie movie, it’s like being in prison, it’s being stuck with one choice — survival. That’s what this record is. I was given a choice. When I started making this record, I decided that I didn’t like who I was. I didn’t want to be who I used to be. I wanted to be who I knew I could be — and that’s an evolving process. But the whole key to it is that if you stagnate, if you become something that no longer transforms — there’s nothing that’s inspirational about it. Whether it’s nature and you see a peacock, or whatever it is, you pick who you’re going to be in life and you need to be confident about it and stick with your gut instinct and don’t waiver.
I feel like I did get to a point on my previous two records — not that I’m discrediting the music that I did or hating it or anything of that nature — I just feel that I started to change the way that I wrote because I wanted to open up. I was in a place where I could not figure out how to deal with being me. Me the person — not me as Marilyn Manson. Sometimes you don’t know how the f— to be yourself, because you’re too confused by the circumstances you’re in. Everyone goes through that.
I realized that I started writing songs to make people feel how I felt, rather than just making them feel something. That’s not the way I should do things. Especially because I felt sh–ty making those records. [Laughs] So I was basically making music to make people feel sh–tier, which in a sense with my sarcasm would be funny, but that wasn’t my intention. If I was doing that on purpose … There are parts of this new record where I want people to feel sh–ty — where I use sounds that only dogs can hear that humans can’t hear that actually make you nauseous inside — just because I was looking to meddle with people’s reactions, but much more orchestrated from a directors point of view — as someone who wanted to tell a story, who wanted to tell people something that they would feel a reaction from.
It took me completely stripping my life away — moving into a place with black floors and white walls — putting all my things in storage and just taking my movies, my instruments, my cats and realizing, “I don’t need anything else. All I need to do is fill this [room] full of something.” I’m trying to take things back to the beginning. I was not calculating that way, I simply needed to realize that this is life. I needed to realize what I wanted out of life. I suddenly realized that I was the one who sat and drew my first flyer. I went to Kinko’s, I printed it out, I put it on cars myself personally and I didn’t have any songs at the time.
I’ve had the arrogance or confidence — there’s a fine line between the two, because arrogance sometimes is something that will end up being foolish and will ruin you. I had the confidence and determination to push forward something and I ended up having to make music to go with my decision. That’s pretty much what I ended up having to do on this album.
I knew that I had to admit to myself — it’s difficult to say you want to make a comeback, because that’s admitting that you weren’t what you were supposed to be, not what you used to be, but what you’re supposed to be. So it’s almost the same as in the beginning. A comeback is almost the same as starting out fresh where no one knows or believes in what you are and I had to say that out loud. I have no problem saying that this is my comeback and when I decide on something, I’m determined to do it. I haven’t had that type of energy and confidence simply because I needed to acknowledge that.
With this record, I’ll always remember more than any others. They weren’t happy memories all the time. Everything has to be ups and downs or you’re not an artist. If everything is happy, then who gives a s–t, or if it’s just a straight line, I won’t give a s–t either. If it’s down, which is sometimes where I was more often than up, it’s not inspiring. So I just wanted to make something that would make people feel something. I was playing it to people that were my friends. Some of them never heard my music before, never liked my music, whatever the situation was… but it’s a challenge and I love a challenge. I had forgotten how much I love a challenge.
Stay tuned for more exclusives from our interview with Marilyn Manson. ‘Born Villain,’ which features the first single ‘No Reflection,’ is set to drop May 1. The album is available for pre-order on iTunes.