Marilyn Manson may be the most misunderstood, controversial, and feared shock rocker on the planet. But that’s nothing he’s not used to. He’s been an outsider his whole life. And yet this does not seem to particularly concern him. He’s used it to his advantage, in fact.
He’s an enigma: a middle aged man who is goth and widely rumored to be atheist; he’s a cultural icon who has combined the names of two other American icons, one loved and one hated: Marilyn Monroe and Charles Manson. Many wonder what is his angle? Is he mentally disturbed? A shrewd businessman? Behind the strange fake eyeball and drama, what does he do on a typical day? His core audience has always been disaffected adolescents: the lonely, the misunderstood, the alienated, the hurting. It’s obvious that’s intentional on his part; not to cause their pain, but to provide music that identifies with it. Manson has been open about his tumultuous childhood.
“My father was working all the time. I had to become this homunculus of sorts for my mother. And then I wanted to get away from it. I became his placeholder. My mother would even call me by his name. And you’re full of testosterone and pissed off and you don’t want to be called your dad’s name, especially when you don’t even know where the f*ck he is.”
Does he ever tire of the doom and gloom persona, the milky contacts, the strange news that surrounds him, such as the simulated rape scene with Lana Del Rey that was spliced into his video, which he claims was not his doing?
“I’ve felt trapped by my public persona, absolutely. That’s why I wanted to quit making music, which led to exploring other avenues.like painting and acting – though that wasn’t the reason at the time. I think I was just bored with it. I didn’t want to be exactly what everyone expected me to be.”
With the release of his new album, The Pale Emperor, he seems to mellow a bit. Manson said he has no ambition to be much of anything but himself, true to his elusive manner. He has also stated he doesn’t like the world he lives in, so he’s created his own.
“I’m not good at being around strangers, which is ironic since I perform in front of people I’ve never met. I can go onstage in front of millions of people but it’s very difficult to be around just a few people that I don’t know. I’ve often been reclusive but this year I’ve broken my pattern. despise the words ‘fine’ or ‘interesting’ or ‘miscellaneous’ because I don’t ever want to be [those things]. I don’t want to be ever understood in the same way by anyone. I can’t be misunderstood because I’m not trying to be one thing. I want to be chaos.”