Marilyn Manson: “Columbine Destroyed My Entire Career”

Marilyn Manson still has a career. His new album Heaven Upside Down is out next month, and we’ve posted his songs “WE KNOW WHERE YOU FUCKING LIVE” and “KILL4ME.” Lil Uzi Vert is a fan, and Manson has plans to work with the newly-minted rap star. Justin Bieber is bootlegging his merch. But it can’t be denied that the 1999 Columbine massacre, and the widespread-but-erroneous word that the two killers were fans of Manson, certainly affected Manson when they happened. (They also killed a bunch of people. Manson wasn’t the prime victim there.) And now Manson has gone on record saying that the massacre “ruined my entire career.”

As SPIN points out, there’s a lot going on in The Guardian’s new Manson profile. There’s a part where Manson jumps out, in a dark room, to surprise writer Alexis Petridis by pointing a fake gun at the back of his head. There’s the part where Manson inexplicably flicks Petridis in the balls. There’s the part where Manson admits to pulling a boxcutter on his guitarist Tyler Bates in 2015. There’s the part where he suggests that Walmart customers, rather than buying censored versions of his albums, buy guns instead. But the most noteworthy part of the whole story is when Manson talks about Columbine.

Continuing his riff about Walmart, Manson says:

Give them the money and let them make their own choice: guns or records. If [the Columbine killers] had just bought my records, they would be better off. Certain people blame me for the shootings at schools — I think my numbers are low, and hopefully they go up on this record… That’s going to be a great pull-quote for you. But, honestly, the Columbine era destroyed my entire career at the time.

He also talked about getting death threats after the massacre:

I would just get on stage and smash beer bottles and cut myself and go, “Fuck you, bring it,” — I’ve got scars all over my chest — I can show you. I would jump into the crowd and punch people. It wasn’t even those people who were at fault. But my dad gave me the best advice: “If people are going to kill you, son, they wouldn’t tell you in advance.” No, I don’t miss that at all. It made everyone around me upset. And I discovered that police bomb dogs are also drug dogs. So when there were bomb threats, I had a very difficult time hiding my narcotics.

Heaven Upside Down is out 10/6 via Loma Vista. You can read that whole Guardian piece here.