Rolling Stone’s Austin Scaggs gets the Antichrist Superstar to dish about Bowie, Avril, Polyphonic Spree, and others…
What’s the last great rock show you saw?
Marliyn Manson: I saw Bowie a couple of months ago for the very first time. He was great. I proposed to my fiancee with “Be My Wife” playing. He did “Quicksand” and “Ashes to Ashes,” my two favorite songs. I was really afraid, because he asked to meet me. I was trying my best not to meet him, because there is often the horror of meeting someone you really admire, and they are everything you don’t want them to be. But he made a snappy comment about my outfit, and I felt like a little schoolboy.
I bet you don’t feel like a schoolboy too often.
Marliyn Manson: Yeah, except when I do these little stints with teenage girls, like with Mandy Moore at the VMAs.
What’s wrong with MTV’s Video Music Awards? It used to be fun to watch.
Marliyn Manson: What’s right about it? The rock section was condensed into a ninety-second montage with three bands that nobody was even sure of unless they heard the songs on a Vodafone commercial. There were no rock stars, except for my brief moment of confusion in introducing the Jim Jones Orchestra [laughs].
Right. You’re talking about the Polyphonic Spree.
Marliyn Manson: Yeah. They were the most fascinating thing about the VMAs, and they represent everything that I despise in music and life: happiness, friendship, fellowship and bright clothing.
Avril Lavigne told me that you and she hang out. Why?
Marliyn Manson: Isn’t that a rhetorical question? Because I can. She came backstage at one of my shows in Canada. She’s very peculiar, because she travels without an entourage or a baby sitter, something I am incapable of doing. I also showed Avril my dildo-cam – it’s a dildo with a video camera inside – but we didn’t go too far with that.
What musician has been the biggest asshole toward you?
Marliyn Manson: If I were the kind of person to be insulted by petty things, I would be insulted by the way Trent Reznor has acted since I moved from Nothing Records [Reznor’s label] on to Interscope.
I was at Madison Square Garden when you two kissed and made up a few years ago. What happened after that?
Marliyn Manson: Since then, he’s made remarks that I don’t care to respond to. And as long as I’m paying his bills, he should be respectful of me.