Q & Andy: Marilyn Manson

The Prince of Darkness, the God of Fuck … Brian Warner. Marilyn Manson goes by many names, but there is no mistaking the singular, platinum-selling rock star with a flair for courting the dark side. Today, he releases his tenth studio album, Heaven Upside Down (Loma Vista). Earlier this fall—before his on-stage accident, which he luckily survived mostly unscathed—he submitted to a few questions from the writings of Warhol.

WARHOL: Do you dream?

MANSON: I do dream—mostly in red and blue, the colors of your veins and blood. For me, the world between dreams and reality is very thin and very elusive. There’s the subconscious and the unconscious, and dreams live beneath those. Sometimes I question which part of my brain is working. Because sometimes I talk to myself in my mind mind, and then there’s that third narrative person, and then sometimes I have that fourth dimensional element, in my head, where I can see it all from the outside. And that’s what some of my dreams are like—I’m watching a movie of what’s happening in my life.

WARHOL: Are you a good cook? If so, what’s your specialty?

MANSON: Yes. I cook and play classical musical. I recently became very caught up in this series Hannibal, which I don’t consider a television show as much as I do a long-form movie. I got so caught up in it that I one night may have mistakenly used my American Express card on an auction for the Hannibal memorabilia. I purchased his apron, his cooking knife and some of the recipe cards, and his killing suit. So now I wear the Hannibal apron and cook steak. I use very unusual ingredients: cinnamon, garlic, onions, things like that. I have a few vegetarian friends, but I don’t usually show them food.

WARHOL: Showers or baths?

MANSON: Baths, because I don’t like to wash my hair. I went to Europe and I did not wash my hair the whole tour, and it was about three weeks long. When I wash my hair then I have to make it look dirty again. So I just keep it dirty. It’s one part Sid Vicious and one part, as the guy who has cut my hair since I moved to Los Angeles in 1998 calls it, the “Hotler.” It’s like Hitler but it’s hotter, I guess. I think he also invented the Friends haircut.

WARHOL: Have you been to the White House?

MANSON: I’ve never been invited to the White House. But I once had a warrant out for my arrest in New York, and I hid out in Trump Towers, so that’s kind of close. It’s White House-adjacent, in a non-geographical way.

WARHOL: Is there anything you regret not doing?

MANSON: I regret not learning any foreign languages. It really restricts my ability to enjoy foreign films. I do speak American English, Australian English, and Canadian English. And redneck.

WARHOL: How many tubes of lipstick do you use a day?

MANSON: I don’t use more than a tube a month. I’ve always done my own makeup—I just dip my finger in there and freestyle it. I used to always steal my makeup from a place in Florida called Albertson’s, because it was open 24 hours. I would steal Max Factor pancake makeup. I didn’t wear lipstick at first. But then I think it could have been Dennis Hopper portraying Frank Booth in Blue Velvet, and him smearing the lipstick on his face, that inspired me. I was also inspired by Lee Bowery, and of course Bowie.

WARHOL: What’s the craziest thing a fan has ever sent you?

MANSON: A guy once took off his prosthetic leg and handed it to me. I said, “Are you sure?” He said, “I’m good, man. I’ve got these crutches.” He knew that I collected prosthetic legs. I thought that was pretty generous.

WARHOL: What are you reading right now?

MANSON: That’s funny you ask, I just grabbed a book I was about to start reading. I’m obsessed with collecting books; you’d probably need a library card to come over to my house. I’m about to read The Lucifer Effect. It’s about the bending point of morality, and man’s propensity for violence and evil.

WARHOL: What do you think about love?

MANSON: I think the word is far too narrow to use for a romantic like myself. I consider myself very much a romantic, or I would not make music or art. There would be no point to add something to the world if you didn’t care about the world. But I’m not trying to save the world; I’m definitely a tornado that’s trying to fuck shit up, because there needs to be chaos, or there would be no evolution.

WARHOL: What was your first job?

MANSON: Painting walls for my dad at his furniture store. Now I paint things that hang on walls.

WARHOL: When do you get nervous?

MANSON: I get nervous any time I have to go out in public. I start to cough, and I can’t stop. But not when I go on stage. I think I’ve learned to calm it. I usually spend about three hours before I go on stage listening to music in a dark and cold room. I like my house and my dressing room to be 65 degrees—that’s hospital temperature.

WARHOL: Why can’t it just be magic all the time?

MANSON: I think that depends on how you’re looking at it. If you put out enough positive energy, it can affect things. If you put out enough negative energy, it can as well. Even today I had to remind myself of that–I was swerving towards a day that was not very magical, as it should be. I know that I’ve personally made it rain in Phoenix with the snap of my fingers. I have the power of belief.

WARHOL: Do you get your eight hours a night?

MANSON: Normally I need at least seven hours of sleep, to make sure that this gravely voice works properly. This week I had sort of a severed sleep pattern, because I was too full of Orange Fanta, which I drank on the video set. But I was so excited about what I just accomplished, and what was to come of it.

WARHOL: How many hotels have you been kicked out of?

MANSON: Two. One was in Poughkeepsie, New York. There were a bunch of youngsters in soccer uniforms running up and down the halls. My director and I got very intimate with Jack Daniels, and I had to stop him from trying to fight the 14-year-old girls, because they all started kicking him. Then he proceeded to, I guess, assist me in lighting one of their rooms on fire.