The Mercurial Marilyn Manson


Manson becomes a Web recluse, announces album details
Posted Dec 16, 1999 at 12:00am
Aligning himself with anti-social computer nerds worldwide, Marilyn Manson has announced that his newly revamped Web site will be "my only contact with humanity." The newly shaved-headed Manson dropped that bomb during a four-plus minute address broadcast on the site, www.marilynmanson.net, which now includes links to a slew of provocative sites, each with its own Mansonian bent. "This Web site will now be used more frequently," he said, adding, "I would expect to see me here on a very regular basis."

The webcast also included footage of Manson and his band playing some new songs in the studio. Whether or not any of those songs will appear on an upcoming Manson album, however, is unclear. In an letter posted on the site, Manson says that the band wrote over 100 songs for their next album, which will be called In the Shadow of the Valley of Death. Manson says that whatever songs wind up on Shadow will tell the story that will be the basis for his upcoming film, Holy Wood, which he previously described as "as a parable about man's desire to destroy himself in a world where violence is a religion and everyone is a star." The album, produced by Bon Harris (Nitzer Ebb) and Dave Sardy (Slayer, Bark Market), is being recorded at studios in Death Valley and other, undisclosed locations.

"This record ... is unlike any of our other albums," Manson writes. "I can say, however, it is the most violent, yet beautiful, creation we have accomplished. My inspirations are drawn from alchemy, my association with the O.T.O [the Ordo Templi Orientis, a religious order combining forms of Christian gnosticism and paganism], J.F.K. and our very own Holy Bible." Elsewhere in the letter, he expounds at length about some of his pet subjects: Jesus Christ, Columbine, death, fame and capitalism. (Sample Mansonian aphorism: "Let's not make martyrdom a popularity contest based on cash, guilt and fear.")

Commenting on the serial nature of his albums, Manson pointed out during the webcast that Shadow is "the final piece of a triptych that began with Antichrist Superstar." So what's to become of his most recent alter ego, the glammed-up star of the "dope show," Omega? Manson reports: "The character of Omega has been disposed of, as he was a ruse to lure commercial mallgoers into the web of destruction that I've always planned since the beginning. That is not to say that any songs on Mechanical Animals were not sincere; those were all great songs that I love very much so. It was just the character that I personified was one that was much more of a satire that some people misinterpreted as reality."

Now that Omega has been offed, his accompanying symbol -- that'd be the omega symbol -- has been replaced by the alchemic emblem for mercury. "The symbol," Manson explained, "represents both the androgyn and the prima materia, which has been associated with Adam, the first man. And all these things are major influences into the writing of the new album. I encourage you to do your own research on these, but, from now on, you will recognize me by this symbol, and this symbol alone." And while Manson's comments might make you wonder whether he's trying to pull a Prince on us, his spokesperson says that Manson (born Brian Warner) is sticking with his alliterative moniker.

Written by JENNY ELISCU for RollingStone.com News

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