In a recent interview with the iconic Larry King, the antichrist himself Marilyn Manson has spoken candidly about almost everything you would want to know from the cult musician. The two touch on an array of topics, with strong emphasis on Manson’s influence on school shootings, being sampled (or not) by Kanye West and his friendship (or not) with Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan.
In 1999, the Columbine High School massacre led to a very public lynching of Manson. As he explains to King, from the moment he found out about the shooting, he thought, “I knew I was going to get blamed for this”. Learning about it much like the rest of the world did, Manson saw what was on the horizon – “A gang of kids wearing Marilyn Manson t-shirts shot up a school or something, live on Fox. And I was saying, ‘Oh, no…I think that I’ve been blamed for about 36 school shootings.'”
Given that one of his tracks had been featured in the then-recent Matrix film, there were strong connections between gun violence and his music, though that’s about the only parallel between the two. Manson explains, “The kids weren’t even fans of me, they probably thought I was too much of a sissy because I was wearing lipstick, I don’t know.”
Regardless of how little evidence there was to prove that his music had inspired the two teenage gunmen, Manson was still punished:
“It put my whole career on hold. I had to take an active stance legally against a lot of news places for using Marilyn Manson because it’s trademarked. I had to use a cease and desist order so no one talks about it anymore.”
Towards the end of the interview, King opens the floor to questions via social media. One fan questioned Manson’s current relationship status with Billy Corgan, and it appears the two no longer appear to be pals:
“I haven’t spoken to him but there was no fall out or anything. I think he might have got mad once when I told him that it would be a good marketing idea that if he sold Charlie Brown T-shirts and bald caps at concerts and he may not have liked that. He does look like Charlie Brown a little bit, in fairness.”
One avid fan happened to notice that Kanye West’s new track Black Skinhead features a sample from Manson’s track The Beautiful People. Manson himself noticed the similarity:
“I’m not quite sure if it’s a sample or not, but I liked the song when I saw it on SNL. I think that was a really ballsy, strong performance.
“I had a discussion, a debate, with a friend of mine about Jay-Z and Kanye West, who was better, ’cause I’ve met them both and they’ve both really smart and really talented… I was learning more towards the Jay-Z thing until I saw that. It wasn’t just because it may or may not have sampled Beautiful People but I just thought, ‘Wow, he just came out so strong on Saturday Night Live. I wish I had done that.'”
You can watch the full interview below in three separate parts – very much worth your time.