When you realise that he spent the first 18 years of his life in a household dominated by the after-effects of violence, Marilyn Manson and his music, his obsessions, his sense of alienation, his fascination with killing, his insistence on living outside the strictures of mainstream American society, suddenly makes much more sense. And if it’s a light-bulb moment for me understanding who he is and where’s he come from, it also seems to have been for him.
His father had told him not to write. And he went to journalism college anyway. “The first article I ever did,” he recalls, “was about Marilyn Manson, which I wrote as myself as Brian Warner, and that was in part why I had to have a pseudonym, a stage name. I was put in a situation where I was suddenly stuck with… where I had created a Frankenstein’s monster. There was Marilyn Manson, but there was no music yet. I created a fake world maybe because I didn’t like the one I was living in. But that’s what made me make music. I had to fill in the gaps I’d created.”