BEVERLY HILLS, California — He has yet to take it to canvas, but budding artist Marilyn Manson paints a gripping picture of his new single, "mOBSCENE."
"I need to come back and remind people that I have a gigantic brick tied to my shoe and I am going to kick you in the balls really hard," the singer said. "And then I am going to kiss you and look really good while I do it."
As scandalous as that would look, music's reigning shock rocker has different plans for the song's video, which he plans to direct next week.
"It will be everything that people have always liked about me and then some," Manson said. "I've got girls singing with me, Rockettes kicking. I've got elephants painted black. I've got giant Victrolas. I've got all of the things that you need."
Images will play a large part in the May 13 release of Manson's The Golden Age of Grotesque, which he describes as not just an album, but a movement. To emphasize this, the singer has grand plans for taking his music on the road, first on a 10-date headlining tour and later on Ozzfest (see "Ozzy, Korn, Marilyn Manson Tapped For Ozzfest").
"We're gonna travel with art, making it not just about a concert," Manson said at a press conference to announce this year's Ozzfest lineup (see "Osbournes Shrug Off Ozzfest Competition, Korn Insults"). "The Golden Age of Grotesque is exactly what it says it is. It's an age. It's about entertainment. Ozzfest is a perfect forum for me to break the idea of the stage down and make everyone part of the performance.
"Art always sounds like some painful thing that you have to do in school," he continued. "It's not. It's imagination. It's creativity. It's imagery. It's performance."
Outside the Osbournes' mansion last week, Manson and modernist Viennese artist Gottfried Helnwein premiered two paintings from a collection that will be used as The Golden Age of Grotesque's artwork and will travel with the singer. Inspired by the glamour of 1930s Hollywood, the grotesque of vaudeville and the erotic art movement in Weimar Berlin, the pieces are disturbing portraits of Manson wearing the classic Mickey Mouse ears hat.
"This is an image of innocence and an image of childish nightmares," Manson explained. "This is, to me, growing up in America, what I saw in entertainment and the contrasting extremes of beauty and ugliness.
"People will try and treat what we do as degenerate art, much like things were treated in the '30s, but we will not be censored," he continued. "If they say that you can't put it in the store, then we put it in your front yard. ... We are trying to make people feel something. And sometimes it's bad and sometimes it's good, but you will always remember it. That is the most important thing."
Along with the paintings, Manson's live show will feature other oddities, ranging from Siamese twins to child wrestlers. "[There will be] a lot of nudity, but this time I'm going to keep my clothes on because I got in too much trouble last time," he added. "Everyone else is going to be naked, including the audience."
The Golden Age of Grotesque is Manson's first album with bassist Tim Skold of KMFDM, who enlisted after Twiggy Ramirez left last spring (see "Ex-Manson Bassist Twiggy Ramirez Joins A Perfect Circle").
Manson and Skold co-produced the album, a first for the singer. "Usually they don't like to let people like me be in charge of anything, ... but that's why I think this record is the most accessible one that we've ever done, because we didn't try. I mean, conventionally it's not accessible because it's so [in your face] at every moment in every different way. It's really about relationships. There's no politics. There is no religion, because I realized finally that art and music, that is my politics, my religion. That is what I stand for. This album is me."
The Golden Age of Grotesque track list, according to Manson:
- "This Is the New Sh--"
- "Doll-Dagga Buzz-Buzz Ziggety-Zag"
- "Use Your Fist and Not Your Mouth"
- "The Golden Age of Grotesque"
- "Ka-Boom Ka-Boom"
- "The Bright Young Things"
- "Better of Two Evils"
- "Obsequy (The Death of Art)"