Marilyn Manson Speaks Of Being Transformed Via New LP

In televised Q&A session, shock-rocker talked about his anti-Christian stance and his emotional rebirth.

For shock-rocker Marilyn Manson, the making of his new album, Mechanical

Animals, was a transforming experience, one that he said allowed him to be reborn

via his music, but also one that is already drawing criticism from young Christians.

"I put myself through a lot of physical pain to make up for no emotional pain," Manson

said during an appearance on MTV on Monday (Sept. 14) to promote the release of his

fourth full-length album. "When I moved to Hollywood a year ago, I began to repair

myself in a lot of ways, and this record lyrically documents that repair."

Marilyn Manson met his fans, as well as his adversaries, during the half-hour

promotional special on MTV, entitled "Manson TV," which included questions from

religious youth. The glammed-up singer, known for expressing an anti-Christian stance

through both his music and his performances, discussed the transformation he

underwent during the recording of his band's album Mechanical Animals (Sept.

15), as hundreds of fans cheered outside the studio on Times Square in New York City.

In response to a question about the string of drug references and other controversial

material on the new album, Manson, wearing a red-and-green leopard-spot outfit and

oversized sunglasses, a la talk-show host Sally Jessy Raphael, and sporting

bright red hair, said the recording of Mechanical Animals was his way of dealing

with issues from his past that he had not previously confronted.

Seated on a couch next to bassist Twiggy Ramirez and keyboardist Pogo, Manson took

questions from a hand-picked studio audience of various stripes, some tattooed, pierced

and even bearing scars with Manson's name, others young religious leaders who were

opposed to the shock-rocker's message.

A clean-cut youth pastor named Jeff Hamilton asked an impassive Manson what

emotional and relationship pains he has incurred to reach the point he has with the new

album. "Strangely enough," Manson said. "It's a lot harder than I thought it was going to

be. I set out to be something superhuman, the greatest thing I could be, with Antichrist

Superstar," he said, referring to his third album. "And what I didn't figure into that was

vulnerability as part of it. That was something I was not acknowledging ... It's like a

rebirth; it's like being an infant -- everything's bright, everything's very painful."

Manson titled the album Mechanical Animals, he said, because of his view of

people as machines rather than individuals.

In discussing the numerous biblical and numerological references on Mechanical

Animals, including a raft of mentions of the "Omega," Manson offered his explanation

of his current transformation. "The Omega symbol kind-of represents the final stage of

what was set forth on Antichrist Superstar," Manson said. "This is kind-of the final

evolution of whatever it is that I am."

Another young religious leader, Rob Hayes, a senior at Princeton University and a

leader of Campus Crusade for Christ, confronted what he called Manson's stance on the

absence of God in modern life.

Manson called the claim "half-true," saying he was more against what he viewed as the

guilt imposed by Christianity. "I think that God exists in art and there's more spirituality in

music than you can find in religion a lot of times," Manson explained.

"I just think that we're raised to feel very guilty for being ourselves and that's a large part

of what Christianity stands for. I think there's great and valuable things in the Bible. If

anything, Antichrist Superstar was a lot of parallels with my life with someone like

Lucifer. Mechanical Animals is a lot more parallels between me and Jesus Christ."

The interview took a bizarre turn when MTV host Carson Daly, attempting to defend

Manson by pointing out the misconception that the controversial rocker was out there

"protesting Sunday School," inspired the singer to relate a tale of his childhood

misbehavior in Sunday School.

"When I was in Christian school, I had these things made out of a ruler and rubber band

and crayons and we were shooting them out at each other," Manson said with a sly grin.

"And the principal's wife, who was the Bible teacher -- I had it under my desk and

accidentally shot her in the crotch."

But that was not the only youthful outburst against religion that Manson related.

"I kicked a Sunday-School teacher once," he added.

Among the other tidbits Manson offered: When, as one fan suggested is inevitable,

Manson becomes president of the United States, bassist Twiggy will be the first to give

him oral sex in the White House.

Manson also revealed that he and his bandmates were thinking about crossing the street

to the hotel in which President Bill Clinton is staying in New York and offering him a cigar

and oral sex, a reference to the seamy details in independent counsel Kenneth

Starr's recently released report on the president's alleged affair with Monica Lewinsky.