It could be seen as just another greatest-hits collection, but when Marilyn Manson is involved, nothing is ever that simple. He prefers to call Lest We Forget: The Best of Marilyn Manson "a farewell compilation."
"You get frustrated sometimes when you know that your heart is really buried in your art, and you know more success equals being more mediocre," Manson said. "So you have to redefine success, and you can't compete with people who don't do what you do. It's not really a 'greatest hits' because I was never really a top-40 artist."
For his first single from Lest We Forget, however, Manson chose a cover of a top-40 hit, Depeche Mode's "Personal Jesus," which charted back in 1989.
"I thought if I had to write a song, this is exactly what I would say," Manson said. "And that's why I picked this song, because I think it takes a little more of an ironic tone when you put it in context with what's going on today."
The album, due out Tuesday, also features Manson's covers of "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" by Eurythmics, and "Tainted Love," first recorded by Gloria Jones in 1964 before becoming a top-10 hit for Soft Cell in 1982. Other tracks include "mOBSCENE," "The Dope Show" and "The Beautiful People." The deluxe edition comes with a bonus DVD containing all of Manson's videos, including one that has never been seen before. The clip, for the song "(s)AINT," was directed by actress Asia Argento — his co-star in the upcoming film "The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things" (see "Marilyn Manson A Beer-Swilling Lowlife ... In Film") — and was deemed too graphic by Interscope Records.
"I paid for it myself because I wanted it to be unfiltered and untampered with by the label. I want people to see it uncensored," Manson said. "It is explicit. I tried to paint myself in the darkest portrayal of all my darkest, lowest moments. It takes place in a hotel over two days, and the agreement between [Argento] and me was that everything would be real. It was pretty graphic."
When not discussing his projects or his contempt for all things George W. Bush, Manson revealed plans for his upcoming (surprisingly normal) wedding to burlesque performer Dita Von Teese.
"Gottfried Helnwein [the German artist] whom I collaborated with a lot invited us to get married at one of his castles in either Germany or Ireland," Manson said. "So we thought we would just have the pageantry and the ceremony of a normal wedding, but without the church. Because I don't think that I would really be welcome there."