Life consists not in holding good cards but in playing those you hold well.Josh Billings
- I was writing a lot of lyrics five or six years ago and the name Marilyn Manson, I thought really describes everything that I had to say, you know, male and female, beauty and ugliness, and it was just very American. It was a statement on the American culture, the power that we give to icons like Marilyn Monroe and Charles Manson and since that's where it's always gone from there. It's about the paradox. Diametrically opposed archetypes and then good.
- … I don't expect everyone to get something deep out of it. Some people can just listen to the music, or get their aggressions out, but I think with any great painting or movie, album or whatever it is. It's better if people can take what they need from it. That they're not forced to get some particular message.
- December 10, 1996, MTV Europe, "Headbanger's Ball"
- The whole concept of this band is to present the ugly truth about society – warts and all, and let the chips fall where they may.
- October 1996, Huh
- Parents and legislators love to blame people like us for corrupting the youth of this country, but the kids were corrupted long before we ever got to them.
- If someone listens to our music, and it makes them creative, that makes me happier than anything.
- October 1996, Huh
- I hope that with our music we can inspire other people to be creative and to use their imagination, because it is something that is so lacking nowadays. You have virtual reality, MTV, video games and VCR's. Nobody really wants to think about things or create things. You have programs on a computer which will write a poem for you.
- December 14, 1996, Kerrang!
- It's really important for me to get across to our fans that whenever I put myself in different circumstances. It is to learn from it so I can relay it to others.
- January 1997, Circus
- The world doesn't revolve around the sun, it revolves around a giant cock. That is what the world is about. It's about sex. Anybody who doesn't want to realize this is fooling themselves. People are bored because they've done everything they can do. So now the fear of death is the only thing that gets them excited. That's why some people have made me into some type of sex symbol. I'm death on wheels the way I look.
- 1996, Guitar School
- I'm not anything like Brad Pitt or Antonio Banderas, but maybe it's the taboo element of my image, which is almost deathlike, that attracts them. I should be the last person that [people] should be attracted to.
- January 1997, CMJ
- … if I hadn't gone to a private Christian school, I'd never have built up enough animosity to want to have started a band. And now that I have one, the fact that they are giving me such resistance and publicity, they have made me far bigger than they'd ever have wanted me to have become. So I guess in a strange way the Christians have influenced me the most.
- October 1997, Vox
- I've seen the little tidal waves that I've caused in the music industry, and how people are becoming more evolved in their images. And there are a lot of new Marilyn Manson-esque people, but I don't get mad at those things. It's like there's one real Santa Claus, but there's a lot of fake ones at the mall.
- In explaining things to people, I've come to terms with the fact that a lot of my goals are very Christian in the end. Because people no longer appreciate the taboos of sex, drugs, and rock & roll. I have to take them as far as they've ever been taken before, on a grand scale, in order for the world to realize we have to start over. It's very much like the mythology of the bible, the end of the world, and the antichrist and people are made to make a choice about their faith. I think certain elements of that are correct.
- January 1997, CMJ
- I'm grateful that I have two middle fingers, I only wish I had more.
- [The world's] not a great place anymore and it can't be. I'm sure it would have been much more enjoyable to be alive in the fifties, when there was at least an illusion of purity, and things that were taboo had such a great power to them. I think it was a time when magic was really alive. There's no imagination anymore. It was eliminated with video games and VCR's. I'm only necessary because of the way the world is. Well, maybe if I manage to make the world a better place then maybe I'd want to have a kid.
- 1996, Guitar World
- To me, anything that is a church is really just far too close minded.
- 2007 Ultimate-Guitar interview
- … if my ideology is a hand, then that's just two fingers. I incorporate a lot of Christian morality into what I do and in fact a lot of my beliefs are very conservative – like my desire for the world to be a better place where people use more intelligence. If you had to condense all that I believe in, it's that responsible, intelligent people should be allowed to do what they want. That artists and performers and architects, people who contribute something to the world, that actually have something to say as opposed to a business man or a politician, say, people who actually contribute to society, the power should be traded. The creators are always suppressed – other than the placebo "fame" that they're always given. I don't really suggest any solution – that we could all kick them out of their positions of power and take over. It's just the idea that if you enjoy what you do, that's why you should do it.
- August 30, 1997, NME
- “If people really stopped and realized how much art and creative people move the world versus politics and religion, I mean it’s not even up for debate. An artist at least creates things, puts things into the world. Where as these other people are destroying things, taking things out of the world.”
- Interview on The Henry Rollins Show on IFC
- Is adult entertainment killing our children? or is killing our children entertaining adults?”
- 2000, marilynmanson.com
Bowling for Columbine
- Marilyn Manson: The two by-products of that whole tragedy were violence in entertainment and gun control. And how perfect that that was the two things that we were going to talk about with the upcoming election. And also, then we forgot about Monica Lewinsky and we forgot about the President was shooting bombs overseas – yet I'm a bad guy because I sing some rock-and-roll songs – and who's a bigger influence, the President or Marilyn Manson? I'd like to think me, but I'm going to go with the President.
- Michael Moore: Do you know that on the day of the Columbine massacre, the US dropped more bombs on Kosovo than any other day?
- Marilyn Manson: I do know that, and I think that's really ironic, that nobody said, "Well, maybe the President had an influence on this violent behavior." Because that's not the way the media wants to take it and spin it, and turn it into fear, because then you're watching television, you're watching the news, you're being pumped full of fear, there's floods, there's AIDS, there's murder, cut to commercial, buy the Acura, buy the Colgate, if you have bad breath, they're not going to talk to you, if you have pimples, the girl's not going to fuck you, and it's just this campaign of fear and consumption, and that's what I think it's all based on, the whole idea of "keep everyone afraid and they'll consume".
- Michael Moore: If you were to talk directly to the kids at Columbine or the people in that community, what would you say to them if they were here right now?
- Marilyn Manson: I wouldn't say a single word to them. I would listen to what they have to say, and that's what no one did.
Messages to fans
- Exegesis: sometimes we admire the feathers and ignore the dying bird.
- Understand this, tell others: in my dream vultures chase me into my burning house. There, they pick out the brains of my family, dismember them, devour. I emerge from my home and I am burning, skin falling away like a snake as the structure crumbles into a black skeleton. I cannot fight off the vultures. A young man or woman emerges from the ashes. He/she doesn't save me, because he/she is holding my cracked and swollen heart in one hand and a piece of paper in the other. I can read it. It discusses and compares in great detail the differences between me and the vultures. He wraps my heart in the paper and tosses it to the ground. Can you see?
- February 6, 1999, marilynmanson.com
- Suicide is painless.
- The death of one is a tragedy, but death of a million is just a statistic.