Holy Wars: The Ground Campaign Begins

MMPublication: Metal Edge Magazine
Journalist: Paul Gargano
Date Published: 2000
Country: USA

Marilyn Manson is a rock 'n' roll phenomenon. From the chaotically calculated makeup and stunning visuals that ebb and flow into one of the best live shows modern metal has to offer, beyond the music that charges forward with a propensity for violence and a flirtatious nod to society's dark recesses, and brilliantly enhanced by the Technicolor vibrancy of bassist Twiggy Ramirez, guitarist John 5, drummer Ginger Fish and keyboardist Madonna Wayne Gacy, the frontman controls every aspect of his band's art, from the manner in which it is portrayed, to the response that it receives. Yes, in a musical day and age of nameless, faceless superstars, Manson is the name and face behind the molten mass and macabre social commentary that keeps music interesting. He's heavy metal's Walt Disney, his onstage kingdom a magical retreat where fans can forget about the trauma that takes place worrying about Tomorrow Land, revel in the twisted ironies of pop culture's fallen icons from Frontier Land, and search for their own answers to the social hysteria that occurs day in, day out in Holy Wood. In a world without heroes, Marilyn Manson is a rock star, and he's reminding us that sometimes that's the best kind of hero there is.

As fate would have it, we cross paths with the band for a weekend in the former backyard of Florida, taking in the festivities of the Guns, God and Government tour with in spitting distance of Mickey and Minnie's Orlando retreat before packing up the fabulous disaster and heading to Tampa, where we re standing backstage with members of the Genitorturers and openers gODHEAD and Union Underground when, only minutes after the jaw-dropping spectacle drew to a close, Manson's tour manager beckons us into the frontman's dark retreat. Candles provide the only light, and Manson is sitting naked on a couch in a near catatonic state. He doesn't get up, but greets us from a seated position, possibly to keep the too-small towel that covers his mid-section in place. His makeup is off, and whether the reason is a subconscious bout with homophobia, or the striking glare of the contact lens that illuminates his left eye, it's practically impossible to break eye contact from that point onward. This isn't the larger-than-life Manson that commands a crowd like a political legend, it's a more down-to-earth Manson, the calculating and as those who know him would agree - ingenious mastermind behind one of the most compelling bands of the last decade. Wrapping up a conversation we started two months earlier, we delve into the colossal epic Holy Wood, which would be released only a few short days later, and detour wherever the 90-minute plus conversation may lead us. A few weeks earlier, Marilyn Manson - the band - began their ground campaign to support the final chapter in a conceptual trilogy of albums. This is what their Commander In Chief/frontman/Omega/Antichrist had to say...

On the Mechanical Animals tour, it seemed as though there was a theme you were delivering to the crowd. This tour, it seems like you're one with the crowd, the mood is more communal. Is that the case?
"I think because Mechanical Animals was about isolation, it may have come across separated from the audience. I don't know if I actually intended it to be that way, but you're absolutely right that this tour - especially with the whole revolution, sort of Communist satire around it - is very much us and the crowd, absolutely. And it was something that I set out to do, but its something that manifested even more than I thought. The crowd is so much a part of it, I would say it feels like when we first started, but it's way stranger than that. My enthusiasm is the same as it was 10 years ago, but the crowd is even greater so - It's pretty unbelievable."

You've undergone a lot of change since I first saw you open for Nine Inch Nails. Do you think a lot of your past has been overshadowed by your most recent work, or are younger fans rediscovering your Portrait Of An American Family days?

"I'm not sure if I know how to answer that, but I can say that I'm genuinely surprised that when we play like My Monkey or Diary of a Dope Fiend, people know what the fuck it is, because I know that Portrait still has not even sold a million copies. There are still not many people that have the record, but it shows that the type of people who come to the concerts are hardcore fans, and I wanted to put some stuff back in. I mean, I was just laughing to myself when we walked off stage, because if you know the history of the band, there's been shows where we scarcely played 45 minutes, and we played for an hour-and-45-minutes tonight. There are a lot more songs that I'd like to play, and I couldn't, but my energy's there and I don't want to leave the stage. But I hope people feel like they are getting what they came for."

Do you feel obligated to represent the last three records live?

"I don't feel like I have to, but I want to. I love playing The Dope Show, I love playing Rock Is Dead, and I love playing Tourniquet, which we haven't played in a while. I feel like now that all three records are done, I want more than ever to try and incorporate as much of the records as possible. On the last tour, it wasn't quite finished, so certain things didn't feel like they fit for me and it was really hard to tie it all together. Now it feels whole for the first time."

Having had a few months to sit with Holy Wood, I've spent quite a bit of time trying to figure it out, so correct me if I'm wrong: The beginning of the album seems to flow into what was the Mechanical Animals era, and then there's a segue into Antichrist Superstar with the end of the album tying them together.

"I think that's the way I see it, but the way you see it... no matter what it is, there's no wrong way. But that is an important thing to bring up when you're looking at the three records - It's not a linear dimensional trilogy, it doesn't flow like A-B-C. Antichrist Superstar has elements that are there at the end, but then on Kinderfeld, for example... If I wanted to put the records in a particular order, Kinderfeld could be on Holy Wood and Count To Six And Die could be on Antichrist Superstar. I think it would be really interesting - and I'm sure a lot of my fans would too, because they love to really get into it - to try and sequence the records in their own order and burn a disc of how it could flow together... And I already know the order, because I've done it myself..."

As your biggest fan?

"Well, no, just for my own sanity, really. The way you looked at it is exactly the way I looked at it."

From our first interview, I didn't get that sense. I expected the albums to be linear, but I couldn't make any sense of it that way. "If we would have started talking about what we are talking about now, first, I'm sure it would have confused you, so I tried to explain it in the simple way. And even having time to sit back and look at it, I can understand it even more, because a lot of things I do when I was writing, I set out to do so in a William S. Burroughs sense, to let my mind operate on a subconscious level - If you're writing only with reason and logic, sometimes you'll limit yourself. I wanted to let things flow in certain circumstances and then sit back and understand them myself later. Maybe a fan would come up to me and say 'Hey, does that mean that?'
And I would say, 'Maybe you're right, it does mean that.'
And it doesn't mean that I didn't know what I was talking about, but it does mean that I was letting a part of my mind operate that I could have normally not used."

Other than drugs, how do you accomplish that? Writing is hard enough, but to do it on that level is remarkable.

"I think the most important part of writing is to surprise yourself, and Holy Wood was the easiest record to make in the sense that it was very focused. I wanted to do it from beginning to finish, but it was very time consuming also, because I had so much detail. And I think that's why every time you listen to it you'll find a different layer, because when I was writing it - and as a producer - I always wanted to make sure that every bar, every verse, every chorus kept my attention. So I had to use my own criticism. My own scrutiny had to come into play, and when the song was finished, if it surprised and impressed me, then I would hope that it would surprise and impress the listener. And I'm my own worst critic. Now you know me and my numbers and my coincidence - I really didn't fully acknowledge that President Dead was 3:13 on the final mastered sequence, and frame 3:13 is the shot from the Zapruder film where the bullet explodes Kennedy's skull. And the song is obvious through the title and the opening of the song, which has a vocal sample from one of the ABC broadcasts of when Kennedy was assassinated. So things like that were happening, and sometimes they were very intentional, and sometimes - in that case again - they were just happening on a subconscious level. I really didn't sit there and go, 'I'm going to make this 3:13 to make a point' - When I saw the master version, I surprised myself."
[EDITOR'S NOTE: This interview was conducted before the release of Holy Wood. Editing it less than a week after the album's release, I'm stunned to find out that 3:13 came into play yet again The album is the third in Manson's trilogy, and it debuted at No. 13 on the Billboard album chart...]

What do you attribute that to?

"I don't think there is a word for it. Except that with all of my delving into the occult, numerology, the tarot and the things that we've talked about in the past, I think that there are symbols that pop up sometimes in life - sometimes it's numbers, it's people, it's names, it's personalities, I don't think that you can narrow it down. It sounds really jive and bullshit, but for me it became an issue when things would start to happen and I really didn't see them as coincidence. I can't necessarily say it was fate, but if you pay attention to the symbols that occur in life sometimes, the path will be shown to you - If you follow it, it could be good or it could be bad, and for me it was good this time."

There are a handful of what I thought to be important lyrics, that I couldn't understand without the liner notes and one was in The Fight Song - "The death of one is a tragedy, the death of millions..."?

"Yeah, 'The death of one is a tragedy, the death of millions is just a statistic.' I don't know what struck that specific comment, but I think it was inspired by how it's such a big deal when some person dies in such a dramatic way, then for some reason their death is more relevant than thousands of other people that die all the time. It's insulting that people make such a fuss over Columbine and act like it's the first time it happened. People die in schools all the time, especially in the urban areas where it's just like a common occurrence. Kennedy was martyred because the production value of his murder was so grand; the cinematography was so well done. I think that's really where the root of that remark came from."

Going back to the overall interpretation of Holy Wood, were there songs on the album that were written in response to Antichrist and Mechanical Animals, or were all the correlations after-the-fact?

"Nothing was done as an effort to clean up any mess that I've created, or in an effort to try to clean up or try to make sense out of something that didn't make sense. I had several people commenting on the Internet, 'Manson is trying to make up for the fact that this and that didn't tie together.'
That is absolutely not true. There was a conscious effort to fill in the blanks, and Holy Wood was intended to work with the other two, but at the same time, I wanted it work on its own. So I wanted to put the songs together in a way where if you hadn't heard the other two, you still get something out of this. And what I felt you get is, we begin with this disillusionment and this anger and desire to change a world that you don't fit into, and about halfway through the record you find out that you can't change the world, you can only change yourself. Then that just spirals down into this bitterness, and it's left with a kind of question mark, 'What are you going to do about it?' For example, In The Shadow Of The Valley of Death, [it] begins with the line 'We have no future', and it's very depressing in a sense, it's almost at a point of giving up. 'We have no future, what's the point?'
Then we get towards the end of the record with The Death Song, and it's very sarcastic and it's very nihilistic, it's like 'We have no future and we don't give a fuck.'
It's at that turning point where I don't care anymore. So there is a sort of arc on Holy Wood, but at the same time, you have to be insane, sort of, to fit it all together."

Which should worry me then, because... "You understood it! I was talking to someone about Disposable Teens today and he said, 'In Disposable Teens, "You say you want a revolution and I say you're full of shit". Are you saying that the people who listened to The White Album and wanted a revolution, have raised this whole generation of kids, and now they can't understand them and are turning their views to something they would have never subscribed to?' I said, 'You finally fucking got that song.' The song is, at the same time, speaking to the same generation of kids that at the time were raised by this so-called generation of revolutionaries. It's also a fuck you to those people who have become something they never should have been."

Speaking of becoming something you should not be, I've got to ask you about a lot comments you've made regarding the Presidential candidates. When we talked back in August, you said you couldn't support either candidate, then you told Talk you couldn't support Lieberman because of what he's said about you in the past, and you told High Times that you'd have to support Gore because he'd provide a healthier environment for artists. Which is it?

"That guy from High Times made me smoke pot, so I don't know what I said. [Laughing]
I know how I can clarify that, because what I said was, I did the research and under a democratic President, the threats that I felt Gore and Lieberman pose to me really come down to the judges. And a democratic judge will be more favourable towards art than a republican judge. However, under a republican President they seemingly are less against Hollywood, less against entertainment, but if it came down to it, those judges are the Dick Arneys [House Majority Leader/Texas Congressman] of the world who would try to shut me down... I don't know if it was taken out of context, because I haven't read that interview yet, but I absolutely can say, right now, that I still don't care who's going to win, but I know that art flourishes under a more conservative rule. That's part of the reason why music has gone into the shitter during the Clinton years."

Because he went on MTV and made music acceptable for everybody. He stripped it of its rebellion.

"Exactly, there was nothing to rebel against because he was a friend to the youth. He said 'I'm just like you and I'm going to sell anything to you, but you know what? Your opinion doesn't matter. You can work at McDonalds when you're 16, and we are going to take your taxes, and you can go to an R Rated movie.'
If I was a 16 year old right now, I'd probably start hurting people. I found something interesting to focus my anger into, which is hopefully what people do with music, so don't try to take it away from them. They are being raped now more than ever, because the big thing now is, there's such a phoney concern for what we are marketing for teenagers. The concern should be that everything is being marketed for teenagers, not what the content is that they are exploiting to them. They should lower the voting age to 16 - if you're taxed, you should be able to vote. And that's the note I went off on in my little speech tonight before The Fight Song, about fuck my college plan, fuck social security, fuck global warming, and fuck people that want to trick you into believing or buying into something that doesn't genuinely matter to you. Because even if I had kids, my kids' kids wouldn't feel the effects of what people want to take my money away from me to support. Does that make me a nihilist? Does that make me not give a fuck about anything? Maybe a part of me does, maybe a part of me says 'Who cares what happens to the world, I'm not going to be around to see, and it deserves to die because it's a fucked up place.'
But part of me doesn't think that. Part of me wants to speak to people, or I wouldn't make a record. This record wouldn't exist if I were a complete nihilist, but politics is just so ingenuine You're always tricked into buying whatever it is they're selling. The perfect example is the television news where the stories are separated by commercials - They scare you that you're going to get this disease, that you're going to be robbed by these people, you're going to be destroyed by this tornado, cut to commercial. Buy this. Okay, come back... That's what it boils down to."

Have there been changes in your life over the years? Antichrist was pretty nihilistic, but you aren't quite that bleak anymore...

"I've gone through a few changes. I think there was a true period of complete and total desire to self destruct on Antichrist Superstar - Part of it was to find out what I was made of, I wanted to push myself to the limit, and part of it was because I just didn't want to live, I just wanted to go out on the biggest, ugliest way. I think I purged myself then - By making that record, by doing that tour, and I had other things to feel after I was done with that. I kind of came out of that experience looking at emotions in a different way for the first time. Maybe part of it was meeting somebody I could care about... I'm not sure exactly what happened, but in the period of making Mechanical Animals, I didn't have that rage. And being beaten down and feeling that the entire world wanted to see me fail and be destroyed after Columbine really put me in a completely different state of mind. Because now, I've got the complete desire for total destruction like I had in Antichrist Superstar, but that was almost emotionless; now I have that combined with a complete spectrum of emotions - It's more dangerous, in a sense. I can't say that there's more self control, there's more empathy, but I feel different, I feel more powerful, and I feel like I can accomplish more. I can focus that anger, it's not all haphazard, it's not all focused inwardly. It's something I try to put forth in a show. It's something like tonight, where we're all a part of the show. Like you said, it wasn't just me against myself; it was all of us against the world."

If it's all of us against the world, where does doing TRL with Carson Daly fit in? Some might argue that you're selling out.

"I won't do anything that I don t want to do - Of course it's a huge obligation for me to do it, and everyone wants me to do it, but I want to do it so I can take the piss out of it, so I can do it in a way like when Eminem did it. He was mocking Carson Daly the entire time and he had no idea, he was sitting there being mocked and he had no idea because he was too fucking stupid. I'm not saying I'm going to go on there and do the same thing, but I can predict that there will be a lot of Marilyn Manson fans there and that's why I'm going to do it, because my fans will be there and they are good fans, and they've always supported me. I'm doing it for them. I'm not doing it for MTV, I'm not doing it for Carson Daly - I could give a fuck what he thinks or what he's going to ask me, because through my very thin mask of pleasantness, I think that my sneering insincerity will shine through."

Are you hoping to convert some new fans, or is it an obligation, and you're just doing it to please the people that want you to do it?

"I think most people will look at is as 'My album is coming out I have to do it', but for me it's like walking into a church and taking your dick out - You're going into situations where you don't belong, and that's a time where irony shine through. That's what I've always been about, and I enjoy that. I know that those people don't like me, and I know that they are going to be taken aback by it."

VH1 recently did a Risqu Rock special, and it focused on how so many things that used to be extreme, are becoming mainstream. For example, something like The Genitorturers. Do you worry about "catching on"?

"You know what? They probably shouldn't catch on. It's kind of like the barometer of what's cool, - If everyone was the same as me, then what would I be anymore? So certain things aren't really meant to catch on."

The shows on this tour must seem a little strange, seeing as the album's not out yet, and most of the audience doesn't know a handful of the songs. They catch on during the choruses, but stand and stare when it's not time to pump their fists in the air.

"It might be the self consciousness of coming back home, but I always feel when I come to Florida that there's this attitude of 'Okay, impress me'. Maybe it's just me - tonight they proved me wrong, last night that's what I felt like. It's hard to say. And for me it's tough - When I play here I feel like it's the hometown, and when I go to Ohio, I was born there so I feel like it's my hometown show. [I] Live in L.A. and I call it home, so that's a hometown show. I was in New Orleans for a couple of years, so that's a hometown show. So I've got a lot of fucking hometown shows! But Florida's always the most difficult, and there's always the thousand people that I never knew who are backstage saying 'Where's Brian? Where's Brian?'
People were chanting 'Brian' this evening for the encore. I was like 'You know what? You guys are really pushing it'. I'm not insulted by that, but I think Iggy Pop said it best when he said 'Hey, listen, I fucking earned the right to be called Iggy Pop, you're not going to call me James Osterberg, so fuck you.'
And I feel the same way. You know what? My girlfriend, my father... I don't know anyone that calls me Brian. The only people that call me Brian are the people that I don't know."

Now that it seems to have been resolved, what happened between you and Trent Reznor? Was it just something that the media blew out of proportion?

"No, it wasn't just a media thing blown out of proportion, but it was viewed from a one-sided point of view because I was in the spotlight, I was in the media, I wrote a book... It seemed to a lot of people that I was attacking Trent and that I was the asshole and that I was the bad guy and it was me talking shit, but it was very much from both sides. It was an equal quarrel, admitted by both side, and it got to the point where I was really tired of it because I never had a real problem. It was more coming from Trent's side where every move I had to make I had to clear with them - It became really tiresome, and they weren't exactly making it easy. Which is ignorant in a sense, because it's counter-productive, it's your label, you're making all the money off of me, you should be thanking me, and I didn't even get a Christmas card. I just sold a bunch of records, I just bought your house for you, and what did I get? I got nothing for it. I was kind of just tired of it.
The Fragile came out, and there was a genuine, apparent struggle with videos, and I was just sitting back and said 'You know what? It would be pretty funny if I called up Trent and asked to direct the video for Starfuckers, because everyone is saying it's about me, and I know it's about me.'

And I called, and I think it took about a week to get a call back, because I'm pretty sure that he thought that I was trying to fuck with him, and part of me was. It was cool because when we got back together it was like nothing had happened - We put the past behind us and it was all done. We are friends again and we just went forward. It was cool making the video, because we got to take the piss out of different people... I don't feel competitive in the same way he does when other people are more successful, so I know he enjoyed Fred Durst and the other things more than I did. I just had a laugh at it, because if it was me I would just ignore someone if I don't like them, I wouldn't give them the time of day. But one good piece of information that no one knows - and I feel somewhat safe saying it now, especially in Metal Edge - is that there was a Puff Daddy head that Trent smashed with a baseball bat, and out of the head came gold jewelry and dollar bills. There were several mysterious, but very serious, threatening phone calls, because someone in the crew had informed people in the Puff Daddy camp that there was a jab at him. I'm not one to compromise, but it wasn't my song and I didn't care that much about it and I was going to get shot randomly because of some joke, so the Puff Daddy head never appeared in the video. But I've got to say, it was one of the most beautiful things ever captured on film - Maybe someday it will come out in the director's cuts somewhere."

Have you heard about Alice Cooper's little jabs at you during his live show?

"I find it amusing, I heard there was an incident in Los Angeles where Alice Cooper played, and there was this kid wearing a Marilyn Manson shirt, and he had to really cause a fuss. I'm not sure he's using that as some sort of shtick, but if he's not it seems like he's pretty dumb to not acknowledge the fact that some kid who's never heard of Alice Cooper is at his show because I exposed him to my influence of Alice Cooper. That's the best part of my attitude on this new album - I think it's more offensive to Christians for me to say, 'I believe in the story of Christ and I enjoy the images that you present, but for different reasons than you'.
I've taken my own interpretation that's more offensive than Antichrist Superstar, and just completely disvaluing it. I'm going to turn a bunch of kids onto Christianity in my own sick, twisted way. And that's worse for them, I think. All entertainment comes from Christianity, Christ was the first celebrity."

Someone told me you were coming around and didn't hate sports as much as you used to

"Well, I'll admit this - I did watch some of the World Series at Johnny Ramone's house, and I think that the fact that he is a punk rock legend cancels out the fact that I was involved in some sort of baseball game. But I don't hate sports as much as the fact that I've never liked the mob element that's created. And I think it's real ignorant for people to accuse entertainment and not to include sorts when they talk about violence, because there's nothing more violent than sports and the people who enjoy sports."

That violence is the best part of football, it's brutal.

"I played in midget league football. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I am unadmittedly more athletic than I'd like people to know - I have very good aim, and it comes from years and years of throwing rocks at windows. I can hit anything with a water bottle, at any distance, at any time of day, and under the influence of any drugs and alcohol!
I would like to bring back the sport of feeding Christians to lions; I think it would make a really great reality-based TV show."

That'll beat the hell out of Survivor! [Laughing]
Speaking of jocks, has there been some static between you and Fred Durst?

"There's never been a quarrel between me and Fred Durst, but one was created - by his hand, mostly - because I had made a statement on my website condemning the jock mentality and people that try to incorporate that into rock music. He either misread it, or someone told him it was about him, but I never said Limp Bizkit. He sort of proved me right by defending himself, because I wasn't specifically accusing him, although he did fall under my whole condemnation. He tried to come off as the 'I was beat up in High School' type of guy, but I don't really care. All I know, is that being onstage and being a performer is like being a magician and the power you create with an audience and the chaos that ensues is like a tornado and can destroy a building if you don't try and harness that. I think Woodstock '99 is a good example of someone who doesn't know what they're doing.

There was a responsibility to being a heavy band when we were growing up, and I don't really think that's the case anymore.

"Yeah, that was my dilemma: Is heavy the counter-culture anymore? Is heavy the underground? I think I told you I the last interview, that was the challenge for me - To go against the grain, because heavy music is so mainstream, it almost seems insincere at times. And it was hard for me to feel real making a heavy record, so I had to be very ironic and I had to do things in a very different way than I have done in the past. That inspired me, it gave me a new way of trying to record, it gave me a new way of trying to write."

Did that result in a lot of the musical extremes on this record?

"Well, it drove me to have a lot of dynamics, because I think when music is always heavy - and sometimes for not the right reasons - it's not as effective. But sometimes if you have contrasts and the heaviness reflects the sentiment, it ends up being more like the music that I grew up listening to. Even if it doesn't have the same spirit."

At the same time, you've got a song like Burning Flag - As perfect a fit as it is on the album, I don't think it fits in the live set.

"I think it is the one that stands to lose people until the record comes out."

You talked about taking the songs from the previous albums and putting them in order earlier. Did you ever consider approaching your live setlist in the same manner?

"Yeah, I mean, I tried to make the show have an arch, and I've tried to have the story of all the albums represented. It starts out very much about the revolution, then about the middle of the show I'm representing the exploitation of the revolution with some of the Mechanical Animals material, and Burning Flag was this song where it's kind of a breaking point and it dissolves into the Antichrist Superstar element of the show. I mean, there could be a different song that represented that, but with the election, I couldn't resist having a giant burning flag, it was obligatory."

Do you find it ironic that you can't burn a flag without getting in trouble, but you could have a burning flag as a backdrop?

"Well, the other night, on Election Day, I did burn the flag. And a couple of the shows people were burning them in the audience without me even requesting it, so I was quite impressed with that. But I think I made the point in our home video - I was reading the instruction pamphlet that came with the flag, and it said that when it was no longer of use it should be burned to dispose of it. So it's right there, in black and white."

Being from Florida, what do you make of this whole election fiasco?

"That's what everyone is asking me, and I generally don't have anything relevant to say about the election except that I was really surprised at how tight a race it was, and that it came down to so many specific votes. But that still doesn't give me any faith or reason to vote - I think that they should put cyanide capsules in all the booths so that everyone who votes dies. Clear out a lot of extra people."

Because I was at your show in Orlando last night, this seems appropriate, - Who's your favourite Walt Disney character?

"You know, I like Fantasia - Especially for its supernatural element, it's probably the coolest of all the Disney films. But Walt Disney himself was a very big inspiration in the writing of Holy Wood. There's a character in the book that's very much a take on Walt Disney, and 'Holy Wood' itself is very much like Disneyworld, in a sense. Nobody has really bothered to realize that the new Marilyn Manson font on the album is the old '60s Disneyworld font that I sort of appropriated because I thought of how interesting it would be if we created an entire city that was an amusement park, and the thing we were being amused by was violence and sex and everything that people really want to see. But if it became something that was really quite acceptable - if that was the mainstream - what would the rebellion be? And that was just the position I wanted to create in Holy Wood - How would kids rebel if all the "cool" things in life were what they were supposed to do? So I think Walt Disney is quite an interesting character..."

To follow up on that, you've said before that Jesus Christ was the first real rock star. If that's the case, who rounds out his band?

"John the Baptist... Throw in Judas, because there's always someone in the band that will fuck you over - To that I can testify... Mary Magdalene - she could be good on bass or something, she's a whore... And Lazarus - That cat was raised from the dead, so he's going to have a good look about him."