In the middle of some inter-Atlantic anarchic punk belted out by ‘VV’ and ‘the hotel’ to a frenzied Seattle moshpit, a long-time Manson fan stepped upto the loathsome superstar. They exchanged words,handshakes and a couple of puff s on a cigarette. One, of course, was Marilyn Manson and the fan ‘Transformers’star, Shia LaBeouf. ‘The Kills’ concert was over but an iconic journey had begun in that chance meeting. Th is journey would tread the nettles of Bunuel, Dali, Jodorowsky, BDSM and even ‘suicide death metal’. And finally, all this would work up lather and climax to form the ‘Born Villain’ project.
“Still reeling from that ‘museum of oddities’ experience? Well, so am I. Anyway, Morrison once said, “Where’s your will to be weird?” My answer is right here in ‘Born Villain’. Remember the ‘photo book’ bit I was mentioning? LeBouef ’s girlfriend.”
Now, I call this a project and not an album because it’s an art composite of a full-length studio album, a short film (preferred by the makers not to be called a music video) and photo book (again preferred not to be called a coffee table book). Anyway, who cares about tags? They’re like rexine. What you really want to be doing with this project is smell the leather, taste it even and feel how it hurts your skin (almost
like a BDSM rape of Persephone). Shia LaBeouf ’s directing credit makes this video for something of a curiosity. I will give him a nod, though. Many videos from established rock stars trafficking in violence and theatricised SM imagery gloss it up too much. But there’s something genuinely sleazy about this one, even with all the obvious
references ( Jodorowsky, Gilles Berquet, David Cronenberg, Shakespeare, Cinema of Transgression). Says LaBeouf to MTV, “The song has all these references to ‘Macbeth’ andall this Shakespeare and heavy theology, so we tried to make Manson’s ‘Un Chien Andalou’ macabre ‘Macbeth’ — that’s sort of what that became.”
Still reeling from that ‘museum of oddities’ experience? Well, so am I. Anyway, Morrison once said, “Where’s your will to be weird?” My answer is right here in ‘Born Villain’. Remember the ‘photo book’ bit I was mentioning? LeBouef ’s girlfriend
Karolyn Pho photographs the city of Los Angeles on a night traversing it with Manson; she calls it ‘Campaign’. And what a trail it has left , with nuns, guns and eyeballs in vaginas; the imagery is almost as SM and macabre as LeBeouf ’s video and
Manson’s songs. Now, let’s come to the most important thing about a music
album, the music. From whatever’s available on the internet, it sounded arty, salacious, depraved, hardcore and classic Marilyn Manson. And I agree completely with him.
Guitar player Twiggy Ramirez, who described the album as a more punk rock ‘Mechanical Animals’. The debut single titled ‘Born Villain’ will be Manson’s first for 15 years without drummer Ginger Fish, who left the band in February and has since joined Rob Zombie’s backing band. He has been replaced by former Nine Inch Nails sticksman Chris Vrenna. Manson has also posted a new update on his official website ‘marilynmanson.com’. The update contains no specific details about the new album but the site has been redesigned to include a logo which reads ‘CMYK’ (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Key/BlacK), which is an acronym for ‘Christianity Manufactures Yesterday’s Killers’. This suggests that this may be a pointer towards some of the possible content in the songs.
Even though we know very little about the whole project but from whatever we do, Marilyn Manson is all set to take us to our deaths and back with Born Villain and Shia LaBeouf is surprisingly pleasant.