Why Marilyn Manson Refused to Record a Clean Version of ‘KILL4ME’
Marilyn Manson objected so strongly to recording a clean version of his track “KILL4ME” (above) that when his record label asked for it, he sent them one that contained even more profanities. The song appears on his latest album Heaven Upside Down.
“I was very, very aware, very specific about pronouns while making this record,” Manson told TeamRock in a recent interview. “I was very conscious of that for the first time, 'cause I realized how important it is when you say words like that. Like in the song ‘KILL4ME,’ the title has ‘me,’ so it’s sort of an open-ended statement. It’s not really a commandment, but I say, ‘Let’s grab our gold switchblade, and make us a blood pact, babe.’ That’s the first time on the record where it becomes romantic.”
He added, “And it’s strangely a pop song which they want to put on radio, and it’s going to say ‘kill, kill, kill for me’ on radio. I find it to be sardonic, in the same way as [David] Bowie and Iggy Pop when they…did The Idiot and Low and these things. It has that sense of sarcasm disguised in a pop song.”
Asked to confirm that he wasn’t “hiding behind a character or a concept,” he replied, “No, it’s just me, it’s unafraid to be me. They said to make a radio clean version of it. I said ‘f--- you.’ So we made one that is just, ‘We f---, where you f---ing f---, f---, f---, f--- for me…’ We gave it to the record label and said, ‘go f--- yourself.’ It takes away the whole beauty of the record."
“It’s not about profanity," he continued. "it’s just about… like, why would you take something that’s pure and great and honest… And they said, ‘Well, Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart wants a clean version.’ We all know Wal-Mart sells guns, and I just said, ‘Listen, if your parents give you money to buy a record, and you want to go buy a clean version at Wal-Mart, you should go buy a gun and purchase a clean record elsewhere with the gun on your own terms.’ No suggestions implied here, but I’m just saying…”
That’s not Manson’s first interaction with guns during promotional activities for Heaven Upside Down. Last month he pointed a fake weapon at audience on the same day that 26 people had been killed in a mass shooting in Texas. That came weeks after he’d been injured when a pair of gun-shaped stage props fell on him during a show.