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Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson are Twins of Evil -- and ambition

for Journal Register Newspapers

Posted: Wednesday, October 10, 2012

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Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson aren't exactly Twins Of Evil, as their tour title suggests.

They don't look remotely the same, after all.

But the pairing of shock rockers is certainly obvious -- so much so, Zombie says, that "I'm surprised we haven't done it before, but we hadn't. I love touring with people where you feel like the acts are different, but at some level the crowds are the same, in a way, because it feels really good. "Sometimes you tour with other bands and it's an awkward match. But this seems like it'll be a really great evening."

Manson concurs, adding that while he and Zombie are cut from the same cloth (both, of course, bowing to Detroit-born shock-rock godfather Alice Cooper), "it's two different outlooks. (Zombie) does the comic book/slasher element of horror or whatever you might call our cinematic sort of view of music, and I handle the more psychological and political. He might be more 'Halloween,' the movie; I'm more of 'The Manchurian Candidate' or 'Rosemary's Baby.'

"It's a good match."

But being Twins Of Evil is hardly the sole concern for either Zombie or Manson these days, as both men are entrenched in a variety of multi-media projects. In May, Manson released "Born Villain," his eight studio album, which debuted at No. 10 on the Billboard 200. It marks a label change -- from the massive Interscope to the smaller Cooking Vinyl -- which Manson says has proved a more comfortable fit.

"I've always had control over what I created," explains the Ohio-born Manson, 43 (real name Brian WArner), "and once I turned it over in the past to the record label, what happened after that wasn't always to my liking. I think a lot of it was more their stupidity, trying to fit me into a hole I didn't belong in, and that would of course make you confused about what you're supposed to be as an artist, not even just as a person.

"This record...at least emotionally, it brings a different type of attitude that is more the spirit of me and feels interesting and fun for me to do."

"Born Villain also includes a news-making duet with Johnny Depp on a bonus track remake of Carly Simon's "You're So Vain."

"I've known Johnny Depp since I was 19," Manson says. "He called me up a couple months ago and said, 'Hey, do you want to get together and record something?' at his studio, and I went over and we recorded 'You're So Vain' because we thought the song would be an amusing complement to the record -- not a piece of the record as a whole but, as a bonus track. I think it could be perceived as if you were watching a movie, and that song is the end title credits."

Manson, meanwhile, plans to make videos for every song on "Born Villain," and he's also "just started talking to my friends who are actors and directors" about a variety of projects he hopes to work on soon, including a return to the "Phantasmagoria: The Visions of Lewis Carroll," which he began working on in 2004 with co-writer Anthony Silva.

"I want to bring back the heyday of Andy Warhol and Slavador Dali, when people did things because they wanted to, because it's cool and fun," Manson says. "I like to collaborate with people I like to work with and make it up as we go along."

Zombie (ne Rob Cummings) is also sinking his fangs into a number of creative worlds. During August he released a remix album called "Mondo Sex Head," and he's also wrapped up his latest horror film, "Lords of Salem," which he says is "not a particularly violent movie or bloody movie; it's more of a psychological mind (trip) of a movie. It's not like 'Oh, I'm jumping in my seat! I'm scared.' It's a movie that messes with you." After the Twins Of Evil tour, meanwhile, he plans to head in an unlikely direction, making a sports documentary about the Philadelphia Flyers' Broad Street Bullies teams of the early and mid 70s, which won Stanley Cup championships in 1974 and 1975.

"I was a huge hockey fan at that time, and I remember all this, so that's why I love it," notes Zombie, 47, who's in "the earliest stages" of the film. "That's a time period I fondly remember. It works out perfect with me...I know that all the key players are on board and they're behind the project."

Zombie has also started directing commercials, and he and his band -- which includes Detroit-born guitarist John5 (ne Lowery) have been in the studio this year working on a new album, a follow-up to 2010's "Hellbilly Deluxe 2."

"It's pretty far along," Zombie reports. "It's the most creatively free record I feel like I've made in a long time, different kinds of sounds and everything. I want someone to hear it and go, "Wow, I haven't heard that before.' I'm just trying to build a better mouse trap at this point."

The Twins Of Evil Tour, with Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson and DJ Scarscream (aka Sid Wilson of Slipknot) plays at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12, at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township. Tickets are $30-$65 pavilion, $25 lawn with an $80 lawn four-pack. Call 248-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.

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