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Future of Music: Marilyn Manson

November 15, 2007 8:27 PM ET

What do you see as the most important issue facing the United States, or maybe even the world, today?
I think it's the possibility of devaluing things by empowering people to self-broadcast or bootleg or even import things from China. It started with the entertainment industry, but it's ended up translating into everything else. Things have become devalued to the point where people don't realize the repercussions, that they're devaluing themselves. It could end up bringing about chaos, a lawless situation.

Do you see anyone addressing this issue in a meaningful way?
I don't really know how you would deal with it. I think it's important to continually demonstrate the importance of being an artist. It becomes a moral value. There's an architect who built the building. There's someone who wrote the song you're listening to. Somebody made the movie and the book that you see or read. It goes back to my most important idea, that artists should be the ones to rule society because they shape society. But artists will always be suppressed and, for the most part, tortured and tormented in financial, emotional and sometimes physical ways. We're idealistic people who want to spend our time putting ideas into the world, which ends up fucking us over. I hate to play the martyr, but someone has to [laughs].

Are you optimistic about the future?
Ultimately, because I'm an artist, I can't ever consider myself a nihilist, so I suppose I'm optimistic. I decided to make music again at a time when I couldn't have had more obstacles. If what you do is being threatened as a profession, that could be scary. But that's the same reason why I walked out on stage many times after receiving death threats. I couldn't live without doing what I wanted to do. So at the same time I have to be willing to die for it.

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Song Stories

“Hungry Like the Wolf”

Duran Duran | 1982

This indulgent New Romantic group generated their first U.S. hit with the help of what was at the time new technology. "Simon [Le Bon] and I, I think, had been out the night before and had this terrible hangover," said keyboardist Nick Rhodes. "For some reason we were feeling guilty about it and decided to go and do some work." Rhodes started playing with his Jupiter-8 synth, and then "Simon had an idea for a lyric, and by lunchtime when everyone else turned up, we pretty much had the song." The Simmons drumbeat was equally important to the sound of "Hungry Like the Wolf," as Duran Duran drummer Roger Taylor stated it "kind of defined the drum sound for the Eighties."

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