The Relationship of Marilyn Manson and Evan Rachel Wood (Part 6: June 2009 - November 2009)


From June 2009 to November 2009 was Marilyn Manson at his most "violent". During this time he was dating Stoya, not Evan Rachel Wood. Stoya has never issued any complaint against Marilyn Manson, instead she called her time with Manson "fun" in December 2009 on her social media after they broke up. However, their breakup, although said to have been due to his hectic tour schedule, may also have included the fact that both she and him were receiving a lot of negative press at this time. Furthermore, beginning in June of 2009, as we noted in the last entry to this series, Evan Rachel Wood began dating  Shane West with photos of her circulating on the internet intimately kissing him at a party while lying on a table. On top of this, Manson was touring for his new album, an album that was produced at a personal low point in his life which he described as a near "psychotic breakdown". "Violence" at this time was something surely on Manson's mind. Though it must be clear, this violence was never manifested physically, but either artistically or through words. Below we will give some well-known examples.


Buddyhead's Travis Keller

On July 15, 2009 LA Weekly published an article about Travis Keller who is the founder of Buddyhead.com, which is a snarky music website. There Keller describes meeting Manson on Christmas Eve in 2007, which became for him a disappointment. Manson invited him to a party over in West Hollywood at the Le Montrose suite, but when he arrived and Manson opened the door, instead of seeing Manson dressed in a cape and lying in a coffin, as he imagined him to be, he was instead high on cocaine and joking around. Keller recalls cocaine spilling off the kitchen counter while a superparanoid Manson ran around in circles repeating, “Travis, don’t try to fuck my girlfriend. Travis, don’t try to fuck my girlfriend.” The off-limits girlfriend was Evan Rachel Wood. “They called her ‘Snowflake’ because I guess when they played shows, she’d hold all the coke,” Keller claims.

Keller further claims that while everyone was doing coke that night, he sat down and listened to Led Zeppelin on his iPod, at which time Manson informed him that he had flown to the U.K. for the one Zeppelin reunion gig a few months earlier but got bored after the band played “Stairway to Heaven,” because it was the only song he knew. Keller exploded, “Poser! You’re in a rock band and you don’t know Led Zeppelin?” Keller told LA Weekly, “Even my mom knows more Led Zeppelin songs than Manson. I wouldn’t let it die all night. I would turn on ‘Black Dog’ like, ‘Ever heard this song before, dork?’ The guy is a fucking retard. He should be working at a 7-Eleven in Florida.”

Manson's reaction to this article and its distribution by other press sources was swift on his Myspace blog:

"I can, but do not need to defend myself and the absurd accusations that the average press has clinged onto. If we need a nude photo of me to prove that I am far different than the soon-to-be-murdered-in-their-home press has decided to fabricate, that is easy. But if one more ‘journalist’ makes a cavalier statement about me and my band, I will personally or with my fans help, greet them at their home and discover just how much they believe in their freedom of speech. I dare you all to write one more thing that you won’t say to my face. Because I will make you say it. In that manner. That is a threat.”

In a post titled “Marilyn Manson is a big man on the internet!,” Buddyhead.com writer Meathead responded to Manson’s threats, adding fuel to the fire by writing:

“I’m trying to visualize a scenario in which Marilyn Manson actually acquires my home address, achieves a mental state that’s close enough to sobriety to allow him to successfully type it into Google and print out the directions, and then makes it all the way over here without getting distracted and sucking off a vagrant along the way.... Hey Marilyn Manson, since you’re reading this right now and probably cutting yourself, why don’t you shoot me an email and we can go have some coffee (your treat) while I explain to you, in painstaking detail, exactly why you are irrelevant and your fans are retards. Of course, I’ll be wearing a hat, sunglasses and fake mustache so as to avoid the possibility of anyone I know seeing me talking to you, but I’ll totally do it. Ball’s in your court, dude. Either put up or shut up (preferably the latter)."

Manson did not respond.

What Manson was dealing with here was some snarky bloggers looking for media attention, and the media was stupid enough to bite. There is no good reason anything claimed about Manson is true, or at least it was exaggerated. This was nothing but a case of Manson being nice and inviting someone in the music world to his place for a party, and he gets berated by the rude guest in return because the one invited didn't have his expectations met. Plus, we know the Led Zeppelin reunion gig was a pivotal point in Manson getting back together with Twiggy for The High End of Low, as Manson explained to Rolling Stone. And if you look at the playlist for the concert, "Stairway to Heaven" was one of the last songs played that night, before "Kashmir" which is a song Manson knows and defended in 1998 when Puff Daddy would have potentially damaged the song. The fact that Manson is a successful rock star who during this time period was working on a lot of various projects and getting them done does not reveal a man who is a poser that can't control his drug habit, as the snarky lowbrow bloggers at Buddyhead claimed him to be.


Trevor Strnad from The Black Dahlia Murder

In August 2009 media sources reported about an incident that erupted as Marilyn Manson was signing autographs for fans at a meet-and-greet in Florida, when Trevor Strnad, vocalist for The Black Dahlia Murder, shouted: "Welcome to the freak show," prompting Marilyn to write "I hate those cu**s" on the tablecloth in front of a fan. Manson then made a comment about wanting to "rape" Trevor's face before swinging a punch at him. Security then intervened to break the fight up.  

Though this story received wide coverage in the press, some days later it was revealed that it was all a hoax made up by the UK tabloid Daily Star. According to Lambgoat, who contacted both bands about the incident, it wasn't even Strnad who saw Manson in person, but a different member of the band. "Manson most likely didn't hear a word I said," a member of the band told the website. "We never even saw each other. You may just wanna take [the news item] down, since it's just an elephant of a story."
 

"Running to the Edge of the World" Music Video

On November 4th of 2009 at 6:19PM EST (a number that has numerological significance to Manson), the music video for "Running to the Edge of the World" was uploaded to Marilyn Manson's official website.

The video was directed by Manson and Nathan "Karma" Cox, who also directed the video for "Personal Jesus". It begins with Manson setting up a camera and a five-minute scene of the singer performing the song from behind a curtain with a city in the background, interspersed with glimpses of a blonde young woman wearing only her underwear sitting in a hotel bathroom. This is followed by Manson punching the woman repeatedly until she gets bloody. Manson grabs the woman by her bra and rubs his hands on her bloodied, bare breasts. The woman then rubs her own blood across her exposed chest. She either loses consciousness or dies, her bloodied body left in a bathtub. It is speculated the woman represents Evan Rachel Wood, played by Kelly Polk.

Kelly Polk, who is today an actress and director, was 21 when the video came out. At the time she had a similar physique, facial structure and age to Evan Rachel Wood. Besides being on Marilyn Manson's top friends on Myspace, Manson stated on his Myspace photo album, "Video stills from the Future", about Polk: "This girl (Kelly) was a pleasure to murder on camera. I wish I could work with her again."

One could also draw similarities from the video to the movie American Psycho, one of Manson's favorite movies from the time. In particular the scene where Marilyn Manson is signing the guestbook, with one glove on, in an identical fashion to Patrick Bateman in the American Psycho movie, featuring Christian Bale. The hotel room also looks similar to the apartment of Patrick Bateman.

It should be noted that the bloody and violent images of this video were often recreated by Manson before live audiences during his tour for the album, both before and after he got back together with Evan Rachel Wood. However, it seems that the one or two times he performed it after he got back together with Evan, he left out the bloody recreation.
 
Manson explained the state of mind that he was in when he created the The High End of Low in an interview with Kerrang!:

"This was when I went insane, for real. I think I had a psychotic breakdown making this. Those pictures of the crazy writing on my walls? That wasn't for a photo shoot, that was how I lived at the time. I think it's a great record – it was the last great collaboration between Twiggy [Ramirez] and I – but it came at a bad point in my life."

In June 2009 Manson said in an interview with Spin that he had daily fantasies about "smashing [Evan's] skull in with a sledgehammer."

Though the song was considered by critics to be one of the best on the album, the video for "Running to the Edge of the World" was widely panned, with critics finding it misogynistic and decrying its portrayal of violence against women. It was released the same day that Rihanna was interviewed on 20/20 about being assaulted by Chris Brown, and one critic was unsure if this was intentional or not. Most saw it as attention-seeking and gross.

It should be recalled that during an interview with Spin in June 2007, Manson revealed Eminem wanted him to perform on his controversial song “Kim” but he declined, citing it as being too misogynistic. “The song he asked me to sing was — and this may sound strange — too misogynistic. It was the one about killing his girlfriend and putting her in a trunk…. It was too over the top for me to associate with. First of all, I don’t drive. And I wouldn’t put a girl in a trunk; that’s where I keep other stuff. That’s my dry, deadpan humor kicking in.”

How should this video really be viewed? The same way you would view any movie with a violent scene. People think that just because Marilyn Manson does it, then it must reflect a reality of his life, but as we have seen in this series of articles, in particular what has been written about The High End of Low, through music, videos, interviews and other means of promotion, Manson was creating a movie, a completely fictional account of his relationship with Evan Rachel Wood that had nothing to do with reality, though you could say it manifested his internal pain to a certain extant acquired through his divorce from Dita Von Teese and his breakup with Evan Rachel Wood.

If we were all to manifest into a movie some of the most dark and painful experiences and thoughts of our lives, would they not have a similar darkness to them? Manson as an artist ran with this idea in The High End of Low. This is part of its brilliance, but it certainly is not for everyone, just like any other dark and violent movie.

Concluding Remarks:

As we said, the most "violent" period we know of in Manson's career took place between June 2009 and November 2009, which was a time when he and Evan Rachel Wood were not even together. This violence however was only expressed in words and through an artistic video with an actress that was a willing participant and till this day directs short horror films. In other words, this period was a violentless violent period expressed through words and art.