In the wake of the tragic shooting at the Columbine High School in 1999 that left 12 students and one teacher dead, the nation did a lot of soul-searching about what caused that horrific incident. Many, unfairly, pointed to the music of Marilyn Manson as a contributing factor, which he fought back against rather eloquently in Michael Moore’s documentary Bowling For Columbine. Decades later, with more time to reflect, Manson now asserts the subsequent backlash caused the near destruction of his career.
In an interview with The Guardian, Manson opened up about the effects of Columbine.
“Give them the money and let them make their own choice: guns or records. If [the Columbine killers] had just bought my records, they would be better off. Certain people blame me for the shootings at schools — I think my numbers are low, and hopefully they go up on this record… That’s going to be a great pull-quote for you. But, honestly, the Columbine era destroyed my entire career at the time.”
He also talked about the craziness of his own behavior in the wake of that era, where his concerts were regularly picketed and boycotted. “I would just get on stage and smash beer bottles and cut myself and go, ‘F*ck you, bring it,’” he said. “I would jump into the crowd and punch people. It wasn’t even those people who were at fault. But my dad gave me the best advice: ‘If people are going to kill you, son, they wouldn’t tell you in advance.’ No, I don’t miss that at all.”