ALICE COOPER: I looked around and noticed [that] everyone I was trying to be like was dead. I went, “Okay, I get it. Alice has got to be one thing and I’ve got to be another thing. I can’t coexist with Alice; Alice has to be a character I play onstage.” When the curtain comes down he really doesn’t want to live my life and I don’t want to live his. He lives two hours a night onstage. He doesn’t want to play golf, he doesn’t want to be married, he doesn’t want children. He doesn’t like anything except what he’s doing onstage, and you leave him up there. To this day, we have a great relationship.
MARILYN MANSON: I’m completely unlike a lot of other performers in the past who have been forgiven or come to terms with the real world because they tell everyone their performance is just a show. So people say, “Oh, it’s okay then. We don’t care. He’s not really a bad person.” It’s not just a show for me. It’s my life. I live my art. I’m not just playing a character onstage. Anyone who thinks I’m just trying to be this weird or shocking guy is missing the point. I’ve never tried to be merely shocking because it’s too simple. I could do a lot more shocking things [than I do]. I’ve just always asserted myself as a villain because the villain in any walk of life is the person who refuses to follow blindly and always wants to question things.
Louder Than Hell: The Definitive Oral History of Metal
Jon Wiederhorn, Katherine Turman