Marilyn Manson: Why I Stopped Taking Painkillers + Drinking Absinthe
Three years ago, Marilyn Manson was toppled by a heavy stage prop during a New York City show, resulting in a broken leg. The accident could have been much worse, though recovery posed a different threat: painkillers. In a new interview, Manson explained why he ditched the addictive substance at a previous juncture in life, as well as why he no longer drinks absinthe, an alcoholic spirit with a history of hallucinogenic effects.
Recollecting the onstage incident in a chat with Apple Music 1's Zane Lowe (video below), Manson was fortunate that it was only his leg that was impacted, despite needing 10 titanium pins to mend the break. "I think that I was very lucky that it was about six inches from my skull," said the singer, who explained, "When it fell it was not secured and I grabbed onto this giant lighting rig essentially that had these two guns on it. So I mean if there's an argument for gun control, I'll be right there in regards to those guns."
He mentioned that those titanium pins are going to be in his leg "forever" and that he rehabbed the leg for a year-and-a-half while on tour. Gracious that Dave Grohl and Axl Rose offered up the throne they'd used onstage that allowed them to perform with substantial injuries (a broken leg for Grohl and a broken foot for Rose), Manson declined and, instead, opted for an electric wheelchair that he worked into part of the stage show.
"It was not a fun time at all," admitted Manson, who just released his new album, We Are Chaos, "But it doesn't bother me now. It's actually more of a bionic leg and it doesn't go off at airports either, which is strange. If anyone's heavy metal it's my leg, it's full heavy metal."
As if rehabbing a broken leg on the road wasn't difficult enough, Manson was weary of treating the pain with narcotics in fear of falling back into old habits. "I didn't take them," urged the singer. "I mean, I did initially while I was in the hospital, so in the operation. But being that I had taken them in the past which increased it to recreational use I didn't want to fall prey to that. So I just didn't do it."
Speaking to the experience of living with the pain, Manson detailed, "I mean it hurts, but once your pain receptors in your brain... it changes the way you think — all your cortisol, the dopamine, everything in your brain, it changes. So it does give you a different perspective."
"I am by no means a model sobriety," cautioned the 51-year-old industrial icon as he reached for his drink, carefully noting that he doesn't experience any urges or triggers to take painkillers again. "It's just it clouds your brain," he said of the ill effects, and affirmed, "[That's] why I stopped drinking absinthe, as well — it clouds the frontal lobe. A lot of people find it to be artistically enhancing, but it also it bends your brain a bit sometimes in a bad way. Where you are convinced that what you're doing is really great when it's just the drug telling you that. That's what I realized a while back. Especially going into this record. But before that."
If you or someone you know has an addiction, a wealth of resources are available. Visit Help.org, the American Addiction Center or Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, or text the Crisis Textline by sending HOME to 741741.
Interview: Marilyn Manson With Apple Music 1's Zane Lowe
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