On the phone late at night from his native Los Angeles, Marilyn Manson – who appears in Concord on a bill with the Smashing Pumpkins this week – was his usual gallows-humored self, giddily recalling recent exploits in France. He hung out with his pals in KISS, and partied so hard that he passed out face down on his hotel room bed. The next thing he remembered was awakening with a start – inside a jet about to nose-dive into the countryside.
Unfazed, he poured himself a whiskey and awaited his fate. The flight straightened out, and he continued on his ultimate mission: returning to Hollywood for an auction of set pieces from Mads Mikkelsen’s cannibal-themed TV show, “Hannibal.” Manson made it on time.
“I ended up purchasing several things,” says the singer and part-time actor. “Like a clear plastic kill suit that Hannibal uses for his murders, the knife that he cut Laurence Fishburne’s throat with, his apron, a prosthetic tongue, and his recipe for beef tongue, prepared in a French manner, because I had just flown in from France.”
He even redecorated his living room in appropriate colors: “Crimson and pale blue, because they represent the color of blood and the color of your veins, before they start bleeding,” he adds.
But Manson, 46, is also undergoing a metamorphosis.
After a crippling 2010 romantic breakup, he blacked out his house windows, began cutting himself, and split from his longtime bandmate Twiggy Ramirez. Then his mother passed away, after a protracted battle with Alzheimer’s.
But he rebounded from depression with a pivotal role in the final season of “Sons of Anarchy” (playing vicious white supremacist Ron Tully) and with “The Pale Emperor,” a surprising blues-based collaboration with film composer Tyler Bates, exemplified by its snarling single, “Killing Strangers.”
For Manson, 2014 was a time for “me getting myself back to where I wanted to be, because I didn’t like my life much. looked at myself objectively and said, ‘This shit’s got to change.’”
He stopped drinking absinthe and staying up late: “I used to think that 3 a.m. was my most creative time, but when I got up at 6 a.m., I accomplished a lot more. And defying the vampire myth and seeing sunlight every now and then actually made me more sociable,” he says.
He also has re-teamed with Ramirez and is dating photographer Lindsay Usich.
He calls it a resurrection, not a comeback: “It all goes back to what I learned in Christian school, that the devil’s greatest trick is making people think he doesn’t exist,” he says. “That works for me. People underestimate me, and I like to let them. Because that gives me the upper hand.”
IF YOU GO
Smashing Pumpkins, Marilyn Manson
Where: Concord Pavilion, 2000 Kirker Pass Road, Concord
When: 7 p.m. July 7
Tickets: $30 to $125
Contact: (800) 745-3000, www.livenation.com