SMP: “When Trent Reznor had Warner go out to LA (alone) in ’92, I felt bad things brewing. When the two felt we should drop “The Spooky Kids”, I didn’t like the idea but I trusted the singer-name/band-name dynamic as it worked for Alice Cooper (from a commercial perspective). In retrospect the “band” was a one man show from the start. Brian Warner was never really my friend. I wouldn’t have cared if he were up front about it – so long as I got professional respect – which is why I left the band.”
BMi: After “Smells Like Children” the band started production on “Antichrist Superstar” which was a noticeable change from the lighthearted camp of earlier material, how did you feel about this darker change?
SMP: “The overall look, sound and feel changed too drastically too quickly. But it’s too easy to argue against this as the record went double platinum and debuted at #3 on the Billboard albums chart. More power, yes – but much less fun, color and character.”
BMi: What was your opinion of “Antichrist” once it was finished?
SMP: “Bloated, arduous, laborious – the underlying concept isn’t clear enough. This wasn’t fine art – it was an Industrial-Metal record. Too many tracks over all – the better songs didn’t shine through all the bluster. An interesting parallel to the band line-up/musicians working on the album. It’s a great record but the (lyrical/literal) writing could have been so much stronger. Being abstract is one thing but it makes me cringe when a song isn’t really about anything.”
BMi: The band’s next album after your departure “Mechanical Animals” was an even more drastic departure from its previous sound and image, what did you think of this change from the outside? I personally think Manson was channeling Bowie for this one.
SMP: “When an artist directly imitates his or her influence – and that influence is a big one – the artist looks like any other fan – singing into an expensive hairbrush. Learn from your influences, don’t imitate them.”
BMi: Since you left the band it’s pretty much become a revolving door for musicians except Twiggy actually returned, why do you think he was able to make amends with Manson where others couldn’t?
BMi: One last question about the band, have you heard the latest few albums? If so what do you think about them?
SMP: “A friend and I heard a song from The High End Of Low on the radio (unannounced) and we weren’t sure if it was a (Manson) sound-alike or Korn or what … I realized MM’s influence on younger Hot Topic-friendly bands was eclipsing the (MM) brand and sound. I wouldn’t have let that happen.”
BMi: After leaving Marilyn Manson you joined Jack off Jill how was the transition from band to band?
BMi: What have you been working on lately?
SMP: “I have feverishly gotten back into my visual/graphic art work – collage, drawing, painting … some which will include Spooky Kids photography/imagery. I did photoshoots for us in 1990 and 1991. I’m in a group gallery show at Metropolis Collective in Mechanicsburg, PA February 4th and I’ll be showing and selling my work at Lexington Comic Con in March. TRack Race (sic) is a live broadcast/online game I play with fans where they can get extremely rare tracks from my personal vault for free – for a limited time. The rest of the show is trivia, prizes, burning fan questions answered, vintage photos – a great interactive experience. The show at Metropolis will feature my first sonic sculpture called Boombox – a wild, eight channel, mega-surround sound environment experience. Just find me/it on facebook and join.”
“I will probably do TRack Race live from Comic Con. I am still working on new songs and music but have scrapped plans to assemble a full album. Though I don’t use the name Three Ton gate anymore you can still get my music under that name on CD Baby or iTunes. I recently tracked some guitar on a new project called Social Sins (Christian Menses, Chris Vrenna, Paul Kostabi). I am looking to develop the Spooky Kids tracks catalog into a special project. Summer of 2014 will be the twentieth anniversary of Portrait Of An American Family and I want to do something really special.”
BMi: What’s your opinion on the current state of music?
SMP: “The music business is dreadful. The sounds are what they’ve always been. There has been too much cross-cultural influence, too many sub-genres, too much information too fast. The usual competition and success models are scarcely defined.”
BMi: We ask this goofy question from every one of our interviewees: Can you say something about our site with just five words?
SMP: “Yes, I can. Good enough?”