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Circus Magazine
Interview with Zim Zum and Ginger Fish


Circus: How did you become involved with Marilyn Manson after the severance of former guitarist Daisy Berkowitz?

ZZ: There was a advertisement in the Chicago Reader which read, "Guitar player wanted for Marilyn Manson. Send tape."

What was the tryout like?

ZZ: I went down to New Orleans and there were maybe 15 to 20 guys down there auditioning. I went in and played "Get your Gunn" and "Misery Machine." There were actually 4 songs they told me I could pick from, and I played a bunch of songs that weren't on the list... we ended up smashing everything.

What's up with Daisy? Have you heard anything from him or aren't you guys commenting on that?

GF: I haven't heard anything from him... I gave him my 1-800 number, but he hasn't called me yet. I really don't know what he's up to... I haven't heard from him in quite a while.

Did you guys part with any bad blood between any of the members?

GF: I can't speak for anyone else... actually I was in Las Vegas when he announced he was leaving and I didn't even get to see or talk to him while it was happening.

Did he leave on bad terms?

ZZ: (Hesitating) Yeah, there was a bad taste in their mouths. But, we did everything together, watched... you know... cartoons together... and built it from there. Then we started rehearsing.

Was it a matter of direction? Did Marilyn and the band want to go in another direction other than Daisy's?

GF: We wanted to go... I don't know if direction was the word for it. Darker? More serious?
GF: Definitely. We wanted to be more "serious"... not really "darker" this album... and head in a different direction from already planned.

Your name comes from an ancient religious reference. Tell us about it.

ZZ: It comes from the beginning of time when there was God and nothing else. God had to create something other than himself, to create a space where he wasn't because he was everywhere. The space he created was called Zim Zum.

Does 'Zim Zum' in any way follow the pattern of starlet/serial killer pseudonyms common to the band?

ZZ: Yes, there are names that go along with the 'Zim Zum' thing. It wasn't intentional, it wasn't anything we sat down to think about. We were playing around on the Internet... and some kids figured out there was a pin-up model from the '40's... I think... whose first name was Zim. There were also two serial killers from the '70's... go figure... one from Japan and the other from the states... and their last names were both 'Zum'.

So it was basically a spur-of-the-moment, minimally researched name?

ZZ: Actually... we were all going to change our names to numbers.

The entire band?

ZZ: Yeah... but then we sort of blew off the whole thing. We sat around for maybe two weeks looking for something that was just different... something more in the direction of the new album... not so much serial killer. But as fate would have it... it actually did fit with the starlet meets serial killer pattern.

Did you have any final say-so in the choice?

ZZ: In the name? Yeah... I mean... they basically came to me and said that I could do anything I wanted to do with it. There was no image change. There wasn't anything said like, "We want you to do this." It was more like... "We like what you're doing right now."

How's the infamous war wound Manson gave you at the Irving Plaza show, on Sept 5. It was reported that Marilyn may have done it on purpose.

GF: Oh yeah... he didn't do it intentionally... It's happened before, I mean... I'm lucky because the mic stand hit me on the side of my head as I was turning to play... if I would have been looking forward I would have caught it square on my head... but it wasn't intentional. We just get a little carried away sometimes and get swept up in the moment.

Would you say that working with the band is pretty easy going?

ZZ: It's great... actually what I did on the day I first moved down there (New Orleans) was move in with Manson... and we hit it off really, really well... a lot of the music that I liked... he liked a lot too.

So you're living with him?

ZZ: Well, right now we don't have homes... actually... we're all living on a bus. (Joking) He's my neighbor, though. But yeah... he was the one I lived with when I was down there... I think the core of everything was that we got along really well. With Daisy leaving... well... it sort of left a space.

Judging from your performance... you really get off on what you do.

ZZ: The energy between all of us... it's not so much that we play for the people who are out there. We feed off each other... and there (are) moments when we are playing just for each other. We don't think much about what's going on in the crowd. I turned around tonight and played maybe two songs entirely with Pogo (Madonna Wayne Gacy's nickname) because Pogo was going completely nuts.

Source: Circus Magazine-Dec 1996

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