Ex-Nine Inch Nails Member Describes ‘Very Dark’ Marilyn Manson Lifestyle

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Chris Vrenna discussed drumming for Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson in a new AL interview.

“The only reason I ended up in the band was Ginger [Fish] got hurt. They were playing on a TV show, and there was some sort of big set piece, Ginger did a Ginger and fell off. I get a phone call from Manson’s manager and I was in Perth, Australia with Gnarls Barkley and it was the last show of the tour, after 12 months straight, no break, just around the world, around the world, around the world. My phone rings and it was Manson’s manager. ‘Hey man, so what are you up to?’

It was crazy. I don’t want to say it was a nightmare, but it was a three-ring drunken circus on wheels on the time, forever. And after Ginger got healthy and came back, then Pogo (aka Madonna Wayne Gacy, aka Stephen Bier) the keyboard player quit, so I moved over from drums to keyboards. And I ended up being a full-time member of that band for like seven and a half years, somewhere in there.

He burned me out though. Quick version of why I quit is it’s a very dark lifestyle. There’s a lot of substance problems, the hours are insane. It’s just really intense. It’s as crazy as everything you’ve ever read and everything you’ve ever heard.”

He also discussed seeing ‘horrifically bizarre stuff.’

“If I could even come up with it, I probably wouldn’t even tell you because one thing about this stuff, there’s kind of a code of honor where you don’t want to, because it would involve perhaps other people. Mine were always with other people. I was always the one that was like, ‘You can’t do that. Are really going to do that? Oh my God, you’re doing that.’ And I’m the one in the corner laughing. I witnessed a whole lot of horrifically bizarre stuff.”