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Interview by: Emil Persson, Sweden Rock Magazine 2013Translated and brought to you by: tim-skold.tumblr.com crew
Part 6/7
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Tim Sköld’s wife knew Marilyn Manson’s girlfriend of that time, Rose McGowan, who is mostly known from the movie “Scream” and the TV series “Charmed”. In that way the two artists came in contact with each other. They could come together in a budding interest for the same sort of art and joint appreciation of certain styles and epochs 
When Marilyn Manson in 2011 was to record a cover of Gloria Jones’ “Tainted Love” to the college movie “Not another teen movie” he for the first time courted Tim Sköld in an also business-like way. Tim replied that there was only two possible scenarios for cooperation.
- I said: “The first is the more expensive and is based on that I come down to the studio and work on an entirely technical level and control the machinery. If you instead want me to come and operate on a creative level, which makes things less expensive, you’ll have to be able to handle the fact I’m very assertive and will have a hell lot of creative approaches to throw at you.” He was very fond of the latter presentation so I went down to Los Angeles and produced “Tainted Love”, which they had already started to work with in a completely different time signature and then sounded like a fucking joke.
The cover got very successful and soon Tim Sköld had a permanent role in Marilyn Manson’s band. The collaboration floated over in the subsequent album “The golden age of grotesque”, which was released in 2002.
- I was very welcomed by some and was maybe seen as a threat by others. And rightfully so, because I am a truth-teller and will say exactly what I feel and think to people. A guy like Manson would surround himself with yes-sayers that would agree to everything presented to them, while I work in a different way. I try to explain things that other people don’t necessarily want others to know.
You didn’t for example like the decision to release the compilation “Lest we forget” 2004.
- No, I thought it was a stupid fucking idea right from the start. But there’s business aspects around it which made it more logic. I just didn’t feel like touring for two to three years to promote a “greatest hits” album from an artist who, at the time, still was filled with obvious potential.
The next studio album, the more poppy “Eat me, drink me”, wasn’t released until 2007. The album was written, recorded and produced neck and crop by the duo Marilyn Manson and Tim Sköld.
- Unlucky for me there was a big temporal gap between the studio albums. I think that’s one of the reasons “Eat me, drink me” is such a big step away from “The golden age of grotesque”. People tend to look at the two albums and link them together. And in some ways they are connected, but at the same time there’s many years between them. “Eat me, drink me” was a very hard record to make. It took a long time, especially when it comes to the vocals.
Do you mean Marilyn Manson had troubles with nailing the vocals?
Tim goes silent.
- I don’t want to sit and talk about Marilyn Manson. To me it’s something that belongs to the past. I look back at it as something with a lot of nice memories. My parting was a very natural incident that occurred fairly organic. Whether it was because the contract expired or whatever it could have been.
You did an interview with Radio Skaraborg 2010. When I listen to that I get the impression that you, between the lines, say the record company Interscope weren’t satisfied with you because “Eat me, drink me” sold too badly. But that’s just my interpretation.
- Okay. Yes and no. For a record company it’s obviously hard to continue close to an artist that doesn’t fulfill the expectations business-wise. However I never had a direct business agreement with Interscope. I only had direct, contractual obligations to Marilyn Manson. Marilyn Manson was the entity that had the contract with Interscope.
He stops and ponders.
- I’m trying to find a way to tell more than I’m legally allowed to, but it’s very hard. Let me take a roundabout.
Silence.
- People ask me what happened with Marilyn Manson - just like everything suddenly went to hell. I don’t really understand how anyone could have expected anything else. If you build a house out of hate, then that’s what you get. If someone expects that someone should be the fucking Antichrist, fully and genuinely, then that’s what you get. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy of destruction and mayhem.
I’m not sure if I understand.
- I’ll try to express myself more clearly. Marilyn Manson was never about nice, happy and cozy protractedness. That was never part of that fucking program. It was never about appeasing a record label or even to sell tons of records. It was never included in the concept. It was solely art for the sake of art and a big part of that art was destructive. When you do that for real there will be consequences. There’s many bridges to burn when you have a fucking flamethrower. I just took a step away from the fire. When the fire isn’t as spectacular anymore I don’t feel like watching the glow. Damn, it sounds awful but in a way it’s true, so whatever.
So it was your own decision to quit?
- The technicalities around my departure is covered  by a secrecy agreement. I’ve signed a contract which makes me unable to talk about it.
When Manson got the question why you and Twiggy Ramirez couldn’t be in the band at the same time he said Twiggy writes songs from his heart and you write from your checkbook.
- There’s a little bit of intern humour in that, considering what I’ve just told you. I really have no comment on that. It may surprise many, but I really don’t spend time thinking about Manson anymore. We worked greatly together for a long time, but I had some awesome girlfriends when I was a teenager too and I won’t spend my life thinking about them.
In the radio interview you state that “Eat me, drink me” would have sold better if “some people wouldn’t have been so stupid and sabotaged some things”.
- Did I really say that? But that could be anyone. That could be my gardener.
Is it?
- Yet again I’ll have to reference to my secrecy agreement, Tim smiles sarcastically. You can say a lot of things by not saying anything, right?
Do you have any contact with Marilyn Manson today?
- No. The base for our relationship was art. When you take that out of the equation there’s really no meaning in trying to preserve the relation. It would actually have been pretty ridiculous.
The Marilyn Manson years blazed a way for Tim’s next project in a way (except from the other Skold-record “Anomie” which was released 2011). He got to know the singer Hank von Hell when Turbonegro tagged along as an opening for Marilyn Manson on the Europe tour 2007. Together with three Norwegian metal musicians they got united in Doctor Midnight & the Mercy Cult. The group released their debut album “I declare: treason” in june 2011.
- When the other guys asked Hank if he wanted to sing in a band they were going to start Hank said he could imagine it - provided that they got me in it too. I got contacted and we started talking about it. On many levels it sounded so fucking insane that I thought it was a good idea just because it sounded so absurd.
It went around the whole idiot loop and eventually it made sense - like when you recorded “Skold”.
- Exactly. It’s bizarre. It has never happened that Swedes have come forward to me and asked me if I wanted to make music, so that some Norwegians instead asked was actually hysterically funny. We started talking about it and it felt bizarrely logical on a creative level. To play metal and wear knickers in Norway is, to me, too damn funny. There’s a lot of humour in it, but it’s not a joke overall. It’s hard for me to explain why it’s reasonable, but it’s reasonable in a bizarre way.
Interview by: Emil Persson, Sweden Rock Magazine 2013Translated and brought to you by: tim-skold.tumblr.com crew
Part 5/7
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After the split-up, Tim went on and recorded his first solo album under the signature “Skold”. He signed a new contract with RCA and in return got a wide budget that allowed, shall we say, certain artsy excursions.
Together with the producers Scott Humphrey (later mostly known for his close collaboration with Rob Zombie) and Bill Kennedy (then more known as Nine Inch Nail’s sound engineer, deceased 2012) he dedicated a few years to “piss away the budget on stupid shit”. For instance he chose to record the drums by placing the drum set on top of a piano, placing all microphones inside of the piano and then press “record”.
- A lo-fi masterpiece which was intentionally designed  to sound horrible. We considered hifi as a wheel: we started the recording with a sound that sounded good and the further away we got from the starting point, the worse it sounded. Instead of making it sound good we tried to make it sound as shitty as we could. The thought was that when the circle was concluded and the sound had gone the whole round, it would sound good again in the end.
He laughs loudly.
- We made mixes without writing which controls controlled what. Instead of writing “bass drum” and “snare” on the mixer table tape we drew on small symbols, like a clown or a star. You took a lunch break and when you came back you had 69 channels of… well, what? You just: “Can you turn up that fucking thing over there?”
“The clown”.
- Precisely. And then you said: “Okay, the snare drum is too loud. Where the hell is too snare?” “I have no fucking idea.” A fantastic work method if you want to piss away money.
It almost sounds psychedelic.
- Yeah, entire hippie crap. I think we played Pink Floyd videos at the same time. But we didn’t just draw nice clouds, but there was also lightening, light bulbs and every other possible shit. I’m pretty sure there was a swastika too. Yeah, there was.
Under the diffuse and expensive recording process, Tim Sköld lost faith in the record label. Shortly after that the album “Skold” had been released 1996, and a short tour had been completed, Tim joined the industrial band KMFDM which was lead by the German multi-instrumentalist Sascha Konietzko. Tim contributed to the album “Symbols” (1997) and Adios (1999) before the group eventually were forced to re-start under the name MDFMK in connection with the Columbine massacre on April 20 1999. The two young perpetrators Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold turned out to be heavily inspired by KMFDM’s music - something the American media sniffed up and wanted to blow up.
Tim Sköld lived in Seattle at the time and first got to hear about the deed and connection through an early version of Messenger. Thereafter it called from a private number to his cellphone. In the other end waited the TV channel CBS’s famous news anchor Dan Rather.
Tim went over to Sascha’s house and started to investigate the thing. Soon they established that the information was true: the two offenders was found in the group’s register for fans that had bought merchandise. Shortly thereafter it was discovered that Eric Harris furthermore had in his diary quoted big segments of KMFDM’s song “Anarchy”, which Tim had written.
After a little persuasion Sascha agreed to ducking for the accusations and try to silence the scapegoat epithet, so they unplugged the phone, locked the door, turned off the lights and hid themselves.

- I added another thing too, Tim remembers. I said: “Let them find someone else to chase. Someone who is equipped to handle this shit. Someone like fucking Marilyn Manson.”