We really f--ked that up, though. We really f--ked up our corner of the Christian market. I think carrying moral baggage is very dangerous for an artist. If you have a duty, it's to be true and not cover up the cracks. I love hymns and gospel music, but the idea of turning your music into a tool for evangelism is missing the point.

Music is the language of the spirit anyway. Its first function is praise to creation--praise to the beauty of the woman lying next to you, or the woman you would like to lie next to you. It is a natural effusive energy that you shouldn't put to work. When those people get up at the Grammys and say, "I thank God," I always imagine God going, "Oh, don't--please don't thank me for that one. Please, oh, that's an awful one! Don't thank me for that--that's a piece of [crap]!" The most powerful idea that's entered the world in the last few thousand years--the idea of grace--is the reason I would like to be a Christian.
God has some really weird kids.
Though, as I said to [U2 guitarist] The Edge one day, I sometimes feel more like a fan, rather than actually in the band. I can't live up to it. But the reason I would like to is the idea of grace. It's really powerful.You've also been drawn to the spiritual struggles of rockers like Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Marvin Gaye. I was never tormented in the way those early rock and rollers were between gospel and the blues. I always saw them as parts of each other. I like the anger of the blues--I think being angry with God is at least a dialogue. You know, [Robert Johnson's] "Hell Hound on My Trail"--the blues is full of that. And [it runs] right through to Marilyn Manson.

These are big questions. If there is a God, it's serious. And if there isn't a God, it's even more serious. Or is it the other way around? I don't know, but these are the things that, as an artist, are going to cross your mind--as well as "Ode to My New Jaguar." [laughter] The right to be an ass I will hold on to very tightly. I just have to be allowed that.

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