Shock rocker Marilyn Manson wants to base his next album on his latest obsession - the Black Death.

The charismatic singer is fascinated by the way the disease swept through Europe from 1347 to 1350, killing a third of the continent's population, and then disappeared for no apparent reason.

And Manson is eager to make his confused views on the deadly Plague known across the world - in song form.

He says, "That's something I'm very obsessed with... the origins and importance of the Black Death. And that may be a big influence on my next record.

"The Black Death came from nowhere, and then it disappeared, and there's no explanation. As for my art, a lot of songs can seem very childish instantly, but when you go back and look at them in a deeper way, they come across like there's something wrong with them - which I can see, there's something obviously wrong with me - something darker to it.

"That's what RING-A-RING-A-ROSIE, that child's song from the Great Plague, has."

The primary culprits in transmitting the Black Death were oriental rat fleas carried on the back of black rats.

16/11/2004 09:09