Few names in rock bring to mind the sort of images you get with Marilyn Manson. Since the release of debut album Portrait of an American Family in 1994, Manson has been slapped with just about every label out there, criticised by conservative and religious groups for his tendency to go against the grain, putting the ‘shock’ in shock-rock.
Manson, real name Brian Warner formed the band with bassist Twiggy Ramrez (real name Jeordie White) in 1989, when the pair took on names that combined beauty with the dark and sinister – Warner naming himself after Marilyn Monroe and Charles Manson, White taking his name from British model Twiggy and serial killer Richard Ramirez. After completing the band’s initial lineup, they drew the eye of Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor, who went on to produce Portrait of an American Family.
Marilyn Manson first started making waves in the mainstream with 1995 follow-up LP Smells Like Children, largely due to the runaway success of Sweet Dreams (Are Made of These), a cover of the 1983 Eurythmics hit. With Antichrist Superstar (1996), Manson quickly became synonymous with everything the American religious right stood against, and frequently came under fire for his role as an icon for disenchanted American teens. The band was even discussed in US Congress, with senator Joe Lieberman describing them as “perhaps the sickest group ever promoted by a mainstream record company.”
In 1998, Marilyn Manson released Mechanical Animals, by which point the band was a household name. With singles The Dope Show, Rock is Dead and Coma White, Manson’s image became a staple on MTV around the US and overseas, much to the disgust of his religious chest-beaters and concerned parents across the States. And the opposition wasn’t something Manson only experienced in his homeland. On the band’s first visit to Australia, as part of the 1999 Big Day Out tour, a group representing the same religious and conservative values banded together to oppose Manson’s entry to Australia. Though the majority of the shows went ahead without any major problems, the final show of the tour was marred when the Perth crowds bottled the band off stage long before the performance was due to conclude.
And the bigotry continued later in 1999 in the wake of the April massacre at Columbine High School in Colorado. When it was revealed that gunmen Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were Marilyn Manson fans, the religious right responded with yet another move to have the band’s music banned. Though the band cancelled the remaining dates of the Rock is Dead tour, they refused to enter into discussion on the topic and continued making music, rather than involve themselves in the circus that ensued. 2000 album Holy Wood dealt with themes of violence and American identity, and the band’s 2001 Ozzfest appearance in Denver marked their return to Colorado for the first time since the tragedy. The following year, Manson appeared in Michael Moore’s Bowling for Columbine, the award-winning film that explored the same themes of violence and American culture as the band had on Holy Wood.
After Ramirez left the band in the lead up to The Golden Age of Grotesque (auditioning for Metallica before joining A Perfect Circle and later Nine Inch Nails), KMFDM bassist and Manson collaborator Tim Skold joined the band permanently, filling Ramirez’s role. The prominence of Skold as producer and musician led to a more industrial and at times synthetic feel to Grotesque, something that drew comparisons to KMFDM as critics wrote the album off. The following year, Lest We Forget, described by Manson himself as the band’s farewell album, was meant to mark the end of their time in the business. But after Manson’s 2006 split with wife Dita Von Teese, he and his bandmates returned to the studio to work on Eat Me, Drink Me, which again revolves around the contributions of Manson and Skold, and deals with the frontman’s breakup as well as his earlier depression and a spell in rehab.
Marilyn Manson returns to Australia this October for his third visit to our shores.
Charles Manson writes a letter to Marilyn Manson, LMFAO call it quits, Fiona Apple speaks out on her arrest, and more.
Whilst there are enough moments on this record to make it worthy of a few spins, it seems like ultimately Marilyn Manson has had enough.
“Perth, Perth, Peeeeerth, you’re the fuckers who threw the bottle at me”
With the likes of Slipknot, Marilyn Manson and System Of A Down causing anarchy late in the evening, it was the unlikely lunchtime slot by Steel Panther that stole the show.
On a humid, rainy night, a crowd of metalheads and various others descended upon the Enmore to see Marilyn Manson, Coal Chamber, Wednesday 12 and Motionless in White.
The make-up has melted (both guys and girls), and the once proud and sharp Mo-hawks are reduced to a colourful mess. The battle has been won, peace once again returns to Homebush... until next year.
In a time that is seeing a large number Australian festivals struggle, Soundwave has excelled in all aspects.
Marilyn Manson and a host of hardcore friends bring about the start of the 2012 Soundwave festival with a blistering sideshow at the Eaton’s Hill Hotel on Friday night.
Marilyn Manson will head up three huge Sidewaves while Down Under in February.
The Soundwave 2012 lineup will be announced on Friday night, which means that we only have a few hours of rumours to endure.
Proof that Marilyn Manson fans are nerds with too much time on their hands.
Marilyn Manson is livid that an old teaser trailer for his film ‘Phantasmagoria: The Visions of Lewis Carroll’ has leaked online.
With his latest album 'The High End of Low' performing poorly in the US, Marilyn Manson has been "released" from his contract with Interscope.
Shock rocker Marilyn Manson makes his way back to the City of Churches...
You might also like: