Marilyn Manson

Marilyn Manson

Marilyn Manson

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.

Bomb threats cancel Marilyn Manson’s Russian festival show

Bomb threats cancel Marilyn Manson’s Russian festival show

By Darren Levin 28th Jun, 2014

Marilyn Manson and Gucci Mane teamup, Pearl Jam set to return next month?12

Marilyn Manson and Gucci Mane teamup, Pearl Jam set to return next month?

By Tom Mann 3rd Jun, 2013

A collaboration no one wanted, a collaboration made in hip-hop heaven, a collaboration that's hopefully a joke and the return of Pearl Jam.

International news round-up: 42

International news round-up: "I will pay Manson what you think Manson got coming"

By Jody Macgregor 23rd Sep, 2012

Charles Manson writes a letter to Marilyn Manson, LMFAO call it quits, Fiona Apple speaks out on her arrest, and more.

Marilyn Manson - Born Villian

Marilyn Manson - Born Villian

By Luke Carlino 7th Jun, 2012

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.

Marilyn Manson and Johnny Depp - Sweet Dreams26

Marilyn Manson and Johnny Depp - Sweet Dreams

By Tom Mann 13th Apr, 2012

Few things are worse than watching a Pirates of the Caribbean marathon, but this comes damn close.

Marilyn Manson @ Metro City, Perth (03/03/12)221

Marilyn Manson @ Metro City, Perth (03/03/12)

By Todd Lockley 14th Mar, 2012

“Perth, Perth, Peeeeerth, you’re the fuckers who threw the bottle at me”

Soundwave 2012 @ Bonython Park, Adelaide (3/3/12)13

Soundwave 2012 @ Bonython Park, Adelaide (3/3/12)

By Darren Leach 6th Mar, 2012

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.

Marilyn Manson, Coal Chamber, Wednesday 13, Motionless in White @ Enmore, Sydney (29/2/2012)21

Marilyn Manson, Coal Chamber, Wednesday 13, Motionless in White @ Enmore, Sydney (29/2/2012)

By Desiree Conceicao 3rd Mar, 2012

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.

Soundwave @ Sydney Showgrounds (26/02/2012)29

Soundwave @ Sydney Showgrounds (26/02/2012)

By Cameron Elliott 29th Feb, 2012

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.

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Harrishun Harrishun said on Sun 25th Jan, 2015
" Please take into consideration that people don't live..."
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foxtrotoscar foxtrotoscar said on Tue 9th Dec, 2014
"hilarious! and he has a point, nothing worse at a festiva..."
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tyler07 tyler07 said on Mon 1st Sep, 2014
"People should just go to EITD/TA instead. It will be much..."
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Phen Phen said on Tue 4th Jun, 2013
"Who woke up Derryn Hinch?"
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Napoleon Solo Napoleon Solo said on Sun 23rd Sep, 2012
" It isn't. They only did the one song for the soundtra..."