"I am the God of Fuck!
—"Cake and Sodomy"
"Someone had to go this far
—"Man That You Fear"
Marilyn Manson (initially Marilyn Manson and the Spooky Kids) are an American rock band founded in 1989. Most of their early music technically falls under industrial rock with some metal
elements (a metal style commonly referred to as Industrial Metal
) before deciding to step foot in every genre from straight-up rock to Glam Rock
, but the band are best known as shock rockers (a label they resent, as they felt they never were trying to be shocking, but just doing what they wanted), with their graphic imagery and ruthless attacks on the mainstream media winning them a reputation of the kind seldom seen before in music. In fact, the moral panic
against them was so great that they were blamed for the Columbine
massacre by sections of the media, under the belief that the killers had been inspired by their music (ironically, the killers hated them and saw them as sell-outs, but were KMFDM
On the surface, this seems like an easy mistake to make. Throughout their career, Marilyn Manson have made good use of explicit live shows, controversial lyrics and outright bizarre music videos. The songs are cynical, with many lampooning conformism, social hierarchy and the media, amongst other things. Nothing was off limits, including certain members of the band's own fanbase. Despite this, in true industrial metal fashion, several of the songs and most of the videos don't give their meaning up easily, and are open to multiple interpretations.
Due to the fact that the band name is also the lead singer's stage name, Marilyn Manson is one of the most notorious examples of I Am the Band
in existence. Many people are not, in fact, aware that they are a band and credit all the group's music to the singer alone. This has become more prominent over time, to the point where Marilyn Manson the person has become a household name, yet the other band members are known only by fans, ex-fans and (some) music critics. The number of them doesn't help — Marilyn Manson's line up changes almost constantly, and they have gone through 17 guitarists, bassists, drummers and keyboardists in just 20 years. This has often been attributed by those who have worked with him to (among other things) Manson thinking, well, that he is the band
and the others are just there to provide background scenery for him. As of the latest album however, it's been openly avoided, with Tyler Bates actually having quite a lot of power in the band alongside Manson, taking Twiggy's role as co-creator while Twiggy was busy marrying Laney Chantal.Current Members
- Marilyn Manson – vocals, guitar, tambourine (yes, seriously, latest album has one and the Wiki lists it)
- Tyler Bates – guitars, backing vocals
- Twiggy Ramirez - Bass, occasional backing vocals at live shows
- Gil Sharone – drums
- Paul Wiley – guitar, backing vocals, programming
- Ginger Fish- Drums, percussion, piano
- Mark Chaussee- Guitars (touring)
- Rob Holliday- Bass, Guitars (touring)
- Wes Borland- Guitars (touring)
- Zsa Zsa Speck- Keyboards
- Olivia Newton Bundy- Bass
- Gidget Gein (deceased)- Bass
- Sara Lee Lucas- Drums, Percussion
- Daisy Berkowitz- Guitars
- Zim Zum- Guitars
- John 5- Guitars
- Madonna Wayne Gacy- Keyboards
- Tim Skold- Guitars, Bass
- Chris Vrenna- Keyboards, percussion
- Jason Sutter - Drums (touring)
- Andy Gerold- Bass (touring)
- Fred Sablan - Bass -(touring)
- Spencer Rollins - Keyboards (touring)
Provides Examples of:
- Aerith and Bob: In recent years, new members have not chosen stage names whilst the old members have kept theirs. The results of this are... interesting...
- Album Title Drop
- Amicably Divorced: Manson and Dita claimed to be this, but it wasn't evident until they hung out in 2014 at an awards show, with them teasing each other over the failed marriage.
- Arc Number: 15.
- Ascended Fanboy: A young Manson (real name Brian Warner) appeared on an MTV program talking to a VJ about the band he was putting together. According to his autobiography, he also interviewed Trent Reznor in the late 80s while working as an amateur music journalist.
- Batman Gambit:
- The cover for Portrait Of An American Family was originally intended to be a picture of a naked baby (Manson himself - the photo was taken by his parents in a non-sexual context, and Manson claims that his genitals weren't showing in the photo), to show that an innocent baby photo can and will be interpreted as "pornographic". In itself this would have been an effective statement; however the proposed cover scared the record label about accusations of child pornography, and was thus not used. The censorship of the image only proved the point the band was trying to make, rather than diminishing it.
- Similarly, the cover for Holy Wood depicts a violent and bloody image of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ, and was thus censored by the band's label. It was originally designed to show how violent the popular scene actually is, and the act of censoring only further emphasized the violent nature of the religious parable.
- Bilingual Bonus: "Kinderfeld."