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Music / Marilyn Manson

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"I am the God of Fuck!"
— "Cake and Sodomy"

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 Metal, but they have since embraced influences from a variety of rock subgenres including alternative and glam.

The band are without a doubt best known from the image of them conjured by the public at the height of their popularity in the 1990s, including the recurring summary of their work as "shock rock" (a label they resented, as they felt they never were trying to be shocking, but just doing what they wanted). Their graphic imagery and conceptual basis in critiquing and satirizing mainstream American media won them a reputation of a kind seldom seen before in music, to the tune of protests and petitions to cancel performances alongside states passing legislation to ban the group from performing at state-owned venues. 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, and were fans of KMFDM and Rammstein instead.)

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 topics such as religion, conformism and social hierarchy. Nothing was off-limits, including certain members of the band's own fanbase. Despite this, in true 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 largely known only by fans, ex-fans and (some) music critics.

The number of them doesn't help — Marilyn Manson's lineup 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 that he truly is the band and the others are just there to provide background scenery for him.

With some of the band's more recent albums, however, this mindset was defied, as former lead guitarist Tyler Bates actually had quite a lot of power in the band alongside Manson, taking the co-creator role previously held by former bassist/guitarist Twiggy Ramirez while Ramirez was busy marrying Laney Chantal and working on his own projects.

In October 2017, Ramirez was fired after Jessicka Addams, vocalist for Jack Off Jill and Ramirez's ex-girlfriend, publicly accused him of pervasive physical, emotional, and sexual abuse in their relationship. Manson himself would be accused of similar acts in 2021 by several former partners including Evan Rachel Wood, leading to accusations of hypocrisy and him being dropped by his label, manager and talent agency. Manson and his legal team have repeatedly denied the allegations, in turn claiming that several of his accusers conspired to organize statements that misrepresented their relationships with Manson. In February 2023, one of Manson's accusers recanted her allegations, claiming that she had been "manipulated" and "pressured" into spreading "publicly false accusations".

Oh, he was friends with Anton LaVey, too.



  • Marilyn Manson (Brian Warner) – lead vocals
  • Paul Wiley – guitars, backing vocals
  • Juan Alderete – bass, backing vocals
  • Brandon Pertzborn - Drums


  • Ginger Fish (Ken Wilson) - drums, percussion, piano
  • Mark Chaussee - guitars (touring)
  • Rob Holliday - bass, guitars (touring)
  • Wes Borland - guitars (touring)
  • Zsa Zsa Speck (Perry Pandrea) - keyboards
  • Olivia Newton Bundy (Brian Tutunick) - bass
  • Gidget Gein (Brad Stewart) (deceased) - bass
  • Twiggy Ramirez (Jeordie White) - bass, occasional backing vocals at live shows
  • Sara Lee Lucas (Frederick Streithorst) - drums, percussion
  • Daisy Berkowitz (Scott Putesky) (deceased) - guitars
  • Zim Zum (Tim Linton) - guitars
  • John 5 (John Lowery) - guitars
  • Madonna Wayne Gacy (Stephen Bier) - 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)
  • Daniel Fox - keyboards, percussion
  • Tyler Bates – lead guitar, backing vocals
  • Gil Sharone – drums


"I don't like the tropes, but the tropes like me":

  • Actually Pretty Funny: His feelings on the "surgically removed a pair of ribs so he could suck his own dick" urban legend, which he openly finds to be pretty amusing.
  • Addled Addict: While heavy drug usage was common in their early days, Gidget Gein (aka Brad Roberts) was truly out of control, as his extensive heroin usage made his behavior erratic and unpredictable and led to multiple overdoses, one of which finally got him fired.
  • 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...
  • Alice Allusion: The album Eat Me, Drink Me, whose name refers to the drinks and foods that Alice would consume to change her size while in Wonderland. Manson even referred to the album as "his version of Alice in Wonderland".
  • Amicable Exes: 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.
  • The Anti-Nihilist: The core idea behind Manson himself.
    I'm not a misanthrope. I'm not a nihilist. I'm not an atheist. I believe in spirituality, but it really has to come from somewhere else. I learned a long time ago, you can't try to change the world, you can just try to make something in it. I think that's my spirituality, it's putting something into the world. If you take all the basic principles of any religion, it's usually about creation. There's also destruction, but creation essentially. I was raised Christian. I went to a Christian school, because my parents wanted me to get a better education. But when I got kicked out I was sent to public school, and got beat up more by the public school kids. But then I'd go to my friend's Passover and have fun.
  • Arc Number: 15.
  • Audience Participation Song: "Antichrist Superstar" and "This is the New Shit" are intentionally designed as these.
  • Auto-Tune: A vocoder is used to terrifying effect in the outro of "Cryptorchid" and the chorus of "Kinderfeld."
  • Batman Gambit:
    • The cover for Portrait of an American Family was originally intended to be a picture of a naked child (a five year old Manson himself — the photo was taken by his parents in a non-sexual context, and his genitals weren't showing in the photo,) to show that an innocent 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 in certain markets. 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.
  • Blasphemous Boast: "The Fight Song" from Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death):
    I'm not a slave / to a God that doesn't exist!
  • Big Brother Mentor: Manson to Jack and Kelly Osbourne. Jack's first time at a strip club was with Manson, even. He also made a conscious effort to try to be this for Paris Jackson. No word on how it went, however.
  • Bilingual Bonus: "Kinderfeld."
  • Bishōnen Line: Over the course of Antichrist Superstar The Worm went through a metamorphosis from a weird worm-human hybrid to possibly a mothman into finally an evil angel.
  • Blackface: Taken up to eleven in the video for "Sweet Dreams" where Manson's entire body is painted black while he rides a pig.
  • Blah, Blah, Blah: In "This is the New Shit."
  • Bookends:
    • Counting the hidden track, the two distorted "when you are suffering, know that I've betrayed you" samples at the start and end make Antichrist Superstar a perfect loop almost of the The Wall variety.
    • Holy Wood begins and ends with a gun (specifically, a revolver) being cocked and dry-fired.
  • Butt-Monkey: For whatever reason, most of the guitarists in the band end up in this role.
    • During the recording of Antichrist Superstar, the first guitarist and co-founder Daisy Berkowitz became the butt of everyone's jokes. Among other things, the other members of the band microwaved his guitar picks and four-track recorder just for shits and giggles. Daisy ended up quitting halfway through the recording of the album and later had to sue Manson for unpaid royalties.
    • In life, Marilyn Manson himself. Reading his autobiography is setting yourself up for wanting to give him the biggest hug. Of all time. See also: We Used to Be Friends.
  • Byronic Hero: The protagonists of each album in Manson's Triptych are implied to be this (assuming that they're all different people).
  • Call-Back: Used all the time. For example, in 1996, there is the lyric "Anti the things I fucked and ate." In Arma-Goddamn-Motherfuckin-Geddon, "First you try to fuck it, then you try to eat it, and if it hasn't learned your name you better kill it before they see it." In Heart-Shaped Glasses, "That blue is getting me high and making me low." The next album was The High End of Low. In If I Was Your Vampire, "6 a.m. Christmas morning. No shadows, no reflections here." Then, two albums later, there is the Grammy-nominated song No Reflection. Manson is also known to re-use lyrics from pre-Portrait songs, like "Are all your infants in abortion cribs?"
    • The Pale Emperor continues this fine tradition with the song "Deep Six," in the most roundabout, ultra-trolling way possible. The song references the book "The Age of Manipulation: The Con in Confidence, The Sin in Sincere". After reading the book, which came out in 1989, the year the band was formed, it's been determined by the fandom that the book pretty much is the foundation of much of Manson's beliefs, especially since other songs, "Target Audience (Narcissus Narcosis)" from Holy Wood and, most importantly, "The Beautiful People" from Antichrist Superstar, got their titles from passages in it.
  • Caps Lock: For some unknown reason, titles of some songs on Heaven Upside Down are written in all caps, such as "WE KNOW WHERE YOU FUCKING LIVE", "SAY10" or "KILL4ME".
    • All the songs on We Are Chaos are also written in all caps.
  • Careful with That Axe: "Antichrist Superstar".
    "I don't need a reason to hate you the way I... DOOOOO!!!"
    • "Hey, Cruel World..."
    • "Irresponsible Hate Anthem".
  • Censored Title: "This is the New Shit" became "This is the New *Hit*" when censored, which is ironically, still fitting. "Pretty as a Swastika" became "Pretty as a *$*" which is likely the biggest "Fuck you" done via censorship ever.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: In most of his earlier interviews, bassist / guitarist Twiggy was a Grade A example of this trope. Mostly he sat swaying slightly, fiddling with his clothing and staring at the ceiling, rarely speaking unless addressed directly, at which point he would reply with a nonsensical comment (one interview with Manson and Twiggy had the latter saying only "Whiskey and speed," and only answering a couple of questions with a coherent answer, before going back to "Whiskey and speed”) and in several interviews, only played an audio clip with a tape player. Nobody knows whether he did this intentionally as part of his stage persona or he was just semi-permanently high. Although it seems to be mostly the former, as a person commented on one of his instagram posts asking about his odd behavior in early interviews and whether it was real or fake, and he simply responded with: “acting.”
  • Cluster F-Bomb: The band's songs generally contain a lot of swearing.
    • "Irresponsible Hate Anthem" is an especially heinous example, considering "fuck" is one of the only words of the pre-hook.
    • The entire Eat Me, Drink Me album was a notable aversion of this.
  • Concept Album: Antichrist Superstar, Mechanical Animals, and Holy Wood actually form a trilogy about three interconnected main characters, Adam, Omega, and The Worm. Chronologically in the narrative, however, it goes in reverse order.
    • Somewhat debatable as to the order of the albums. Interpretations of the "Triptych" are an Epileptic Trees forest.
      • Manson himself has stated that they go in reverse order.
    • The Pale Emperor is one too, with Manson as, well, the fandom's not quite figured out everything yet. We need more literary critics. It is, however, based on the Faust myth, according to Manson.
  • The Cover Changes the Meaning: The band has Grimmified several songs, including Gloria Jones' "Tainted Love" and the Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams."
  • Dark Is Not Evil: His darkness and use of demonic imagery is just part of his image, his public persona. He really is a pretty nice guy. Unless you're one of his ex-bandmates, especially if your name is Scott Putesky or Stephen Bier.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Marilyn Manson in many interviews.
  • Death Song: "The Death Song" is not this. "Count To Six And Die" is.
  • Demoted to Extra: Roli Mosimann was chosen to produce Portrait of an American Family due to his work with Swans, but he turned in a flat and lifeless mix. As an Author's Saving Throw, Trent Reznor (who agreed with Manson that the mix "sucked") brought them to LA for seven weeks of remixing and re-recording, and Mosimann was demoted to "engineer" in the album credits. Daisy Berkowitz, after enough backstabbings to be legally a pin cushion, released this mix, which also has a previously unheard song, "Filth". One can judge it for themselves.
  • Divorce Assets Conflict: Dita and Manson fought over the pets. Manson only got to keep one of the four, Lily White.
  • Domestic Abuse: This is what got Jeordie White fired in 2017. Jack Off Jill vocalist and ex-girlfriend Jessicka Addams came out with allegations in a Facebook post in 2017, claiming that, during their on-and-off relationship from 1992-1997, Jeordie White (Twiggy) was emotionally, verbally, and physically abusive. She alleges that he had violent outbursts, was unfaithful, and eventually raped her. Though there was no actual substantial evidence to back up the claim, White was swiftly fired from the band. Although Manson claims that the firing was long-time coming due to creative differences, and says to have not cut ties with Jeordie in regards to their friendship, Manson doesn’t follow White on any social media anymore and hasn’t been seen with him since the allegations broke.
  • Downer Ending:
    • The "Man That You Fear" video ends with Manson being stoned to death in a desert after being picked at random in a ritual. We don't actually see it—the video ends before any stones are thrown—but the implications are chilling enough.
    • Every concept album so far has had one: Antichrist Superstar ended with the Worm going insane, becoming the Antichrist, and destroying the world; Mechanical Animals ended with everybody overdosing on drugs and dying; Holy Wood ended with Adam's revolution being corrupted into exactly what it was fighting against and his ensuing suicide; even the less-conceptual Golden Age of Grotesque ended with "The Death of Art."
    • Born Villain ended with an Anti-Love Song about a mutually abusive relationship ("Breaking the Same Old Ground"), followed by a cover of "You're So Vain", which does admittedly lighten it a bit.
    • The Pale Emperor has a downer ending too, which makes sense, since it's based on the Faust myth.
  • Drugs Are Bad: "Coma White" and "I Don't Like The Drugs (But The Drugs Like Me)". In fact, Mechanical Animals has a lot of anti-drug stuff. They also led to Brad Stewart's death; drug usage was rampant among the band at that time, but he was completely out of control, having become increasingly unstable and unreliable in addition to repeatedly overdosing.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Quite a bit.
    • Twiggy in the Antichrist Superstar era (convincing enough to make a Christian right wing group say he was a female guitarist who did things onstage, which is only half-right). This can be attributed to his long hair, makeup, and the trademark male Kinderwhore-style dresses and wigs he often wore. His lack of speaking in interviews kept his deep voice from being heard, which didn’t help this trope.
    • Manson also got into drag for the Nine Inch Nails video "Starfuckers, Inc." (a.k.a. "Starsuckers, Inc."), and in the "Long Hard Road Out of Hell" video. He was surprisingly convincing on both occasions. And then there were the prosthetic boobs from the cover of Mechanical Animals, which he also uses in the video for "The Dope Show".
    • Gidget Gein and Zim Zum also fit this trope.
    • After leaving the band, Daisy started going by his initials, SMP, and joined Jack Off Jill for a time. Seeing as he was decidedly not female, and it was a riot grrrl band, this had to be implimented.
  • Face on the Cover: Every studio album except for Portrait of an American Family.
  • Feghoot: Manson's autobiography The Long Hard Road Out of Hell featured an entire chapter about a girl he dated who had an unusual circular birthmark around her vagina. Though many events happen during this chapter, he does close it by stating that someone else he knew (the band's then-drummer Freddy Streihorst, aka Sara Lee Lucas) started dating her and "snatched her away like a greedy little Hobbit and indeed became The Lord of the Ring.
  • Flat "What": An interviewer did this after asking Twiggy about who had creative control in the band. Twiggy had replied "The chickens write the songs."
  • Foe Romance Subtext: Manson and his first guitarist and co-founder, Daisy Berkowitz. Their long habit of bashing each other in interviews and dragging each other into court for any reason makes them sound like a divorced couple fighting over custody of their only child. Most of this would be pretty standard, but for some reason, Manson's autobiography is also peppered with constant denigrating comments about Daisy's sex life.
  • Football Fight Song: The music video for The Fight Song
  • Freaky Fashion, Mild Mind: Despite the scary looks, he's quite an intelligent person.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Many of the male band members use female names as their stage names. (see Theme Naming for the reason)
  • Happily Married: Twiggy and Laney are absolutely adorable non-stop, and she often comes with the band much in the same way Manson's father Hugh does. She likes to wear Twiggy's dresses and play around, and she gets on with Manson just as well as her husband does. Twiggy's firing in 2017 is likely to put the kibosh on her show attendance and friendship with Manson however.
  • Harsh Vocals: Obviously. Live, sometimes they will even become harsher (especially "Antichrist Superstar").
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Manson and Twiggy and Manson and Johnny Depp. Possibly. None of them are 100% open about their sexualities, but Manson and Twiggy have, at the very least, performed oral sex on each other. None of them have claimed to be straight, bi, gay, pan or anything else. However it's likely their friendship has been permanently torpedoed by Manson firing Twiggy in 2017 after allegations of rape and domestic violence against him came out.
  • Hidden Track: Antichrist Superstar has the promisingly-titled "Empty Sounds Of Hate," and of course it's a series of distorted voices ending with the same message that's heard at the very beginning of the album.
    • Mechanical Animals had one that was accessed by putting the CD into a computer.
    • "Misery Machine", the last song on Portrait Of An American Family is an 11 minute track, but the actual song is only five minutes long - there's a sample of dialogue from the John Waters film Desperate Living a few seconds after the song ends, followed by over seven minutes of telephone ringing sound effects, after which the track finally ends with an answering machine message from the offended parent of a young fan.
  • High Turnover Rate: The above list should speak for itself.
  • Hypocrite: Manson was praised in 2017 for swiftly kicking Twiggy Ramirez out of the band after revelations about his abusive behaviour in relationships came to light. When Manson himself was accused of similar abusive behaviour in 2021 he was quickly accused of being one of these.
  • I Am the Band: To the point where many people honestly believe that Marilyn Manson is a solo artist.
  • Incredibly Long Note: More like Incredibly Long Scream. The live version of "Irresponsible Hate Anthem" on The Last Tour On Earth features Manson holding a "FUCK IIIIIIIIIIIIIT!!!" for a good 20 seconds.
    • "Hey, Cruel World..." has Manson holding a very high scream for a about fourteen seconds.
    • "Para-Noir" has a scream that lasts approximately 26 seconds from the end of the third chorus.
  • Indecipherable Lyrics: "The Beautiful People" is this for many people and all of The Golden Age of Grotesque is this for almost everyone, fans included.
  • Industrial Metal: Their primary genre and its arguable Trope Codifiers alongside Nine Inch Nails, with the exception of a few albums (Mechanical Animals is Glam Rock and Eat Me, Drink Me is just rock, and many of their songs on albums don't care if you can put them in a single genre). They are arguably one of the most popular in the genre, along with Rammstein and Fear Factory.
  • Intentionally Awkward Title: Many, such as "This is the New Shit", "Antichrist Superstar", "President Dead" and "Arma-goddamn-motherfuckin-geddon".
    • Try telling someone about their cover of Patti Smith's song "Rock 'N' Roll Nigger" (from Easter), but performed on Manson's Smells Like Children. Just try.
    • "Baboon Rape Party", anyone?
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Manson originally claimed this about Evan Rachel-Wood. Nobody bought it, even his wife. It turned out to be a lie, so for good reason. However, paparazzi footage does show that Laney, Lindsay, Manson and Twiggy all hang out, which is a mid-20s woman, a mid-30s woman and two mid-40s men. Lindsay is Manson's longtime fiancee and Laney is Twiggy's wife, but Manson and Laney and Twiggy and Lindsay are clearly friends, as shown by times where Twiggy and Laney have come to pick Manson and Lindsay up and swapped spots so Manson and Laney were in the back with Lindsay and Twiggy in the front.
  • Kick the Dog: Suggested in "Little Horn":
    "Somebody better get the dog to kick"
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: He's even done photo-ops with, and of, his beloved cat, Lily White. And fed her a heart from an unidentified animal in his prosthetics room on Valentine's Day with a music box playing while he recorded it and put it on Myspace.
  • Large Ham: Add the passionate/over-the-top delivery with the weird imagery, and Manson ranks quite high on the hamminess.
  • Lead Bassist: Gidget Gein and Twiggy Ramirez both got more attention than any of the guitarists. For a time, Twiggy became the guitaristnote , but he reverted back to bass so Tyler Bates could do guitars before he was ejected from the band in 2017 due to allegations of sexual and physical abuse.
  • Lesser Star: Olivia Newton Bundy and ZsaZsa Speck, the original bassist and keyboardist, respectively.
  • Lucky Charms Title: "♠" (read "Spade") off The Golden Age of Grotesque.
  • Metal Scream: No, really? Especially prevalent in "Antichrist Superstar", but pops up a lot.
  • Mickey Mousing: In the music video for "Antichrist Superstar" (which is just a video of a live performance), Manson manages to be a living being falling straight into the Uncanny Valley by moving like a badly controlled puppet, jerking harshly to the guitar.
  • Mighty Whitey: Chris Rock described Marilyn himself this way in his opening monologue at the 1997 MTV Video Music Awards:
    "And Marilyn Manson, worshipping the Devil, who thought that was a good idea? Whites always have to be the illest, blacks can't ever be the illest, whites always have to be the illest. A black guy will be like, 'I'm from Compton, I'm from Watts, I'm from the hood, you better recognize.' A white boy will be like, 'Yeah? Well, I'm from HELL!"
  • Mind Screw: For some people, Manson and Twiggy's appearance when crossdressing.
    • Also, the Born Villain trailer (which is actually set to "Overneath The Path of Misery"). If the random Macbeth quotes halting the song and the general insanity don't get you, the eyeball in the vagina will. Also, it was co-written and directed by Shia LaBeouf.
  • The Mistress: Evan Rachel-Wood was Manson's "friend" for a while while he was still married. Dita Von Teese, Manson's then wife, saw through it.
  • Mr. Fanservice: During the Spooky Kids days, this was the role of the bassist, Gidget Gein. Marilyn in his younger days was this for his skinny body, long hair, and habit of taking his clothes off on stage.
  • My Country Tis of Thee That I Sting: His entire career is built around criticizing the hypocrisy within American society, especially by organized religion, schools and the government. Take a song named We're from America (2009): We're from America, we're from America, where we eat our young.
  • Non-Appearing Title: Some songs.
  • N-Word Privileges: Averted in "Rock N Roll Nigger", a cover of Patti Smith, who is also white and therefore also averted the trope. Several other songs do the same. Manson's explained that he believes that words are just that, words, and that the intent is what matters, and the hatred behind using it with a racist intent is what makes it racist, and not using it like that isn't racist.
    • The word is also used in "Irresponsible Hate Anthem" in the line "Everybody's someone else's nigger".
  • Ode to Intoxication: "The Dope Show" is, in-universe, serious, and in real life, sarcastic (with a major Misaimed Fandom) and "I Don't Like The Drugs (But The Drugs Like Me)" is anti-drug and serious.
  • Older Than They Look: Until 2009ish, looking like this at his mid-30s. And then he managed to beat decades of anorexia and proceeded to gain an extra chin. Thankfully, he's starting to regress in age again, playing a teenager at the age of 43, and looking like he's in his mid-20s while doing so.
  • Ominous Music Box Tune: "Cryptorchid," "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)," "Breaking the Same Old Ground".
  • Passing the Torch: The height of Manson's infamy was probably around the time of the Columbine shootings, which many right-wing zealots were, let's say, very eager to pin on Marilyn Manson. Eminem, the other big shock artist of the time, couldn't help but intervene, with a line in his song "The Way I Am" dismissing the criticism (in true Eminem fashion), which lead to Manson himself appearing in the video and making cameos at Eminem's concerts. In hindsight, this was around the time that Eminem's trailer-park horror fantasies became the new target for protest and controversy, while Marilyn Manson maintained a level of notoriety but never had the same grip on mainstream consciousness in the 2000s.
  • Perishing Alt-Rock Voice: One of the many singing styles, on display in many songs, including "The Nobodies" and "Four Rusted Horses".
  • Protest Song
  • Pun-Based Title: "mOBSCENE" and "(s)AINT", both off of The Golden Age of Grotesque.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "King! Kill! Thirty-three!"
  • Ripped from the Headlines: "Get Your Gunn" was inspired by David Gunn, an OB/GYN murdered by a pro-life fundamentalist outside of his clinic. He noted that the murder being committed by a pro-life activist was the ultimate hypocrisy he'd witnessed as a young adult.
  • Recurring Riff: In Born Villain, the opening vocal growl from "No Reflection" is repeated in full in "The Gardener" and partially in "Disengaged".
  • Record Producer: Manson has had a co-producer credit on every album, but he's always gotten assistance from others — Trent Reznor (Portrait of an American Family, Antichrist Superstarnote ), Michael Beinhorn (Mechanical Animals), Dave Sardy (Holy Wood), Ben Grosse (The Golden Age of Grotesque, which was co-produced by bandmate Tim Skold), and others.
  • Religion Rant Song: "The Fight Song", "Cake and Sodomy" and "The Reflecting God", among many others.
  • Revolving Door Band: You did read that Long List of former members at the top, right?
  • Rock-Star Song: Mechanical Animals is a rockstar album.
  • Room Full of Crazy: Some part of the "Tourniquet" official video.
  • Satire: "This is the New Shit" may be this to...well, new music. It seems like just a mindless indulgance, but only on the surface. "Everything has been said before / Nothing left to say anymore..."
    Babble, babble, bitch, bitch
    Rebel, rebel, party, party
    Sex, sex, sex and don't forget the violence
    Blah, Blah, Blah, got your lovey-dovey, sad and lonely
    Stick your stupid slogan in, everybody sing along
  • Self-Backing Vocalist
  • Sequel Song: "Coma Black" to "Coma White", although it's actually "Coma White" to "Coma Black".
  • Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll: The band single-handedly kept America's cocaine industry going through The '90s. Well, sort of. Brad Stewart probably also kept more than a few heroin dealers afloat until it cost him his life.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: The Golden Age of Grosteque and The Pale Emperor era have the band in gothed up, vintage-style 30s suits.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The "Inauguration of the Worm" and "Disintegrator Rising" cycles from Antichrist Superstar are references to Kenneth Anger's films Inauguration of the Pleasuredome and Lucifer Rising.
    • The line "We're from America/where we eat our young" sounds like a reference to Funkadelic's album America Eats Its Young.
    • Rather Hate Dumb-ishly, the chorus of "mOBSCENE" was accused of being too imitative of the chorus of Faith No More's "Be Aggressive" note , "The Fight Song" was accused of being a Suspiciously Similar Song to "Song 2" and "Astonishing Panorama of the Endtimes" is occasionally charged with ripping off Ministry's "Burning Inside". invoked
    • "Heart Shaped Glasses" references the iconic glasses Dolores wore on the poster for Stanley Kubrick's Lolita, and the song itself talks about attraction to a much younger girl (this is also a reference to Warner's then girlfriend Evan Rachel Wood, who is 19 years younger than him and likes heart shaped glasses).
    • The fandom is still trying to figure out the number of shout outs. There's a lot. The "Born Villain" trailer mentioned under Mind Screw for example, opens with a reference to The Holy Mountain, whose director is a good friend of his and officiated his wedding to Dita von Teese.
  • Singing Voice Dissonance: Manson is quite the US American talker. Listen to the live version of "I Don't Like The Drugs (But The Drugs Like Me)" from The Last Tour On Earth. US American Manson talking, Canadian Manson singing.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: His songs fall at the far cynical end of the scale.
  • The Social Darwinist: According to this 1996 interview, Manson follows this philosophy.
    I don't think it is the strong people's responsibility to constantly be cleaning up after weak people. It's always weak people that come up with statements like "everybody's created equal". I've worked for what I have so why can't you? It's not my responsibility to wipe someone's ass. There's too many people in America. In the world. I think it's nature's way of striking back with all the new horrible diseases that are fucking everyone up. It's nature's way of saying "use some discretion".
    • It should be noted, though, that Manson himself denies being Social Darwinist, with him even contributing to many charity events, including the Manke-A-Wish foundation. At the end of the day, he comes off much more as a Anti-Nihilist. (With above interview being probably one of the many examples of him being a Troll)
  • The Something Song: "The Love Song" on Holy Wood, followed immediately by "The Fight Song" and later on, "The Death Song".
  • Southern Gothic: In a departure from the band's primary genre of Industrial/Glam rock, The Pale Emperor has a strong influence from the musical genre of southern gothic rock.
  • Songs of Solace: Mr. Manson has acknowledged their music's usage in this form.
  • Spelling Song:
    • "Burning Flag"
      We've got our A-B-Cs and our F-U-C-K
    • "(s)AIN'T"
      I've got an 'F', and a 'C', and I got a 'K' too
      And the only thing that's missing is a bitch like 'U'
  • Spiritual Successor:
  • Spoken Word in Music: "Para-noir".
  • Subliminal Seduction: "Tourniquet" begins with a repeated, back-masked phrase: "This is the lowest point of my vulnerability."
  • Surreal Music Video: Most of them, but "Sweet Dreams" is an egregious example.
  • Take That!: Usually aimed towards religion, mainstream media, mob mentality, etc. The first actual song on Portrait of an American Family, "Cake and Sodomy" was aimed towards the former two, inspired by Manson watching public access TV and seeing Pat Robertson preach about the evils of society before asking for the viewer's credit card number, followed by a man masturbating on the adjacent channel and asking for the same thing.
    • Unusually, there was one aimed at a section of the band's own fans. The song "This Is the New Shit" was written about fans who didn't even try to understand the point behind the band's music, preferring to just cheer everything indiscriminately.
  • Theme Naming: The original band members' pseudonyms are formed by taking the first name of a female sex symbol, and the surname of a serial killer (i. e. Marilyn Monroe and Charles Manson). This practice stopped with Zim Zum in the Antichrist Superstar era.
  • A Threesome is Manly: Rare all-male example in the "(s)AINT" video, with Marilyn Manson engaging in a threeway with former bassist Gidget Gein and CSI's Eric Szmanda.
  • Title Track: Antichrist Superstar, Mechanical Animals, Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death) (the title of the song is just "In the Shadow of the Valley of Death," however), The Golden Age of Grotesque, Eat Me, Drink Me, Born Villain.
    • Smells Like Children had a title track that wasn't included on the EP; it was performed live several times in the ensuing tour before being rearranged and slowed down to create the lumbering "Kinderfeld," which would then appear on Antichrist Superstar.
    • "The High End of Low" almost had one, but it was renamed "I Have To Look Up Just To See Hell". The phrase is still there.
    • Born Villain was originally to be called Co-Morbid, which would have meant no title track, but Manson felt it sounded too death metal.
    • The Pale Emperor is never said in the album. The album was called Deep Six originally.
  • Too Spicy for Yog-Sothoth: Wanna freak Marilyn Manson out? Here's a how-to guide. Teena Bird is another infamous nutty fangirl.
  • Trauma Conga Line: 2017 is one for Manson himself:
    • In July his father died.
    • In September he nearly got flattened by a stage prop, and got off relatively lucky with only a broken tibia.
    • In October, Jessicka Addamsnote  alleged that Twiggy had raped her during their relationship in the 90s, and Manson was forced to fire one of his oldest friends.
    • Probably brought on by this, Manson showed up to a show in early 2018 so drunk or high that he babbled nonsense through 4 songs before being booed off stage.
  • Troll: Manson himself is the biggest troll both to mainstream media and his own fans. "This Is The New Shit" is an attack on his fans, and The Nachtkabarett could be used for a good argument that he never sleeps, because of the hundreds of essays that are needed to decode all the imagery, symbolism, obscure references and other stuff in his music, clothing, pictures, videos, words and more.
  • Übermensch: Manson (the person) use to see himself as one of these and plays this role in Antichrist Superstar.
  • Unholy Matrimony: Twiggy and Laney, the male Kinderwhore and the adorable make-up and special effects artist. Formerly, Manson and Dita. If they ever move past engaged, Manson and Lindsay.
  • Unplugged Version: Many, oftentimes of more emotional songs like "The Man That You Fear" and "Coma White".
  • Villains Act, Heroes React: This trope inspired Born Villain, with Manson bringing it up in interviews quite often. That's why he chooses to be the villain, because the villain is the one that fights for their beliefs, right or wrong, and tries to make a change.
  • Villainous Friendship: Manson and Johnny Depp have been friends since the 1980s, and told tales of their antics, which is the only fitting word. They have matching tattoos, Manson is "Uncle Manson" to Depp's daughter, and smoke weed in public. Manson and Twiggy were another long-lasting one, with a few year break at the start of the millennium until Manson was forced to fire Twiggy in 2017 after his ex Jessicka Addams made allegations of previous abuse and rape against him. Back when they were friends, Manson and Daisy took the villainous part way further, almost torching the entire apartment complex Manson's female stalker lived in, but they were scared away by a hobo. Manson and Rammstein as well, especially him and Richard Kruspe. Manson and Till have even been arrested for the same thing: fake penis use on stage.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Manson was close friends with Trent Reznor, who got his band on his Nothing Records label, produced their first two albums and generally helped promote them. Then, at some point they had a pretty drastic falling out, and despite a short reconciliation around 1999-2000 (enough for Manson to make a cameo in the "Starfuckers, Inc." video and play a concert together), they pretty quickly went back to not being on such good terms anymore. Trent took a potshot or two at Manson, mocking his "Personal Jesus" cover when responding to a fan's question, and Manson's still angry because the Nothing people lost the master tracks for his first three albumsnote . The whole feud's died down somewhat since, even if they're not gonna start being friendly again anytime soon.
    Reddit user: Are you and Trent Reznor cool?
    Manson: I mean, I don't have a problem with him. I have a problem with some of the things he's done to me in my career. But at the same time, I have to give him credit where credit is due, as being inspiration when I was starting out and giving me my break. But we're not at odds with each other. I just don't have interest in being friends anymore.
    • Manson's respective friendships with Daisy Berkowitz and Madonna Wayne Gacy also seem to have gone down in flames quite spectacularly. Then again, lawsuits will do that (though relations with the latter had gone very far south before he even left, let alone took Manson to court).
    • After Manson had to fire Twiggy in 2017 after his ex-girlfriend (also one of Manson's friends) made allegations of abuse against him, this can be put here too.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: The protagonists of Antichrist Superstar and Holy Wood.
  • Word Salad Lyrics: Manson makes extensive use of contrasting imagery, such as religious idols, political icons, and childhood figures, with grotesque sexuality and gun violence.
  • Wrench Whack: The song "Snake Eyes and Sissies" is about a psychotic guy and mentions using a wrench as a weapon in its beginning.
  • Yandere: Pops up in many of the songs about Manson's romantic life, because Manson is one.

When all of your wishes are granted, many of your dreams will be destroyed.


Video Example(s):


Marilyn Manson

Brian Hugh Warner (born January 5, 1969), known professionally as Marilyn Manson, is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, actor, visual artist, music video director, and former music journalist. He is known for his controversial stage personality and image as the lead singer of the band of the same name, which he co-founded with guitarist Daisy Berkowitz in 1989 and of which he remains the only constant member. Like the other founding members of the band, his stage name was formed by combining and juxtaposing the names of two opposing American cultural icons: actress Marilyn Monroe and criminal Charles Manson.<br><br>Manson is best known for music released in the 1990s, most notably the albums Antichrist Superstar and Mechanical Animals, which earned him a reputation in mainstream media as a controversial figure and negative influence on young people when combined with his public image. In the U.S. alone, three of the band's albums have been awarded platinum status and three more went gold, and the band has had eight releases debut in the top 10, including two No. 1 albums. Manson has been ranked at No. 44 on the list of the "Top 100 Heavy Metal Vocalists" by Hit Parader and, along with his band, has been nominated for four Grammy Awards.

The song example if "The Beautiful People".

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Main / IndustrialMetal

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