MARILYN MANSON: A HISTORY

ORIGINS AND "THE SPOOKY KIDS"

Brian Hugh Warner came into the world as the only son of Hugh and Barbara Warner (née Wyer) in Canton, Ohio, on January 5, 1969.   Ironically, his birth place is just about an hour’s drive from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, where many hope that he will be enshrined one day.  He was raised in a middle class home, and was  actually schooled in a Christian environment, raised as an Episcopalian, and attending Bible classes at  Heritage Christian School.  Strict Christian dogma and rigid conservatism incited the rebel streak in Warner, and colored his music and writing.  His first meeting with a major television evangelist, Ernest Angley, left Warner unimpressed, viewing Angley as a manicured impostor reeking of artificiality; which is  his general view of most public evangelical figures.   Warner himself says that he resented everything about Christian schooling and began to doubt the dogma that was being taught.  Warner maintains that he wanted to be a world class roller skater as a young boy, acknowledging that it was the only thing he was good at.  But he began to have more profound interests.

 

Warner had been listening to rock and roll, growing up, and was a card-carrying member of the Kiss Army.  While his Christian teachers railed against the evil of  rock music, especially heavy metal, he became an ardent listener, and fan of, groups like Queen, Judas Priest, the Led Zeppelin, Iron Maiden, A/C, D/C, Black Sabbath, Mötley Crüe, Rush and of course, Kiss.  After getting caught stealing, and then selling, records and tapes of vilified heavy metal music in his Christian school, the Christian establishment had run its course with him.  He walked away from his school in the tenth grade.  His course had been set.

 

His family moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida when he was in the middle of high school, and went to public school for the first time in his life.  His high school experience exposed him to everything Christian schooling warned him against: Sex, drugs, and rock and roll.   To this mix was added, Satanism and devil worship, and by the time he graduated high school, his youth’s education had come full circle, very little of it happening in the classroom.

While he was being drawn into the world of heavy metal and punk rock.  Warner’s first calling was journalism.  In fact, his first professional exposure to music came about when he started writing about it.

 

Warner branched out into poetry and convinced the owner of Squeeze, a small grunge/Goth club in a South Beach, Miami mall, to allow him to read his poems on open-mike night Fridays.  While he didn’t have literary agents falling over each other to sign him up for a book deal, he got immersed in the Southbeach industrial and punk rock culture, attending concerts of unknown bands and picking up friendships along the way.

 

He hung out at a place called Kitchen Club with a theater class buddy, Brian Tutunick.  The club was smack in the middle of South Beach Miami’s flourishing underground industrial music scene, and became a regular haunt for Warner and Tutunick.  They bumped into Stephen Gregory Bier, and they became a tight group, attending rock concerts together, and going wherever Warner had his poetry readings.    They also ran into Jeoride White, a store clerk at Mission U.K., where they browsed and bought tapes.

 

Going to the concerts together, Warner and Tutunick thought of putting together a band, figuring they could perform better than some the dreadful bands that they were listening to in South Beach.

 

At a drunken house party, Warner ran into  Scott Putesky, who among all his friends and contacts, turned out to be the “first real musician”, who had a lot of technical music knowledge and, important at the time, a 4 –track cassette recorder.   Warner’s first love, while he was gravitating to music, was still journalism, and he planned to write about his own music.   Realizing the writer Brian Warner couldn’t write about the musician, Brian Warner, he thought up the name, Marilyn Manson, which Warner thought to be an appropriate  representation of modern-day America.  He thought of all the hypocritical and contradictory life lessons that were foisted on him in Christian school, but helped him realize that everyone had a dark side and a light side.  Thus, Marilyn, for Marilyn Monroe, would represent the “light” side, and Manson, from serial killer Charles Manson, would be the “dark” side. Brian Hugh Warner had become Marilyn Manson.

 

They decided that their first songs would be music that would be converted from Brian Warner’s poems.  Before their first gig, they all decided that to disguise themselves in South Beach, they would put on makeup that would make them unrecognizable.

The makeup would also help Manson, who was in reality, an extremely shy person.  The first show of Manson’s band was in Churchill’s hideaway in Miami, in front of 20 people.  In addition to Manson, the other band members were Putesky,  a.k.a Daisy Berkowitz, as their lead guitarist; Tutunick, a.k.a. Olivia Newton Bundy; Bier, Jr. a.k.a. Madonna Wayne Gacy on the keyboard; Bradley Mark “Brad” Stewart, a.k.a. Gidget Gein was the bass guitarist; and Frederick Streithorst, a.k.a. Sara Lee Lucas, the band’s first drummer.

 

Their first set of songs where actually Manson’s poems, which were delivered as industrial rock pieces.  They proceeded to appear in other gigs, with varying degrees of costumes, make-up, and props; including a donkey’s innards raining down on the audience from a piñata.    Manson wrote additional songs for the band, and despite Manson’s seeming descent into drugs and dysfunctional relationships, the Spooky Kids managed to secure gigs all over South Florida.

TOUR WITH "NINE INCH NAILS" AND RECORD DEAL

The band continued to perform in South Florida, and were marketing their own cassette tapes.  They dropped Spooky Kids and simply became Marilyn Manson, before getting the attention of Trent Reznor, a record producer who was also  founding member of the Nine Inch Nails.     Marilyn Manson began their work under Reznor, with record producer Roli Mosimann at the Criteria Studios in Miami, Florida.   Working mostly with the songs that the band, as Spooky Kids,  performed in South Florida,  they added some new material and in the fall of 1993,  released the  initial version of their debut album, titled, The Manson Family Album.  Manson was not happy with the final product, and Reznor agreed after Manson played it for him playing it for him.  Manson had envisioned that Mosimann would help him create a darker tone for the album, but Manson thought that the opposite was done.  Manson instead thought that Mosimann was taking the edge of the music, and converting the album into a standard rock production.  In a later interview, Manson thought that the Mossiman version was “bland and lifeless.”

 

At this time, their bass guitarist, Gidget Gein (Brad” Stewart), was losing his battle with heroin addiction,  and they agreed that they would rework the album with Reznor without Gein.  The band performed two shows in Miami while they planned on reworking their record, playing as Mrs. Scabtree, instead of Marilyn Manson or even as Spooky Kids.  During these performances, Manson played drums, Berkowitz played the guitar, and Gacy was on the keyboard, together with some musicians that were not part of the original band.

 

Reznor finally agreed, in October 1993, to help Manson rework their debut album, but they moved to California to do the work. They packed up and headed to the Robert Plant recording  studios, where the Bee Gees had recorded much of their early work.  They finally excluded Gein from the reworking, after he overdosed on heroin and was hospitalized.   They took almost two months to re-do the album; reworking, remixing, and finally, re-recording it under the new title, Portrait of an American Family.  The reworked album was presented to Interscope Records in early 1994, who agreed to give them a contract, while the final kinks in the album were being worked out.  Even before the album was released, the first single from the album, “Get Your Gunn” began to receive radio airplay, and the reception, while not overwhelming, was generally positive.

 

To hype up the official release of the album, Reznor arranged for Marilyn Manson to open for the Nine Inch Nails on their Self Destruct Tour, which began in the Spring of 1994.    They would perform the songs on their upcoming album, and had their first show opening for Reznor’s band in Dallas Texas, on May 3, 1994.  They performed on most of the U.S.-based tour dates, but didn’t accompany Nine Inch Nails on their European tour from late May to June.  Just before Nine Inch Nails came back stateside, Marilyn Manson released Portrait of an American Family on July 19, 1994.  The album consisted of 13 songs, which were all composed by either Manson or the other members of the band. Manson rejoined  Nine Inch Nails on their tour 10 days later, and performed on all the tour dates in 1994.   The tour gave Manson’s band a perfect platform to give exposure to their new album.

 

Portrait of an American Family opened to mixed reviews, including a scathing review in Rolling Stone magazine, who gave it a rating of 2 out of 5 stars.  The magazine said that the album’s apparent objective of rendering a critique of America’s culture fell short.   The album peaked at number 35 on the Billboard charts,  a creditable showing The album was certified gold in the United States, and silver in the U.K.  It would be the first of 7 albums they would record for Interscope.

"ANTICHRIST SUPERSTAR" ALBUM AND PUBLIC OUTRAGE

The relative success of Portrait of an American Family meant that Marilyn Manson would merit more than a headline act.  They began their first main headline tour in March, 1995, with Monster Voodoo Machine as their opening act.   Success and fame also meant more exposure and notoriety.  Manson’s increasing visibility on the tour scene began to reopen wounds caused by Manson’s counterculture image.    Among those who targeted Manson were former associates.

 

Before the release of Manson’s second album, former bassist Brad” Stewart, a.k.a. Gidget Gein file a lawsuit against Manson, alleging that he didn’t receive adequate recognition and compensation for his work with the band.  In September 1996,  Manson negotiated a settlement with Stewart where Stewart would receive $17,500 in cash plus 20 percent of royalties from songs, and their recordings that Stewart had a hand in composing.

 

Manson’s concerts also had a feel of “performance art”, where the music, sometimes seemed to take a back seat to the bandmembers’ antics on stage, combined with garish sets.  Simulated death, sex, and violence would often be part of performance repertoire, which made many uncomfortable, especially the parents of youngsters who attended Manson’s concerts and bought their records.  The Christian Coalition, among others, had been targeting Manson’s performances and concerts for cancellation or postponement ever since their gigs in South Florida.  It didn’t help matters at all when Manson agreed to a meeting with  Church of Satan founder Dr. Anton LaVey, while he was touring with Nine Inch Nails in San Francisco. LaVey eventually conferred Manson the title of  “Reverend”.   Many thought this to equate this title with a Christian pastor, who dedicates his life to preaching religion to followers. In the Church of Satan, however, “Reverend” referred to an individual who is  esteemed by the church. Manson, however, fanned the flames of this honorary conferment when he used  in album liner notes, referring to himself as,  “Reverend Marilyn Manson.”

 

To many, even today, Manson is a black arts devotee.  Manson, in fact, insists that he doesn’t believe that a Satan actually exists, and that there is a “Satan” in every person, who thinks and acts good and evil.   No matter, the title of his next album seemed to certify his Satanist credentials.

 

Relative success propelled Manson into a dizzying world of sex and drugs.  It was as if he was fleshing out the chaos in his performances.  After basically leaving Portrait of an American Family in his rear-view mirror, Manson says that he started having vivid dreams about being the only survivor in a world totally destroyed.  He felt that it was the final payment for all that had transpired in his youth, from the contradictions  and hypocrisy of his childhood Christian education, to his self-discovery tour in South Florida.  Manson described a futuristic  Sodom and Gomorrah  with grisly scenes of people turning into zombies because of their entertainment, and women in cages surrounded by masturbating men.  The destruction of the world was complete, and he perceived himself as the conductor of the unfolding chaos, and totally convinced that he was the personification of the Antichrist.

 

Manson ran with the Antichrist theme when he started to conceptualize the band’s follow-up album. He took the name of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Broadway musical hit, Jesus Christ Superstar, and named the album Antichrist Superstar, playing on the words of the Webber play.

 

The album was executive produced by Reznor, and recorded at Nothing Studios in New Orleans.  The many accounts of the recording process suggest a difficult, and even controversial expedition, including illegal drug use and sleep deprivation experiments to help simulate the album’s quasi-violent, moody, and existentialist content.  The quarrelling between the performers led to Scott Putesky, a.k.a. Daisy Berkowitz leaving the band.  In addition, he also negotiated for a share of  other royalties that the band earned while he was a member.  He settled out of court after filing a $15 million lawsuit.  With Berkowitz’s departure, Jeordie White, a.k.a.,  Twiggy Ramirez, took over guitarist duties for the new album.

 

Finally, Antichrist Superstar  was released by Interscope Records on October 8, 1996.  The album was an instant hit, debuting Number 3 on the album charts.  Aside from being a critical success, it would eventually sell 7 million copies, making it Marilyn Manson’s most successful album.  Manson’s made up mug was featured on the cover of the January 23rd, 1997 edition of Rolling Stone Magazine, naming the band 1996’s Best New Artist.  In the issue’s interview, Manson admitted that he never  doubted the band’s success, saying that he deserved to be discussed on the same level as Michael Jackson and the Spice Girls.    Marilyn Manson and his band had achieved superstar status.

COLUMBINE SHOOTINGS AND HOW IT AFFECTED MARILYN

April 20, 1999 was just one of the those pleasant, cool spring days, and Rachel Scott thought that it was a pretty nice day to have lunch on the school lawn. The pretty brunette sat down to have lunch with her friend,  Richard Castaldo, by the West Entrance of Columbine High School, less than 15 miles from Denver, Colorado.    Seventeen year old Rachel, an aspiring journalist and actress, was planning a trip to Botswana, in Africa, the coming summer, to help build homes, and provide interesting material for an article she would write about it.  She was a devout Christian who most people would later say, had a warm and caring heart.  To Rachel, kindness and compassion were the best ways to “reach the unreached.”

 

Eric David Harris, a fellow student at the school, ended it all for Rachel that day, pumping four bullets into her head, leg, and torso, killing her instantly.  She would be the first of 12 students and a teacher that would be killed in the deadliest high school shooting  in history, one that would inflame passions and raise questions about what could have caused the death of so many innocent lives.   The biggest arguments, of course, were about gun control, and how two high school students could have gotten access to the firepower that led to the massacre.

 

But a growing number of observers and pundits were attributing the massacre on alleged inflammatory lyrics contained in the music of heavy metal, shock rock, and industrial rock genres.  The blame began to focus on Marilyn Manson, who many had falsely claimed, counted killers Harris and Dylan Klebold among his devotees.  The outcry against Mason seemed to come from all political corners.  Conservative author and commentator, and Republican, William Bennett, author of the The Book of Virtues: A Treasury of Great Moral Stories, and a longtime Manson critic, appeared on Meet the Press a few days after the massacre to specifically name Manson as a culpable culprit in the tragedy.  He was joined by U.S. Democratic Senator from Connecticut, Joseph Lieberman, who would be running for vice-president with Al Gore, Jr., in 2000, in condemning Manson.

 

The city of Fresno, California, immediately followed suit a few days later, when its city council passed a unanimous resolution that specifically named Marilyn Manson, and similar music groups as promoting music that, “encourages anger and hate upon the community.”  In their statement condemning Manson, they maintained that musicians like Manson were an, ”offensive threat to the children of this community.”

 

Manson released a statement as the public sentiment continued to build against him and his band.   He steadfastly refused to accept any culpability for the massacre, stating that the massacre was, “a product of ignorance, hatred and an access to guns.”

 

Ironically, Manson always had an aversion to guns and violence, and was vehemently anti-war.  From infancy to his early teen years, Manson and his father were brought annually to a research facility to study any physical or psychological effects of Agent Orange, the chemical weapon that the United States developed for the war in Vietnam.  His father, Hugh Warner, it turns out, was a helicopter technician for the covert combat assault group, Ranch Hands, which dumped the lethal herbicide over Vietnam during the war.  Because he went public with the secret Agent Operation, the U.S. government stopped playing nice and the I.R.S. conducted detailed audits of Hugh Warner’s tax returns for four years after his revelation.  The young Brian Hugh Warner had become disillusioned of the armed forces establishment after that.   Unlike much of the rap music that was gaining popularity as Manson’s music career was flourishing, Manson did not advocate the use of guns or violence in society..

 

The massacre and the media aftermath caused Manson to cancel tour dates and concerts in 1999, as he spent some time deflecting blame for the Columbine incident. He defended himself by making the rounds of radio and television networks, including an appearance with Bill O’Reilly on Fox News, where he asserted that his songs are about self-expression, and regretted the fact that people sometimes misconstrue his music and his actions onstage.

 

In a 1,500 – word article in Rolling Stone magazine in June, 1999, Manson repeated the themes that he had mentioned during  his “non-apology” tour right after the Columbine incident.  He decried the fact that people rushed to judgement after the incident, fanning the flames of innuendo and erroneous allegations.  He did his own judging in the piece, pointing out that the media turns criminals into celebrities, and that pro-life activists go out and murder abortion doctors.  He also wondered why violence is a big issue in a country that supports the fighting of wars, and the development and use of nuclear weapons.   The Columbine incident probably had a breakeven effect on his finances, but inadvertently gave him more exposure and notoriety..

MARRIAGE TO DITA VON TEESE

Cooler heads finally intervened, and the Manson involvement with the Columbine event eventually died down.  He continued his Mechanical Albums tour in 1999 after a brief tussle with Michigan authorities who arrested him during a tour stop.    The tour, at the time, was promoting the album, which was released on September 15, 1998.  They recorded the tour and released it as God Is in the TV, in November, 1999.   The successful tour eventually ended up with almost 50 shows, despite the Columbine tragedy.

 

The following year, Manson embarked on his Guns, God and Government tour which was promoting his band’s Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death) album which was released in November of 2000.  The tour eventually had 107 shows, and Columbine was a distant and faded memory.

 

Heather Renée Sweet was a classically-trained ballerina, who had an unusual affectation for lingerie such as basques and corsets, and Golden-era films and actresses, especially Betty Grable.  At 15, she somehow found work as a lingerie store salesgirl when she was 15, and eventually became a buyer for lingerie.

 

It helped her interests when her family moved from Michigan to Orange County, California, a short drive from Los Angeles.  The more permissive atmosphere in her new environment allowed her to pursue her unusual pursuits.  In college, Sweet was actually a student of historic costumes, initially aspiring to work as a costume designer and stylist for movie productions. She became a professional costume designer, and created  photo shoots featuring herself.

 

She eventually changed her name to Dita Von Teese, and segued from modelling lingerie to performance burlesque, an artistic dance form that is highlighted by elaborate costumes, quasi-nudity, and provocative, if not erotic, dance  routines. Barely out of her teens, she was becoming an in-demand burlesque performer.    She put up a dazzling, if elegant, website that advertised her imagery. One of the website members turned out to be Marilyn Manson, who finally met her in a vintage clothing show in 2000.

 

In 2001, Manson invited her to one of his Guns, God and Government concerts, and after the concert, Von Teese brought a birthday bottle of absinthe backstage, where they drank it together.  She joined Manson on the tour bus  the next five days and officially became a couple.  For many it was unlikely pairing between the often unkempt Manson and the always perfectly coiffed, and sculpted, Von Teese.  While they both had extremely busy schedules, they dated each other exclusively before getting married in November, 2005, confident that such a long “courtship” presaged a lasting marriage.

 

When people say “marriage changes everything”,  it certainly applied to the Manson-Von Teese union.  If the personality clashes didn’t doom them, their disparate lifestyles probably did.   All these, and other factors caused things to go south in a hurry.

 

In interviews, Von Teese, despite knowing of Manson’s hard-driving, and hard-partying lifestyle, maintains that she ended up not being able to deal with the situation.  She knew about Manson’s drug use and says that she offered to try and help him deal with it but he refused the offer of assistance.

 

Manson’s version of the marital problems, is understandably different.  According to Manson, Von Teese told him that she was tolerating the rock star lifestyle because Von Teese was hopeful that he would  change.  Manson maintains that she often threatened to leave him if he didn’t change, but  ended up effectively sleeping on the couch in his own house.   Manson maintains that she made it clear that she no longer allowed Manson to be a “rock star.”

 

Among other things, Manson also claims that Von Teese demanded that he change his sleeping hours, an untenable request because, according to Manson, he is at his creative peak between 3:00 and 5:00 in the morning, and that he had always been that way.   To hear Manson say it, it felt as if he was being choked, and felt like a “featherless bird.”  He says that the marriage with Von Teese was snuffing out the artist and the person that he was.   Besides, Manson insists that Von Teese’s increasingly busy schedule kept them apart even more, a situation that made him angry.

 

But aside from the drugs, late nights, and parties, what seemed to gall Von Teese most, was his continued involvement with other women.  As if it wasn’t hard enough to deal with her husband’s erratic behavior, Von Teese couldn’t come to ignore Manson’s often public liasons with alleged mistresses.  During their marriage, the name that stood out was Evan Rachel Wood, the precocious star of the highly acclaimed film,  Thirteen, who was a teenager when she allegedly began dating Manson, who was at the time, literally twice her age.  While Von Teese never officially acknowledged her role in their marital troubles, many believe that  Wood was a big factor behind the chill between mamr  and Von Teese.  Through it all, Manson insisted that her marriage to Von Teese was a monogamous one, despite what other people thought.

 

At any rate, Manson felt that the marriage was totally sucking the life out of him,  In an interview he had for Spin magazine, he said that he was being left completely destroyed by the marriage and that it had sucked his soul out of him.

DIVORCING DITA AND THE "EAT ME DRINK ME" ALBUM

Von Teese says that eventually, she issued an ultimatum for Manson to change his ways.  However, she says, Manson refused, and even made her out to be the enemy.  Adding to the tension was the amount of time that Manson was spending in the studio while the band was recording their sixth album for Interscope.

 

She eventually gave up and moved out of Manson’s house on December 24, 2006, with practically just the clothes on her back.   She said that she left us much as she could in the house because she didn’t want anything to remind her of what turned out to be “an inappropriate relationship”.   She said she didn’t want any part of the house; the marital bed, the sofa, everything.  Even as Manson insisted that he was sleeping on the couch, and appeared to have the run of his house, when Von Teese left, she says she didn’t bother changing the locks on Manson’s house, she simply left it.

 

 

She had the divorce papers served to Manson on his birthday on January 5, 2007.  Despite Manson’s considerable wealth, Von Teese proved that her marriage with Manson was not about money: She didn’t seek alimony, spousal support and showed no interest whatsoever in his assets.  Just over a year after their marriage, it was all over.

 

In the same month that the divorce papers were served, Manson’s relationship with Evan Rachel Wood became public.  Manson met Wood at a party at the Chateau Mansonont Hotel in Los Angeles. Wood said that Manson’s regular use of  black eyeliner attracted her to the much older Manson, and described their relationship as one that was, “healthy and loving.”

 

The divorce gave Manson more time and space to finish the Eat Me, Drink Me album, which was scheduled for release on June 5, 2007.   He said that he needed to gain back the momentum he needed to finish recording the album, suggesting that the divorce would help him do just that.

 

Manson has maintained that he recorded most of Eat Me, Drink Me while singing lying down on the recording  studio floor as he cupped the studio microphone with his hands.  He said that this technique resulted in a unique vocal sound that wasn’t heard on any of his previous albums.

 

Eat Me, Drink Me was met generally positive reviews after its release. Metacritic, which monitors reviews from mainstream critics, gave the album a 63 out of 100 score, indicating favorable critical response.  The album debuted at No. 8 in the U.S., selling more  than 80,000 copies in its first week, after it was made available for downloading on Marilyn Manson’s MySpace page.

 

To promote the album, Marilyn Manson embarked on its Rape of the World tour, their tenth, ten days before Eat Me, Drink Me was released. But despite the tour, the Von Teese/Wood controversy, and the supposedly “new” sound that the album evoked, it was Marilyn Manson’s worst album from a sales perspective,  selling just below 280,000 copies.

HIS RECENT ACTING ROLES AND "THE PALE EMPEROR" ALBUM

The disappointing sales of Eat Me, Drink Me was not an aberration.  Subsequent albums, The High End of Low, released in May 26, 2009, and Born Villain, released on May 1, 2012, fared even worse, with both albums combining to sell even less than Eat Me, Drink MeThe High End of Low would be their last album with Interscope, ending a fifteen-year collaboration, while Born Villain would be the first album produced under Manson’s own label.

 

Despite the low sales, the concert tours that coincided with promoting both albums were relative successes, the band combining to perform in almost 250 shows altogether, about half of them outside the United States, showcasing the band’s international appeal.  Financial success was a given, but Manson wanted more aside from money.

 

Marilyn Manson’s original childhood dream was to be a roller skater, then became a businessman in junior high selling stolen tapes of forbidden heavy metal music to his Christian school classmates.  In Florida, he found his calling to be a journalist, and found his mark as a genre–bending performance artist/musician.

 

But many would hesitate to call him Manson, the actor, suspecting that his acting roles, like his concert tours, are simply advertising spots for his music interests.   Apart from roles in shorts and music videos, Manson has been credited with acting roles in over a dozen full length movies and television episodes.  In these roles, Manson is unrecognizable minus the trademark make-up and iconic eye configurations, and especially in his latest roles, has had to perform in serious dramatic roles without pyrotechnics or outrageousness that mark his concert performances.  He has appeared as himself in the Showtime hit, Californication, in 2013, he has had varied, mostly minor, roles in others.

 

His most “serious” role was when he played Ron Tully in six episodes of Sons of Anarchy, and F/X, a crime drama series about an outlaw motorcycle club operating in  a small fictional city in central California.  In Sons of Anarchy, Manson as Tully, is an Aryan Brotherhood prison leader, who has the run of the racist white population in prison, culminating in his murder of one of the most important characters of the show, Juice, played by Theo Rossi. Katy Segal, the wife of the show’s creator asked him personally to take the role, one that garnered him critical appeal, and showed his emotional range and potential as an actor.

 

On Californication, Manson met Tyler Bates, the show’s score composer, who suggested that they collaborate on some music together.  Manson and Bates eventually penned many of the songs of the new album that would become Pale Emperor¸ Marilyn Manson’s ninth studio album, and the second from Manson’s label.  Pale Emperor, with Bates as co-producer, was a departure from Marilyn Manson’s usual industrial rock/heavy metal style, sounding instead like some sort of alternative country/blues genre, and influenced by hard rock. Manson said that the album was a true collaborative, if pleasant project between himself and Bates, stopping when they’d find something wrong, then starting from the beginning, and making things right.   Pale Emperor  was recorded between May 2013 and September 2014, while Manson was recording his television episodes, and released the album on January 15, 2015,  just days after Manson’s 46th birthday.  Metacritic  gave the album a 71 out of 100 score, indicating generally positive reviews.  To date, it has sold over 125,000 copies, already exceeding the sales of Manson’s own studio’s first album.

 

THE FUTURE FOR MARILYN MANSON AND HIS BAND

Many observers are already counting the days to Marilyn Manson’s eventual demise.  Many wonder if the outrageousness of the band’s shtick may have already worn out its welcome after twenty-odd years in the business.   The band mostly does not play in football size arenas anymore, but performs, instead in “cozier”, 3,000 – 6,000 auditoriums.  The makeup and showpieces reportedly aren’t that outlandish and novel anymore, but almost seem like an afterthought to remind audiences that the accoutrements are just pasted on as a reminder of the product that they once were.

 

However, despite the approach of middle age for Marilyn Manson, there doesn’t seem to be any significant slowing down for him and his band.  Manson, together with Jordie White (Twiggy), and his band are currently on their worldwide The Hell Not Hallelujah tour, which runs through to the end of 2015.  They have just finished their 2015 End of Times Tour opposite The Smashing Pumpkins, while they continued to record music videos for songs from Pale Emperor.

 

Future albums are definitely on at least the planning stages for Manson.  He talks of recording an acoustic album, a 20th anniversary edition of their most successful album, Antichrist Superstar,  and a collaboration with Korn‘s Jonathan Davis on music that will once again probably be a departure from the band’s industrial rock genre.

 

His participation in movies and acting, while not set in stone, has been suggested as a real possibility. Despite his frustrations on his inability to get his fantasy-horror film, Phantasmagoria: The Visions of Lewis Carroll, off the ground, he has hinted that has, “decided to work on other movie projects,” without indicating what those projects would be.   Favorable response on his Tully role in Sons of Anarchy has also prepared the way for future acting gigs.

 

While he will not be a Mick Jagger, who still sells out stadiums at seventy years old, Manson will continue to be a significant, if not vivid, part of the American cultural landscape, for many years to come.

 

 

 

THIS WAS A GUEST WRITTEN POST FOR CORPORATECHRIST.CO.UK