Marilyn Manson is a shock rock and industrial rock band known for their gothic stage shows and controversial music during the 1990s and the 2000s. Discovered by Nine Inch Nails producer Trent Reznor, Marilyn Manson produced extremely gothic industrial metal albums aimed towards young people who enjoyed trash metal, death metal, industrial rock, and grunge. This enabled the band to gain a cult following that eventually broke into the mainstream, getting major hits and Grammy nominations.
Marilyn Manson is an act influenced mainly by shock rock artists, industrial rock artists, and experimental glam rock artist David Bowie. Manson himself credits “Bowie with changing his life forever” through his music videos, theatrical performances, and alter ego Ziggy Stardust (Saul). David Bowie acted as a powerful inspiration for Manson to commit to making his music and performing it in a way that was truly new and entertaining. In the tradition of the shock rock genre, Marilyn Manson utilized provoking lyrics and scandalous stage performances and music videos to create a new art form different from prior shock rock artists such as Alice Cooper and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins. Manson has stated that he “wanted to be the loudest, most persistent alarm clock I could be, because there didn’t seem like any other way to snap society out of its Christianity and media-induced coma” (Hoops). Young people of the 1990s who were unhappy and upset with their lives were able to use Marilyn Manson’s music as a way to escape and rebel against many of the social and economic problems left behind by the previous generation (Szatmary 322). Culturally, Marilyn Manson’s shock rock tendencies aligned perfectly with th...
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...ill happen, almost like a performance artist. [He has] identified a culture that was coming and now that culture is everywhere” (Ewens). Marilyn Manson’s music has consistently been protested and fought against by the government and has even been used as a scapegoat for school shootings, specifically Columbine (Manson; Strauss). The controversy that surrounds Marilyn Manson has played a large role in how society reacts to the seemingly detrimental effects of rock music on young people, even though that argument has been previously made in regards to different types of rock music. This controversy has only helped to propel Marilyn Manson towards the forefront of rock culture in America and is still relevant today in the discussion of political correctness. Nevertheless, Marilyn Manson continues to be an influential and powerful force in rock, pop, and electronic music.
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