Goth and Industrial

Who's Afraid of Marilyn Manson?

As Marilyn Manson approaches 50 years old, the world no longer is afraid of him. It's just not sure what to do with him, either. At times, it seems Manson doesn't know what to do with himself, but one thing he loves to do keep himself entertained. As we speak, I remind him that in an earlier conversation with me, he referred to Phoenix as the methamphetamine capital of the United States, to which he tells me, "That would make you a meth-matician."

It's been more than 15 years since Manson was shocking the world, scaring parents, and taking heat for the Columbine High School massacre. He was the perfect replacement as poster boy for the goth community after his mentor, Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, disappeared from the limelight as the pressure of writing the follow-up to 1994's The Downward Spiral became too much. It was Reznor who discovered Manson in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and took him under his wing, signing the band to his Interscope imprint, Nothing Records. Reznor remixed and revamped the band's debut record, Portrait of an American Family, before producing Manson's masterpiece, Antichrist Superstar.

With Reznor in a drug-induced state of seclusion, Manson embraced the role of antihero. The relationship between the two dissolved, but Reznor already had transformed Brian Warner from a lanky journalist into one of the most feared figures in the history of rock 'n' roll.

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Jim Louvau
Contact: Jim Louvau