Marilyn Manson - the man - is the creative force behind Marilyn Manson the band, and architect of all content released under that name.
Manson is lead singer and lyricist for the band, as well as a painter, film-maker, writer and actor.
Since the persona was created in 1989 to the present, Manson is the only original band member still remaining, and the longest serving part of Marilyn Manson.
On Sunday - Day Of The Lord - January 5th, 1969, the world opened its legs for another fucking star. More accurately, Barbara Warner opened her legs and gave birth to one.
Manson's childhood, upbringing, and adolescence - as described in his own autobiography, The Long Hard Road Out Of Hell - was a detached, technicolour world of 1970s television, religious intolerance, family scandal, drug experimentation and sexual misadventure, set to a soundtrack of good old fashioned Rock N' Roll, Magickal incantations, and the voice of discipline. Though fond of his parents, Manson wrote that his interaction with them was strained and uneasy during these years, and that his own personality and conduct were insular and pensive, navigating through the suburbs of birthplace Ohio, and later the family's uprooted home, Florida.
Ever the critic, even before creating his "Arch" moniker, Manson had his finger firmly on the pulse of America, producing independent art and writing both for his degree and later as a young journalist at Miami-based music magazine 25th Parallel. As stated both in interviews and his book, he found the work as a journalist challenging for all the wrong reasons, namely because the figures of stature he interviewed (including names like Red Hot Chili Peppers and Debbie Harry) were apparently uninteresting in their approach, and on the wrong side of the microphone, Brian Warner decided he would rather be answering the questions, whilst simultaneously asking a few, rather than wasting his time on people with nothing to say. It was with this decision that he eventually created (much like the grotesque characters inhabiting his frequently penned short stories) the ultimate dichotomy, Marilyn Manson. Male, Female? Artist, Asshole? Preacher, Pervert? All the greatest and worst things about the world were to be embodied in the form of one pissed off, arrogant, and ultimately unmatched rock star. As this grand guignol of modern entertainment was pieced together, the wheels were set in motion for some scathing, though reassuringly obvious social and personal commentary.
Marilyn Manson gathered a musickal band of freaks and crossdressers, slowly developing a thematic and momentum that whilst amalgamated, was unique and visceral in its own right. After a notable five or so years on the underground Floridian music scene, gaining both undying support and notoriety for their uncharacteristically pithy approach to "heavy" music, and equally theatric interpretation of guitar-based rock, Marilyn Manson (dropping the added "Spooky Kids" tag) were taken under the wing of Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor and signed to Nothing/Interscope Records.
From this point forward, though undeniably aided by a host of luminaries, "Marilyn Manson" was the ethos of all things branded with that name. Sculpting social commentary to cover zealots, bigots, perverts and fools, the initial home-grown hatred would eventually mutate. Following Manson's personal misdemeanours using various drugs and people, and coupled with the influence of figures such as Traci Lords and Anton LaVey, Manson developed a writing style that internalised external events, culminating in the band's prolific, vitriolic and to this day, un-categorisable opus Antichrist Superstar. From the moment of its inception, the album placed Manson at the fore of Western entertainment in the 1990s, whether anyone liked it or not.
His bitter polemic, Wildean wit, and blissfully "End Of Days" approach to rock and roll was the most prolific of its kind since Bowie "killed the man" in 1972, and perhaps one of the most knowingly mainstream appropriations of the Sex Pistols original irony to grace the ears of those "From America" on their own soil.
This approach evolved and prevailed, as Manson harnessed his own celebrity to herald the post-internet "Age Of Horus" with the creation of the album Mechanical Animals, a deliberately sarcastic echo of "fame". It demonstrated and cemented the ability Manson has to gather the most talented and understated musicians of the period around him to create his vision, whilst lyrically pushing and burning envelopes.
As predicted, though not necessarily foreseen with Mechanical Animals, the ensuing year would prove to be the most challenging for Manson. Though out of his hands (ironically), the Columbine High School masscare that took place on April 20th, 1999, would become the most depraved, sub-human act to ever have his name attached to it, though resolutely, the most obvious, for numerous reasons. As scapegoat, (not his band, or even really his music, just Manson himself) a character assassination by Western media companies was launched against Marilyn Manson, dragging every incident or perceived fault from his life to the fore in order to justify a widespread paranoia, fear, guilt and anxiety about "just what are those kids doing in there?". Needless to say, the fools were fools, and Manson the reserved, articulate party.
Following limited, though expertly constructed responses and appearances, Manson survived the attack on his very reason for existing as a performer, and emerged with what may in years to come, be perceived as the most physically and verbally outspoken record he has ever made, Holy Wood (In The Shadow Of The Valley Of Death). With this album he proceeded to commentate more precisely on social structures in a society that to this day assumes advanced superiority over anywhere it sees fit to airstrike. As an artist, Manson might have been forced to evolve more violently than some, but resolutely his role was secured defiantly with the bizarre and entirely serendipitous clusterfuck of attention generated following "Columbine".
Post 2001, Marilyn Manson became (reassuringly) less of a "threat" and more of an ironic observationist, as 2003's The Golden Age Of Grotesque saw a more self-contained mouthpiece, still openly criticising, but aware that in some senses if Holy Wood wasn't enough to shake apathy, it was a case of preaching to the converted at this point, so why not do so with as much sarcasm and pomposity as possible? The album and era surrounding it was Manson doing something he had perhaps not done before; to spend a period thoroughly enjoying being Marilyn Manson. During this time he became more rhetorical and notably confident, his relationship with Burlesque performer Dita Von Teese and friendships with figures such as Tim Skold and Gottfried Helnwein characterising this confidence.