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View Full Version : Was the idea for a coherent storyline there from the start?



The Overman
11-25-2014, 04:30 AM
I know it's against company policy to link to any hypothetical ACSS demos out there, but this is an intellectual itch I've had for a long time, and I don't think referencing them will hurt anyone.

Along with the classic songs we know and love, several other tracks were recorded during the studio sessions for Antichrist Superstar for inclusion on the record, and not all of them seem congruous with the story of the development of Worm into Man(son) we all know and love.

Take "Suicide Snowman", a Spooky Kids holdover. It's a song that, on the least metaphorical level, is about a snowman at a beach who gets depressed looking at girls and lets himself melt. A good song, a fine song, though I actually think it sounds better in its pre-Portrait incarnation,but nothing obviously relevant to the story of the Antichrist Superstar as told by the finalized track order. Including a metaphorical song about a dying snowman on a metaphorical album about the Antichrist seems like a case of, well, badly mixed metaphors.

I won't go into detail about the unreleased tracks written specifically for the record, except to say that none of the songs particularly advance the concept album element of the project. In fact, some of the songs especially relating to the story, like "The Reflecting God", are not present on the demos.

So: do we think Antichrist Superstar was always a pseudoautobiographical tale, or did that aspect evolve in a more organic manner as the recording progressed?

I think there probably always were certain autobiographical elements in the concept, but probably not a great deal more than were present in Portrait, and the cyclical storyline seems pretty absent from the early incarnations of Antichrist Svperstar. It's definitely a record whose purpose became a lot more refined and developed throughout the course of its constriction.

Any thoughts?

Nemoris Inferioris
11-25-2014, 05:55 AM
I think Suicide Snowman might of been written long before ACSS. There is a reason why the irrelevant songs aren't on the album. SS sounds like it would be the around SLC era. MM had the idea in his head since High School. But as he got closer to the project, he realized that the story was parallel to his own. I don't see him knowing that there would be a trilogy. He saw that after MA. The demos were demos. The lyrics were thought of later.

S.D.
11-25-2014, 03:15 PM
It makes sense when you consider Marilyn Manson as the mouthpiece for Portrait Of An American Family, and Antichrist Superstar as the mouthpiece for Marilyn Manson.

Prior to conceiving ...Superstar, Manson was letting his music and lyrics articulate through him, the commentaries were external, generally concerning what he observed rather than the effect those things had upon him. Antichrist Superstar took a more complex approach, hypothesising how the issues discussed during Portrait... might be interpreted by an End Of Days character. With that in mind, I would surmise that the creation of Antichrist Superstar as linear story and consolidated fictional figure was something that required the experiences of Portrait... and Smells Like Children in order to fully formulate.
Yes, we are aware that certain phrases, concepts, pieces of music, lyrics, and predictions were all in Manson's line of vision years before ...Superstar, but they were not fully realised as a creative endeavour until the band were on the road in 1995. That's why Manson was fond of ambiguous statements like 'Did I write Antichrist Superstar or did Antichrist Superstar write me?' [paraphrased].
Embellished though it is, The Long Hard Road Out Of Hell teaches us that fundamentally, Brian Warner and Marilyn Manson were products of a sheltered, adolescent, nostalgic, institutionalised Middle American upbringing, which is exactly the terrain ...Superstar explores, like a Televangelist interpreting The Bible.

So yes, there was a coherent storyline there from the beginning, but it had to be lived before manifesting as Antichrist Superstar.

The Overman
11-25-2014, 04:07 PM
"Suicide Snowman" was certainly written before Antichrist Svperstar was conceived: it dates to, if I recall correctly, 1992.

Also, the existence of a recorded demo for an intro to the album that does not contain the "when you are suffering..." line from Crowley suggests, to me, that Antichrist Superstar was not initially conceived of as cycling from."Irresponsible Hate Anthem" to "Track 99" to "Irresponsible Hate Anthem". For that matter it suggests the album that was initially conceived was linear, else there'd be a "when you are suffering..." somewhere in that intro. But there isn't.

Make sense?

In other words, there was almost an intro on the record which would have done away with the repetitive/time travel discourse on that album, by virtue of not linking up to the outro.

Cringeon
11-25-2014, 04:16 PM
If you are referring to Scott's "intro" that was rejected. It's now a SMP solo track on his new album or some shit. The story's nature might have been plotted before the sonics, so yes maybe they didn't know how they were going to loop the album but we don't know. Part of going into the studio is creating things that achieve what you want to set out to do.

The Overman
11-25-2014, 04:21 PM
Yeah, that's it.

No, trust me, I think firing Scott is the best move the band could have made. My impression, based on innuendo and Chinese whispers, is that Scott fought against ACSS being anything other than a collection of unrelated, Portrait-like tracks, and that Mr. Manson overruled him.

And I'm very thankful for it. My assumption is that only when it became "the Marilyn Manson show", to quote Wes, that the original vision was realized.

Nemoris Inferioris
11-26-2014, 07:52 AM
Lucy In The Sky With Demons was also written/recorded in 1991-1992. Has lyrics to Man That You Fear, and Angel With The Scabbed Wings. He had it for awhile.

Shangri-LIE
02-28-2016, 06:29 AM
Nope. It was a social experiment and a very, um, clever "marketing scheme". #FilesNailsAndHatesTheWorld= LOL - I just explained all of this in my latest analysis of the record.

Penance Sentence
02-28-2016, 11:44 PM
Shangri "FUCKING" Lie in action, baby!

Shangri "FUCKING" Lie!

Nemoris Inferioris
02-29-2016, 07:45 AM
It makes sense when you consider Marilyn Manson as the mouthpiece for Portrait Of An American Family, and Antichrist Superstar as the mouthpiece for Marilyn Manson.


MARILYN MANSON - antichrist svperstar

ANTICHRIST SVPERSTAR - marilyn manson

The Empirical Guy
03-30-2016, 12:46 AM
I daresay there was some kind of idea there, but it no doubt developed quite a bit as time went on. In TLHROOH, he claims he made up the character of Marilyn Manson as a person who lured in others to trust him, only to use that trust to betray and hurt them. This is not a far cry from the most basic storyline of the Triptych, that of a rebel who becomes a celebrity, and uses his fame and adoration to ruin others. Also in the book, Manson makes comment that it was only when he and Twiggy finished writing (while on the road for SLC) that he looked back and realized the story they had written.

What I've always kind of assumed is that he had a rough outline of what he wanted to do, but it was only as he lived out the years of his life leading up to recording ACSS, and the process of actually making it, that he finalized all the details to arrive at the album we know.

A better example of this that I usually give is actually Holy Wood. I'm sure that Manson knew that he wanted to make that album from the time he made ACSS, or at least MA. I'm sure the most basic themes were something bouncing around in his head for years previous, but he couldn't have known Columbine would happen. That event shaped his ideas in to something related to, yet different, from his original seed of an idea.

S.D.
04-05-2016, 03:35 AM
A better example of this that I usually give is actually Holy Wood. I'm sure that Manson knew that he wanted to make that album from the time he made ACSS, or at least MA. I'm sure the most basic themes were something bouncing around in his head for years previous, but he couldn't have known Columbine would happen. That even shaped his ideas in to something related to, yet different, from his original seed of an idea.

I think this is perhaps why people are so fond of Mechanical Animals. Nestled in-between Antichrist and Holy Wood, it seems like the most unique album of the three because it didn't appear to be 'influenced' by anything. Many critics described it like a 'clean slate', with its polished, seamless terrain in direct contrast to the decay and perversion of ...Superstar.
The reality is that not one of the three albums says or does anything truly revelatory, or even anything new. There's nothing in Antichrist that cannot be gleaned from Faust, nothing on ...Animals that Valley Of The Dolls or Sunset Boulevard didn't already explore, nothing about Holy Wood that the discerning eye couldn't observe in footage of Waco, reading The Bible, or understanding the basics of American politics. What does make the trilogy unique, spectacular, and unrivalled, is Manson's ability to take those ideas and consolidate them in a modern diorama. He preyed on the fact that Americans have deliberately made themselves more stupid; a nation with more wealth and access to information at its fingertips than any other country on the planet, and they've still fucked it up. Manson's commentaries are relevant and concise, chiefly because they address a specific set of concerns that you could figure out after watching the news for half-an-hour.

S.Hal0mega.B
04-13-2016, 11:05 PM
Well Said.