Speaking of which, the back cover photo of Manson from The High End of Low always reminded me of The Undertaker. Awesome photo, should have been the front cover...
Maybe he's just a liar? And you guys are trying to justify it when there really is no justification? Maybe, just maybe.
He started cutting himself in the early nineties. He still does it now. That's 25+ years of self-harm with no major injuries. A stitch here and a scar there? That's surprisingly little damage from all that. (Which I'm glad of, BTW. Don't want him killing himself.)
There's a difference between cutting yourself and attempted suicide, sure. But there's also a difference between cutting yourself for physical stress relief and cutting yourself because it's part of your character. He makes it look like he's cutting himself because he's crazy/fucked up/etc. That's why he mentions it in interviews and takes pics of his bloody hands for anti-social media. People who are compulsive cutters usually don't want people to know about it because they're ashamed of it. (Not that they should be, they should of course reach out and get all the help they can.)
The rape of Manson's skin was a marketing scheme.
Regarding the drugs and alcohol thing: Can't say for sure that he wasn't hungover, but he sure looked like he was trying really hard not to laugh.
I'm sure he doesn't cut deep enough to scar tissue and the inner dermis, thus not causing any long-term injuries. I'm sure he's careful when he does it, as he will cut the back of his hand, not in vital areas like the wrist. The chest has a lot of thick skin, so no veins would be damaged. It's all for show. It's (Oddly) exciting to see he cut himself on stage, like you hear everyone cheer as he does so during No Reflection.
Reading through concert reviews at Coyote's Spookhouse, the impression I get is that Manson legitimately cut himself during the Smells Like Children tour (several of the reviewers report seeing him bleed on separate occasions), but switched to candy glass during the Dead To The World Tour.
Yes, I grew up reading Coyote's Spookhouse, too. Love that site! Hell, I tried to contribute back in the day.
But they're wrong on that point.
I mean, Manson's torso ALONE disproves your suggestion. You can practically trace the tour dates across Manon's midriff for almost THREE solid years! WTF more do you want? The scars are without a doubt right fucking there. But, sure, yeah...he probably PRETENDED to cut himself onstage only to FAKE getting stitches so he could cut himself HUNDREDS of times LATER in private. Because THAT makes sense somehow? We're talking about a self-destructive young guy on speed, numbing agents, and booze, plus a penchant for nihilism, ffs.
Not to mention the fact that I HAVE PERSONALLY WITNESSED '96-'97 MANSON CUT HIMSELF, WIPE THE BLOOD AWAY, AND THEN WATCHED THE WOUND KEEP BLEEDING. Several times. Uninterrupted, onstage, front-and-center, in the spotlight, no doubt about it. Don't even TRY to give me that "candy glass" bullshit. It was retarded then and it's retarded now. That's not how it works and that's NOT what happened.
Furthermore, the songs Manson's written don't spontaneously manifest themselves just to trick you. He's a person and he has feelings just like the rest of us. And he writes about them. SHOCK OF THE CENTURY, HE'S ACTUALLY AN ARTIST. He expresses himself. You know...like artists do.
To be sure, cutting yourself in public, onstage, and in the middle of a concert MOST CERTAINLY counts as "putting on a show," but you're drastically undercutting the obvious sincerity of such commitment. You can make the case all you want that "it's all an act" but I think Manson's gone WAY above and beyond disproving that in terms of repeatedly making a wreck of himself for the sake of making HIMSELF his MASTERPIECE to the point that he's pretty much beyond reproach on that point by now. Newsflash: Manson's personal life has suffered several catastrophic ups and downs. Fair warning! You MIGHT see that reflected in his art.
Or are you trying to tell me you're one of those All-His-Relationships-Were-Staged-for-Commercial-Purposes people, too? Because I can't help but detect undercurrents and traces of THAT bullshit as well.
And, OKAY, Manson's a straight-edge jeezus-freak too while we're at it, lol.
Keep 'em coming, you're all hilarious.
I've gotta agree with Haz on this one. I also have to bring up Rob Zombie. I don't see any gimmick there. I guess the whole thing is kind of confusing. I never understood why people get so caught up and LOST in trying to figure out reality....you kind of sound crazy when you do that. I can't speak for professional wrestling. I haven't watched it in years, but I have friends that tell me the man who performs as Undertaker, Mark Calloway or whatever, is actually nothing like that character at all, and he's just a supremely good actor. The character was given to him by WWE execs back when it was WWF. I don't know whether that's true.
In the case of almost ANY rock star for that matter though, whether they have a "Shtick" or not....I really hate calling it that. By those terms and definitions, I have a "shtick" myself. I've fronted a band in Chicago for close to 10 years. But I assure you, I am VERY much the person I portray onstage. My shows have girls dancing, halloween themes, horror film and violent dirty lyrics...sometimes philosophical, sometimes just fun party drunken rock n roll songs. Is that a shtick? I just try to incorporate every side of me. Sometimes I'm a very quiet person, and definitely, when performing live, it's a more amped up version of me. A more confident and aggressive version, but it's still ME. I'm still that person and still have those thoughts and feelings.
So when we talk about Marilyn Manson or Rob Zombie.....what gimmick? Are you suggesting they aren't being themselves? Rob Zombie has built a hell of a business for himself doing all things horror. Horror music, horror movies, horror/sci-fi comic books, etc.. But are you suggesting for even one second that he actually doesn't like doing any of that?! That he's actually this totally normal boring guy, and hates horror films, and just puts up with it? No, he's a lifelong horror junkie. I've learned about more obscure b-films through him and his interviews than I could ever tell ya.
Now, he's not some fucked up serial killer or anything. I don't know how you want to define "normal" but he certainly is an artist, exceptionally creative, and I'd bet all my money that it's not merely some gimmick that he and a few record executives came up with. He's true to himself and will not create anything he doesn't want to create. and the fact that he's a multi-millionaire, why in the hell would you bother doing ANYTHING you don't want to do? I sure wouldn't. Not at that point. What I WOULD do, is be true to myself and make whatever the fuck I want to make and not give a shit.
That's what Zombie does, that's what Manson does. That's what any real artist does. And sure, there might be times when you're sitting in the studio writing with the band where you come up with some cool hook or lyric and you think, ah, I bet the fans are gonna love this one! That doesn't mean it's fake or it's not real or you like it any less. You still are trying to make what you want to make.
This whole conversation is very weird to me. Not one of these guys you've mentioned, whether it was Alice Cooper, Rob Zombie, or Marilyn Manson, was ever PUT together by the record company. It's not some shitty boy band that doesn't write their own songs and are just cherry picked together out of thousands of people from different parts of the country because a record label wants to make bank. No. Every one of these guys did it the real way. They started bands and worked their way up the ladder doing what THEY wanted to do, but surely exploiting niche's at the same time whenever possible. I believe they are true to themselves anyway. Alice Cooper used to be Alice Cooper 24/7 and he realized he had to separate the two for his life. I don't see that being the case with Manson or Zombie. They are both who they are all the time. And I'd say the same thing about Wednesday 13. You could think it's some contrived gimmick. No, he's actually for real lol he's been obsessed with GIJOE and RAMBO and shitty horror movies since he was a kid lol and I love him for it and relate to that.