THE MIAMI HERALD • S. FLORIDA SOUNDS
A Seriously Spooky Sound
Marilyn Manson & The Spooky Kids
This band is every parent's nightmare. It embodies everything parents tell you not to do or watch. Everything is shocking here. The group's name? Marilyn Manson & The Spooky Kids.
Formed almost two years ago in Fort Lauderdale, The Spooks (as they are called by fans) have one purpose: turn shock into an art form. Let's start with the members' stage names (they refuse to divulge their real names): Marilyn Manson, Gidget Gein, Madonna Wayne Gacy, Daisy Berkowitz and Sara Lee Lucas.
Do you see a trend? The first names are taken from classically beautiful women, and the last names belong to men that society considers dangerous or evil: Marilyn Monroe and Charles Manson, Gidget (the Sally Field character) and serial killer Ed Gein, Madonna and John Wayne Gacy, Daisy (Duke from The Dukes Of Hazzard) and David "Son Of Sam" Berkowitz, and Sara Lee (as in the cakes) and alleged serial killer Henry Lee Lucas.
This is weird bunch of guys. Besides wearing punk-style clothing and fuschia hair and carrying Fat Albert, Care Bears and Speed Buggy lunch boxes, these guys write songs to think about - at least for a minute or two. Take Cake And Sodomy, a metal-crunching, guitar-driven tune that raises eyebrows because of the name alone. But the song's inspiration was very real.
"In New York they have public television after 10PM," Manson, 22 says.
"They will show anything. The 976 number ads are real explicit there. On the next channel I see some guy talking about god and he's asking for money. It's almost like one god is pornography and the other god is Jesus."
Then there's My Monkey, a song whose first verse is borrowed from a Charles Manson song called Mechanical Man. The tune can be interpreted as a biography of Manson or it can be taken as a statement on how society creates and then destroys what's in people's lives. The band members like to hear listeners interpret the song in different ways.
"It's like a picture of art," Gein, 22 says.
"You look at it for what it's worth."
The Spooks want people to interpret the band in many ways - without taking them too seriously. They are out to break down taboos through music and performance.
"We try to show people what they are afraid of," Manson says.
"If they are disgusted they need to ask themselves why."
Band members want audiences (composed mostly of teen-agers) to ask themselves why some things are disgusting, why they're taboo. These questions are frequent topics on the band's hotline number and newsletter. Manson, the band's spokesperson, found himself faced with these kinds of questions from teen-agers seeking advice. That's when he wrote the lyrics to Learning To Swim.
"Over the past year I've had a lot of trouble being in this position I've put myself in," he says.
"I have the responsibility of influencing the minds of teen-agers. So I do choose my words... because I care. I care about what I say. But you are not going to catch me on MTV commericals saying 'Don't do drugs'."
Manson then steers the conversation away from serious subjects and talks about a Marilyn Manson & The Spooky Kids world takeover.
"I want lunch boxes and dolls," he says.
"I don't want to change our style to be accepted by the public, I want the public to change their style. I would have no problem if we became the KISS of the '90s."