Marilyn Manson Explains ‘Kill4Me’ And His Shock Rock Identity [Opinion]

Marilyn Manson peforms live

Marilyn Manson’s new song “Kill4Me” is not exactly his usual, but there is a lot of genuine Manson in it. Marilyn, in a philosophical mood, wanted to discuss his inner self or perhaps inner selves a bit. How much of Marilyn is “person” versus how much is “persona”?

Marilyn Manson told The Guardian he was both a person and a persona.

“I’m this and I’m this. A person and a persona. But I can’t really divide the two. There’s a difference on the stage; people I don’t know I just seduce, in a lot of ways. You go offstage and people … even me and you now, talking …”

Marilyn Manson is a contradiction in many ways. Much the same as his forerunner Alice Cooper, who pioneered the Shock Rock genre, created a stage persona, so Marilyn Manson is a stage character. Performances are dramatizations, similar to actors on a stage.

Ozzy Osbourne was also a shock rocker, and in the day, rock musicians, in general, thrived on being shocking. Shock rock, though, is different, it’s music but with theatrics as well.

Marilyn Manson, however, takes it further than his forerunners. Perhaps he has to. After all, it’s hard to be shocking in this century. So how much of this man is Marilyn Manson and how much is Brian Hugh Warner?

Marilyn Manson is a stage name, just like Alice Cooper who was born Vincent Damon Furnier. It’s all part of the Shock Rock genre. Arguably though, Alice Cooper and Vincent Furner seemed more separate than Marilyn Manson and Brian Warner.

What’s Marilyn Manson really like? Alexis Petridis of The Guardian describes him as, “funny, insightful, frank and preposterously self-mythologizing.” For example, Marilyn told The Guardian he’s chaos incarnate.

“I wake up in the morning and I just realize that I am chaos. That’s my job – I am a goddamn tornado. You look at it, behold it, you get caught up in it, it tears off your roof – and I’m from Ohio, so I know about tornadoes.”

Marilyn Manson is very dramatic and theatrical offstage as well as on, at least when the press is around.

Alice Cooper seemed to make a point of being normal in interviews. Cooper made it clear there was a difference between Alice and Vincent. With Manson, the lines are a bit more blurred.

Marilyn Manson horses around a lot in interviews, he even aimed a gun at Petridis’ head as a rather odd way of saying hello. Marilyn likes for the interview room to be darkened and ice cold. Manson sets the mood.

Despite Marilyn Manson’s obvious rebellious streak, he was very close to his late father, and he has a tremendous work ethic that he learned from his dad, Hugh Warner. Hugh died just days before Marilyn Manson’s tour began, but Marilyn refused to cancel a single show.

“My dad would have hated me for that. He’d have kicked me in the ****. He would want me to be the best I could be right now. That’s what he raised me to be. Dad was a f**king fighter.”

Marilyn Manson had a candid moment as he spoke about his new album.

“[It] is about confidence, of f**king believing in yourself more than ever, which is something I may have lost along the road.”

Marilyn Manson singing into the microphone

Has Marilyn Manson lost his confidence? If so, it hardly shows. Still, his career isn’t where it was in the 1990s. Marilyn Manson isn’t as hated as in those days either, though. In 2001, he was getting death threats. “Bring it,” Marilyn says he taunted his accusers.

Marilyn Manson reminisces about those death threat days in “Kill4Me.” Manson has received hundreds of death threats and so he does have the bragging rights for these lyrics, as quoted from AZ Lyrics.

“Your hotel hall won’t be so vacant
And I can tell that you ain’t faking
Because I take death threats
Like the best of them”

Marilyn Manson knew he’d be hated by some, idolized by others. He knew what he was getting into. It’s his definition of being real, of being authentic.

“Well, I asked for it. You don’t make a record called Antichrist Superstar and not expect people to hate you. But I wanted to do something that made a difference. I wanted to put a f**king dent in the world, like my heroes: [Salvador] Dalí, Jim Morrison.”

Marilyn Manson attending King Aurthor permiere

Marilyn Manson is out to make his mark in the world, yet again. Manson has a fascinating take on what he’s offering the world, namely chaos.

“I knew that there were people who would take it at face value and that there were people who would see into it more deeply, and it would be that dichotomy that would cause chaos.”

While there is quite enough division in the world, shock rocker chaos is different. It makes people question and think. It’s not a protest slogan; it is performance art. It’s a statement, but a statement that invites questions and there is an understood right, if not a mandate to disagree and to argue within about the content. Shock Rock isn’t about saying things that everyone will agree with.


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Marilyn Manson’s music makes people think, as does the work of Alice Cooper and Ozzy Osbourne.

[Featured Image by Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images]