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Marilyn Manson

Whether he's embodying the Antichrist, morphing into an asexual alien drug advocate, or merely dressing like a dandyish goth vampire, Marilyn Manson never stops keeping it unreal. His own existence is his most singularly creative outlet: More than any other mainstream artist, Manson tries to live life as art itself--he sees no division between the characters he creates for entertainment and the lifestyle that is supposed to come with them; when Manson tells kids he likes to eat drugs and consort with freaks, he feels a social obligation to do exactly as he says. His persona is a fabrication he lives for real. It's been a rough few years for Mr. Manson. Ever since his music was blamed for the 1999 Columbine school shootings, he has struggled with commercial failure (2000's Holy Wood album sold poorly) and personal complexity (he endured a public breakup with actress Rose McGowan and the departure of longtime musical collaborator Twiggy Ramirez). But one thing about Manson has not changed--he's still really, really funny. Whether he's talking about his new album, The Golden Age of Grotesque, explaining what it's like to have sex with conjoined twins, or theorizing about smoking his own penis for hallucinogenic purposes, Manson continues to be--if nothing else--the least-boring rock star on the planet.

SPIN Staff |June 13, 2003 - 7:00 am

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