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The Golden Age of Grotesque era - 2002 to 2004

Marilyn Manson
"Everything has been said before"
Marilyn Manson
Skold, John 5, Marilyn Manson, Pogo, Ginger.

The Golden Age of Grotesque album - May 2003

Grotesk Burlesk promo mini tour - April 2003
Golden Age of Grotesque tour - 29 May to 19 December 2003
Ozzfest 2003, USA - 28 June to 28 August 2003

UK/Europe/Scandanavia, USA, Japan, Korea, Australia.

From the glowing embers of Holy Wood, we arise into The Golden Age of Grotesque, a new era taking inspiration from the glamour of 1930s Hollywood, the grotesque of Vaudeville, the extreme heights of cabaret decadence, and the challenging 'degenerate art' of 1930s Weimar Berlin - the vibrancy of that time being all but destroyed by the nazis and world war two.

Led by Marilyn's latest persona, the Arch Dandy, we look to the GAOG musical adventure to be the midas touch that crowns Marilyn Manson's previous accomplishments of four studio albums, two EPs and one live album.

With the triptych now complete (the album trilogy of AntiChrist Superstar, Mechanical Animals and Holy Wood), the band have a new vision. Influenced by a retrospective of pre-war Berlin, Cabaret Burlesque and Dada anti-art, the manson age d'or will drag the decadences, hedonism and visual risks of the era kicking and screaming into the 21st century.

*gets carried away*

But doesn't '1930s Berlin' sound a little fascistically dodgy? Perhaps it's meant to, the jury is still out. But imagine the presentation and the interpretation and realize that 1930s brownshirts would not like anything from this band one little bit. In the stage show, they may recognize themes from The Totalitarian's Handbook, but never to be delivered in quite the same way.

He explains his rationale for the Golden Age era:

The goal is to reinject the world, and particularly Hollywood, with the same sort of excitement that Weimar Berlin had before it was destroyed, and that New York City had when the whole Limelight club-kid scene was happening. You know, the height of decadence. And bringing dangerous art back into play.

Sitting atop the pages of the (now gone) official bbs, was a slogan coined by Marilyn: 'Use Your Fist Not Your Mouth'. Sounds violent I know. It's taken from the name of an album track but what does it mean? As with any Manson puzzle, he'll leave it open to interpretation - and misinterpretation! Translate it how you will but my preference is: Actions Speak Louder Than Words.

Here's a littler version of it, for nostalgia's sake:

Use Your Fist Not Your Mouth

Stylistically, the band's look is: Manson with fairly short black hair, shaved at the sides, with the rest of the band all blondes. The clothing is tailored and dapper.

Around September/October 2002, Ginger and Pogo were mostly lying low but Pogo and girlfriend were at the opening night of the art show and Ginger has been helping promote a group. Since February 2003, Manson has been referring to the band as 'my handsome boys' or 'Henchmen'.
Marilyn Manson band
John5, Pogo, Ginger, Tim Skold

So what kinds of over-the-top big top theatricality will we see when the circus of chaos comes to town? They won't disappoint us, I'm sure.

For now, let's hear it in his own words:

"The album will be a hard and violent mix of industrial-strength punk vaudeville with 30s Berlin cabaret decadence."

- Marilyn Manson, 26 March 2002


"This record is broken down to the simplest, most important thing, and that's relationships - whether they're between people or between ideas. I use analogies of art and decadence. How things in Berlin in the '30s got to such a great point, and some of the greatest things were created, and it was crushed by evil, jealous, bitter conservative powers. And the same thing happened in America, several times and continuously, with art and with myself.

The same thing happens with relationships. People try to change you and make you be somebody you're not. That's what this record deals with. This record is universally hard-hitting, and it feels like a rebirth. And part of that is being a new band and being focused. It's going to be different and better and stronger and uglier and much more theatrical than anyone could ever imagine."

- Marilyn Manson, 26 March 2002

MM signature file

"It's extremely heavy and brutal. I think people are in store for something completely different sounding. I don't think people are going to understand exactly what all of it is initially. It has a lot of detail and texture to it. It sounds new and different, and yet it has the attitude of my first record in a way, because of changes in my life and my decision to make the music and art part of a whole movement. It's brought back excitement and reckless abandon.

I just think that I am personally ready for something that breaks down the walls of defining things as being about music or art or a video or anything. It's just about being a dandy, in the sense that the whole thing, and even people's reactions and participation, defines my relationship to the world. 'The Golden Age of Grotesque' references the name of an era I'm trying to launch on the world."

Decorative scroll

Here are some quotes taken from answers posted on the Oracle:

"This record is the Marilyn Manson I have been dreaming to be always. The fans deserve credit for drawing that from me and the boys."
19 February, 2003

"The music will be brighter and bigger. The band is my gun and they are as tight as my finger on the trigger. We have wiped the slate clean. All erasers will be dusted and fingernails will be applied to the chalkboard. I will give you kiss, kiss...bang, bang."
24 February, 2003

"This new album, I explore several completely different styles of singing. I know now that there will be nothing like it, for better or worse. My vocal cords are still umbilical and I don't plan to cut them."

"Delusions or expectations suffered by a willing victim and an increasing sense of darkness. This is what the song [Para-noir] hints at lyrically. The genre of film 'Noir' was very important to all the art we enjoy or are repulsed by today...and is very influential to me as an artist altogether."
25 February, 2003

"The album's influences are equally French, American, German, Russian and Swiss. I believe Rammstein is making a remix of the mOBSCENE, however. Should be great."
4 March, 2003

"Every song is different. This new album was the most eclectic production yet."
5 March, 2003

Golden Age of Grotesque era themes and influences

Oh there are many! And I've mentioned most of them before but here we go again: The glamour of 1930s Hollywood, the grotesque of Vaudeville, cabaret decadence, the 'degenerate art' of 1930s Weimar Berlin, censorship, Dada, Marilyn feeling he has to recapture the reasons he began in the first place, the New York club scene - have I missed anything? Allusions to Mickey Mouse make it in as well.

I first intended that this GAOG page should transmute as more news of the album and era came my way but I'm leaving it intact now. After all, anything from April 2003 can be added to the era's page 2.

Page 2 for The Golden Age of Grotesque era»

The Golden Age Of Grotesque
Marilyn Manson photo by Perou
Perou pic

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