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The War Within

The War Within

Who: Marilyn Manson
Where: Newcastle Entertainment Centre
Author: Jade Lazarevic
When: Saturday September 20, 2003

MARILYN MANSON has been called a lot of things.

From shock-rocker to the self-proclaimed God of F*@$, there are few words that haven't be used to describe the US performer.

Since surfacing in the mainstream in 1996 with the release of his album ANTICHRIST SUPERSTAR, controversy has never been far from Manson.

He has faced court for his onstage antics and continues to create unwelcoming uproar wherever he goes.

Only two months ago, Manson was scheduled to perform at a New York amusement park which was hosting OZZY OSBOURNE's all-star 2003 OZZFEST tour.

Although Manson was billed as one of the tour's headline acts, he was banned from performing.

But despite the controversy, Manson maintains that he is simply here to entertain.

In 2003, Manson returned with his latest offering THE GOLDEN AGE OF GROTESQUE, an album which he said was inspired by a fascination with Hollywood in the 1930s and pre-World War Two Berlin.

``The world needs some entertainment to take their minds off their troubles and that's what vaudeville, burlesque and cabaret, all the things that inspired me, really came from,'' Manson says.

``They were all created in the face of fear during times of war when people wanted to go somewhere to escape.

I wanted to capture the spirit of that.

``My inspiration came from the innocence and naivete of Hollywood in the '30s, where people lived their lives and looked like they were in movies because it seemed like a whole fake world.

``And I like the dandy aesthetic, making your entire lifestyle art, making yourself a canvas, expressing yourself through the way you look.

``As a kid I was never satisfied with Halloween only happening once a year.

'' Manson said the album also saw him make an effort to create something more ``likeable.

'' ``It's a fight to be as recognised as MADONNA or BRITNEY SPEARS, but to be a completely different breed of creature.

``People know me but that doesn't mean they like me.

Not that I want them all to like me, that would probably be a bad thing.

``But this is going to turn a lot of people's heads who maybe had one opinion about me.

I think that will change.

``We should never underestimate people's appreciation for something that's honest and raw and new sounding.

``I think you can tell this album is honestly doing and saying what it wants.

It operates with its own mind.

``I look at it like a kid.

I gave birth to a child.

It's a very bad child.

That's what I like about it.

" Manson has offended through his music and his actions but he surprised even the biggest of his opponents when he appeared on MICHAEL MOORE's documentary BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE.

After the Columbine massacre in 1999, Manson was blamed because the killers were fans of his music.

But when he was interviewed by Moore, Manson gave an articulate explanation that his image as America's ``poster boy for fear'' made him an easy target for the blame.

He has since been applauded for his response.

``I just said what I've said for years to him that day.

I gave the most honest response I could.

``I get people coming up to thank me for what I said.

It's an awkward thing to be thanked for.

I'm appreciative people enjoyed it but I don't feel like I did anything other than be myself.

``In Europe for some time people have seen me as an artist, someone who's being creative.

That's always been understood, probably because most of my inspirations have been European, from OSCAR WILDE to DAVID BOWIE.

``Now in America and countries like Australia people are starting to realise what I'm about.

It's a time that's very necessary for someone like me to be around.

``And there's no-one like me, so it's going to have to be me.

'' Manson will bring his GROTESK BURLESK TOUR to NEWCASTLE ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE on September 20.

Tickets are available from TICKETEK on 4921-2121.

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