Metal Evolution (2011) s01e09 Episode Script

Shock Rock

because in this episode
we're exploring Shock Rock.
Every sub-genre up til' now has
been based on a particular
sound but Shock Rock is based
on the visual, and this guy,
Alice Cooper basically created
this sub-genre by creating a
stage show that was so
spectacular and so over the
So what I wanna find
out is why is it that
hard rock and metal music
marry so perfectly
with the spectacular
and the horrific.
Shock rock is a sub-genre
where theatricality and a
provocative visual style is as
important as the music itself.
But the use of shock in
entertainment has a much
deeper history than heavy
metal, or even rock and roll.
Sam: So I'm here on Coney
Island in New York,
because long before shock was
used in rock or metal music
it was part of theatre or
circus entertainment,
so I'm meeting with Donny Vomit
who's a freak show performer and
a real expert on this topic, I'm
going to talk to him about
where shock in
entertainment all began.
Donny Vomit: The side shows
began in the circuses and
the carnivals and the side shows
would tour from town to town
bringing with them human
oddities, this would be
dwarves, elephant skinned men,
baby shows where there would
be babies preserved in
jars with 2 heads or
6 limbs and people
loved to see these.
Sam: Tell me about the
heyday of the freak side
show, when was that?
Donny: Back in P.T. Barnums
time, the 1840's and he
had the greatest collection
of oddities of all types
and it was shocking how
much money he made.
P.T. Barnum learned really
quick that it's easier
to get people to write
articles about you,
than to take out ads.
The more they say about you
that's negative the more it's
going to create that desire
to come and see whatever
show you're putting on.
People love to be shocked,
it does something to them
inside, it gets the blood
going, and it's a feeling
of excitement and
exhilaration it's something
that people crave.
Rob Zombie:: I just think
that most people want a thrill,
they want a (beep)
thrill in life.
Whether it's you know it's
jumping a motor cycle over
a tour bus or bands blowing
stuff up that's what they want.
Sam: What are the earliest
examples of shock being
used in music?
Gavin Baddely: I think the
roots of the use of shock in
music go as far back as when
you want to look at when
music has been used. I think
if you're talking about the
50's through to the mid 60's
those early rock and roll
artists who used a bit of
shock to grab the attention
of the audiences. It's not
insignificant this stuff is
in parallel with the birth of
rock and roll essentially,
and also with the birth of
the teenage demographic.
Chris Alexander: Every
generation is afraid of losing
control of that generation
and when they see something
that is alien to them they
can't understand at all,
they can't fathom
the appeal of this,
they're afraid of it and want
to put their stomp on it.
Bob Gruen: Suddenly anything
relating to the gay culture
relating to men looking like
woman which was illegal at the
time was very underground, so
for someone like Little Richie
to actually write songs so well
that he actually got hits
and got into the public eye and
all of a sudden people were
seeing one of these
underground trans gender kind
of performers, that's
what was so shocking.
Lemmy: Little
Richard god save him
was from
Macon, Georgia,
imagine being
black and gay
in Macon, Georgia in
1957. Puttin' a dress on
with a pencil mustache
and a marcel wig, right?
Jesus Christ it's bad
enough being gay there
now I should think.
Sam: What about Screamin' Jay
Hawkins? Are you familiar
with what he did why it would
be so shocking at the time?
Chris: Screamin' Jay, I mean
as far as defining what a
shock rocker is, we can say
Screamin' Jay Hawkins was
the guy because he brought the
macaw into it, he was that
bridge between rock
and roll and horror.
Bob: They would carry this
big coffin out on stage
and out comes Screamin' Jay
with a cane with a big skull
on the end of it and he was
very spooky, and he looks at
the audience and goes "I've
put a spell on you."
Neal Smith: We talk about
outrageous costumes I mean
he came right out of voodoo
world almost and actually,
I mean I hate to say it being
the owner of Kachina snake
on the killer album but he
was the first one really
that I know of that
had a snake on stage.
Oderus Urungus: Just catching
a brief glimpse of him
shaking his mojo stick had a
huge effect upon me as a young
little scum dog puppy. His
very existence must have freaked
people out, no one had ever seen
anything like that before.
Gavin: It's easy to
underestimate how shocking some
of this stuff was in the 1950's,
he's the first high profile guy
singing about cannibalism
and voodoo and so forth.
So a guy singing about
this stuff would push a
few buttons amongst sort of
frightened white Americans.
While Screamin' Jay was
shocking American audiences
in the 1950's, a decade
later across the Atlantic
a British performer named
Arthur Brown was setting
the template for future
generations of shock rockers
Sam: With the crazy world
of Arthur Brown,
what was your goal of that
whole visual presentation?
Arthur Brown: Well uh it
started to develop in Paris in
I was a pretty stand up singer
singing R&B and Blues,
and this club was
extremely wild.
It was the beginning of flower
power with naked people,
poets, political activists,
performance artists,
musicians all doing
their thing.
When I saw everybody I thought
right, and I started to swing
from the rafters, stage diving
and all kinds of things.
It was a whole experimentation
with consciousness.
I can remember once I met an 11
year old who had already taken
a hundred trips of LSD you know,
lived on his own in a hut.
And you might say it's bad
parenting but he's quite a
remarkable fella.
Bruce Dickinson: When I saw
Arthur Brown, Arthur came on in
this Inca head dress, he was
a very imposing figure, face
painted in gold and stuff with
this amazing light show and this
incredible voice, I mean I've
never taken acid but actually I
didn't need to cause he's so
Arthur and it was the same.
Arthur: People are going around
saying we're disgusting,
it's them who's disgusting
inside you know,
it's like a big sewer pipe you
know they're full of education,
full of religious dogma
and they don't know
what anything is about
they haven't had the
feeling of what the
universe is about.
Arthur: Our kind of music was
quite shocking, it had that
capacity to challenge people,
there's the classic figure of
the monk meditating but losing
focus and so the master
goes around wacks him and it
was a bit like that really.
Bruce: That's why Arthur was
such an influence on everybody,
you know everybody from KISS to
Alice Cooper to Peter Gabriel.
Arthur had content up the ying
yang, umpteen years later when
I was in Iron Maiden very
successful, bloody bloody bloo
I was going for a walk
down by the shops,
and there's Arthur Brown and
he's doing a gig at the
Town Hall and about 20
people showed up. I went up
afterwards and sort of said
"Hi Arthur, you probably
don't have any idea of
what I do or who I am but
I probably ripped off 50 percent
of my vocal style from you
and I've made an amazing
career out of it. Thank you!"
The first musician to
successfully combine
heavy metal and shock
was Alice Cooper.
While his songs "I'm 18" and
"Schools out" made him the
darling of 70's rock radio.
His gruesome stage show was
creating outrage among concerned
parents and politicians.
So I've come to meet with
Alice in Montreal to ask
him how the original concept
for the band came about.
Sam: So what was your
philosophy, your main drive
when it came to your stage
show in the early days?
Alice Cooper: For me it was,
there were all rock heroes
and no rock villains.
And I went "Why not a villain?"
I'll make Alice the
ultimate villain.
In the early days we had to
create our own theatre.
I would go back stage and I
would go "there's a hammer"
Aha that's good, cause I can
hit that on the mic stand
and sparks will come up. There
was CO2 cartridges back
there right, you wanna know
how many feathered pillows
it would take to fill up a
theatre if you opened them up
and had a pillow fight. Open
the feather pillows, turn on
the CO2 and the place was
covered, not only that
everybody that was at
the show was covered.
Sam: Can you walk us
through that infamous
day at the revival concert
at varsity stadium?
Alice: The chicken. My manager
was one of the guys that
put the show together,
and he says don't pay me
the only thing I want you to
do is I want Alice to go on
between John Lennon
and The Doors.
We weren't really that well
known, we were notorious
but we weren't well known.
We do our set and we do the
feather pillows and the
CO2 is coming out and the
next thing I realize is I look
down and there's a chicken.
Now I didn't bring the
chicken, nobody in my band
brought a chicken who
brings a chicken to a show?
I'm from Detroit, never
been on a farm in my life,
it had feathers, it was a bird,
it should fly. And I tossed it
lightly into the audience and
the audience tore it to pieces,
blood everywhere, and threw
what was left on stage.
The kicker to the story is
this, the first 5 rows
of the concert were all
people in wheelchairs,
they're the ones that
killed the chicken.
Neal Smith: All I know is the
press the next day had said
"Alice Cooper bites the head
off a chicken and drinks the
and I said "oh my god it doesn't
get any better than that".
It was like Christmas.
Alice: Frank Zappa called me
the next day and he says,
"Did you kill a chicken on
stage last night?" and I went
"No", he says "Well don't
tell anybody they love it".
Rob: I think Alice
took everything to a
new level,
I mean he was sort
of first and best at
he was kind of like the Beatles
for this type of music
you can't think before them.
Sam: To what extent was
it important to you
to shock people for
what you were doing?
Alice: It was everything.
Everyone else was avoiding that
kind of press, and we were
going "Come on, bring it on!"
Neal: I think parents were very
afraid of us, that sort of
gets washed to the side over
the years about how frightened
people were of that band. One
time I carried 3 guns with me.
Dennis Dunaway: We always had
death threats, bomb threats.
We would get to the gig and
there would be the fire
marshalls, the humane society,
everybody you could think of
there to think of a reason
to prevent us from playing.
Alice: We went to England and
already the urban legend
had started. You know I heard
that he kills cats and eats
them and things like that. By
the time we were scheduled
to go over, they had
banned us. Thank you.
They couldn't of been better,
we sold out every ticket
at Wembley, the record
went right to number 1.
Sam: Why did the audience and
press get so bent out of shape
around people like Alice?
Rob: Well, because
people are idiots.
In fact I think the best
reviews you can ever get is if
someone tells you you're
horrible and have no career.
That almost guarantees
you'll be around forever.
If there's one band in
thehistory of metal that
epitomizesthe use of
spectacleto shockaudiences
Spaceman and the Cat
seemed to strike a perfect
balance between art and
Peter Criss: We knew we had
wanted to do something
that no one else had
ever did in the world.
We saw Alice Cooper, he
was the only one who had
make-up on no one else did. So
we thought what would it be like
if 4 guys had the make-up on? We
knew we wanted to make the show
like a Ringling Brothers Barnum
and Bailey, we just had
millions of ideas but no
dollars to do these ideas.
I've always wanted to levitate
my drums, and in the
beginning we'd play clubs where
4 or 5 big fat drunken guys with
muscles and they would pull me
up on ropes, the first drum
thing and it would go up like
this you know in a show.. hahah
Larry Harris: We realized
from day one their
music was not great, they
were not great musicians.
That's why you know
the whole KISS
had to concentrate
on their show.
We actually took them by hand
to go visit magic shops
and we paid for them to meet
with the Amazing Randi
to learn a lot of
things and get ideas.
Peter: No one wanted to spit
fire. Gene said "I'll do it,
I'll do anything to get in
the middle of the stage."
Ace Frehley: We were trying
new things that no one
else has done, you know maybe
with one of my special effects,
I had the smoking guitar
I had the light guitar
I had the rocket guitar. I came
out with a smoking flute.
(laughing) It was hysterical
Peter: We were a rock and roll
band, we were young we're gonna
kick ass, if it's bothering you
that was just too damn bad,
because sooner or later we'll
be the biggest band in the
world and you'll have
to join the party.
Larry: Somehow, somebody started
talking about what KISS
was doing was demonic. KISS
didn't say they weren't,
especially Gene would kind
of go along with it.
In certain cities in the south
people would start burning KISS
albums because they were the
devil reincarnate, and we liked
it because they had to buy
the KISS album before they
could burn it so that was fine.
It also got us free publicity.
Ace: That only made the kids
want to come see us more you
know when they saw that on the
news, so it really backfired.
You got 2 jewish guys, a
catholic guy and a Lutheran
who all grew up in America
and just decided to have
a theatrical rock group but
whenever somebody says we're
devil worshippers is completely
obsurd, preposterous. (laughs)
Chris: When I was 3 years old I
remember I was at the library
getting some records out and
books with my old man and there
in the shelf
beside the Raffih's
and Sharon, Lois
and Bram's was
The Love Gun, and you know
uh I didn't know what
the hell I was looking at. These
incredibly hot woman kneeling
at their feet, this was mixing
2 elements that I think are
definitive of what shock rock
is. Violence with something
horrific and ugly with something
very sexual and beautiful
Sam: Why were parents and
the keepers of the morals
of America so wound
up about KISS?
Kim Fowley: Let's say you're
the hottest guy in your
little town and you meet
the hottest girl in your
little town and you work at
the Dairy Queen and you
decide to get married, and you
have a beautiful little girl.
You don't want her to have
sex with Gene Simmons.
Larry: I remember one Halloween
we started to see kids,
little kids dressed as KISS.
And at that point, we
knew we had it.
We tried anything we could do to
market this band on any level.
People looked at it as
beneath us or beneath the
band or not, we did.
Chris: They went absolute bat
(beep) crazy with this stuff.
Lunch boxes with (beep) Love
Gun on it, you were going to
school with your banana
and PB and J and there's
Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons
with this giant cod piece.
Ace: The cause of the
over-merchandising, little kids
started showing up at the
show and the audience
started to change and I
remember very clearly having a
conversation with management
saying "Hey you know, Ace you
can't go out there and say
'(beep)', because there's little
kids in the audience you
gotta watch the cursing."
We went from this mysterious
hard rock heavy metal
crazy band to like a
teeny bopper band.
I didn't want to have
to change the way I acted;
I'm trying to (beep) my
guitar, and I'm starting to
feel weird because there's
young kids in the audience.
Peter: The men behind us
became so money crazy and
so money hungry, in realizing
we were like a circus
and you can sell us
as super heroes.
For christ's sake we put our
own blood in a comic book.
I think we were losing
all touch of music,
wait a minute we're
a rock band man,
you know we're not
like the monkeys.
(Host speaking)
By the end of the 70's, the
reign of KISS and Alice Cooper
as heavy metals leading shockers
had ended. With KISS on
lunch boxes and Alice sharing
the stage with muppets,
middle America was now their
fans and not their foes.
So what did it take for
metal to up the shock
rock ante in the 80's?
At the close of the 70's, the
horror inspired visual styles
of KISS and Alice Cooper had
become camp, and shock metal
was effectively dead. But in the
early 80's metal bands started
itself, Satan. And when I was
young the band that I thought
was truly satanic wasn't
Iron Maiden, it was Venom.
Sam: I remember getting their
record "Black Metal" and being
just totally mesmerized, even
a little bit scared by the
imagery and the lyrics, and so
I've come back to London to
meet with Abaddon the drummer
of Venom, he was also
responsible for creating the
whole visual style of the band.
I wanna ask him to what
extent were they trying to
shock people by creating this
anti-christian satanic music.
Abaddon: It was all about
being as extreme as possible,
the cult was a great draw, and
it was mainly lyrically I
We weren't into
having vampire teeth
or any stuff like
this we just wanted
to be an extreme
looking metal band.
Because we became so extreme
so easily the satanic
thing became like a badge to
wear, when I drew the Venom
logo we wanted it to be as
in your face as possible.
It was almost daring
sorta parents to say
"no you can't have that".
There was a guy he a bishop
of somewhere or other.
The government had given him
loads of money to buy really
expensive equipment so
they could play our
records backwards, and put
on Welcome to Hell and
said 'do you agree that that
says I worship satan and
I love satan and all
this other stuff?'
I went I don't deny that
all, do you understand that
it's on an album called
'Welcome to Hell' and it's a
song called 'In a League
with Satan' and it's got a
pentagram on the front, I
didn't have to hide anything
it's all there in English. You
just gotta pick it up and
(beep) read it, it's the same
forwards as it is backwards.
Dani Filth: Cranoff said when
he was young Gene Simmons
was always like 8 foot
tall spitting blood
looking like a demon
personality, but he was singing
"I was made for
lovin' you baby",
and he said Venom we
have taken that and we
are the demons, we do
what it says on the tin.
Abaddon: If you are going to do
it, then do it to the enth
If you're gonna do pyro don't
just do pyro, do over the top
pyro go absolutely nuts and see
what you can get away with.
When I went to America the
first time Metallica were
opening up for us and they
had set an explosion off and
when we finished somebody
pointed out that we had put a
hole in the stage and we had
ruptured the pipes underneath.
It was one of the guys, it
was an American guy this
big kind of bouncer big
grizzly bear guy and he was like
"you know man I was in nam," and
he says "I would go back to
nam but I won't go back on stage
with that stupid (beep) band."
We had actually sought out how
to be more extreme with every
performance and we were the
same with all the imagery,
all the lyrical content, the
jackets on the album covers.
Sam: So at the end of the
day are you primarily a
performer, an
entertainer, a musician
Abaddon: I never saw us a
musicians, I always saw us as
entertainers, I think all
we wanted to do was shock,
umm kinda jump in their
face and shout boo.
Besides Venom the one
metaler that used to freak
the hell out of me was King
Diamond, lead singer of
the speed metal band Merciful
Fate. He had an upside down
cross drawn on his forehead,
and he also apparently lived
in a castle in Copenhagen, lit
exclusively with candles.
Sam: So I've come to
King Diamonds new home
which is in a leafy
suburb in Dallas, Texas
which is not very
satanic at all.
So I wanna ask him, was this
whole satanic thing actually
How are you?
Good, how you doing?
I'm Sam, Nice to meet you.
Nice to meet you to.
Thanks for having us over.
Of Course.
King Diamond: For me,
Satanism is not a religion,
it's a life philosophy, its
never been just an image.
I mean uhh It's
totally a part of me,
King Diamond and King Peterson,
absolutely one in the same.
I mean I would love to wear
makeup to the grocery store
just to sneak around an
aisle and see the response,
but I'd be arrested
in a heartbeat.
Monte Conner: King Diamond was
definitely taking things to a
new extreme, you had a self
proclaimed Satanist which was
a scary word to popular culture
back then singing with this
crazy falsetto voice that no
one had ever done before.
Dani: The first time I ever saw
him was on the cover of
'Don't Break the Oath', you
don't actually see him he's
like a shadow in this gateway
that looks like it's leading
to hell, and then we listen to
his vocals and stuff like that,
it's like wow this is eerie it's
like a ghost, this guys insane.
Diamond: We all like to get
scared, it's just the way it is.
For me it's not so much
to give them the shock,
more like put 'em in a mood.
The listener can make it
much more scary than I
can, because he will pull
from all the things he feels
most scared about.
Sam: Growing up when I was a
teenager the thing I heard was
King Diamond lights his entire
apartment with candles because
King Diamond is a Satanist he
doesn't believe in electricity.
Diamond: I mean seriously I
mean, you have no idea the
rumors I've heard you know, on
the road there was the crew
that told me you should hear
what we told some of the fans,
they said "don't go over to that
bus King Diamond is sleeping in
there and he brings his coffin
from Denmark and if you
wake him up he's guaranteed
gonna kill you".
Ahhhhh!! I scared the hell out
of my cats now I'm sure.
As the 80's wore on, the
resistance to satanic imagery
and lyrics in heavy metal
grew from a few parents
waving placards to
systematic opposition.
The parents music resource
centre, a committee of wives
of some of the most powerful
men in Washington created a
list of songs deemed corrupting
for the youth of America,
called the filthy 15. Their
campaign also succeeded in
placing explicit warning
labels on records.
Dr. Karen Stermheimer: There was
this growing backlash against
what was seen as the
permissiveness of the 60's and
the 70's, and the explicit
warning labels seem like a
victory for the PMRC they were
excited by it they had said
this is all we ever wanted,
we just want to know
what kind of music we are
buying for our kids.
But for most kids that became
kind of an advertisement,
for this is possibly
really interesting music.
Abaddon: I mean if I was a
kid and I was looking at the
filthy 15 they would be the
15 songs I'd wanna buy.
I wouldn't wanna buy the top
ten or the top 20 or whatever,
I'd go straight for
those 15 songs
and say they must make
a (beep) good album.
Diamond: What they did just had
the opposite effect, putting
Merciful Fate on the filthy 15
list, suddenly we were in USA
Today and all kinds of stuff
which we would have never been,
so thanks, you know.
Sam: By the end of the 80's the
whole satanic panic around
metal had dissipated and with
the 90's music started to
take a far more serious turn.
It's hard to think of the 90's
without thinking of Marilyn
Manson who brought a
much more intellectual vibe it
seems to shock rock and so I've
come to Fort Lauderdale of all
places which is actually where
Marilyn got his start and I'm
meeting with the founding
guitarist Daisy Berkowitz, cause
I wanna ask him where the whole
philosophy behind Marilyn
Manson come from.
Daisy Berkowitz: We weren't
going into shock rock with
an idea of here's how we're
going to shock people,
I was just happy doing weird
music with a concept and theme,
something more artistic and
conceptual than other people
were doing in the early 90's
nobody had any theatricality,
nobody had a great show.
We had a theatrical show
that was not only theatrical
and visual but weird.
Alice: When I saw Marilyn of
course, I looked at it and said
okay that generation
needs an Alice.
That's who Marilyn was, Marilyn
was that generations Alice.
The videos with Marilyn
were the scariest part,
his videos were
truly disturbing,
I mean I was shocked
by the videos.
Alan Cross: Marilyn Manson
took the whole shock rock
thing about as far as
it could possibly go
before you have to start
arresting people.
The image was just absolutely
every parent's worst nightmare.
He was ghoulish, he was
scary, he was violent,
he was anti-religious, he
was apparently an actual
minister in some sort
of Satanist church.
Gavin: You have a guy
here who is very sharp,
very smart, very imaginative.
KISS and Alice just
wanted people to buy,
they were far more
Marilyn Manson
says what he
really wants
the kids to do
is to think.
Marilyn Manson: I like to
experiment with peoples fears,
see what motivates
them, what scares them.
At the same time I also mock
the whole sensationalism of it
in many ways, sometimes it seems
like I'm trying to be shocking
but I'm mocking the fact that
people take it so shocking.
The shock point has never
been the point and hopefully
people who like our music can
learn from that, that's the
most I can try and do you know
is to make people think.
Donny: Marilyn was a lot more
vocal off stage against his
opposition of church and
religion and he has his ideas
and he's not afraid to use
them. I think in the past
shock rockers were nuisances
to the right but I think
Marilyn Manson was one of
the first real challenges.
Sam: The tearing up of the bible
became part of the show,
how were people
reacting to that?
Daisy: It's offensive, sure it's
offensive we know that
but it's just a book. If there
was any message in doing it
that was it and to point
out that truly nothing
is sacred and morality
is ambiguous.
Gavin: Marilyn Manson
appreciated that the best kind
of publicity he could get
particularly amongst
rebellious teens were
these protesters.
These protesters were as much
a part of what Marilyn Manson
was about as the kids
inside the venue.
Karen: It fuels the careers of
shock rock performers to have
people criticizing them, that's
where their music starts in
them feeling like outcasts
in feeling like outsiders
and connecting with people
who also feel like outsiders
because they say look I'm
famous I have this great job
as a rock star but I'm just
like you, I'm misunderstood.
Daisy: Goth culture was
really big in the early 90's
because kids that liked the
music satan's hide they were
the ostracized kids, the kids
that didn't have clubs,
and Marilyn Manson feels like
more of a club house vibe.
I get it, I know what's
going on and you get it too,
and we're laughing at people
who think it's awful
and terrible cause' they
don't get it, so there's a
stronger following there's
like a psychic following.
Despite the controversy
surrounding Marilyn Mansons
music and performance, by the
late 90's he had sold over
20 million records, made a huge
international fan base and
received wide spread critical
acclaim, but then there was one
controversy that came along that
even Marilyn couldn't handle
Marilyn: I was watching the
news, CNN at the time and
I joked at first thinking I
would get blamed for it,
and who knew it would be so
ridiculous the initial reports
they said these kids were
wearing make-up and
were dressed like me that was
like their first report.
Gavin: It was almost you know
like the breaking news,
then there would be a picture of
Marilyn Manson for no obvious
reason with shock rocker Marilyn
Mason and then there would be
"were they Goths?" It's like
he was being put in the dark
for being responsible for this
appalling Columbine tragedy.
Karen: One of the reasons that
Manson became a target was
he was already visible in
the media, so people could
point to him and a broad
swath of the audience would
know exactly who they
were talking about.
Marilyn: I'm not surprised that
I was blamed because I have an
image that isn't altogether
pleasant but I think the
saddest most disgusting part of
the whole event was the media
coverage documenting the grief
and filming the funerals.
Then they turn around and
start indicting entertainment.
I think the most gruesome
entertainment I seen was
their coverage.
Daisy: The problem, Brian said,
was don't look at
me it's the media.
I thought you were the
anti-christ of rock and roll?
I thought you were scary, I
thought you were big and bad?
Now he's complaining people are
coming to him, he should of said
something like yeah see
how influential I can be?
If he's gonna be vilified, why
should he say oh don't look at
me like that, don't
make me a scape goat.
You're Marilyn Manson
you're supposed to be.
Gavin: I don't think he prepared
himself for the visceral
cynicism and hatred that was
unleashed by the scape-goating.
This you know, I think
really shook him
and he just sort
of disappeared.
After the Columbine tragedy,
Marilyn Manson retreated
from the public eye and
then in the early 2000's
another band emerged
that actually
terrified me the first
time I saw them live.
That band was Slipknot.
Sam: And so I've come all the
way to Des Moines, Iowa
which is the home of
Slipknot to meet with
the mastermind behind the
band because I wanna ask him
is Slipknot about shock rock or
is it something much more real?
Clown: I didn't set
out to be KISS,
I certainly didn't set
out to be Alice Cooper.
I'm not putting on
a (beep) show,
those other bands no
disrespect like I said,
all great bands
but I don't care.
I came up with wearing the mask
because I didn't want people
to see my real pain, I
wanted to share my own fear
behind the mask that way
you the fan could adjust
to the symbolism of what I
represented, I am clown I have
this sadistic way about me
that is very unpredictable,
very violent, very dangerous
and very in your face.
Sam: It's almost like
creating some sense of
shock wasn't enough.
Clown: War. War. That's
what we are. We're war.
Joey Jordison: One thing I
always said about Slipknot
is when people say why
do you wear masks,
I'm like what are you
talking about? We don't.
My mask is a reflection
of the guy you're talking
to right now.
We were a band from the middle
of nowhere, we're all complete
misfits, pretty much outcasts
with a lot of personal demons.
It's like no we don't
wear masks, that's us.
Clown: I grew up in an alcoholic
family so I had built up a lot
of rage and a lot of anger but I
know that when I get on stage
I get to live out that pain.
We were forcing ourselves to
recognize our pain and our
anger and pushing ourselves
to limits that no other band
could ever think about.
Monte: Clown had a decomposing
crow, and he would inhale
this stuff just to feel
the evil and feel the death.
Sometimes he'd throw up,
sometimes he'd throw up right
into his mask and he's playing
with vomit right in his face
in his mask and smelling
it that drove his show.
Clown: We're here to make the
live experience as real
as it possibly can be.
Things are being thrown,
things are made out of
metal. There's not a member
in slipknot that will tell you
they don't have a fear of
receiving some sort of major
injury or potentially death.
Sam: As extreme and dangerous
as Slipknot appears, you are
creating something that is
resonating with all these kids.
Clown: Because we are a
product of the society.
We represent kids that have had
backs turned to them forever.
I came up with the term maggots.
Our kids are like maggots,
they're feeding off of our
disgusting way of thinking,
our violent nature but it
goes deeper than that.
If you know anything about
a maggot, you know that
a maggot turns into a fly,
and a fly grows wings,
it can leave the death and
fly anywhere it wants
to a place of beauty,
to a place of peace.
I'm trying to give
you a revelation,
I'm trying to make an epiphany
go off in your head,
this is salvation through
the pain that we have and
that's what I've been trying
to do this whole time was
to find my own salvation
through my own anger.
With Slipknot and
Marilyn Manson,
shockrockreached a new
levelof darkness and the
showmanship of Alice Cooper and
KISS was gone.
However, a new band
out of Germany;
Rammstein has brought the
circus sideshow back to shock
and have become one of the
biggest bands in the world.
So I've come to meet them
in Quebec City on their only
North American tour date to
discuss shock rock and for
this interview I'm pretty sure
I'm gonna need a translator.
[Speaking German]
Oderus: What they do is so
crazy with the industrial,
and the mechanical
stuff and the fire.
A band that just
doesn't give a (beep).
Sam: A lot of dildos and
Oderus: A lot of foul imagery,
a lot of sexual imagery and
it isn't afraid to have fun
with it as well there's kind
of a sense of tongue and
cheek humor in their music.
[Speaking German]
Sam: Do you seek that
negative reaction, is
it motivating for you?
[Speaking German]
Rammstein broke new ground
in the evolution of shock rock
in the late 2000's by
releasing their video (beep)
on an internet porn site.
Music channels refused to
play the video for
its graphic visuals,
and live performances have
been banned around the world,
including in their
home country Germany.
[Speaking German]
[Speaking German]
Sam: What would it take to
shock an audience today?
[Speaking German]
Sam: So it seems today
with the advent of
video games, CNN
and the internet
you can pretty much
see scenes of sex and
violence and depravity with
the touch of a button.
And so I've come to Phoenix,
Arizona the new home of
Alice Cooper the god father of
shock rock to talk with him
about where he thinks shock rock
is at in the 21st century.
Alice: What can you do
to shock an audience,
you'd have to cut your
arm off and eat it,
you know and you can only
do that twice.
So it became now more
entertain the audience.
You can still use shock
values and theatrics
but don't expect
them to be shocked.
Sam: So do you think
people are coming to an
Alice Cooper show to
Alice: To see the show. Almost
like Cirque du Soleil.
It's amazing how the bands
that this generations
grand parents would
never let them see,
are now they're bringing
their grandparents.
So it is family entertainment.
Sam: So is it possible
to shock people today
in the context of music
and performance?
Rob: I don't even know
if you could anymore.
When you watch the old
stuff you think like wow
he just did that and
everybody was shocked.
First of all, it would
be shocking for even
one second if
anybody even cared.
Arthur: I think the kind
of shock rocker we've had
is no longer relevant.
Everything's out there.
Even at the age of 13 you
will be reading stuff
that people never got
Chris: Unless you're out there
really cutting throats and
executing people
live on screen,
but even that,
kids if you
wanna see that
it's out there.
Donny: I think it would be
an unwise thing to say,
that we've seen it all.
There's some kid in his
basement right now formulating
how to come out there and
how to blow peoples' minds.
He or she is gonna come out and
challenge societies beliefs,
their systems and they're
gonna connect with the youth.
As long as there are young
people, there will always be
people that are willing to scare
the old to entertain the young.
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