Teaming up with guitarist Scott Mitchell, who dubbed himself Daisy Berkowitz, Warner became Marilyn Manson. In no time, bassist Gidget Geinand and keyboardist Stephen Gregory Bier Jr. (known as Madonna Wayne-Gacy) had signed on and it was off to the goth races as Marilyn Manson & the Spooky Kids.
Local gigs and demo tapes got underway, eventually with drummer Sara Lee Lucas joining in the fun. South Florida loved them. So did Trent Reznor. In 1993, he signed the group to his label and put them in the opening slot for Nine Inch Nails.
Manson and company's debut, Portrait of an American Family, dropped in the summer of 1994 with Jeordie White (aka Twiggy Ramirez) on bass. With a bigger audience to impress and/or shock, Manson upped the performance art ante with all manner of on-stage antics. A cult following blossomed and the album went gold.
The band's sophomore effort, the Smells Like Children EP, was released in 1995 and included a cover of "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)," made famous by the Eurythmics. It wasn't long before another line-up shift saw Zim Zum replace Berkowitz in time for 1996's platinum-selling Antichrist Superstar which entered the Billboard 200 at number three.
The mainstream attention was not without its detractors, of course. Manson was a popular target of pickets and boycotts by the religious right. Stirring to pot to a boil, Manson landed on the cover of Rolling Stone and issued an autobiography titled The Long Hard Road Out of Hell. The move somehow made lemons out of the lemonade.
Keeping up the momentum, Manson followed with 1998's Mechanical Animals, which topped the charts and sold over a million copies, and the Last Tour on Earth, which yielded a platinum live album of the same name. Then came Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death) in late 2000, along with the requisite supporting tour. During that run, Manson was charged in two separate incidents involving security guards. Neither amounted to much.
The Golden Age of Grotesque came in 2003 and actually topped the Billboard 200 for a week, though it only sold enough to claim gold status. Critics loved it, too. Dueling compilations followed – with Berkowitz releasing Lunch Boxes & Choklit Cows and Manson countering with Lest We Forget, the latter including Manson's handling of “Personal Jesus.”
Although rumors of a new album surfaced in 2005, Eat Me, Drink Me didn't actually see daylight until 2007. Two years later, The High End of Low arrived, but did very meager business. A new album, Born Villain, was slated for a February, 2012 release.