The Reason Marilyn Manson Thought Nirvana Was Better Than Pearl Jam

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The word ‘grunge’ almost became synonymous with the Seattle music scene in the ’90s. While it originally meant grime or dirt, it later corresponded to a particular type of music genre, lifestyle, and fashion movement. It was used to describe several bands that emerged in the 1980s and 1990s, like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains, Soundgarden and Mudhoney.

Starting from the late 1980s, ‘grunge’ was used to define a certain sound, which is loud and distorted. It was mainly a fusion of punk rock and heavy metal. The lyrics of the Seattle sound also reflected the movement’s rebellious and rageful character as they often addressed the themes of social isolation, trauma, abuse, and neglect.

It is hard to know who initially coined the term ‘grunge’ to describe the music genre and how the term got this meaning. It definitely became a marketing ploy in the music industry to promote the new bands and move them to the mainstream. Apparently, Marilyn Manson had an opinion on how the word ‘grunge’ became such a popular term over the years.

Marilyn Manson Said That He Invented The Term ‘Grunge’

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It is a known fact that Marilyn Manson is a controversial figure who comes to the fore with different topics from time to time. In 2015, he gave an interview to Noisey, in which he looked back in time and remembered when the grunge started to stand out as a music genre.

Manson stated that he was working as a music journalist at the time and reviewing Nirvana’s debut album ‘Bleach.’ Then, he claimed that he coined the term ‘grunge’ which turned into describing the Seattle sound in the following years. According to Marilyn Manson, he was the first to use the term to refer the ‘grunge’ music.

Here is Marilyn Manson’s statement on his claim:

“Nirvana was one of the bands I covered first as a journalist and I’m just going to go ahead and say I coined the term ‘grunge’ in a review of ‘Bleach.’ You’re welcome.”

Of course, when Manson said that he invented the term ‘grunge,’ he quickly received some feedback based on his claim, and then, he had to clarify himself in another interview.

Marilyn Manson Claimed That Nirvana Was Better Than Pearl Jam

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After claiming that he coined the term ‘grunge,’ Marilyn Manson gave a new interview to Esquire and stepped back. Manson clarified that he actually didn’t invent the term but he just popularized it. He stated that it was fun for him to read when his claim became the headline. Manson admitted that it is impossible that he invented the term considering the period he wrote it. He also added that it was kind of an intentional thing as he likes to draw attention.

Marilyn Manson is clarifying his claim on grunge:

“Yeah, let me clarify that. I didn’t say I invented the word. I said I coined it, in that I popularized it. I think I actually wrote ‘grungy.’ But it is pretty amusing that that became a headline. I’m like a Furby. You can push me, and then your sound bite comes out, and there you have your headline.

So to clarify, I merely claimed that I popularized the word, which is pretty much not accurate, considering the distribution of the periodical that I wrote it in. But I like to self-aggrandize.”

In a previous interview with Noisey, Marilyn Manson also said another controversial thing and implied that Nirvana was actually a better band than Pearl Jam. He revealed that when grunge first emerged, he would call most of the bands ‘commonist rock,’ including Pearl Jam. He criticized Pearl Jam’s popularity at the time and also described their fight against Ticketmaster as nonsense.

Later on, the rocker stated that for him, Nirvana was different than the rest of the bands. They were acting in the same manner, but Nirvana was more than that. They didn’t follow the common trends and took a different path. Manson also said that Nirvana was one of the bands he covered as a journalist so they probably had a special place for him.

Marilyn Manson is speaking on Nirvana:

“I hated rock n’ roll when I started. It was on the cusp of grunge and a lot of bands that I used to call ‘commonist rock’ because everyone wanted to be like the common man with the flannel shirts and Pearl Jam and their fight against Ticketmaster and all this horse shit. Nirvana was different.

Many would think that the Seattle bands mostly have similar sounds and styles, but apparently, Marilyn Manson believed otherwise. Nirvana was not like the other bands for him as they represented something different.