The shock rock legend Marilyn Manson has laid claim that he was the individual responsible for coining the term ‘grunge’
arilyn Manson has been known for many things, taking Alice Cooper’s visual landscapes to the logical next step, baiting his critics with fearsome wit, and becoming one of the most recognisable musicians of his era. Now though he has claimed that he coined the term that described the alt-rock bands that turned Seattle into the musical hotbed of the late 80s and early 90s that was grunge.
Speaking to Noisey, Manson suggested that he created the term in his pre-rock star days as a music journalist. He said, “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. That 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.”
Mudhoney vocalist Mark Arm is generally credited as the originator of the term grunge. Arm used it in a 1981 letter he wrote to the Seattle zine Desperate Times to criticise his band Mr Epp and the Calculations, for being “Pure grunge! Pure noise! Pure shit!”