Having an attitude, being offensive, acting weird and behaving like an all out psycho are parts of the image a lot of musicians try to create for themselves. But trying to be weird is not enough. Some people have strong enough personalities (or mental disorders) to pull it off, but some just end up being pathetic trying to be strange and interesting. For some examples of truly strange people in music I have compiled a short list of my favorite weirdos. Feel free to compare them to the next Marilyn Manson-clone to pop up and try tell the real thing from the act.
Steve Albini (Big Black, Rapeman, Shellac) - the killer geek. Doesn't need a look, or even a body: This guy's attitude is bigger than any person.
Blixa Bargeld (Einstürzende Neubauten, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds) - You would expect this guy to be a bit strange after hearing Einstürzende Neubauten, and he can be very cryptic at times. He's not predictable, though: he once broke off an interview to call his mom, when he realized that the lyrics for his song Ein Stuhl in der Hälle could upset her... Nice guy!
Bill Carter (The Screaming Blue Messiahs) - Just plain strange.
Jaz Coleman (Killing Joke) - Any guy could rant and rave about the impending apocalypse. This one believed it was coming and ran away to Iceland!
Tom Ellard (Severed Heads) - Tom would probably not want to be bunched up with these guys, since he's a regular bloke who even posts frequently on his own fan mailing list. He might even read this (in that case: sorry Tom). Still, his attitude towards the music industry and his sometimes caustic remarks are things that would-be rocker bad-boys would pay millions to be able to pull off. Someone called him impish and I agree.
Michael Gira (Swans) - Gira's lyrics, writings and interviews should be required reading for any doom-and-gloom goth type who wants to pour their angst into the ears of an unsuspecting audience. You think you're depressed? Think again...
Mark E. Smith (The Fall) - If you're going to be obnoxious and aggressive, make sure you have the intelligence to back it up. If you want to be a cynic, here's your guru.
Jim "Foetus" Thirlwell (everywhere...) - This guy has something that lots of others miss out on entirely: A sense of humor.
Freddie Wadling (The Leather Nun, Cortex, Blue For Two, The Flesh Quartet, and many others) - Stranger than the rest of them, mad bad Freddie didn't speak more than a few words until age 19, then he started to sing...
There are several more of these lovable lunatics of course. If you think I should add some more, go ahead and tell me so...