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With its first original scripted series, WGN America went to the darker side of American history for the witchy drama Salem, which is about as historically accurate as an article in The Onion. So it makes a certain amount of sense that the series teamed with one of the more iconic artists on the faux-dark side of the musical spectrum, Marilyn Manson, for an all-new theme for their opening title sequence. If you’re like me, you’re wondering how Manson’s track “The Beautiful People” hasn’t been the theme song for the CW since its inception.
Ahead of the second episode’s airing, WGN America decided to release Salem’s reworked titles, which will be used for the remainder of the episodes in Season 1. The song is called “Cupid Carries a Gun,” and it’s the last track that Manson's eponymous band recorded for their as-yet-untitled upcoming album. I have to say, my interest in the band waxes and wanes from album to album, but they’ve aged better than many of their mid-1990s hard rock cohorts, and this song is one of their catchier recent efforts. I absolutely want to hear the entire track now, though it may be too upbeat and sly for what has started out as such a droll thriller.
“Cupid Carries a Gun” found a place at Salem thanks to series composer Tyler Bates. A frequent collaborator of directors Zack Snyder and James Gunn, Bates has created the music for films such as Watchmen and the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy. He explained to THR how the project came together.
”Manson and I wrote a draft of ‘Cupid Carries a Gun’ shortly before I began working on the score for Salem. A couple weeks later I saw the title sequence and the song immediately came to mind. I showed it to Manson for fun more than anything, and it inspired us to finish the song that night. The next day I played it for [series creator] Brannon Braga and he said that ‘Cupid Carries a Gun’ was the perfect tone and attitude for the show’s main titles.”
Though Manson’s music has appeared on films and TV shows for years, it’s only recently that he’s gotten more into TV acting, starring in Californication, Eastbound & Down and Once Upon a Time over the last year. His last film role was as a teenager (!) for Quentin Dupieux’s offbeat comedy Wrong Cops. Might we expect to see him take an onscreen role in Salem in the future? Anything is possible when witchcraft is involved.
Of course, there will also always be secrets when witchcraft abounds. Dig deeper into the lives of Mary Sibley and John Alden’s with the video below, and tune in on Sunday to catch the new titles for the second episode, titled “The Stone Child.”