Nine Inch Nails Biography

Review The Artist (23)

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FORMED: 1989, Cleveland, OH

Ten years after Pretty Hate Machine gave a comatose rock scene some much-needed electro-shock therapy, nine inch nails' imprint on the genre remains unmatchable. By popularizing electronic music, nine inch nails auteur Trent Reznor rewired the mainstream, inspiring Time magazine to name him "One of the Most Influential People in America," and Spin to praise him as "The Most Vital Artist in Music Today."

The Grammy Award-winning artist is once again forcing the genre's growth - and his own - by pushing both into new territory. His latest, The Fragile (dubbed "The Decade's Most Anticipated Album" by Alternative Press), is a 23-track, double-disc set that clocks in at over 100 minutes of music. Reznor dedicated two solid years to make this record, and the resulting music - bracingly resonant and rich with pictures - reinforces his reputation as a meticulous artisan.

Says Reznor, "I wanted to try new things, fully utilizing the studio while putting more effort into melody and structure. Instead of trying to analyze what I was creating, I just let it flow to see where it went. It was all about not being afraid and it felt very liberating."

Five years since his last full studio album (The Downward Spiral), Reznor still refuses to play by the rules. On The Fragile, structures are detonated and rebuilt; gorgeous melodies are woven into discordant loop-laden racket, and instrumental tangents tumble from one symphonic arrangement to the next. Remarkably, Reznor somehow blends it all to overwhelming effect. Even more surprising is the ratio of strings (slide guitar, violins, cellos, ukuleles, upright bass) to synths, a sound that ultimately gives the record a more organic feel, despite being processed by Reznor's unique filter.

"There's a general theme to the album of systems failing and things sort of falling apart," Reznor explains. "In keeping with the idea of making everything sound a little broken, I chose stringed instruments because they're imperfect by nature. Although it may not sound like it, most of the album is actually guitar - and that includes the orchestral sounds and weird melodic lines. When it came to instruments that I didn't really know how to play - like the ukulele or the slide guitar - we were able to get some really interesting sounds by making the studio the main instrument."

Reznor manipulates everything from ripples of feedback to vocal harmonies in order to serve mood and atmosphere. The result is somewhat cinematic, creating aural movies that evoke images ranging from black and bleak ("Somewhat Damaged," "Starfuckers, Inc.," "No You Don't") to graceful and haunting ("La Mer," "The Great Below"). At the center of the album are clamorous pop songs like "The Day the World Went Away" and the album's first single "We're In This Together," both of which highlight The Fragile's marked melodic bent.

The Fragile was produced by Reznor and engineer/mixer Alan Moulder. As for making the album a double-disc set, Reznor says, "Once we had crossed the line of 74 minutes on a CD, I made the decision to go with 2 discs. It just felt better. It's kind of like Side A and Side B of an album."

Over the course of the past decade, Trent Reznor has started his own label (nothing records), stolen the show at both Lollapalooza and Woodstock '94, produced/exec-produced three CDs for Marilyn Manson and soundtracks for David Lynch ("Lost Highway") and Oliver Stone ("Natural Born Killers"), released a slew of singles and a home video (Closure), and created music for the CD-ROM game, "Quake." Meanwhile, Pretty Hate Machine has gone triple-platinum, topped SoundScan's pop catalog chart, and was named one of the "200 Albums Essential To Any Rock Collection" (Rolling Stone).The Grammy-winning Broken went platinum as well, while The Downward Spiral actually topped them both, debuting at #2 on SoundScan's Top 200, and selling more than 5 million copies worldwide. The latter was also named one of Rolling Stone's "Essential Recordings of the '90's" and one of Spin's "Greatest Albums of the '90's."

"As a fan, I want to listen to an album, not just singles," says Reznor. "I want something that I can sink my teeth into, something that I can listen to a million times, trying to get more out of it with each spin. That's the record I tried to make here. That is The Fragile."

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NIN is God | Reviewer: Kathy | 8/12/14

Trent Reznor has been my soul mate since I first saw NIN live in Texas in 1990. The only time I saw him as an opening band (to Peter Murphy, who is god-like, but not a GOD like Trent Reznor!)

dominc D | Reviewer: Anonymous | 10/15/11

Trent's music strikes a chord deep inside me and resonates throughout me. I know the feelings he writes about. the angst, the isolation, the alienation, the rage. Some of them move me to tears. but at the same time, its inspiring, hauntingly beautiful, and motivating. He is by far the most talented musician of our times, and doesnt get nearly the respect he deserves. but thats ok, cause what are accolades really? Especially in this society we live in now, where mediocraty is celebrated. thank you trent

title for my review | Reviewer: Marshall Maleficus | 10/7/10

adding to Omegas list of people he tourd with I say David Bowie. I could go for hour talking about Trent so I'm just gonna say he is a music mastermind and theres so few people have that raw dark and creative feel to them like NIИ. Two examples would be Marilyn Manson (DUH), and KoЯn.

NIN :) | Reviewer: Omega | 6/10/10

So I Love the fact that NIN is a one-man-band, except on tour, just goes to show how talented Trent is. I didn't really start listening to NIN, untill I read Marilyn Manson's biography, when I found out that Trent signed the band. I used to listen to NIN a lot then I just stopped, but a lot of the songs just make me pumped, like Reptile, and Survivalism. As for the Ryan person back in I think 07, just let him have his dumb-witted opinion... if he doesn't like NIN he shouldn't be posting it up on the NIN lyrics site, as that is just a waste of time...
But Trent Reznor rocks, and everybody else that has ever toured live with NIN... Robin Finck, Jeordie White, Chris Vrenna, etc.
Rock On Trent :)

expression | Reviewer: collin | 9/18/09

ryan, music is about expressing yourself and your feelings. trent isnt trying to get attention. he uses music to get his feelings out and off his chest. people that write books about there experiences arent looking for attention. theyre getting it out there. to express themselves. granted you may not like how trent expresses himself. but he may not like how you express yourself. all it is is preference.

wow...we need an age check on these things.... | Reviewer: Anonymous | 4/20/09

First of all...Ryan, u sound like my 10 year old brother who will argue with me and my mom and than tell us to not talk to him when it's obvious he doesn't have a point.Secondly, this is a review for NIN, not a counciling session. U don't need to go and tell people what they are if this music or to get a bf...ur just 4 letters on some site and no one gives two s**ts...
Now on to busnies. NIN is probably one the best bands in terms of variety/sounds. The beauty behind industrial is that u can sound a million diffrent ways with a general lyric idea and that is why i could listen to NIN all day and not get sick of it. As for not meaning what he writes...duh! no artist can say that they mean 100% and feel 100% of what they sing. Look at metallica, you think there entire lives and existance are focussed around killing people and burning stuff, ect. No! i seriously doubt a single band member has killed a person in there life but they still write about it. So deal with it cause last time i checked there's not any laws against it. So if u don't agree with trents music (which is fine) just be a man and rescpect the fact that what he does is insanly hard and time consuming.
everyone has certain points in there life that are signifigant and it is from these that all artists (good ones anyways) draw inspiration for there lyrics/sounds. I'm a song writer and so i know this and if u don't believe me i can gladly show u a song or 2. Frankly, if Trent just made up all this music and lyrics just out of the blue with no life experience than that would only make it even more be like building a arcituctual masterpiece without knowing basic math.

Geez... | Reviewer: Beatrice Blue | 6/18/08

Unbelievable. That's all I have to say about Ryan and this topic. Oh, and you want trendy Bush bashing... try a number of Ministry songs, or better yet, see them live while you still can. The hatred just emanates from Uncle Al, even without the words!

really??!!! | Reviewer: kelly | 2/9/08

i didn't even know people thought like this of trent reznor how can you bitch about a guy that can go into the studio by himself play every single interument create a record besides that put on one of the greatest concerts you'll ever see i just don't get it you youngsters need to sit down and listen to pretty hate machine or broken to see how great this band really is

lol | Reviewer: aaron | 1/14/08

wtf is up with you people? i can understand the fact that you might not like his work but jesus christ, you dont have to exaggerate. trent doesnt bitch about his problems, he just expresses the tragedies he has experienced throughout his life. nor does he give a shit about the money and the fame. several times he had told his fans to take his music of the e-net while he was under contract to a record label. now that he is under no control (being free from all obligations to interscope records) he has his own website in which you can remix any of his songs. not only that, but if your work is good enough he will produce it. you all sound like a bunch of niggers with all this "hatin." move along with your bitchin if you cant relate with the music.

This music is perfect | Reviewer: Johny | 12/9/07

Ok, the guy named Ryan here is an idiot, first off. Secondly, Reznor is not acting like anything, and anyone here who's ever been addicted to a dangerous drug can understand. Thirdly, the man is a musical genius who has influenced music in ways that none of us commenting here will ever do. How can you call someone a phony when you have absolutely no experience in his field of expertise? The songs he has made are great, convey perfect ideas, and are not capable of being classified in any genre. Its simply good music.

Fools. | Reviewer: Me | 11/12/07

Yes, Trent Reznor is brillant in what he writes, but at the same time, I'd think that anyone who absolutely worships him is a bit crazy. You want to attach a part of your soul to someone or something, either get religion or get a bf that you can actually have.

But then again, to go so far as saying that you couldn't do what you wanted in life just because someone else was doing it, doesn't mean that you can't stfu and own up to the fact that with billions of people in the world, that someone may just have the same kind of life that you have, the same ideas, and they just got there sooner? (^bigger loser^)

Isn't it better then feeling alone? You don't know what alone is. But if you want emo b***hing, then just listen to one of Reznors more depressing song, not me.

I really shouldn't have said anything. It's not really my place. But at the same time, grow up or at least shut up.

Good show. | Reviewer: Scott | 10/10/07

Just for the record, System of a Down also bashes Bush. Before you take a stab at Capital G, take a little listen to B.Y.O.B. It's just a little ludicrous to bash Trent for doing something and praise another band when they have done the same thing.

gimmick? i don't think so | Reviewer: rena | 10/4/07

ryan, that's like saying your emotions are gimmicks. just because his highschool teachers say he was friendly and outgoing, does that mean he's always happyhappy? there are times when people get mad and sad and all that shit, obviously.

NINcompoop ahahahahahhahahahha tbats so funnyyy

sorry, i'll go on. many artists are like that, take The Cure for instance. they've been called the king of gloom and depressing...blah blah but as Robert Smith said, he's smiled more in his life that cried, he just doesnt write about it. cant that go for Trent? does an artist have to write all of his emotions into the art? no. can s/he pick just some? totally. i thought you'd have figured that out sooner.

trent robbing your music talent? i'm glad he didn't. he'd be broke by now, if he did.

OK Then | Reviewer: Johnson | 9/26/07

Um Ryan.. You're sounding a little paranoid there. A man you've never met "stole" your musical ideas? As for the whole gimmick etc etc thing, who cares? I for one love NIN, have done ever since Pretty Hate Machine was released, and considering how good the latest stuff is I can't see an end to that love. Maybe you're right, its all an act, but honestly who gives a...? That is in no way detrimental to the music. Which is mind blowingly excellent, TR has been consistently at the forefront of technology and production techniques and his early music is still relevent today. Every song is brilliantly written and produced to perfection. That, to me, makes him special and impresive, not the hair, clothes or ex addictions. So what if people feel connected to something from his music? Isn't that better than feeling alone?

OK then | Reviewer: Johnson | 9/26/07

Um Ryan.. You're sounding a little paranoid there. A man you've never met "stole" your musical ideas? As for the whole gimmick etc etc thing, who cares? I for one love NIN, have done ever since Pretty Hate Machine was released, and considering how good the latest stuff is I can't see an end to that love. Maybe you're right, its all an act, but honestly who gives a...? That is in no way detrimental to the music. Which is mind blowing, TR has been consistently at the forefront of technology and production techniques and his early music is still relevent today. That, to me, makes him special and impressive, not the hair, clothes or ex addictions. And if he can do all that and make people feel connected to something aswell, then more props to him I say.

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