Despite being referred to as a ‘band’, Nine Inch Nails was always Trent Reznor’s brainchild, and he alone has been responsible for the band’s creative decisions. He also played every instrument except for the drums on the earliest NIN recordings and is the only member of Nine Inch Nails to feature on all of their studio albums to date.
There have been no less than 24 live members joining Reznor as a part of Nine Inch Nails from 1989 to the present day.
Debut album, Pretty Hate Machine (1989), was originally going to be called The Industrial Nation and was recorded whilst Reznor was working cleaning the toilets of a recording studio. When he was off-shift, the owner of the studio let him record demos in the studio, which became the songs that appeared on Pretty Hate Machine.
The Downward Spiral (1994) – Nine Inch Nails’ nastily, noisily, suicidally glum album – was born at the house in LA where Charles Manson‘s followers murdered actress Sharon Tate. Bad vibes abounded, and having failed to cook chicken for the under-nurtured Reznor, visitor Tori Amos concluded the house was cursed.
Horror soaks the songs on the album, though Reznor denied the recurrent “Pigs” (Piggy, March of The Pigs) were related to Piggies, the Beatles track that became a Manson anthem.
The album is as far from easy listening as multiplatinum rock ever reached. If it “speaks” to you and you are not Trent Reznor, be very worried . . .
In 2004, NIN were placed at number 94 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 Greatest Artists Of All Time.
Vocals, guitar, keyboards, bass, drums, programming