Nine Inch Nails (NIИ, the second "N" is flipped horizontally on album cover art ) was formed in Cleveland, Ohio in 1988 as an industrial rock band.
The founder of the band, Trent Reznor, is its principal member and does most of the work on Nine Inch Nails albums; when the band plays live he is joined by a full line-up which has rotated considerably since the band's formation, though Reznor maintains most of the creative control.
Their first album, Pretty Hate Machine (1989), largely consisting of studio versions of demo recordings, went triple platinum in the US. It produced the singles "Head Like A Hole," "Down In It" and "Sin." Music videos were made for these three tracks.
The second major Nine Inch Nails release was Broken (1992), an EP of six tracks and two "hidden" tracks. The song "Wish" won a Grammy in the "metal" category. Peter "Sleazy" Christopherson of Coil directed a music video for "Happiness In Slavery" which was universally banned due to its graphic content; the video depicts performance artist Bob Flanagan strapping himself to a machine that subsequently tortures and kills him. A full length video entitled Broken - The Movie was also made by Sleazy, but has not seen an official release. Reznor has stated in interviews that "It makes 'Happiness In Slavery' look like a Disney movie"; depictions of torture, mutilation, and staged snuff film-like imagery accompany many of the songs. Some copies of the video can be found on fan sites and file sharing systems. An album of remixes from Broken, entitled Fixed, was officially released.
The second full album, The Downward Spiral, was released in 1994 and went quadruple platinum. It helped the band to much greater prominence, especially through the second single from the album, "Closer." The first single from the album was "March of the Pigs". Music videos were made for both singles, with the video for "Closer" being edited for MTV. The album's final track, "Hurt", would be quite successful when covered by Johnny Cash in 2003. Like Broken, The Downward Spiral produced several remix albums, including Further Down the Spiral and remix EPs based on "Closer" and "March of the Pigs". The Downward Spiral powerfully evokes images of both aggressive and depressive states. Some fans consider it to be Reznor's finest work. Reznor has publicly stated that he has suffered from depression, and has been reported as suffering from bipolar disorder.
The track "The Perfect Drug" recorded and included on the Lost Highway soundtrack spawned the release of a 5 mix EP The Perfect Drug Versions.
There was a long gap before the release of the next album, the double disc release The Fragile (1999). It produced three singles, one released in the US ("The Day The World Went Away"), one in the UK ("We're In This Together") and one in Japan and Australia ("Into The Void"). Like the previous two albums, it was followed by a remix album, entitled Things Falling Apart. Music videos for "We're In This Together", "Into the Void", and "Starfuckers Inc." were aired in the US. A live album and DVD entitled And All That Could Have Been as well as a special edition EP with unreleased and reworked favorites called "Still" were released in 2002, following the "Fragility" tour.
NIN used The Phantasy as its practice space and home for many of their concerts.
Trent Reznor is also in possession of John Lennon's mellotron, which he has used on Broken, The Fragile, and Marilyn Manson's second album, Antichrist Superstar
Each Nine Inch Nails release is given a matrix number using the form: Halo x, where x is a positive integer. Many independent and new wave records follow similar numbering schemes. The currently releases are as follows:
Halos 13 and 15 are now out of print, some CDs including Pretty Hate Machine are now difficult to get due to Nine Inch Nails conflict with their label Interscope Records. And All That Could Have Been was both a live single and double album. There was also a concert video on VHS and DVD of it. The double album version includes Still bonus disc, which is also available separately.
A new album, tentatively titled Bleedthrough and later titled With Teeth has been recorded and is currently in some stage of development. Release date has been pushed back from early to late 2004 to early 2005. Given Nine Inch Nails' history, more delays are plausible. Interviews with Reznor say that it will feature no instrumentals (the first NIN album since Pretty Hate Machine to have none), and will feature Dave Grohl on drums.
In August 2004, Reznor announced two re-releases of previous material. A double DVD release of the 1997 Closure tour documentry/music video compilation, long requested and anticipated by fans, will be released early 2005, and will feature over 90 minutes of unseen footage (a teaser trailer shown on the NIN website included clips of footage from the 1990 tour, Lollapalooza, Woodstock '94, The making of the "Closer" video, the unreleased original "March of the Pigs" video, and it is widely suspected that the DVD will include the Broken Movie). The other major re-release is a 5.1 Dolby Surround Sound remaster of their 1994 album The Downward Spiral. Also included with this release is a second CD featuring remixes, rarities, and tracks from previously released singles.
Other NIN works
The most famous NIN moment is probably their disastrous, mudsoaked performance at Woodstock 1994.
Reznor also recorded the background music for the id software computer game Quake, released in 1996, but this is not considered a canonical Nine Inch Nails release. Reznor was also put in charge of compiling the soundtrack to the film Natural Born Killers, which included the original track "Burn". Some of the tracks on the soundtrack to the David Lynch film Lost Highway are credited to Reznor alone, in addition to it featuring the original Nine Inch Nails track "The Perfect Drug." Reznor also contributed the track "Deep" to the soundtrack for the movie Tomb Raider, and a cover of the Joy Division song "Dead Souls" to the soundtrack for the movie The Crow. Though not included on the soundtrack album, Closer (precursor) from the Closer to God EP was used for the opening credits of the movie Seven. Director Tony Scott has used Nine Inch Nails music in two of his films to date; The Fan featured a clip from "The Art of Self Destruction (Part 1)" from the Further Down the Spiral EP, and Man on Fire featured clips from six Nine Inch Nails songs, mostly instrumentals from the The Fragile LP.
More information on Reznor's work outside of Nine Inch Nails can be found at the Trent Reznor entry.
Nine Inch Nails members
- Trent Reznor is the only official member of the band. He does most of the studio work himself with assistance from Danny Lohner and Charlie Clouser (who, it seems, have now ended their tenure). He does, however, recruit musicians into a live group that he tours with.
Supporting live bands
2005 (current rumors)
- Alessandro Cortini - Guitar
- Ralf Dietel - Guitar
- Jerome Dillon - Drums
Jeordie White - Bass, Guitar
- Charlie Clouser - Keyboard, Theremin
- Jerome Dillon - Drums
Robin Finck - Guitar, Keyboard
- Danny Lohner - Bass, Guitar, Keyboard
Self Destruct Tours: 1994 - 1996
- Robin Finck - Guitar, Keyboard
- Danny Lohner - Bass, Guitar, Keyboard
Chris Vrenna - Drums
- James Woolley - Keyboard (1994-1995)
- Charlie Clouser - Keyboard (1995-1996)
Hate 1990 Tour
Richard Patrick - Guitar
- Jeff Ward - Drums (beginning of tour)
- Chris Vrenna - Drums (rest of tour)
- James Woolley - Keyboard
External links and references
- nin.com - Official site http://www.nin.com/
- nincollector.com - archive of official releases http://mike7478.homestead.com/files/main.htm
- seething-animosity - archive of bootleg & other releases http://seething-animosity.schulte.org/
- nine inch nails trading forum http://www.nincol.com/
- The NIN Hotline - nine inch nails news and information archive http://www.theninhotline.net
- nine inch nails lyrics - complete lyrics to official releases http://www.rexer.com/nin/
- All Music Guide entry for Nine Inch Nails http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&uid=UIDSUB040403281745341146&sql=B4ueyx
- Article referring to Reznor as suffering from bipolar disorder http://www.theninhotline.net/archives/articles/xart234.shtml
- The NIN.com statement on the Tapeworm project http://www.nin.com/access/5-08/index.html
Last updated: 02-07-2005 08:30:35
Last updated: 04-25-2005 03:06:01