Music Artist Spotlight – 02/19

Nine Inch Nails

Nine Inch Nails is the name musician Trent Reznor goes by when making his music in the studio. He usually does this alone, with limited assistance from other musicians. However, when performing live Reznor does equip a full roster of band mates to create a stage dynamic few other bands have. The band is known to destroy their instruments onstage at the very end of the show, after flinging them around stage and otherwise abusing the instruments. Ever since the band’s creation in the late 80s, Nine Inch Nails has contained a distinctly industrial rock sound. The heavy use of distortion and electronics helps to define the sound you get when you hear a Nine Inch Nails record. Reznor has been one to stay on top of the technological side of things and has released 2 albums in surround sound format as well as several DVD singles containing the music video in surround sound.

Nine Inch Nails’ music often deals with the dark, introspective part of Reznor and his personal problems. Early Nine Inch Nails songs dealt with depression, suicide, loss of a loved one, breakups, sexual frustration, just to name a few. More recently however, the songs have taken a more political approach to the disdain of some of the band’s more diehard fans. In fact, the most recent album, Year Zero, deals with a dystopian future Reznor imagines the world is heading to with the current state of politics. The album sparked a massive Alternate Reality Game of the same name, which dealt with websites from the future sending themselves back in time so that us at the current time could see the future we were heading for.

The game lead players around the world, finding USB Keys at bathrooms during Nine Inch Nails live shows that contained clues to new websites which revealed more of the story. At one point, members of the “Open Source Resistance” group were brought to an abandoned warehouse where they were treated to a speech from a guy who told them to open their minds and think for themselves, then brought to an even smaller room where Nine Inch Nails played a small concert. After the 6th song, a set of SWAT members invaded the warehouse, and with several ‘arrests’ made, the rest of the members were made to run from the warehouse to safety. This was all a part of the game, of course. Several tracks were leaked out before the album came out, also a part of the game. During this, the RIAA attempted to sue a blog which was hosting one of the songs, to which Reznor displayed his utter disgust towards how they would sue someone for hosting a song they had signed off on allowing for free release.

Because of Reznor’s long standing hatred for the music industry and it’s consumers, he broke free of his record label in 2007 and has since pursued his own vision: Releasing the parts of his album to the public to allow anyone to remix it and post it on an official remix site for others to listen to, rate, and download. He has also produced and released Saul William’s The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of NiggyTardust! for free or for a $5 charge for a higher quality version of the album (Following in Radiohead’s footsteps with their unorthodox release of In Rainbows). This allowed for the artist to benefit more from the purchase of the album rather than have to worry about expenses for making the CDs and going through a record label to get the business done.

Nine Inch Nails brings the inhuman sounds of Industrial Music with the very real human feelings of sadness, sexual urges, anger, and that feeling of insignificance in the world. This has made the group popular with music listeners both young and old, even attracting the attention of a dying Johnny Cash, who covered their song “Hurt” on one of his final albums before his death. There is no doubt to the power Nine Inch Nails’ music has, and to imagine that it has all come from one man’s problems is a pretty amazing thing. Currently, Reznor is working on a ‘Secret Project’ which he promises fans will know what it is “Soon”.

Nine Inch Nails Official Website
Nine Inch Nails Official Myspace

Published in: on February 21, 2008 at 10:29 pm  Leave a Comment  
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