Trivia / Nine Inch Nails

  • Black Sheep Hit: "Closer" is a less aggressive song compared to the loud, industrial madness on most of the rest of Downward Spiral, but has become the band's biggest hit and probably the poster child of the industrial rock genre.
  • Creator Backlash:
    • Trent's actually not a fan of the band's now iconic Woodstock performance, considering it one of the band's worst. The myriad amounts of technical problems throughout the performance (Most famously Trent's keyboard breaking down halfway into Happiness in Slavery) probably had something to do with this.
    • In a 2005 interview with Spin, Trent Reznor commented about his opinion on The Fragile, nowadays considered one of Nine Inch Nails' best works. He associated the album with his mental condition in the late 1990s and criticized its lack of lyrics. Reznor believed that he made it out fear of whatever happened to him at the time, filling it with "an unimaginable amount of effort" while unable to think.
    • Trent isn't fond of "Big Man With a Gun" (which is probably why he doesn't often play it live), nor is he fond of "Ruiner"; in a Guitar World interview released the month after The Downward Spiral was released, Trent admitted that "Ruiner" was the hardest song to write, and he still wasn't sure that he did it right.
  • Creator Breakdown: The Downward Spiral was made during a period where Trent was suffering a downward spiral of his own, induced by depression and drug abuse. Even when the album was released to mass acclaim, Trent was still unhappy due to disillusionment with his newfound fame. It would up bleeding into the sessions for The Fragile, and in fact, he admitted he was contemplating suicide while writing "La Mer."
  • Creator Recovery: 'With Teeth'' could be considered this for Trent Reznor, who admitted in an interview around the time of the album's release that he was "pretty happy." Reinforcing this is the fact that Trent surprised many fans by returning from his hiatus quite ripped, and that he would end up getting married (to Mariqueen Maandig, with whom he now creates music in How To Destroy Angels) four years later.
  • Cut Song: "Just Do It," which was left off The Downward Spiral at the advice of producer Flood, who considered it too "up front" about the act of suicide. "The Beauty Of The Drug" is another song that didn't make that album, and it's possible they weren't even recorded.
    • "The Warning" was cut from With Teeth. It's not confirmed as to whether it's the same "The Warning" that wound up on Year Zero. Also cut from With Teeth - "Non-Entity" and "Not So Pretty Now."
  • Doing It for the Art: Considering how he doesn't mind piracy of his albums as well as licensing his late 2000s work under a non-commercial Creative Commons license, it's obvious Trent just really likes making music.
  • Executive Meddling: Trent doesn't have a happy history with record companies.
    • Trent has said that With Teeth was the only album his label didn't complain about when it was delivered to them.
    • TVT Records was rather upset with Pretty Hate Machine because Reznor refused to be turned into a second Depeche Mode. Steve Gottlieb, TVT's founder, then tried to sabotage the recording of Broken and Trent's move to Interscope.
      • Trent called out Gottlieb in the video for one of the EP's tracks, "Gave Up", in which the words "FUCK YOU STEVE" can be seen on a computer screen. Additionally, the liner notes of the EP contain a message most likely directed to Gottlieb that reads "no thanks: you know who you fucking are" followed by "the slave thinks he is released from bondage only to find a stronger set of chains."
      • In a way, it's like Broken was made as a result of this.
    • Official release of Closure on DVD was barred for so long that Trent just released the .ISO files of the DVDs online himself.
    • Trent wanted to launch remix.nin.com the same day of the Y34RZ3R0R3M1X3D release, but had to be postponed because Universal didn't want to host it.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes:
    • Oddly enough, Pretty Hate Machine was out of print for a while between the late '90s and 2005, owing to Trent's dispute with TVT.
    • The Broken Movie was found to be too extremely violent to be released (being filmed as a very convincing Snuff Film probably had something to do with it), but finally saw a public leak on the Pirate Bay that was probably from Trent himself. Additionally, there was a failed attempt to release the film on the band's official Vimeo account.
  • One of Us: Trent has provided music for the Quake, Call of Duty Black Ops 2 and the American release of Tetsuo: The Bullet Man. He's also sampled just as much: "Mr. Self Destruct" opens with a sample from THX 1138 while "The Downward Spiral" opens with a sample from Alien. Surprisingly, "15 Ghosts II" samples a Youtube video about BioShock cosplay.
    • He also studied computer science in college.
  • Promoted Fanboy: Trent is a huge Roger Waters fan, which only made it all the more amusingly tragic during a 2003 Guitar World interview that paired them up; Trent fell all over himself declaring how much he loved and respected Waters' solo work, only for Waters to apologetically state that he'd never heard any of NIN's music. Trent actually took it surprisingly well. It became a Running Gag on The Meathead Perspective.
  • Sleeper Hit: Pretty Hate Machine really only took off about a year after its release. Even then, it only peaked at number 75 on the Billboard chart. It took until 1992 to go gold and 1995 to hit platinum.
  • The Wiki Rule: Yup.
  • Throw It In:
    • A recording of Sean Beaven being bitten by Trent's dog Maisy appears in "Physical".
    • The drum solo in "Piggy" was just Trent testing a new microphone in his studio, but Trent liked it too much to lose it.
    • Trent once said that the guitar solo in "Ruiner" was so over-the-top in corniness that it had to be in the song. Ditto for the entirety of "Big Man with a Gun".
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Reznor had considered doing quite a bit to promote Year Zero, including blowing up a building, arresting actual fans, and even staging an appearance of the Presence in real life. Of course, these never happened for various reasons. [1]
    • Trent originally wanted With Teeth to be a concept album called Bleedthrough, but unfortunately he ended up scrapping the idea, complaining some people saw the title aspect as a "tampon commercial".
    • There were two songs that never ended up/even recorded for The Downward Spiral, both called "The Beauty of the Drug" and "Just Do It". The latter gets special mention due to the straight forward mention of suicide with the lyric "Just do it. Nobody cares at all.", Producer Flood did not like this and insisted to Trent to not use either song and have been scrapped since, but nobody knows if Trent ever really recorded them..
    • Evidently the "Ocean pulls me close" part of "The Great Below" was originally intended to be sung by a female vocalist.
  • Why Fandom Can't Have Nice Things: Various nasty and overly-personal comments are the reason Trent isn't as active on Twitter these days. Mostly, he posts news updates now.

Tropes named after NIN songs:

Tropes headed with quotes from NIN songs:

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