Trent Reznor
Overview
Michael Trent Reznor is an American multi-instrumentalist
Multi-instrumentalist
A multi-instrumentalist is a musician who plays a number of different instruments.The Bachelor of Music degree usually requires a second instrument to be learned , but people who double on another instrument are not usually seen as multi-instrumentalists.-Classical music:Music written for Symphony...

, composer
Composer
A composer is a person who creates music, either by musical notation or oral tradition, for interpretation and performance, or through direct manipulation of sonic material through electronic media...

, record producer
Record producer
A record producer is an individual working within the music industry, whose job is to oversee and manage the recording of an artist's music...

, and leader of industrial rock
Industrial rock
Industrial rock is a musical genre that fuses industrial music and specific rock subgenres. Industrial rock spawned industrial metal, with which it is often confused...

 band Nine Inch Nails
Nine Inch Nails
Nine Inch Nails is an American industrial rock project, founded in 1988 by Trent Reznor in Cleveland, Ohio. As its main producer, singer, songwriter, and instrumentalist, Reznor is the only official member of Nine Inch Nails and remains solely responsible for its direction...

. Reznor is also a member of How to Destroy Angels
How to Destroy Angels (band)
How to Destroy Angels is a musical group featuring Nine Inch Nails front man Trent Reznor, his wife Mariqueen Maandig and Atticus Ross. Rob Sheridan is the group's art director.The group is named after a 1984 Coil single of the same name....

 alongside his wife, Mariqueen Maandig
Mariqueen Maandig
Mariqueen Maandig Reznor is a musician and singer of Filipino descent, currently with the band How to Destroy Angels.- Career :Maandig was a vocalist for the band West Indian Girl from 2004 to 2009, performing on the albums West Indian Girl and 4th & Wall...

, and Atticus Ross
Atticus Ross
Atticus Ross is an English musician, composer and producer. Ross, along with Trent Reznor, won the Academy Award for Best Original Score for The Social Network in 2011.-Early career:...

. He was previously associated with bands Option 30
Option 30
Option 30 was a New Wave band from the early 1980s founded by Timothy K. Smith on guitars and vocals, Jim Nordstrom on bass and saxophone, and Todd Nero on drums. The band also featured a young Trent Reznor on keyboards and lead vocals....

, Exotic Birds
Exotic Birds
The Exotic Birds was a synthpop music group formed in Cleveland, Ohio in 1983 by three Cleveland Institute of Music percussion students, Andy Kubiszewski, Tom Freer and Tim Adams. They wrote their own music, and were described as synth pop and dance...

, and Tapeworm
Tapeworm (band)
Tapeworm is a defunct side project of Nine Inch Nails which existed in various forms from 1995 to roughly 2004. Tapeworm never released any recordings, but was frequently referenced in interviews. The band started as a side-project between Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor and live-band...

, among others. Reznor left Interscope Records
Interscope Records
Interscope Records is an American record label owned by Universal Music Group that currently operates as one third of UMG's Interscope-Geffen-A&M label group.-History:...

 in 2007, and is now an independent musician.

Reznor began creating music early in his life, and cites his Western Pennsylvania
Western Pennsylvania
Western Pennsylvania consists of the western third of the state of Pennsylvania in the United States. Pittsburgh is the largest city in the region, with a metropolitan area population of about 2.4 million people, and serves as its economic and cultural center. Erie, Altoona, and Johnstown are its...

 childhood as an early influence. After being involved with a number of synthesizer-based bands in the mid-80s, Reznor gained employment at Right Track Studios in Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio and is the county seat of Cuyahoga County, the most populous county in the state. The city is located in northeastern Ohio on the southern shore of Lake Erie, approximately west of the Pennsylvania border...

 and began creating his own music during the studio's closing hours under the moniker Nine Inch Nails.
Encyclopedia
Michael Trent Reznor is an American multi-instrumentalist
Multi-instrumentalist
A multi-instrumentalist is a musician who plays a number of different instruments.The Bachelor of Music degree usually requires a second instrument to be learned , but people who double on another instrument are not usually seen as multi-instrumentalists.-Classical music:Music written for Symphony...

, composer
Composer
A composer is a person who creates music, either by musical notation or oral tradition, for interpretation and performance, or through direct manipulation of sonic material through electronic media...

, record producer
Record producer
A record producer is an individual working within the music industry, whose job is to oversee and manage the recording of an artist's music...

, and leader of industrial rock
Industrial rock
Industrial rock is a musical genre that fuses industrial music and specific rock subgenres. Industrial rock spawned industrial metal, with which it is often confused...

 band Nine Inch Nails
Nine Inch Nails
Nine Inch Nails is an American industrial rock project, founded in 1988 by Trent Reznor in Cleveland, Ohio. As its main producer, singer, songwriter, and instrumentalist, Reznor is the only official member of Nine Inch Nails and remains solely responsible for its direction...

. Reznor is also a member of How to Destroy Angels
How to Destroy Angels (band)
How to Destroy Angels is a musical group featuring Nine Inch Nails front man Trent Reznor, his wife Mariqueen Maandig and Atticus Ross. Rob Sheridan is the group's art director.The group is named after a 1984 Coil single of the same name....

 alongside his wife, Mariqueen Maandig
Mariqueen Maandig
Mariqueen Maandig Reznor is a musician and singer of Filipino descent, currently with the band How to Destroy Angels.- Career :Maandig was a vocalist for the band West Indian Girl from 2004 to 2009, performing on the albums West Indian Girl and 4th & Wall...

, and Atticus Ross
Atticus Ross
Atticus Ross is an English musician, composer and producer. Ross, along with Trent Reznor, won the Academy Award for Best Original Score for The Social Network in 2011.-Early career:...

. He was previously associated with bands Option 30
Option 30
Option 30 was a New Wave band from the early 1980s founded by Timothy K. Smith on guitars and vocals, Jim Nordstrom on bass and saxophone, and Todd Nero on drums. The band also featured a young Trent Reznor on keyboards and lead vocals....

, Exotic Birds
Exotic Birds
The Exotic Birds was a synthpop music group formed in Cleveland, Ohio in 1983 by three Cleveland Institute of Music percussion students, Andy Kubiszewski, Tom Freer and Tim Adams. They wrote their own music, and were described as synth pop and dance...

, and Tapeworm
Tapeworm (band)
Tapeworm is a defunct side project of Nine Inch Nails which existed in various forms from 1995 to roughly 2004. Tapeworm never released any recordings, but was frequently referenced in interviews. The band started as a side-project between Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor and live-band...

, among others. Reznor left Interscope Records
Interscope Records
Interscope Records is an American record label owned by Universal Music Group that currently operates as one third of UMG's Interscope-Geffen-A&M label group.-History:...

 in 2007, and is now an independent musician.

Reznor began creating music early in his life, and cites his Western Pennsylvania
Western Pennsylvania
Western Pennsylvania consists of the western third of the state of Pennsylvania in the United States. Pittsburgh is the largest city in the region, with a metropolitan area population of about 2.4 million people, and serves as its economic and cultural center. Erie, Altoona, and Johnstown are its...

 childhood as an early influence. After being involved with a number of synthesizer-based bands in the mid-80s, Reznor gained employment at Right Track Studios in Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio and is the county seat of Cuyahoga County, the most populous county in the state. The city is located in northeastern Ohio on the southern shore of Lake Erie, approximately west of the Pennsylvania border...

 and began creating his own music during the studio's closing hours under the moniker Nine Inch Nails. Reznor's first release as Nine Inch Nails, Pretty Hate Machine
Pretty Hate Machine
Pretty Hate Machine is the debut album by American industrial rock act Nine Inch Nails, released October 20, 1989, on TVT Records. Pretty Hate Machine is compiled of reworked tracks from the Purest Feeling demo, as well as tracks recorded after its recording...

(1989), was a commercial and critical success, and he has since released seven major studio releases. Outside of Reznor's chief project Nine Inch Nails, he has contributed to many other artists' albums, including Marilyn Manson
Marilyn Manson
Marilyn Manson may refer to:* Marilyn Manson , an American rock musician* Marilyn Manson , the American rock band led by the singer of the same name...

 and Saul Williams
Saul Williams
Saul Stacey Williams is an American poet, writer, actor and musician known for his blend of poetry and alternative hip hop and for his leading role in the 1998 independent film Slam.-Biography:...

. In 1997, Reznor appeared in Time
Time (magazine)
Time is an American news magazine. A European edition is published from London. Time Europe covers the Middle East, Africa and, since 2003, Latin America. An Asian edition is based in Hong Kong...

magazine's list of the year's most influential people, and Spin magazine described him as "the most vital artist in music."

Reznor, in collaboration with Atticus Ross
Atticus Ross
Atticus Ross is an English musician, composer and producer. Ross, along with Trent Reznor, won the Academy Award for Best Original Score for The Social Network in 2011.-Early career:...

, composed the score
The Social Network (soundtrack)
The Social Network is a dark ambient soundtrack by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross for David Fincher's film of the same name. It was released on September 28, 2010. On September 17, a five-track sampler was also made available for free...

 for The Social Network
The Social Network
The Social Network is a 2010 American drama film directed by David Fincher and written by Aaron Sorkin. Adapted from Ben Mezrich's 2009 book The Accidental Billionaires, the film portrays the founding of social networking website Facebook and the resulting lawsuits...

, a 2010 theatrical film about the founding of Facebook
Facebook
Facebook is a social networking service and website launched in February 2004, operated and privately owned by Facebook, Inc. , Facebook has more than 800 million active users. Users must register before using the site, after which they may create a personal profile, add other users as...

. The duo won the 2010 Golden Globe for Best Original Score and the Academy Award for Best Original Score
Academy Award for Best Original Score
The Academy Award for Original Score is presented to the best substantial body of music in the form of dramatic underscoring written specifically for the film by the submitting composer.-Superlatives:...

 for their collaboration. The soundtrack album was released by The Null Corporation
The Null Corporation
The Null Corporation is an independent record label which releases the work of Nine Inch Nails and How to Destroy Angels. The Nine Inch Nails albums, Ghosts I–IV and The Slip, have been released in physical formats under the Null Corporation imprint...

, Reznor's own independent record label
Independent record label
An independent record label is a record label operating without the funding of or outside the organizations of the major record labels. A great number of bands and musical acts begin on independent labels.-Overview:...

. Reznor and Ross composed the score to the US film adaptation of the novel The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011 film)
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is an upcoming English-language drama thriller film that is the second film based on the Swedish novel of the same name by Stieg Larsson. The first film was the 2009 Swedish-language adaptation. The upcoming film is written by Steven Zaillian and directed by David...

, set for release in late 2011.

Early life

Michael Trent Reznor was born in Mercer, Pennsylvania
Mercer, Pennsylvania
Mercer is a borough in Mercer County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 2,391 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Mercer County. Mercer is part of the Youngstown–Warren–Boardman, OH-PA Metropolitan Statistical Area....

, halfway between Pittsburgh and Erie
Erie
Erie is a city in Pennsylvania, United States.Erie may also refer to:*Erie , a tribe of Native Americans-Places:*Lake Erie, one of the five Great Lakes of North America*Erie Canal, a canal running from the Hudson River to Lake Erie...

, the son of Nancy Lou (née Clark) and Michael Reznor. After his parents divorced, he lived with his maternal grandparents, while his sister Tera lived with their mother. Reznor is a direct descendant of George Reznor, founder of the Reznor Company, a heating and air conditioning company founded in 1888. The family sold the business in the 1960s.

Reznor began playing the piano
Piano
The piano is a musical instrument played by means of a keyboard. It is one of the most popular instruments in the world. Widely used in classical and jazz music for solo performances, ensemble use, chamber music and accompaniment, the piano is also very popular as an aid to composing and rehearsal...

 at the age of five and showed an early aptitude for music. In a 1995 interview, his grandfather, Bill Clark, remarked, "Music was his life, from the time he was a wee boy. He was so gifted." His former piano teacher Rita Beglin said "Reznor always reminded me of Harry Connick, Jr.
Harry Connick, Jr.
Joseph Harry Fowler Connick, Jr. is an American singer, big-band leader/conductor, pianist, actor, and composer. He has sold over 25 million albums worldwide. Connick is ranked among the top 60 best-selling male artists in the United States by the Recording Industry Association of America, with...

" when he played.

Reznor has acknowledged that his sheltered life in Pennsylvania left him feeling isolated from the outside world. In a 1994 interview with Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone is a US-based magazine devoted to music, liberal politics, and popular culture that is published every two weeks. Rolling Stone was founded in San Francisco in 1967 by Jann Wenner and music critic Ralph J...

, he references his choices in the music industry.
However, Reznor later said, "I don't want to give the impression it was a miserable childhood."

At Mercer Area Junior/Senior High School
High school
High school is a term used in parts of the English speaking world to describe institutions which provide all or part of secondary education. The term is often incorporated into the name of such institutions....

, Reznor learned to play the tenor saxophone
Saxophone
The saxophone is a conical-bore transposing musical instrument that is a member of the woodwind family. Saxophones are usually made of brass and played with a single-reed mouthpiece similar to that of the clarinet. The saxophone was invented by the Belgian instrument maker Adolphe Sax in 1846...

 and tuba
Tuba
The tuba is the largest and lowest-pitched brass instrument. Sound is produced by vibrating or "buzzing" the lips into a large cupped mouthpiece. It is one of the most recent additions to the modern symphony orchestra, first appearing in the mid-19th century, when it largely replaced the...

. He was a member of both the jazz
Jazz band
A jazz band is a musical ensemble that plays jazz music. Jazz bands usually consist of a rhythm section and a horn section, in the early days often trumpet, trombone, and clarinet with rhythm section of piano, banjo, bass or tuba, and drums.-Eras:SwingDuring the swing era in the mid-twentieth...

 and marching band
Marching band
Marching band is a physical activity in which a group of instrumental musicians generally perform outdoors and incorporate some type of marching with their musical performance. Instrumentation typically includes brass, woodwinds, and percussion instruments...

. Former Mercer High School band director Dr. Hendley Hoge remembered Reznor as "very upbeat and friendly." Reznor also became involved in theater while in high school. He was voted "Best in Drama" by classmates for his roles as Judas
Judas Iscariot
Judas Iscariot was, according to the New Testament, one of the twelve disciples of Jesus. He is best known for his betrayal of Jesus to the hands of the chief priests for 30 pieces of silver.-Etymology:...

 in Jesus Christ Superstar
Jesus Christ Superstar
Jesus Christ Superstar is a rock opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber, with lyrics by Tim Rice. The musical started off as a rock opera concept recording before its first staging on Broadway in 1971...

and Professor Harold Hill in The Music Man
The Music Man
The Music Man is a musical with book, music, and lyrics by Meredith Willson, based on a story by Willson and Franklin Lacey. The plot concerns con man Harold Hill, who poses as a boys' band organizer and leader and sells band instruments and uniforms to naive townsfolk before skipping town with...

. Reznor graduated from this high school in 1983 and enrolled at Allegheny College
Allegheny College
Allegheny College is a private liberal arts college located in northwestern Pennsylvania in the town of Meadville. Founded in 1815, the college has about 2,100 undergraduate students.-Early history:...

, where he studied computer engineering
Computer engineering
Computer engineering, also called computer systems engineering, is a discipline that integrates several fields of electrical engineering and computer science required to develop computer systems. Computer engineers usually have training in electronic engineering, software design, and...

.

Reznor married Mariqueen Maandig
Mariqueen Maandig
Mariqueen Maandig Reznor is a musician and singer of Filipino descent, currently with the band How to Destroy Angels.- Career :Maandig was a vocalist for the band West Indian Girl from 2004 to 2009, performing on the albums West Indian Girl and 4th & Wall...

 in October 2009 and their son, Lazarus Echo, was born in October 2010.

Drug abuse and depression

During the five years following the release of The Downward Spiral
The Downward Spiral
The Downward Spiral is the second studio album by American industrial rock act Nine Inch Nails, released March 8, 1994, on Interscope Records. It is a concept album detailing the destruction of a man, from the beginning of his "downward spiral" to his climactic attempt at suicide...

, Reznor struggled with depression, social anxiety disorder
Social anxiety disorder
Social anxiety disorder , also known as social phobia, is an anxiety disorder characterized by intense fear in social situations causing considerable distress and impaired ability to function in at least some parts of daily life...

, and the death of his grandmother, who raised him. During this period of intense grief, Reznor began abusing alcohol and other drugs. He eventually became addicted to alcohol
Alcoholism
Alcoholism is a broad term for problems with alcohol, and is generally used to mean compulsive and uncontrolled consumption of alcoholic beverages, usually to the detriment of the drinker's health, personal relationships, and social standing...

 and cocaine
Cocaine
Cocaine is a crystalline tropane alkaloid that is obtained from the leaves of the coca plant. The name comes from "coca" in addition to the alkaloid suffix -ine, forming cocaine. It is a stimulant of the central nervous system, an appetite suppressant, and a topical anesthetic...

.
Five years elapsed before Nine Inch Nails' next album, The Fragile
The Fragile
In terms of narrative, virtually no references are made to the aspects depicted in The Downward Spiral. Like The Downward Spiral, The Fragile is a concept album, but, as a double album, is nearly twice the length of its predecessor. Reznor's vocals, for the most part, are much more melodic and...

, a double CD that debuted in September 1999 at number one on the Billboard 200, selling 228,000 copies in its first week and receiving favorable reviews.

In 2001, Reznor successfully completed rehab, and eventually moved from New Orleans to Los Angeles. In a 2005 interview with Kerrang!
Kerrang!
Kerrang! is a UK-based magazine devoted to rock music published by Bauer Media Group. It was first published on June 6, 1981 as a one-off supplement in the Sounds newspaper...

, Reznor reflected on his self-destructive past: "There was a persona that had run its course. I needed to get my priorities straight, my head screwed on. Instead of always working, I took a couple of years off, just to figure out who I was and working out if I wanted to keep doing this or not. I had become a terrible addict; I needed to get my shit together, figure out what had happened". In contrast with his former suicidal tendencies, Reznor also admitted in another interview that "[he is] pretty happy right now." Nine Inch Nails' next full-length album, With Teeth
With Teeth
With Teeth is the fourth studio album by American industrial rock act Nine Inch Nails, released on May 3, 2005, by Interscope Records. The album was produced by Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor and long-time collaborator Alan Moulder. It was Reznor's first original studio album since The...

(2005), reached number one on Billboard 200.

Early musical projects

While he was enrolled in Allegheny College
Allegheny College
Allegheny College is a private liberal arts college located in northwestern Pennsylvania in the town of Meadville. Founded in 1815, the college has about 2,100 undergraduate students.-Early history:...

, Reznor joined local band Option 30
Option 30
Option 30 was a New Wave band from the early 1980s founded by Timothy K. Smith on guitars and vocals, Jim Nordstrom on bass and saxophone, and Todd Nero on drums. The band also featured a young Trent Reznor on keyboards and lead vocals....

, playing three shows a week with them. After only a year of college, Reznor dropped out and moved to Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio and is the county seat of Cuyahoga County, the most populous county in the state. The city is located in northeastern Ohio on the southern shore of Lake Erie, approximately west of the Pennsylvania border...

 to pursue a career in music. In 1985, he joined The Innocent
The Innocent (band)
The Innocent was the band Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails played with after leaving Option 30. He then moved on to the Exotic Birds before creating his own band, Nine Inch Nails. The other members were Alan Greenblatt , Kevin Valentine, Rodney Cajka and Albritton McClain...

 as a keyboardist
Keyboardist
A keyboardist is a musician who plays keyboard instruments. Until the early 1960s musicians who played keyboards were generally classified as either pianists or organists. Since the mid-1960s, a plethora of new musical instruments with keyboards have come into common usage, requiring a more...

. They released one album, Livin' in the Street, but Reznor quit after just three months. In 1986, Reznor joined local band Exotic Birds
Exotic Birds
The Exotic Birds was a synthpop music group formed in Cleveland, Ohio in 1983 by three Cleveland Institute of Music percussion students, Andy Kubiszewski, Tom Freer and Tim Adams. They wrote their own music, and were described as synth pop and dance...

, during this time, Reznor also contributed on keyboards to the band Slam Bamboo. He also appeared with them as the fictional band "The Problems" in the 1987 film Light of Day
Light of Day
The soundtrack to the film was released in 1987. As a single, "Light of Day" reached number 33 on the Billboard Hot 100 and received additional album-oriented rock airplay due to the connection of Joan Jett and Bruce Springsteen....

.

Reznor got a job at Cleveland's Right Track Studio as an assistant engineer and janitor. Studio owner Bart Koster later commented that Reznor was "so focused in everything he [did]. When that guy waxed the floor, it looked great." Reznor asked Koster for permission to record demos
Demo (music)
A demo version or demo of a song is one recorded for reference rather than for release. A demo is a way for a musician to approximate their ideas on tape or disc, and provide an example of those ideas to record labels, producers or other artists...

 of his own songs for free during unused studio time. Koster agreed, remarking that it cost him "just a little wear on [his] tape heads". While assembling these, the earliest Nine Inch Nails recordings, Reznor was unable to find a band that could articulate his songs as he wanted. Instead, inspired by Prince
Prince (musician)
Prince Rogers Nelson , often known simply as Prince, is an American singer, songwriter, musician, and actor. Prince has produced ten platinum albums and thirty Top 40 singles during his career. Prince founded his own recording studio and label; writing, self-producing and playing most, or all, of...

, he played all the instruments himself, except drums. This role remains Reznor's on most of the band's studio recordings, though he has occasionally involved other musicians and assistants. Several labels responded favorably to the demo material, and Reznor signed with TVT Records
TVT Records
TVT Records was an independent US record label founded by Steve Gottlieb. Over the course of its 25 year history the label released some 25 Gold, Platinum and Multi-platinum releases. Its roster included Nine Inch Nails, Ja Rule, Lil Jon, Underworld, The KLF, Sevendust, Brian Jonestown Massacre and...

. Nine selections from the Right Track demos were unofficially released in 1988 as Purest Feeling; many of these songs had appeared in revised form on his 1989 debut studio album under the stage name Nine Inch Nails
Nine Inch Nails
Nine Inch Nails is an American industrial rock project, founded in 1988 by Trent Reznor in Cleveland, Ohio. As its main producer, singer, songwriter, and instrumentalist, Reznor is the only official member of Nine Inch Nails and remains solely responsible for its direction...

.

Formation of Nine Inch Nails

Most of Reznor's work as a musician has been as founding and primary member of Nine Inch Nails
Nine Inch Nails
Nine Inch Nails is an American industrial rock project, founded in 1988 by Trent Reznor in Cleveland, Ohio. As its main producer, singer, songwriter, and instrumentalist, Reznor is the only official member of Nine Inch Nails and remains solely responsible for its direction...

. Nine Inch Nails' debut album, Pretty Hate Machine
Pretty Hate Machine
Pretty Hate Machine is the debut album by American industrial rock act Nine Inch Nails, released October 20, 1989, on TVT Records. Pretty Hate Machine is compiled of reworked tracks from the Purest Feeling demo, as well as tracks recorded after its recording...

was released in 1989. It was a moderate commercial success, and was certified Gold in 1992. Amid pressure from Reznor's record label to produce a follow-up to Pretty Hate Machine, Reznor secretly began recording under various pseudonyms to avoid record company interference, resulting in the Broken EP, released in 1992. In the summer of 1991 Nine Inch Nails was included in the Lollapalooza
Lollapalooza
Lollapalooza is an annual music festival featuring popular alternative rock, heavy metal, punk rock and hip hop bands, dance and comedy performances, and craft booths. It has also provided a platform for non-profit and political groups. The music festival hosts more than 160,000 people over a...

 package tour. They later won a Grammy Award
Grammy Award
A Grammy Award — or Grammy — is an accolade by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to recognize outstanding achievement in the music industry...

 in 1993 for the song "Wish
Wish (song)
"Wish" is the second promotional single from Nine Inch Nails' Broken. The most successful song from the EP, "Wish" cemented Trent Reznor's image as a rage-fueled star to the public. "Wish" won the Best Metal Performance in the 1993 Grammy Awards. Reznor later joked that his epitaph should read:...

" in the Best Heavy Metal Performance category.

Nine Inch Nails' second full-length album, The Downward Spiral
The Downward Spiral
The Downward Spiral is the second studio album by American industrial rock act Nine Inch Nails, released March 8, 1994, on Interscope Records. It is a concept album detailing the destruction of a man, from the beginning of his "downward spiral" to his climactic attempt at suicide...

, entered the Billboard 200
Billboard 200
The Billboard 200 is a ranking of the 200 highest-selling music albums and EPs in the United States, published weekly by Billboard magazine. It is frequently used to convey the popularity of an artist or groups of artists...

 chart in 1994 at number two, and remains the highest-selling Nine Inch Nails release in the United States. To record the album, Reznor rented and moved into the 10050 Cielo Drive
10050 Cielo Drive
The original home located at 10050 Cielo Drive in Benedict Canyon, Los Angeles, California, has been occupied by many famous Hollywood figures, and was the scene of one of the Manson "family" murders. The house was designed by Robert Byrd in 1942 for French actress Michèle Morgan...

 mansion, site of the 1969 Manson Family murders. Reznor built a studio space in the house, which he renamed Le Pig, after the word that was scrawled on the front door in Sharon Tate
Sharon Tate
Sharon Marie Tate was an American actress. During the 1960s she played small television roles before appearing in several films. After receiving positive reviews for her comedic performances, she was hailed as one of Hollywood's promising newcomers and was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for...

's blood by her murderers. Reznor told Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly is an American magazine, published by the Time division of Time Warner, that covers film, television, music, broadway theatre, books and popular culture...

that despite the notoriety attached to the house, he chose to record there because, "I looked at a lot of places, and this just happened to be the one I liked most".

Nine Inch Nails toured extensively over the next few years, including a performance at Woodstock '94
Woodstock '94
Woodstock '94, often called the "commercial Woodstock" or "Mudstock", was a music festival organized to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the original Woodstock Festival of 1969...

, although he admitted to the audience that he did not like to play large venues. Around this time, Reznor's studio perfectionism, struggles with addiction, and bouts of writer's block prolonged the production of a follow-up.

Collaboration with other artists

Reznor produced Marilyn Manson
Marilyn Manson (band)
Marilyn Manson is an American metal band from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Formed in 1989 by Brian Warner and Scott Putesky, the group was originally named Marilyn Manson & the Spooky Kids with their uniquely theatrical performances gathering a local cult following in the early '90s. This attention...

's first album Portrait of an American Family
Portrait of an American Family
Portrait of an American Family is the debut full-length studio album by American rock band Marilyn Manson. It was released on July 19, 1994 in the US through Nothing and Interscope Records. It was produced by the band's frontman and Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails...

(1994), several tracks on Marilyn Manson's albums Smells Like Children
Smells Like Children
Smells Like Children is a EP by American rock band Marilyn Manson. It was released on October 24, 1995 in the US through Nothing and Interscope Records. It was produced by the band's frontman and Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails...

(1995), and Antichrist Superstar
Antichrist Superstar
Antichrist Superstar is the second full-length studio album by American rock band Marilyn Manson. It was released on October 8, 1996 in the US through Nothing and Interscope Records. The record's success in mainstream charts propelled the band into a household name and turned its frontman overnight...

(1996), as well as the film soundtracks for Oliver Stone
Oliver Stone
William Oliver Stone is an American film director, producer and screenwriter. Stone became well known in the late 1980s and the early 1990s for directing a series of films about the Vietnam War, for which he had previously participated as an infantry soldier. His work frequently focuses on...

's Natural Born Killers
Natural Born Killers
Natural Born Killers is a 1994 crime/black comedy film directed by Oliver Stone about two victims of traumatic childhoods who became lovers and psychopathic serial killers, and are irresponsibly glorified by the mass media...

(1994) and David Lynch
David Lynch
David Keith Lynch is an American filmmaker, television director, visual artist, musician and occasional actor. Known for his surrealist films, he has developed his own unique cinematic style, which has been dubbed "Lynchian", and which is characterized by its dream imagery and meticulous sound...

's Lost Highway (1997). Reznor is credited for "Driver Down" and "Videodrones; Questions" on the soundtrack for Lost Highway, while another track, "The Perfect Drug
The Perfect Drug
"The Perfect Drug" or ' is a song by Nine Inch Nails. It was written for the David Lynch film Lost Highway and originally appeared on the Lost Highway soundtrack and as a single from the score in 1997...

", is credited to Nine Inch Nails
Nine Inch Nails
Nine Inch Nails is an American industrial rock project, founded in 1988 by Trent Reznor in Cleveland, Ohio. As its main producer, singer, songwriter, and instrumentalist, Reznor is the only official member of Nine Inch Nails and remains solely responsible for its direction...

 instead. Reznor sang backing vocals on Tori Amos
Tori Amos
Tori Amos is an American pianist, singer-songwriter and composer. She was at the forefront of a number of female singer-songwriters in the early 1990s and was noteworthy early in her career as one of the few alternative rock performers to use a piano as her primary instrument...

' 1994 album Under the Pink
Under the Pink
Under the Pink is the second solo album by singer-songwriter Tori Amos. Upon its release in January 1994, the album peaked at US #12 and on the back of the hit single "Cornflake Girl", the album debuted at UK #1, her highest-charting UK album debut to date. It had sold around 220,000 copies in the...

on a track called "Past The Mission." In 1998 Reznor produced a remix of Notorious B.I.G.
The Notorious B.I.G.
Christopher George Latore Wallace , best known as The Notorious B.I.G., was an American rapper. He was also known as Biggie Smalls , Big Poppa, and The Black Frank White .Wallace was raised in the Brooklyn borough...

's song "Victory" which also featured Busta Rhymes
Busta Rhymes
Trevor Tahiem Smith, Jr., better known by his stage name Busta Rhymes ,Smith is an American rapper, producer and actor. Chuck D of Public Enemy gave him the alias Busta Rhymes after NFL wide receiver George "Buster" Rhymes...

. Reznor also sang vocals for the song "Black Bomb" on the Josh Wink
Josh Wink
Josh Wink is an electronic music DJ, label owner, producer, remixer, and artist. He is a native of Philadelphia, United States. A pioneering DJ in the American rave scene during the early 1990s, Wink was the most prominent exponent of the tribal forms of techno and house in the U.S...

 album Herehear (1998).

Under the band name Tapeworm
Tapeworm (band)
Tapeworm is a defunct side project of Nine Inch Nails which existed in various forms from 1995 to roughly 2004. Tapeworm never released any recordings, but was frequently referenced in interviews. The band started as a side-project between Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor and live-band...

, Reznor collaborated over the span of nearly 10 years with Danny Lohner
Danny Lohner
Daniel Patrick "Danny" Lohner , frequently known as Renholdër, is an American rock musician who plays bass guitar, electric guitar, and keyboards. He worked with Trent Reznor on numerous occasions, both with Nine Inch Nails and on the now defunct Tapeworm project...

, Maynard James Keenan
Maynard James Keenan
Maynard James Keenan is an American rock singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, winemaker, and actor. Originally from Ohio, Keenan spent his high school and college years in Michigan. After serving in the Army in the early 1980s, he attended Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids...

, and Atticus Ross
Atticus Ross
Atticus Ross is an English musician, composer and producer. Ross, along with Trent Reznor, won the Academy Award for Best Original Score for The Social Network in 2011.-Early career:...

, but the project was eventually terminated before any official material was released. The only known released Tapeworm material is a reworked version of a track called "Vacant," retitled "Passive
Passive (song)
"Passive" is a song from the band A Perfect Circle's 2004 album eMOTIVe The song is a remake of the song "Vacant" by the now-defunct band Tapeworm."Vacant" was notably first performed by A Perfect Circle without Trent Reznor's agreement.-Track listing:...

", on A Perfect Circle
A Perfect Circle
A Perfect Circle is an American rock supergroup formed in 1999 by guitarist Billy Howerdel and Tool vocalist Maynard James Keenan. The original incarnation of the band also included Paz Lenchantin on bass, Troy Van Leeuwen on guitar, and Tim Alexander on drums...

's 2004 album eMOTIVe
EMOTIVe
-Personnel:* Charles Clouser - Programming* Critter - Engineer* Steve Duda - Digital engineer* Joshua Eustis - Drums, engineer, Fender Rhodes, mixing* Jason Freese - Sax , sax * Steven R Gilmore - Design, photography, sleeve art, poster design...

, as well as a track called "Potions," off Puscifer
Puscifer
Puscifer is a side project of Maynard James Keenan from the bands Tool and A Perfect Circle. As Keenan is the only permanent member and he considers the project to be his "creative subconscious", Puscifer could also be considered a pseudonym for his solo work....

's 2009 "C is for ..."

In 2006, Reznor played his first "solo" show(s) at Neil Young
Neil Young
Neil Percival Young, OC, OM is a Canadian singer-songwriter who is widely regarded as one of the most influential musicians of his generation...

's annual Bridge School Benefit
Bridge School Benefit
The Bridge School Benefit is an annual non-profit charity concert held in Mountain View, California, every October at the Shoreline Amphitheatre. The concerts are all organized by musician Neil Young and his wife, Pegi....

. Backed by a four piece string section, he performed stripped-down versions of many Nine Inch Nails songs. Reznor featured on El-P's 2007 album I'll Sleep When You're Dead
I'll Sleep When You're Dead
-Credits:*Executive Producers: El-P and Amaechi Uzoigwe*Mastering: Michael Sarsfield*Mixing, engineering: Joey Raia*Layout and design: Brad Smith*Photography: Timothy Saccenti*Project Manager: Jesse Ferguson-External links:***...

, guesting on the track "Flyentology". The accompanying music video for the song and its artwork was created by Adult Swim
Adult Swim
Adult Swim is an adult-oriented Cable network that shares channel space with Cartoon Network from 9:00 pm until 6:00 am ET/PT in the United States, and broadcasts in countries such as Australia and New Zealand...

, who aired the music video.

Reznor co-produced Saul Williams
Saul Williams
Saul Stacey Williams is an American poet, writer, actor and musician known for his blend of poetry and alternative hip hop and for his leading role in the 1998 independent film Slam.-Biography:...

' 2007 album The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of NiggyTardust!
The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of NiggyTardust!
The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of NiggyTardust! is the third album by Saul Williams, released on November 1, 2007. Williams worked closely with Trent Reznor on the album. The title of the album is a reference to David Bowie's 1972 album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from...

after Williams toured with Nine Inch Nails in 2005 and 2006. Reznor convinced Williams to release the album as a free download, while giving fans the option of paying $5 for higher quality files, or downloading all of the songs at a lower quality for free. Reznor was also credited as "Musical Consultant" on the 2004 film Man on Fire
Man on Fire (2004 film)
Man on Fire is a 2004 American thriller film, based on the 1980 novel of the same name by A. J. Quinnell. Another film based on the same novel was also filmed in 1987....

. The movie features six Nine Inch Nails songs. He has produced a number of songs for Jane's Addiction
Jane's Addiction
Jane's Addiction is an American alternative rock band formed in Los Angeles, California in 1985. The band's original line-up featured Perry Farrell , Dave Navarro , Eric Avery and Stephen Perkins . After breaking up in 1991, Jane's Addiction briefly reunited in 1997 and again in 2001, both times...

 in his home studio in Beverly Hills. The first recordings, new versions of the early tracks "Chip Away" and "Whores," were released simultaneously on Jane's Addiction's website and the NINJA 2009 Tour Sampler
NINJA 2009 Tour Sampler
-External links:*...

 digital EP.

How to Destroy Angels

In April 2010, it was announced that Reznor had formed a new band with his wife, Mariqueen Maandig
Mariqueen Maandig
Mariqueen Maandig Reznor is a musician and singer of Filipino descent, currently with the band How to Destroy Angels.- Career :Maandig was a vocalist for the band West Indian Girl from 2004 to 2009, performing on the albums West Indian Girl and 4th & Wall...

, and Atticus Ross
Atticus Ross
Atticus Ross is an English musician, composer and producer. Ross, along with Trent Reznor, won the Academy Award for Best Original Score for The Social Network in 2011.-Early career:...

, called How to Destroy Angels
How to Destroy Angels (band)
How to Destroy Angels is a musical group featuring Nine Inch Nails front man Trent Reznor, his wife Mariqueen Maandig and Atticus Ross. Rob Sheridan is the group's art director.The group is named after a 1984 Coil single of the same name....

. The group released a self-titled six song EP
How to Destroy Angels (album)
-Album Personnel:Written, Arranged, Produced, Performed and Art Directed by How To Destroy Angels*How To Destroy Angels:**Mariqueen Maandig**Trent Reznor**Atticus Ross**Rob Sheridan*Mixed by Alan Moulder*Engineering: Blumpy*Mastering: Tom Baker...

 digitally on June 1, 2010, with the retail edition becoming available on July 6, 2010.

As an independent artist

In May 2008 Reznor founded The Null Corporation
The Null Corporation
The Null Corporation is an independent record label which releases the work of Nine Inch Nails and How to Destroy Angels. The Nine Inch Nails albums, Ghosts I–IV and The Slip, have been released in physical formats under the Null Corporation imprint...

 and Nine Inch Nails released the studio album The Slip
The Slip (album)
The Slip is the seventh studio album by American industrial rock act Nine Inch Nails, released on July 22, 2008. It was the fourth consecutive Nine Inch Nails release to be produced by frontman Trent Reznor with collaborators Atticus Ross and Alan Moulder...

 as a free digital download
Music download
A music download is the transferral of music from an Internet-facing computer or website to a user's local computer. This term encompasses both legal downloads and downloads of copyright material without permission or payment...

. In his appreciation for his following and fan base, and having no contractual obligation, he made "The Slip" available for free on his website, stating “This one’s on me.” A month and a half after its online release, The Slip had been downloaded 1.4 million times from the official Nine Inch Nails website.

In February 2009, Reznor posted his thoughts about the future of Nine Inch Nails on NIN.com, stating that "I've been thinking for some time now it's time to make NIN disappear for a while." Reznor noted in an interview on the official website that while he has not stopped creating music as Nine Inch Nails, the group will not be touring in the foreseeable future.

Video games

The original music from id Software
Id Software
Id Software is an American video game development company with its headquarters in Richardson, Texas. The company was founded in 1991 by four members of the computer company Softdisk: programmers John Carmack and John Romero, game designer Tom Hall, and artist Adrian Carmack...

's video game Quake is credited to "Trent Reznor and Nine Inch Nails"; Reznor helped record sound effects and ambient audio, and the NIN logo appears on ammunition boxes in the game. Reznor's association with id Software
Id Software
Id Software is an American video game development company with its headquarters in Richardson, Texas. The company was founded in 1991 by four members of the computer company Softdisk: programmers John Carmack and John Romero, game designer Tom Hall, and artist Adrian Carmack...

 began with Reznor being a fan of the original Doom. He reunited with id Software in 2003 as the sound engineer for Doom 3
Doom 3
Doom 3 is a science fiction horror video game developed by id Software and published by Activision. An example of the first-person shooter genre, Doom 3 was first released for Microsoft Windows on August 3, 2004. The game was later adapted for Linux, as well as being ported by Aspyr Media for Mac...

, though due to "time, money and bad management", he had to abandon the project, and his audio work did not make it into the game's final release.

Nine Inch Nails' 2007 major studio recording, Year Zero
Year Zero (album)
Year Zero is the fifth studio album by American industrial rock act Nine Inch Nails, released on April 17, 2007, by Interscope Records. Frontman Trent Reznor wrote the album's music and lyrics while touring in support of the group's previous release, With Teeth...

, was released alongside an accompanying alternate reality game. With its lyrics written from the perspective of multiple fictitious characters, Reznor described Year Zero as a concept album
Concept album
In music, a concept album is an album that is "unified by a theme, which can be instrumental, compositional, narrative, or lyrical." Commonly, concept albums tend to incorporate preconceived musical or lyrical ideas rather than being improvised or composed in the studio, with all songs contributing...

 criticizing the United States government's current policies and how they will affect the world 15 years in the future.

Film composition

In 2001, Reznor was asked by Mark Romanek
Mark Romanek
Mark Romanek is an American filmmaker, whose directing work includes feature films, music videos and commercials.He wrote and directed the critically acclaimed 2002 film One Hour Photo starring Robin Williams...

 to provide the score for One Hour Photo
One Hour Photo
One Hour Photo is a 2002 American psychological thriller written and directed by Mark Romanek and starring Robin Williams. Fox Searchlight Pictures distributed the film in the United States. One Hour Photo also starred Connie Nielsen, Michael Vartan, Gary Cole, and Eriq La Salle. Williams won a...

, but the music didn't work for the film and was not used. These compositions eventually evolved into Still.

Reznor collaborated with Atticus Ross
Atticus Ross
Atticus Ross is an English musician, composer and producer. Ross, along with Trent Reznor, won the Academy Award for Best Original Score for The Social Network in 2011.-Early career:...

 to compose the score for David Fincher
David Fincher
David Andrew Leo Fincher is an American film and music video director. Known for his dark and stylish thrillers, such as Seven , The Game , Fight Club , Panic Room , and Zodiac , Fincher received Academy Award nominations for Best Director for his 2008 film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and...

's The Social Network
The Social Network
The Social Network is a 2010 American drama film directed by David Fincher and written by Aaron Sorkin. Adapted from Ben Mezrich's 2009 book The Accidental Billionaires, the film portrays the founding of social networking website Facebook and the resulting lawsuits...

, a 2010 drama film about the founding of Facebook
Facebook
Facebook is a social networking service and website launched in February 2004, operated and privately owned by Facebook, Inc. , Facebook has more than 800 million active users. Users must register before using the site, after which they may create a personal profile, add other users as...

. Says Reznor, "When I actually read the script and realized what he was up to, I said goodbye to that free time I had planned." The score was noted for portraying "Mark Zuckerberg the genius, developing a brilliant idea over ominous undertones," and received nearly unanimous praise across the board. On September 16, 2010, Reznor announced that the film's score
The Social Network (soundtrack)
The Social Network is a dark ambient soundtrack by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross for David Fincher's film of the same name. It was released on September 28, 2010. On September 17, a five-track sampler was also made available for free...

 would be released in October 2010 in multiple formats, including digital download
Music download
A music download is the transferral of music from an Internet-facing computer or website to a user's local computer. This term encompasses both legal downloads and downloads of copyright material without permission or payment...

, compact disc
Compact Disc
The Compact Disc is an optical disc used to store digital data. It was originally developed to store and playback sound recordings exclusively, but later expanded to encompass data storage , write-once audio and data storage , rewritable media , Video Compact Discs , Super Video Compact Discs ,...

, 5.1 surround
5.1 surround sound
5.1 is the common name for six channel surround sound multichannel audio systems. 5.1 is now the most commonly used layout in both commercial cinemas and home theaters. It uses five full bandwidth channels and one low frequency enhancement channel . Dolby Digital, Dolby Pro Logic II, DTS, and...

 on Blu-ray disc
Blu-ray Disc
Blu-ray Disc is an optical disc storage medium designed to supersede the DVD format. The plastic disc is 120 mm in diameter and 1.2 mm thick, the same size as DVDs and CDs. Blu-ray Discs contain 25 GB per layer, with dual layer discs being the norm for feature-length video discs...

, and vinyl record. A 5-song sampler EP
Extended play
An EP is a musical recording which contains more music than a single, but is too short to qualify as a full album or LP. The term EP originally referred only to specific types of vinyl records other than 78 rpm standard play records and LP records, but it is now applied to mid-length Compact...

 was released for free via digital download. In 2011 Reznor and Ross won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score
Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score
The Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score is one of several categories presented by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association , an organization of journalists who cover the United States film industry, but are affiliated with publications outside North America, since its institution in 1947...

  and the Academy Award for Original Score for this work.

On January 7, 2011, Reznor announced that he would again be working with Fincher, this time to provide the score for the American adaptation
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011 film)
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is an upcoming English-language drama thriller film that is the second film based on the Swedish novel of the same name by Stieg Larsson. The first film was the 2009 Swedish-language adaptation. The upcoming film is written by Steven Zaillian and directed by David...

 of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is an award-winning crime novel by Swedish author and journalist Stieg Larsson. It is the first book in the trilogy known as the "Millennium series"....

. A cover of "Immigrant Song
Immigrant Song
"Immigrant Song" is a song by the English rock band Led Zeppelin. It was released as a single from their third album, Led Zeppelin III, in 1970.-Overview:...

" by Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin were an English rock band, active in the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s. Formed in 1968, they consisted of guitarist Jimmy Page, singer Robert Plant, bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones, and drummer John Bonham...

 produced by Reznor and Ross, with Karen O
Karen O
Karen Lee Orzolek , better known by her stage name Karen O, is the vocalist for New York rock band Yeah Yeah Yeahs.-Early life:...

 (of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Yeah Yeah Yeahs are an American indie rock band formed in New York City in 2000. The group is composed of vocalist and pianist Karen O, guitarist and keyboardist Nick Zinner, and drummer Brian Chase. They are complemented in live performances by second guitarist David Pajo, who joined as a touring...

) as featured singer, was released by way of a trailer for the film. The cover extended for the entirety of the trailer and was well received by critics.

Suit and counter-suit with John Malm

In 2004, Reznor's former manager John Malm Jr. filed suit in the United States district court
United States district court
The United States district courts are the general trial courts of the United States federal court system. Both civil and criminal cases are filed in the district court, which is a court of law, equity, and admiralty. There is a United States bankruptcy court associated with each United States...

 of Ohio
Ohio
Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

 against Reznor for over $2 million in deferred commissions. The suit alleged that Reznor "reneged on every single contract he and Malm ever entered into", and that Reznor refused to pay Malm payments which he was contractually entitled to.
Weeks later, Reznor filed a counter-suit in the U.S. District Court of New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

, charging Malm with fraud and breach of fiduciary duties. Reznor's suit arose from a five-year management contract signed in the early days of Nine Inch Nails, between Reznor and Malm's management company J. Artist Management. This contract, according to the suit, was unlawful and immoral in that it secured Malm 20% of Reznor's gross earnings, rather than his net earnings, as is the standard practice between artists and their management. The suit also alleged that the contract secured this percentage even if Malm was no longer representing Reznor, and for all Reznor's album advances
Advance payment
An advance payment, or simply an advance, is the part of a contractually due sum that is paid in advance for goods or services, while the balance included in the invoice will only follow the delivery. It is called a prepaid expense in accrual accounting.-See also:*Advance against royalties*Pay or...

. The suit also described how Malm had misappropriated the ownership rights regarding Nine Inch Nails, including the trademark name "NIN". According to testimony by Malm, Reznor gave him half of the "NIN" trademark "as a gift."

Reznor stated that he began to fully understand his financial situation after tackling his addiction to drugs and alcohol. Reznor requested a financial statement from Malm in 2003, only to discover that he had only $400,000 in liquid assets. "It was not pleasant discovering you have a 10th as much as you've been told you have," Reznor told the court. Malm's lawyers, however, claimed that Malm had worked for years "pro bono", and that Reznor's inability to release an album or tour and his uninhibited spending were the reasons for Reznor's financial situation.

After a three week trial in 2005, jurors sided with Reznor, awarding him upwards of $2.95 million and returning to him complete control of his trademarks. After adjustment for inflation, Reznor's award rose to nearly $5 million.

Independence from major record labels

Following the release of Year Zero, Reznor announced later that Nine Inch Nails split from its contractual obligations with Interscope Records
Interscope Records
Interscope Records is an American record label owned by Universal Music Group that currently operates as one third of UMG's Interscope-Geffen-A&M label group.-History:...

, and would distribute its next major albums independently. The last Nine Inch Nails release on Interscope was Year Zero Remixed
Year Zero Remixed
-Vinyl:-Critical reception:Year Zero Remixed received generally positive reviews. Virgin Media's review described the album as "a real cornucopia of treats" and "Highly recommended." Pitchfork Media's review, however, criticized the album, writing that it "lacks cohesion and is predictably...

, based on material from Year Zero.

Criticism of the music industry

In May 2007, Reznor made a post on the official Nine Inch Nails website condemning Universal Music Group
Universal Music Group
Universal Music Group is an American music group, the largest of the "big four" record companies by its commanding market share and its multitude of global operations...

—the parent company of the band's record label, Interscope Records
Interscope Records
Interscope Records is an American record label owned by Universal Music Group that currently operates as one third of UMG's Interscope-Geffen-A&M label group.-History:...

—for their pricing and distribution plans for Nine Inch Nails' 2007 album Year Zero. He labeled the company's retail pricing of Year Zero in Australia as "ABSURD," concluding that "as a reward for being a 'true fan' you get ripped off". Reznor went on to say that as "the climate grows more and more desperate for record labels, their answer to their mostly self-inflicted wounds seems to be to screw the consumer over even more." Reznor's post, specifically his criticism of the recording industry at large, elicited considerable media attention. In September 2007, Reznor continued his attack on Universal Music Group at a concert in Australia, urging fans there to "steal" his music online instead of purchasing it legally. Reznor went on to encourage the crowd to "steal and steal and steal some more and give it to all your friends and keep on stealin'."

Musical style and influence

Reznor is a fan of David Bowie
David Bowie
David Bowie is an English musician, actor, record producer and arranger. A major figure for over four decades in the world of popular music, Bowie is widely regarded as an innovator, particularly for his work in the 1970s...

, and has cited Bowie's 1977 album Low as one of his favorite albums. Reznor has stated that he played the album constantly during the recording of The Downward Spiral for inspiration. In 1995, Nine Inch Nails and David Bowie toured as a co-headlining act on the Outside Tour. Reznor also appeared in Bowie's video for "I'm Afraid of Americans
I'm Afraid of Americans
"I'm Afraid of Americans" is a song and single by David Bowie from the 1997 album Earthling. The song, co-written by Bowie and Brian Eno, was originally written during Bowie's studio sessions for the 1995 album Outside but was not released until a rough mix appeared on the soundtrack to the film...

", cast as Bowie's stalker
Stalking
Stalking is a term commonly used to refer to unwanted and obsessive attention by an individual or group to another person. Stalking behaviors are related to harassment and intimidation and may include following the victim in person and/or monitoring them via the internet...

. Reznor also made several remixes for the single release of the same song, as well as a remix of "The Hearts Filthy Lesson
The Hearts Filthy Lesson
"The Hearts Filthy Lesson" is a song by David Bowie, from his 1995 album Outside, and issued as a single ahead of the album. It showcased Bowie's new, industrial-influenced sound. The lack of an apostrophe in the title is deliberate. Lyrically, the single connects with the rest of the album, with...

". Reznor also states in the 2010 documentary Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage
Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage
Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage is a 2010 documentary film directed by Scot McFadyen and Sam Dunn. The film offers an in-depth look at the Canadian progressive rock band Rush, chronicling the band's musical evolution from their progressive rock sound of the 1970s to their current heavy rock style...

that the band Rush
Rush (band)
Rush is a Canadian rock band formed in August 1968, in the Willowdale neighbourhood of Toronto, Ontario. The band is composed of bassist, keyboardist, and lead vocalist Geddy Lee, guitarist Alex Lifeson, and drummer and lyricist Neil Peart...

 had played a major part in his childhood influences. He also stated that he considered Rush to be "one of the best bands ever" and had gained a perspective on how keyboards could be introduced into hard rock after listening to their 1982 album Signals. Reznor also stated "Freddie Mercury
Freddie Mercury
Freddie Mercury was a British musician, singer and songwriter, best known as the lead vocalist of the rock band Queen. As a performer, he was known for his flamboyant stage persona and powerful vocals over a four-octave range...

's death meant more to me than John Lennon
John Lennon
John Winston Lennon, MBE was an English musician and singer-songwriter who rose to worldwide fame as one of the founding members of The Beatles, one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music...

's" and covered Queen
Queen (band)
Queen are a British rock band formed in London in 1971, originally consisting of Freddie Mercury , Brian May , John Deacon , and Roger Taylor...

's "Get Down Make Love", which was produced by Paul Barker & Al Jourgensen of Ministry
Ministry (band)
Ministry is an American industrial metal band founded by lead singer Al Jourgensen in 1981. Originally a synthpop outfit, Ministry changed its style to industrial metal in the late 1980s. Ministry found mainstream success in the early 1990s with its most successful album Psalm 69: The Way to...

 and released on the single for "Sin". In many interviews in Musician, Spin, and Alternative Press, Reznor mentioned The Cars
The Cars
The Cars are an American rock band that emerged from the early New Wave music scene in the late 1970s. The band consisted of lead singer and rhythm guitarist Ric Ocasek, lead singer and bassist Benjamin Orr, guitarist Elliot Easton, keyboardist Greg Hawkes and drummer David Robinson...

, The Jesus and Mary Chain
The Jesus and Mary Chain
The Jesus and Mary Chain are a Scottish alternative rock band formed in East Kilbride, Glasgow in 1983. The band revolves around the songwriting partnership of brothers Jim and William Reid...

, Soft Cell
Soft Cell
Soft Cell are an English synthpop duo who came to prominence in the early 1980s. They consist of vocalist Marc Almond and instrumentalist David Ball. The duo is most widely known for their 1981 worldwide hit version of "Tainted Love" and platinum debut Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret...

, Prince
Prince (musician)
Prince Rogers Nelson , often known simply as Prince, is an American singer, songwriter, musician, and actor. Prince has produced ten platinum albums and thirty Top 40 singles during his career. Prince founded his own recording studio and label; writing, self-producing and playing most, or all, of...

, Gary Numan
Gary Numan
Gary Numan is an English singer, composer, and musician, most widely known for his chart-topping 1979 hits "Are 'Friends' Electric?" and "Cars". His signature sound consisted of heavy synthesizer hooks fed through guitar effects pedals.Numan is considered a pioneer of commercial electronic music...

, and The Cure
The Cure
The Cure are an English rock band formed in Crawley, West Sussex in 1976. The band has experienced several line-up changes, with frontman, vocalist, guitarist and principal songwriter Robert Smith being the only constant member...

's 1985 album, The Head on the Door
The Head on the Door
The Head on the Door is the sixth studio album by British band The Cure, released in 1985. The album is the first to feature drummer Boris Williams, it also features the return of Simon Gallup and is Porl Thompson's first album as an official member....

, as important influences. In a radio interview, Reznor stated the first song he ever wrote "Down in It" was a "total rip-off" of the Skinny Puppy
Skinny Puppy
Skinny Puppy is a Canadian industrial musical group, formed in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada in 1982. The group is widely considered to be the founders of the electro-industrial genre....

 song "Dig It."

Reznor's work as Nine Inch Nails has influenced many newer artists, which according to Reznor range from "generic imitations" dating from the band's initial success to younger bands echoing his style in a "truer, less imitative way". Following the release of The Downward Spiral, mainstream artists began to take notice of Nine Inch Nails' influence: David Bowie compared NIN's impact to that of The Velvet Underground
The Velvet Underground
The Velvet Underground was an American rock band formed in New York City. First active from 1964 to 1973, their best-known members were Lou Reed and John Cale, who both went on to find success as solo artists. Although experiencing little commercial success while together, the band is often cited...

. In 1997, Reznor appeared in Time
Time (magazine)
Time is an American news magazine. A European edition is published from London. Time Europe covers the Middle East, Africa and, since 2003, Latin America. An Asian edition is based in Hong Kong...

magazine's list of the year's most influential people, and Spin magazine described him as "the most vital artist in music." Bob Ezrin
Bob Ezrin
Robert Alan "Bob" Ezrin is a Canadian music producer and keyboardist, known for his work with artists including Alice Cooper, Kiss and Pink Floyd. He was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 2004.-Biography:...

, producer for Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd were an English rock band that achieved worldwide success with their progressive and psychedelic rock music. Their work is marked by the use of philosophical lyrics, sonic experimentation, innovative album art, and elaborate live shows. Pink Floyd are one of the most commercially...

, Kiss
KISS (band)
Kiss is an American rock band formed in New York City in January 1973. Well-known for its members' face paint and flamboyant stage outfits, the group rose to prominence in the mid to late 1970s on the basis of their elaborate live performances, which featured fire breathing, blood spitting,...

, Alice Cooper
Alice Cooper
Alice Cooper is an American rock singer, songwriter and musician whose career spans more than four decades...

, and Peter Gabriel
Peter Gabriel
Peter Brian Gabriel is an English singer, musician, and songwriter who rose to fame as the lead vocalist and flautist of the progressive rock group Genesis. After leaving Genesis, Gabriel went on to a successful solo career...

, described Reznor in 2007 as a "true visionary" and advised aspiring artists to take note of his no-compromise attitude. During a rare appearance at the Kerrang! Awards in London that year, Reznor accepted the Kerrang! Icon, honoring Nine Inch Nails' long-standing influence on rock music.
Timbaland
Timbaland
Timothy Zachery Mosley , better known by his stage name Timbaland, is an American record producer, songwriter and rapper....

, one of pop music's most successful producers in recent years, has cited Reznor as his favorite studio producer.

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