Tapeworm (band)

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Tapeworm Band.jpg
Tapeworm as of 2002 (left to right): Maynard James Keenan, Danny Lohner, Atticus Ross, Trent Reznor
Background information
OriginUnited States
Years active1995–2004
Associated acts Nine Inch Nails, A Perfect Circle, Tool, Puscifer, How to Destroy Angels
Past members See below

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 members Danny Lohner and Charlie Clouser. Through the years the group expanded and evolved numerous times to include artists such as Maynard James Keenan, Atticus Ross, and Alan Moulder, effectively turning the project into a supergroup. After many years of rumors and expected release dates, Reznor announced the end of the project in 2004.

In popular music, a side project is a project undertaken by one or more people already known for their involvement in another band. It can also be an artist or a band temporarily switching to a different style.

Nine Inch Nails American industrial rock project

Nine Inch Nails, commonly abbreviated as NIN, is an American industrial rock band from Cleveland, Ohio, founded in 1988. The band consists of producer and multi-instrumentalist Trent Reznor, as well as English musician Atticus Ross. Over the course of their three-decade existence, the band has signed with several major labels, the most current being Capitol Records, under the name The Null Corporation.

Trent Reznor American musician

Michael Trent Reznor is an American singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, and film score composer. He is the founder, primary musician, and principal songwriter of the industrial rock project Nine Inch Nails, which he founded in 1988 and of which he was the sole official member until adding long-time collaborator Atticus Ross as a permanent member in 2016. His first release under the Nine Inch Nails name, the 1989 album Pretty Hate Machine, was a commercial and critical success. He has since released eight Nine Inch Nails studio albums. He left Interscope Records in 2007 and was an independent recording artist until signing with Columbia Records in 2012.



Tapeworm's genesis occurred during Nine Inch Nails recording sessions following The Downward Spiral tours circa 1996. While working on Nine Inch Nails material, Danny Lohner and Charlie Clouser, both Nine Inch Nails live band members, would often come up with ideas that Reznor felt did not fit in with his vision for the band. Tapeworm developed as an outlet for this material—a democratic group in which Lohner and Clouser could act as equals with Reznor, as opposed to Nine Inch Nails, in which Reznor maintained sole artistic control. [1] [2]

<i>The Downward Spiral</i> studio album by Nine Inch Nails

The Downward Spiral is the second studio album by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails. It was released on March 8, 1994, by Nothing Records and Interscope Records. Conceived after the 1991 Lollapalooza festival tour, recording for the album took place throughout 1992 and 1993 in Los Angeles. The album was produced by frontman Trent Reznor and Flood.

Daniel Patrick "Danny" Lohner, frequently known as Renholdër, is an American musician. He worked with Trent Reznor on numerous occasions, both with Nine Inch Nails and on the now defunct Tapeworm project. He has also played for Methods of Mayhem, and in the past was one of the founding members of industrial-thrash outlet Skrew, as well as one of the members of the Texas thrash metal band Angkor Wat.

Charlie Clouser American musician

Charles Alexander Clouser is an American keyboardist, composer, record producer, and remixer. He worked with Trent Reznor for Nine Inch Nails from 1994–2000, and is a composer for film and television; among his credits are the score for the Saw franchise and American Horror Story. Clouser was nominated for two Grammy Awards for Best Metal Performance in 1997.

As time went on, Tapeworm evolved into a supergroup, with guest musicians such as Maynard James Keenan, Page Hamilton, and Phil Anselmo recording material ostensibly to be used by the group. In 1999 Lohner reported that three tracks had been completed, and described the various materials featuring Anselmo as "heavy NIN-meets-Pantera" and "mellow Pink Floyd The Wall -type songs", and the material featuring Keenan as "psychedelic, groove-oriented verses and anthemic choruses." [3] Tommy Victor recorded material with the band as well, and later told Rolling Stone that the continued delays on Tapeworm contributed to his decision to take a hiatus from music, as well as accusing Reznor of giving his Tapeworm guitar contribution to Marilyn Manson. [4]

Maynard James Keenan American musician

James Herbert Keenan, known professionally as Maynard James Keenan or MJK, is an American singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, actor, author, and winemaker. He is best known as the vocalist for the rock bands Tool, A Perfect Circle, and Puscifer.

Page Hamilton American musician

Page Nye Hamilton is an American guitarist, singer, songwriter and record producer, mostly noted for his work with alternative metal band Helmet. Most of his work has been in the hard rock and alternative metal styles, though he trained in jazz guitar and has substantial connections with avant-garde music and film soundtrack composition.

Phil Anselmo American musician

Philip Hansen Anselmo is an American heavy metal musician who is best known as the lead vocalist for Pantera, Down, and Superjoint Ritual. He is also the owner of Housecore Records and has been involved with several other bands.

In a statement issued to MTV News, Reznor reflected on his collaborations with Keenan:

MTV News

MTV News is the news production division of MTV. The service is available in the US with localized versions on MTV's global network. In February 2016, MTV Networks confirmed it would refresh the MTV News brand in 2016, to compete with the likes of BuzzFeed and Vice, however by mid-2017 MTV News was significantly downsized due to cutbacks.

It has been an interesting experiment for Maynard and I to peek around in each other's heads, shining flashlights in some shadowy corners ... We've realized we're each in somewhat similar places in our respective lives and outlook, so it's been great to collaborate on that level. [5]

By 2001, long-time Nine Inch Nails collaborator Alan Moulder had tracked "more than an album's worth" of demos. Moulder further described the rough tracks as "very unlike The Fragile " and were a deviation from most Nine Inch Nails material. [6] By 2002, Clouser had left Nine Inch Nails and was no longer associated with Tapeworm. The group, which now consisted of Reznor, Lohner, Keenan, and Atticus Ross, booked time in a recording studio in hopes of producing an album. An official website, tapeworm.net (now offline), was created to showcase pictures from various recording sessions, including images of Josh Freese behind a drum kit. [7]

Alan Moulder is an English record producer, mixing engineer and audio engineer.

<i>The Fragile</i> (Nine Inch Nails album) 1999 album by Nine Inch Nails

The Fragile is the third studio album by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, released as a double album on September 21, 1999 by Nothing and Interscope Records. It was produced by Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor and longtime collaborator Alan Moulder. It was recorded throughout 1997 to 1999 in New Orleans.

Atticus Ross English musician, composer and record producer

Atticus Matthew Cowper Ross is an English musician, songwriter, record producer, and audio engineer. Along with Trent Reznor, Ross won the Academy Award for Best Original Score for The Social Network in 2010. In 2013, the pair won a Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media for their soundtrack to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. In 2016, Ross became a member of Trent Reznor's band Nine Inch Nails.

In September 2003, Lohner told Kerrang! magazine that the album was "ready to mix" but had been held up by legal issues stemming from conflicts between Reznor and Keenan's record labels. [8] The Tapeworm material was reported numerous times as completion neared, most notably by MTV News and Kerrang! , and was slated to be released on Reznor's Nothing Records label. [5] Initial recording sessions for the band were staged in the Nothing Studios in New Orleans, though were later reported as being moved to Southern Tracks Studios in Atlanta, Georgia. [5]

In 2004, Reznor announced that Tapeworm was "dead for the foreseeable future", citing label issues, Keenan's A Perfect Circle obligations, and Reznor's own waning enthusiasm for the project. Reznor summarized the project's demise by saying "the bottom line is this: if the music had been great, all of this probably could have been worked out." [9] During an interview with digg founder Kevin Rose in 2009, Reznor further commented that he thought the material was not as good as could have been given his and Keenan's respective backgrounds and it was unlikely that the material would ever surface, but went on to say that he would like for the two of them to work together again at some point in the future.


Musicians who have been cited as recording material for Tapeworm, in alphabetical order:


Only two songs "Vacant" and "Potions", have ever been identified as Tapeworm songs. Neither have been released, though cover versions by Maynard James Keenan's other projects have surfaced. The first, "Vacant" was initially conceived during the Tapeworm sessions; the track being written by Lohner and re-arranged by Clouser, with lyrics and melody by Keenan and chorus and backing vocals by Reznor. [6] The song was first performed live by A Perfect Circle throughout their 2001 tour. [6] MTV reported that Reznor was apparently not happy that Keenan performed the song: "I have to admit I find it mildly irritating for "Vacant" to debut in this fashion before feeling it has been properly realized," [6] Shortly after the dissolution of the Tapeworm project, Keenan released a reworked version on A Perfect Circle's 2004 cover album Emotive under the title "Passive". [12]

Another side-project of Maynard James Keenan, Puscifer, released an album titled "C" Is for (Please Insert Sophomoric Genitalia Reference HERE) with a song, "Potions (Deliverance Mix)," which had writing credits given to Trent Reznor. [13]

In response to rumors that Keenan released a Tapeworm song without any changes made, a blog was posted on the home page of the main Puscifer website on November 18, 2009 saying that:

Ok. Let's use an APC album as an example. eMOTIVe. APC did a song called "Imagine." If you view the credits for the song you'll find various bits of info. Generally speaking the writers name appears in parenthesis next to the track. The performer info may or may not be listed in the album credits. If you see performer info it may be broken down to instruments. For example ... "Billy Howerdel - Guitars and Back-up Vocals. Josh Freese - Drums and percussion, etc... Or it may be a given that the people who performed on this project/album/track are the band in question. So it will just say "B Howerdel - guitars, Josh Freese - drums, M J Keenan - vocals, etc. ... But Writing credits are different. Next to "Imagine" you'll see the name John Lennon. Because he wrote the song. You may want to sit down for the next bit. Ready? John Lennon didn't perform or sing or play on the APC version of "Imagine." He didn't produce it, direct it, co-produce it, or grab us Latte's during the recording of it. Why? Because he's dead. he just wrote it. And we performed a version of it. If you visit the Project Credits of this site now, you'll start to see what we mean. Hope that helps.

Later Keenan delved further into the issue on his Twitter account only nine hours after the initial blog had been posted. Keenan essentially confirmed the song's origins in the Tapeworm project while also confirming that the song was covered and released by Puscifer in the same fashion as A Perfect Circle did with "Passive," saying the following:

[To] conclude if [I] may. If [you] HATE Potions, hate US not Trent. We wrote it together, but PUSCIFER produced it. It was my wedding present [to] him. [14]

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