Trent Reznor

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Trent Reznor
NIN2008 (cropped).jpg
Reznor in March 2008
Born
Michael Trent Reznor

(1965-05-17) May 17, 1965 (age 54)
Residence Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Occupation
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • musician
  • record producer
  • film score composer
Years active1982–present
Spouse(s)
Mariqueen Maandig
(m. 2009)
Children4
Musical career
Origin Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
Genres
Instruments
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • keyboards
Labels
Associated acts
Website nin.com

Michael Trent Reznor (born May 17, 1965) is an American singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, and film score composer. He is the founder, lead vocalist, and principal songwriter of the industrial rock band 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 nine Nine Inch Nails studio albums. He left Interscope Records in 2007 and was an independent recording artist until signing with Columbia Records in 2012.

Industrial rock music genre

Industrial rock is an alternative rock genre that fuses industrial music and rock music.

Nine Inch Nails American industrial rock band

Nine Inch Nails, commonly abbreviated as NIN, is an American industrial rock band formed in 1988 in Cleveland, Ohio. The band was founded by lead singer, songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Trent Reznor, who was the band's only official member until adding English musician Atticus Ross in 2016. The band has signed with several major labels over the course of three decades, the current being Capitol Records, under the name The Null Corporation.

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 Oscar 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. He has worked with Reznor's band Nine Inch Nails since 2005, and became an official member of the band in 2016.

Contents

Reznor was associated with the bands Option 30, The Urge, The Innocent, and Exotic Birds in the mid-1980s. Outside of Nine Inch Nails, he has contributed to the albums of artists such as Marilyn Manson and Saul Williams. He and his wife, Mariqueen Maandig, are members of the post-industrial [6] [7] group How to Destroy Angels, with Atticus Ross and long-time Nine Inch Nails graphic designer Rob Sheridan. [6] [8]

Option 30 was a new wave band from the early 1980s founded by Timothy K. ("TK") Smith on guitars and lead vocals, Jim Nordstrom on bass and vocals, and Todd Nero on drums and vocals. For a time, the band also featured a young Trent Reznor on keyboards and lead vocals. Option 30's style was similar to that of Falco and early albums by The Police.

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. Valentine and McClain were both members of Donnie Iris and the Cruisers, and they had just recently opted to go on their own way from the band. The band's sole album was released on the regional Red Label Records.

Exotic Birds

The Exotic Birds was a synthpop music group formed in Cleveland, Ohio in 1982 by three Cleveland Institute of Music percussion students, Andy Kubiszewski, Tom Freer and Tim Adams. They wrote their own music, and were described as synthpop and dance. They achieved mainly local success, but appeared as an opening band for Culture Club, Eurythmics, and Information Society.

Reznor and Ross scored the David Fincher films The Social Network (2010), The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011), and Gone Girl (2014), winning the Academy Award for Best Original Score for The Social Network and the Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. They also scored the 2018 film Bird Box . In 1997, Reznor appeared in Time 's list of the year's most influential people, and Spin magazine described him as "the most vital artist in music". [9]

A film score is original music written specifically to accompany a film for the actors. The score forms part of the film's soundtrack, which also usually includes pre-existing music, dialogue and sound effects, and comprises a number of orchestral, instrumental, or choral pieces called cues, which are timed to begin and end at specific points during the film in order to enhance the dramatic narrative and the emotional impact of the scene in question. Scores are written by one or more composers, under the guidance of, or in collaboration with, the film's director or producer and are then usually performed by an ensemble of musicians – most often comprising an orchestra or band, instrumental soloists, and choir or vocalists – known as playback singers and recorded by a sound engineer.

David Fincher American film director

David Andrew Leo Fincher is an American film director, film producer, television director, television producer, and music video director. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) and The Social Network (2010). For the latter, he won the Golden Globe Award for Best Director and the BAFTA Award for Best Direction.

<i>The Social Network</i> 2010 film by David Fincher

The Social Network is a 2010 American biographical drama film directed by David Fincher and written by Aaron Sorkin. Adapted from Ben Mezrich's 2009 book The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, a Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal, the film portrays the founding of social networking website Facebook and the resulting lawsuits. It stars Jesse Eisenberg as founder Mark Zuckerberg, along with Andrew Garfield as Eduardo Saverin, Justin Timberlake as Sean Parker, Armie Hammer as Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, and Max Minghella as Divya Narendra. Neither Zuckerberg nor any other Facebook staff were involved with the project, although Saverin was a consultant for Mezrich's book. The film was released in the United States by Columbia Pictures on October 1, 2010.

Early life

Michael Trent Reznor was born on May 17, 1965, [10] in New Castle, Pennsylvania, [11] the son of Nancy Lou (née Clark) and Michael Reznor. [12] He has German and Irish ancestry [11] and is a descendant of businessman George Reznor, who founded the heating and air conditioning manufacturer The Reznor Company in 1888. [12] Reznor grew up in Mercer, Pennsylvania. After his parents divorced, he lived with his maternal grandparents from the age of six, while his sister Tera lived with their mother. [13] He began playing the piano at the age of 12 and showed an early aptitude for music. [14] His grandfather, Bill Clark, told People magazine in February 1995 that Reznor was "a good kid ... a Boy Scout who loved to skateboard, build model planes, and play the piano". [14] He stated, "Music was his life, from the time he was a wee boy. He was so gifted." [14]

New Castle, Pennsylvania City in Pennsylvania, United States

New Castle is a city in and the county seat of Lawrence County, Pennsylvania, United States, 50 miles (80 km) northwest of Pittsburgh and near the Pennsylvania–Ohio border just 18 miles (29 km) east of Youngstown, Ohio. The population was 23,128 as of the 2010 census. It is the commercial center of a fertile agricultural region.

Mercer, Pennsylvania Borough in Pennsylvania, United States

Mercer is a borough in Mercer County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 2,002 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Mercer County. Mercer is part of the Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, OH-PA Metropolitan Statistical Area.

<i>People</i> (magazine) American celebrity and human interest magazine published by Time Inc.

People is an American weekly magazine of celebrity and human-interest stories, published by Meredith Corporation. With a readership of 46.6 million adults, People has the largest audience of any American magazine. People had $997 million in advertising revenue in 2011, the highest advertising revenue of any American magazine. In 2006, it had a circulation of 3.75 million and revenue expected to top $1.5 billion. It was named "Magazine of the Year" by Advertising Age in October 2005, for excellence in editorial, circulation, and advertising. People ranked number 6 on Advertising Age's annual "A-list" and number 3 on Adweek's "Brand Blazers" list in October 2006.

Reznor has acknowledged that his sheltered life left him feeling isolated from the outside world. In a September 1994 interview with Rolling Stone magazine, he referred to his choices in the music industry:

<i>Rolling Stone</i> American magazine focusing on popular culture, based in New York City

Rolling Stone is an American monthly magazine that focuses on popular culture. It was founded in San Francisco, California in 1967 by Jann Wenner, who is still the magazine's publisher, and the music critic Ralph J. Gleason. It was first known for its musical coverage and for political reporting by Hunter S. Thompson. In the 1990s, the magazine shifted focus to a younger readership interested in youth-oriented television shows, film actors, and popular music. In recent years, it has resumed its traditional mix of content.

However, in April 1995, Reznor told Details magazine that he did not "want to give the impression it was a miserable childhood". [16] At Mercer Area Junior/Senior High School, he learned to play the tenor saxophone and tuba, and was a member of both the jazz and marching band. The school's former band director remembered him as "very upbeat and friendly." [14] Reznor also became involved in theater while in high school, and was voted "Best in Drama" by classmates for his roles as Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar and Professor Harold Hill in The Music Man . He graduated in 1983 and enrolled at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania, where he studied computer engineering. [17]

<i>Details</i> (magazine) American monthly mens magazine

Details was an American monthly men's magazine published by Condé Nast, founded in 1982 by Annie Flanders. Though primarily a magazine devoted to fashion and lifestyle, Details also featured reports on relevant social and political issues. In November 2015 Condé Nast announced that the magazine would cease publication with the issue of December 2015/January 2016.

Mercer Area High School is a high school located in Mercer, Pennsylvania, United States. The school's colors are navy blue and white. The school mascot is the Mercer Mustang.

Jazz band musical ensemble that plays jazz music

A jazz band is a musical ensemble that plays jazz music. Jazz bands vary in the quantity of its members and the style of jazz that they play but it is common to find a jazz band made up of a rhythm section and a horn section.

Music career

Early musical projects

While he was a student at Mercer Area Junior/Senior High School, Reznor joined local band Option 30 and played three shows a week with them. After a year of college, Reznor dropped out and moved to Cleveland, Ohio, to pursue a career in music. [14] His first band in Cleveland was the Urge, a cover band. [18] [19] In 1985, he joined The Innocent as a keyboardist; they released one album, Livin' in the Street, but Reznor left the band after three months. In 1986, he joined local band Exotic Birds and appeared with them as a fictional band called The Problems in the 1987 film Light of Day . [20] Reznor also contributed on keyboards to the band Slam Bamboo during this time. [21]

Reznor got a job at Cleveland's Right Track Studio as an assistant engineer and janitor. [22] Studio owner Bart Koster later commented: "He was so focused in everything he did. When that guy waxed the floor, it looked great." [14] Reznor asked Koster for permission to record demos 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". [14]

While assembling 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, he played all the instruments except drums himself. [23] Reznor has continued in this role on most of the band's studio recordings, though he has occasionally involved other musicians, assistants, drummers and rhythm experts. Several labels responded favorably to the demo material and Reznor signed with TVT Records. [22] Nine selections from the Right Track demos were unofficially released in 1988 as Purest Feeling and many of these songs appeared in revised form on Pretty Hate Machine , Reznor's first official release under the Nine Inch Nails name.

Nine Inch Nails

Reznor performing at the Lollapalooza festival, 1991 Trent Reznor Lollapalooza 1991.jpg
Reznor performing at the Lollapalooza festival, 1991

Most of Reznor's work as a musician has been as founding and primary member of Nine Inch Nails. Pretty Hate Machine was released in 1989 and was a moderate commercial success, certified Gold in 1992. [24] Amid pressure from his 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 an EP called Broken (1992). [25] Nine Inch Nails was included in the Lollapalooza tour in the summer of 1991, and won a Grammy Award in 1993 under "Best Heavy Metal Performance" for the song "Wish". [26]

Nine Inch Nails' second full-length album, The Downward Spiral , entered the Billboard 200 chart in 1994 at number two, [27] and remains the highest-selling Nine Inch Nails release in America. [24] To record the album, Reznor rented and moved into the 10050 Cielo Drive mansion, where the 1969 Manson Family murders took place. [28] He 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's blood by her murderers. [28] Reznor told Entertainment Weekly that, despite the notoriety attached to the house, he chose to record there because he "looked at a lot of places, and this just happened to be the one I liked most". [28] He has also explained that he was fascinated by the house due to his interest in "American folklore," but has stated that he does not "want to support serial-killer bullshit." [29]

Nine Inch Nails toured extensively over the next few years, including a performance at Woodstock '94, although Reznor admitted to the audience that he did not like to play large venues. [30] Around this time, Reznor's studio perfectionism, [31] struggles with addiction, and bouts of writer's block prolonged the production of a follow-up to The Downward Spiral . [32]

In 1999, the double album The Fragile was released. It was partially successful, but lost money for Reznor's label, so he funded the North American Fragility Tour out of his own pocket. A further six years followed before the next Nine Inch Nails album With Teeth was released. Reznor went into rehab during the intermediary period between the two records, and was able to manage his drug addictions. After With Teeth, Reznor released the concept album Year Zero in 2007, which has an alternate reality game themed after the album (see Year Zero (game)) which is about how the current policies of the American government will affect the world in the year 2020. After Year Zero's release, Reznor broke from large record labels and released two albums, Ghosts I-IV and The Slip , independently on his own label, The Null Corporation. In 2009, Nine Inch Nails went on hiatus following the Wave Goodbye Tour. In 2013, Nine Inch Nails returned to large record labels, signing with Columbia Records. In September, the album Hesitation Marks was released, and earlier in August the Tension 2013 tour began.

In 2019, Reznor received a songwriting credit on the Lil Nas X song "Old Town Road", due to the song heavily sampling the 2008 Nine Inch Nails instrumental track "34 Ghosts IV". It reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in April 2019, with Reznor and Ross both receiving songwriting and production credit. [33]

Collaboration with other artists

One of Reznor's earliest collaborations was a Ministry side project in 1990 under the name of 1000 Homo DJs. Reznor sang vocals on a cover of Black Sabbath's "Supernaut". Due to legal issues with his label, Reznor's vocals had to be distorted to make his voice unrecognizable. The band also recorded additional versions with Al Jourgensen doing vocals. [34] While there is still debate as to which version is Reznor and which is Jourgensen, it has been definitively stated that Reznor's vocals were used in the TVT Records' Black Box box set. [35] He also performed with another of Jourgensen's side projects, Revolting Cocks, in 1990. He said: "I saw a whole side of humanity that I didn't know existed. It was decadence on a new level, but with a sense of humor." [36]

Reznor then sang the vocals on the 1991 Pigface track "Suck" from their first album Gub , which also featured Steve Albini. [37] [38] Reznor sang backing vocals on "Past the Mission" on Tori Amos' 1994 album Under the Pink . [39] He produced Marilyn Manson's first album, Portrait of an American Family (1994), and several tracks on Manson's albums Smells Like Children (1995) and Antichrist Superstar (1996). Relations between Reznor and Manson subsequently soured, and Manson later said: "I had to make a choice between being friends and having a mediocre career, or breaking things off and continuing to succeed. It got too competitive. And he can't expect me not to want to be more successful than him." [40]

Reznor was in the David Bowie video for the song "I'm Afraid of Americans" in 1997. In the video, Reznor is a stalker who shows up wherever David Bowie goes. In a 2016 Rolling Stone article after Bowie's death, Reznor recalled how touring with Bowie in 1995-96 inspired Reznor to stay sober. [41]

Reznor produced a remix of The Notorious B.I.G.'s song "Victory", featuring Busta Rhymes, in 1998. [42] Under the stage name Tapeworm, Reznor collaborated for nearly 10 years with Danny Lohner, Maynard James Keenan, and Atticus Ross, but the project was eventually terminated before any official material was released. [43] The only known released Tapeworm material is a reworked version of a track called "Vacant" (retitled "Passive") on A Perfect Circle's 2004 album eMOTIVe , [44] as well as a track called "Potions" on Puscifer's 2009 album "C" Is for .

In 2006, Reznor played his first "solo" shows at Neil Young's annual Bridge School Benefit. Backed by a four piece string section, he performed stripped-down versions of many Nine Inch Nails songs. [45] Reznor featured on El-P's 2007 album I'll Sleep When You're Dead , providing guest vocals on the track "Flyentology". Reznor co-produced Saul Williams' 2007 album The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of NiggyTardust! 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. [46] [47] Reznor was also credited as "Musical Consultant" on the 2004 film Man on Fire . [48] The movie features six Nine Inch Nails songs. [49] He has produced a number of songs for Jane's Addiction 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 digital EP.

In November 2012, Reznor revealed on Reddit that he would be working with Queens of the Stone Age on a song for their sixth studio album, ...Like Clockwork . [50] He had worked with the band once before, providing backing vocals on the title track of the 2007 album Era Vulgaris . Josh Homme has since revealed that Reznor was originally meant to produce the album.

In January 2013, Reznor was seen in a documentary entitled Sound City , directed by former Nirvana drummer and Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl. [51] Sound City is based on real-life recording studio Sound City Studios, originating in Van Nuys, California. It has housed the works of some of the most famed names in music history since its founding in 1969. The film has been chosen as an official selection for the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and will be available to download from its official website on February 1, 2013. [52] Reznor also contributed to the soundtrack for the film, on the track "Mantra", along with Dave Grohl and Josh Homme. [53] [54]

Reznor appeared in a live performance with Fleetwood Mac's Lindsey Buckingham, Dave Grohl, and Queens of the Stone Age at the January Grammy Award ceremony. In an interview with a New Zealand media outlet, Reznor explained his thought process at the time that he was considering his participation in the performance:

How to Destroy Angels

In April 2010, it was announced that Reznor had formed a new band with his wife, Mariqueen Maandig, and Atticus Ross, called How to Destroy Angels. The group digitally released a self-titled six song EP on June 1, 2010, with the retail edition becoming available on July 6, 2010. [56] They covered the Bryan Ferry song "Is Your Love Strong Enough?" [57] for the soundtrack for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which was released on December 9, 2011. On September 21, 2012, Reznor announced that the group's next release would be an EP entitled An Omen EP, set for release on Columbia Records in November 2012, and that some of the EP's songs would later appear on the band's first full-length album in 2013. [58] [59] On October 8, 2012, they released a song and music video [60] from An Omen EP entitled "Keep it Together". [61] How to Destroy Angels announced in January 2013 that their first full-length album entitled Welcome Oblivion would be released on March 5 of the same year. [62]

As an independent artist

Trent Reznor and Robin Finck, Santa Barbara, California 2009 Trent Reznor and Robin Finck, Santa Barbara, California.jpg
Trent Reznor and Robin Finck, Santa Barbara, California 2009

Following the release of Year Zero, Reznor announced later that Nine Inch Nails had split from its contractual obligations with Interscope Records, and would distribute its next major albums independently. [63] In May 2008 Reznor founded The Null Corporation and Nine Inch Nails released the studio album The Slip as a free digital download. 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." [64] 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. [65]

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." [66] 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. [67] [68]

Video games

The original music from id Software's 1996 video game Quake is credited to "Trent Reznor and Nine Inch Nails"; [69] Reznor helped record sound effects and ambient audio, and the NIN logo appears on the nailgun ammunition boxes in the game. [70] Reznor's association with id Software began with Reznor being a fan of the original Doom . He reunited with id Software in 2003 as the sound engineer for Doom 3 , though due to "time, money and bad management", [71] 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 , was released alongside an accompanying alternate reality game. [72] With its lyrics written from the perspective of multiple fictitious characters, Reznor described Year Zero as a concept album criticizing the United States government's current policies and how they will affect the world 15 years in the future. [73] In July 2012, it was announced that Reznor had composed and performed the theme music for Call of Duty: Black Ops II . [74]

Film composition

In 1994, Reznor produced the soundtrack for Oliver Stone's film Natural Born Killers , using a portable Pro Tools in his hotel room. [75] [76] Nine Inch Nails recorded an exclusive song, "Burn" for the film. [77] The group also recorded a cover version of Joy Division's "Dead Souls" for The Crow soundtrack.

He produced the soundtrack for David Lynch's 1997 film Lost Highway . [78] [79] He produced two pieces of the film's score, "Driver Down" and "Videodrones; Questions", with Peter Christopherson. [80] He tried to get Coil onto the soundtrack, but couldn't convince Lynch. [81] Nine Inch Nails also recorded a new song, "The Perfect Drug" for the soundtrack. The release spawned its release as a single, the music video for which was also directed by Mark Romanek. [82]

In 2001, Reznor was asked by Mark Romanek to provide the score for One Hour Photo , but the music did not work for the film and was not used. These compositions eventually evolved into Still . [83] A remix of the Nine Inch Nails track "You Know What You Are?" by Clint Mansell was used as part of the latter's soundtrack to the 2005 film adaptation of Doom . In 2009, Trent Reznor composed "Theme for Tetsuo" for the Japanese cyberpunk film Tetsuo: The Bullet Man from Shinya Tsukamoto. [84]

Reznor collaborated with Ross to compose the score for David Fincher's The Social Network, a 2010 drama film about the founding of Facebook. 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." [85] The score was noted for portraying "Mark Zuckerberg the genius, developing a brilliant idea over ominous undertones," [86] and received nearly unanimous praise. The film's score was released in October 2010 in multiple formats, including digital download, compact disc, 5.1 surround on Blu-ray disc, and vinyl record. [87] A 5-song sampler EP was released for free via digital download. [88]

On January 7, 2011, Reznor announced that he would again be working with Fincher, this time to provide the score for the American adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo . [89] A cover of "Immigrant Song" by Led Zeppelin, produced by Reznor and Ross, with Karen O (of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs) as the featured singer, accompanied a trailer for the film. [90] Reznor and Ross' second collaboration with Fincher was scored as the film was shot, based on the concept, "What if we give you music the minute you start to edit stuff together?" Reznor explained in 2014 that the composition process was "a lot more work," and that he "would be hesitant to go as far in that direction in the future." [91]

Reznor and Ross again collaborated, to score Fincher's film Gone Girl . [92] Fincher was inspired by music he heard while at an appointment with a chiropractor and tasked Reznor with creating the musical equivalent of an insincere facade. Reznor explained Fincher's request in an interview:

Richard Butler of The Psychedelic Furs sang a cover version of the song "She," which was used in the film's teaser trailer. [94] [95] The soundtrack album was released on the Columbia label on September 30, 2014. [96]

During Reznor and Ross' keynote session at the 2014 "Billboard and Hollywood Reporter Film & TV Music Conference," held on November 5, Reznor said that he is open to working with other filmmakers besides Fincher, the only director he had worked with as a composer up until that point: "I'm open to any possibility ... Scoring for film kind of came up unexpectedly. It was always something I'd been interested in and it was really a great experience and I've learned a lot." Reznor further explained that he cherishes his previous experiences with Fincher, as "There's a pursuit and dedication to uncompromised excellence." [97]

In 2018, Reznor and Ross scored Susanne Bier's film Bird Box . [98]

Business activity

Suit and counter-suit with John Malm

In 2004, Reznor's former manager John Malm Jr. filed suit in the United States district court of Ohio 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 to which he was contractually entitled. [99] Weeks later, Reznor filed a counter-suit in the U.S. District Court of New York, charging Malm with fraud and breach of fiduciary duties. [100] 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. [101] The suit also described how Malm had misappropriated the ownership rights regarding Nine Inch Nails, including the trademark name "NIИ". [102] According to testimony by Malm, Reznor gave him half of the "NIИ" trademark "as a gift." [102]

Reznor stated that he began to fully understand his financial situation after tackling his addiction to drugs and alcohol. [101] 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. [103] 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. [104]

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. [103] After adjustment for inflation, Reznor's award rose to nearly $5 million. [102]

Beats Music

In January 2013, Reznor and TopSpin Media founder Ian Rogers were chosen to head Beats Electronics' new music subscription service, Project Daisy, described by Beats co-founder Jimmy Iovine as having "hardware, brand, distribution partnerships, and artist relations to differentiate Daisy from the competition". [105] There was some speculation as to what Reznor's role would be within the company, but he was later named chief creative officer. [106] He promised that he and the other members would strive to create a music subscription service that will be like "having your own guy when you go to the record store, who knows what you like but can also point you down some paths you wouldn't have necessarily encountered". [107] The service was officially launched in the United States on January 21, 2014. [108]

Reznor has continued on in a similar role under Beats' new ownership at Apple, where he has been involved in the launch of Apple Music. [109]

Criticism of the music industry

In May 2007, Reznor made a post on the official Nine Inch Nails website condemning Universal Music Group—the parent company of the band's record label, Interscope Records—for their pricing and distribution plans for Nine Inch Nails' 2007 album Year Zero. [110] 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." [111] Reznor's post, specifically his criticism of the recording industry at large, elicited considerable media attention. [112] 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. [113] 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'." [114]

Return to major labels

While on tour in Prague in 2009, Reznor realized the importance of the marketing aspect of a major label when he saw a lot of promotion for Radiohead's then-upcoming tour, but little promotion for his current Nine Inch Nails tour or any of its recently released albums. Reznor said the marketing from a major label outweighed the aspects of being independent that he liked, namely the ability to release albums whenever he wanted to avoid leaking, and to take a larger cut of the profits from record sales. [115] Reznor's first album released through a major label after his return was How to Destroy Angels' An Omen EP released in November 2012 through Columbia Records. On working with Columbia for the release of the EP, Reznor said that "so far it's been pleasantly pleasant". [115]

In 2013, Reznor returned to Columbia Records for Hesitation Marks , the eighth Nine Inch Nails studio album.

Musical style and influence

Reznor's style in the early days of Nine Inch Nails was described by People magazine in 1995 as "self-loathing, sexual obsession, torture and suicide over a thick sludge of gnashing guitars and computer-synthesized beats". [14] The magazine also said that "[Reznor], like Alice Cooper and Ozzy Osbourne before him, has built his name on theatrics and nihilism". [14] Nine Inch Nails concerts were often picketed by fundamentalist Christians. [14] Reznor's former high school band director considered him to be "very upbeat and friendly" in reality and theorized that "all that 'dark avenging angel' stuff is marketing". [14] Conversely, the owner of the recording studio where Reznor recorded the first Nine Inch Nails album said of Reznor's "pain-driven" stage act, "It's planned, but it is not contrived. He's pulling that stuff out from inside somewhere. You cannot fake that delivery." [14] Pain and sorrow came to be regarded as such defining elements of Reznor's music that a group of fans once responded with joy when told that his dog had died because "it's good for his music when he is depressed" and that "it's good to see [Reznor] back in hell, where he belongs". [14]

Reznor possesses a baritone vocal range. [116] He is a fan of David Bowie, 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. [16] In 1995, Nine Inch Nails toured as a co-headlining act on the North American leg of David Bowie's Outside Tour. Reznor also appeared in Bowie's video for "I'm Afraid of Americans", cast as Bowie's stalker. Reznor also made several remixes for the single release of the same song, as well as a remix of "The Hearts Filthy Lesson". [117] Reznor also states in the 2010 documentary Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage that the band Rush had played a major part in his childhood influences. [118] 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 once said that "Freddie Mercury's death meant more to [him] than John Lennon's", and he covered Queen's "Get Down Make Love", which was co-produced by Ministry frontman Al Jourgensen and released on the single for "Sin". He also expressed the significant influence that Coil had on his work, saying that Horse Rotorvator was "deeply influential". [119] In many interviews with Musician, Spin, and Alternative Press , Reznor mentioned Devo, The Cars, The Jesus and Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine, Pere Ubu, Soft Cell, [120] Prince, Ministry, [121] Gary Numan, and The Cure's 1985 album, The Head on the Door , as important influences. [122] According to Todd Rundgren, Reznor told him that he listened to Rundgren's 1973 album, A Wizard, a True Star with "great regularity". [123] In a radio interview, Reznor stated the first song he ever wrote "Down in It" was a "total rip-off" of the Skinny Puppy song "Dig It." [124]

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". [125] 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. [126] In 1997, Reznor appeared in Time magazine's list of the year's most influential people, and Spin magazine described him as "the most vital artist in music". [9] Bob Ezrin, producer for Pink Floyd, Kiss, Alice Cooper, and Peter Gabriel, described Reznor in 2007 as a "true visionary" and advised aspiring artists to take note of his no-compromise attitude. [127] During an appearance at the Kerrang! Awards in London that year, Reznor accepted the Kerrang! Icon, honoring Nine Inch Nails' long-standing influence on rock music. [128] Steven Wilson of progressive rock band Porcupine Tree has stated that he is influenced by and much admires Reznor's production work, in particular The Fragile . [129] Timbaland has cited Reznor as his favorite studio producer. [130]

Awards

In 2011, Reznor and Ross won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score [131] and the Academy Award for Original Score [132] for their work on The Social Network.

For their work on Girl with a Dragon Tattoo, Reznor and Ross were nominated for the 2012 Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score, and won the 2013 Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media. Neither Reznor nor Ross was present to accept the award, but Reznor published a thank you on his Twitter profile. [133]

Ross and Reznor's Gone Girl score was nominated for Best Original Score in a Feature Film at the 5th Hollywood Music in Media Awards (HMMA)—the award was eventually won by Antonio Sanchez for Birdman on November 4, 2014. [134] In a November 2014 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Reznor revealed that he values Oscar trophies above Grammy awards: "When the Oscar [nomination] came up, it felt very different. I can't tell if that's because I'm older or it felt like it's coming from a more sincere pedigree." [91]

Personal life

During the five years following the release of The Downward Spiral , Reznor suffered depression, worsened by the death of his grandmother, who raised him. During this period of intense grief, he began abusing alcohol, cocaine, and other drugs. In 2001, Reznor successfully completed rehab, and eventually moved from New Orleans to Los Angeles. In a 2005 interview with Kerrang , he 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." [32] In contrast to his former suicidal tendencies, he admitted in another interview that he is "pretty happy". [135] Nine Inch Nails' next full-length album, With Teeth (2005), reached number one on the Billboard 200. [136] [137]

Reznor married Filipino-American singer-songwriter Mariqueen Maandig in October 2009. [138] They have four children: sons Lazarus Echo Reznor (born October 10, 2010) [139] Balthazar Venn Reznor (born December 31, 2011), [140] [141] a third son whose name has not been revealed (born November 1, 2015), [142] and daughter Nova Lux Reznor (born December 2016). [143]

Discography

With Nine Inch Nails

With How to Destroy Angels

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The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is an ambient soundtrack by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, for David Fincher's film of the same name. It was released on December 9, 2011. This is the second soundtrack that Reznor and Ross have worked on together, the previous being the Oscar-winning The Social Network, also for Fincher. The album was released on Mute Records outside North America.

"Nightclubbing" is a song written by David Bowie and Iggy Pop, first released by Iggy Pop on his debut solo studio album, The Idiot in 1977. It has been since considered as "a career highlight", along with "Lust for Life" and has been covered by many artists. It is also extensively featured on other media.

The Twenty Thirteen Tour was a concert tour by industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails to support the album Hesitation Marks. It marked the return of the band for live performances after a four-year touring hiatus. It began on July 26, 2013 and ended on August 30, 2014.

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Remix 2014 EP is the fourth extended play (EP) by American industrial rock band by Nine Inch Nails. It was released on January 21, 2014, exclusively on Beats Music, a streaming service project led by Trent Reznor and Dr. Dre. Trent Reznor acts as the chief creative officer of the website.

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Gone Girl: Soundtrack from the Motion Picture is the soundtrack album by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross for David Fincher's film of the same name. The album was released on September 30, 2014 by Columbia Records. It marks as third time that Reznor and Ross have collaborated with Fincher, following 2010's Oscar-winning The Social Network and 2011's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The soundtrack was nominated for the 2015 Grammy Award for Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media, and also for the 2014 Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score.

<i>Before the Flood</i> (soundtrack) 2016 soundtrack album by Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, Mogwai and Gustavo Santaolalla

Before the Flood is a collaboration soundtrack album by Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, Mogwai and Gustavo Santaolalla for Fisher Stevens's film of the same name. It was originally made available as an Apple Music exclusive on October 21, 2016 and received a wide digital release on October 28. A CD release is scheduled for December 16, 2016 with a vinyl release to follow. The song "A Minute to Breathe" was first made available as a digital single on October 7, 2016. The album was released on Lakeshore Records.

<i>Not the Actual Events</i> 2016 EP by Nine Inch Nails

Not the Actual Events is the fifth extended play (EP) by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails. It was released physically on December 23, 2016, under Trent Reznor's own label The Null Corporation, while those who had pre-ordered received a download link a day early. The second Nine Inch Nails EP of original material following Broken (1992), it marks longtime collaborator Atticus Ross's first appearance as an official member of the band. The digital pre-orders included a "physical component" that was shipped in early March 2017. The EP is the first in a trilogy released between 2016-2018, preceding Add Violence (2017) and the band's ninth studio album Bad Witch (2018).

<i>Bad Witch</i> 2018 studio album by Nine Inch Nails

Bad Witch is the ninth studio album by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, released by The Null Corporation and Capitol Records on June 22, 2018. It is the last of a trilogy of releases, following their two previous EPs Not The Actual Events (2016) and Add Violence (2017). Like with their previous releases, it was produced by frontman Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.

<i>The Vietnam War</i> (score) 2017 soundtrack album by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

The Vietnam War is an electronic soundtrack album by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross for Ken Burns and Lynn Novick's television documentary series The Vietnam War which first aired on PBS in September 2017. The album was released on vinyl, CD and digitally on September 15, 2017 by Universal Music Enterprises and Reznor's own label The Null Corporation.

<i>Mid90s</i> (soundtrack) 2018 soundtrack album by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

Mid90s is a soundtrack EP by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross for Jonah Hill's film of the same name. It was released digitally on October 19, 2018 through Reznor's label The Null Corporation.

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Awards
Preceded by
Jim Lauderdale
AMA Song of the Year (Songwriter)
2003
Succeeded by
Rodney Crowell