Among the countless bands that I listen to there is not a single one that can compare to Nine Inch Nails. Founded by Trent Reznor in the late 1980’s (wiki) who has outlasted so many of his contemporaries. NIN (latter ‘N’ should be reversed) and other bands/projects by/with Reznor have a heart of their own, beating with the electric pulse of the modern world. Reznor has gone beyond as a musician, artist and composer. His unique style and technique in the production of music is like no other. From the raw hell of Pretty Hate Machine to the echoing screams of Not the Actual Events (nin.com) the works of NIN/Reznor are unmatched.
I can’t remember the first moment I heard NIN but I feel like they must’ve been playing in the background for a good part of my childhood. My parents and relatives were always listening to music and between my Aunt, Uncle, and my Father I was exposed to a variety of music from the 1980’s on.
In High School I became deeply obsessed with bands like Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson and Tool. I would spend hours looking through my Father’s CD collection, picking out random ones and popping them into my portable disk player. There was a huge range of music that I was exposed to thanks to my Father’s open mindedness and I credit my ability to explore and reference music to these days.
Every month I revisit multiple NIN albums and find myself re-exploring familiar territory but discovering something new every time. I love it all to death and back but always pick up Pretty Hate Machine (spinning it on vinyl, nothing can compare), Ghosts I-IV, Hesitation Marks, and The Downward Spiral (nin.com). Usually I climb back and forth between these albums and others but always return to the brutal hearts of these four albums.
I immerse myself into the music, usually taking time out of my day to just sit down and listen to a record or a handful of songs at a time, trying to pick out parts and pieces. The words within the exploding lyrics that still echo in my mind after all these years haunt me and now I realize that these words inspired me early on to write. The time I take to do this is priceless and I feel that it is ultimately therapeutic. Next to Art and Writing, Music is as crucial part of my life that has contributed to a large collage soundtrack of memorable, horrible, dark, and wonderful moments of my life; not only echoing or playing in the background but expressing my life on a deeper level; emotionally audible.
The magnetic pull back to NIN and Reznor’s music keeps me going. Maybe I am responding to the rawness of it all, the anguish, pain and isolation that is expressed within the music. Maybe it is the tone and technique that feels like a synthetic world and an old world are colliding. Maybe it is the exploration of the digital and technological paired with the struggle of a self reflective mind and animal instincts that still possess humankind. Maybe it is the fresh wound made from living in this world that will never heal. Maybe NIN is the soundtrack to a life I’ve never lived.
Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nine_Inch_Nails, http://www.nin.com/
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