Yesterday we learned that Nine Inch Nails genius Trent Reznor is launching a new music streaming service by way of a featured profile of the singer/songwriter in this week’s issue of The New Yorker magazine. At the time, I hadn’t yet read the profile so I wasn’t aware just how amazing the featured article is. While flying home from Hawai’i yesterday, I was able to read the profile in full and I simply MUST insist that all y’all pick up a copy of this week’s New Yorker and read this profile on Reznor. Trust me, it’s an excellent read. Check out an excerpt below.
ABSTRACT: PROFILES about Trent Reznor, who has sold sixteen million records as the vehement, brainy, obstinate, and modernist one-man band Nine Inch Nails. Aficionados who like to categorize popular music have had a hard time categorizing Nine Inch Nails; it has been inaptly described as a heavy-metal band, a hard-rock band, and an alternative band. Part of the difficulty is that Reznor’s range is broader than that of most popular musicians, and that he has written both songs and instrumental music. His songs are feral, titanic, rancorous, meticulous, subversive, finely textured, and often deeply affecting; his instrumental music tends to be subtler, sometimes hypnotic, and layered with abstruse remarks. He seems to consider silence as important as noise, although noise, in all registers and of all types, is central to the Nine Inch Nails canon. The territory into which Nine Inch Nails most comfortably fits is an agitated backwater called industrial music, which includes bands such as Einstürzende Neubauten, from Germany, Cabaret Voltaire and Throbbing Gristle, from England, and the American band Ministry. Reznor introduced melodies within industrial music’s strident attack; as Genesis P-Orridge, of Throbbing Gristle, explains, Reznor “made the public finally get industrial music.” Describes the genesis and recording of Reznor’s first album, “Pretty Hate Machine”; the recording of a cover, by Johnny Cash, of Reznor’s song “Hurt,” from the album “The Downward Spiral”; Reznor’s marriage to the singer Mariqueen Maandig; and his composition, for the director David Fincher, of the soundtracks for the films “The Social Network” and “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” Writer visits Reznor at his home in Los Angeles, where he has a recording studio, and learns about his creative process, and about some of his new projects (he has formed a band, with his wife, called How to Destroy Angels, and he is currently collaborating with Beats Electronics on the design of a music-streaming service. Writer speaks with a number of people about Reznor, including Fincher and Reznor’s father, Mike.
I’ve been a Trent Reznor fan for years and I still found this profile wholly enlightening. The writing in The New Yorker is truly superb so it’s no surprise that this profile is a joy to read. Reznor has been more open in recent years but there is still a lot of mystery surrounding the man. This New Yorker profile sheds some light on Reznor’s life and is TRULY a must read for any fan. I routinely enjoy reading The New Yorker but I can tell you, this article really raised the bar. Give this article a read, I promise you, you’ll love it.