Tag Archives: Trent Reznor

Richard Patrick On Influencing Nine Inch Nails’ Broken: ‘We’ve Got To Drop Our Balls & Flex Our Muscles’

I recently conducted an interview with Filter frontman Richard Patrick for Alternative Nation at the listening party in New York for Filter’s 7th studio album, Crazy Eyes, set for release on April 8, 2016. We will be publishing the complete interview later this week.

In Billboard’s review of Crazy Eyes, they stated the following: “Crazy Eyes is hardly bereft of guitars but there are a substantial amount of electronics and effects in use. The result features heavy industrial crunch and solemn, ambient songs that reach back to Patrick’s time in Nine Inch Nails and the first Filter album, 1995’s Short Bus.” I asked Patrick about this quote, and he looked back at his early days in Nine Inch Nails.

Patrick: “Trent in 1988 was in a band called “The Exotic Birds” and I was in a band called “The AKT”. We were both really listening to bands like Ministry, With Sympathy, Skinny Puppy and we realized that you could be as mean as shit and you can use keyboards. Most stuff sounded like Kraftwerk or Depeche Mode. Depeche Mode was awesome, but they were so specifically Depeche Mode. So, we were worried that we had to be like Information Society or something. When I was in Nine Inch Nails, I jumped on at the end when he recorded Pretty Hate Machine and then he released Broken. There’s a huge sonic change from those two records and he thanked his live band for being an influence. That credit on that EP was the fact that I was always saying, ‘We’ve got to fucking make it heavy and mean, man. We’ve got to fucking drop our balls down a little bit and fucking flex our muscles, be mean and fucking make heavy music.’

I’m not claiming anything, but when you’re hearing that all the time, it was just coming from that point of view of, ‘Let’s say mean shit, fucking say it, scream and be angry,’ because we were fucking angry. When we started the NIN Tour, we felt we’d never make it. I mean Bon Jovi and all that shit was always going to be there. We hoped it was going to go someplace, but we were downtrodden, pissed off musicians that had been picked on because we didn’t have Marshall amplifiers or something. Eventually we did get some Marshall amplifiers, but we were picked on because we were using synthesizers, samplers, fake drums. We had Simmons pads, we didn’t have real drums. We were all about breaking all those rules.

I miss drunk Ritchie from Short Bus screaming at people, ‘Do it this way, motherfucker!’ I miss that guy. It took him to make this record, except that he wasn’t so angry, he just got his way. I worked with Amy Cappello on a bunch of songs. I produced it and co-produced it with a lot of different people and a lot of really great musicians. It was extremely important that I go, “Look, I’m sorry, this is just not going the way I want it to go, so let’s just stop this and start over on something else, let’s create something new. It takes the artist as well as the producer to really have all the final say.

I had to place myself in that position because no matter what was going on in Filter on those first 3 records, I was always getting my way. I was always the guy saying yes or no. To my detriment, in Amalgamut, I think some of the lyrics weren’t good enough and I was at the tail end of my drug problem. I’m not a perfect song writer, but I am song writing problems with dynamics, instrument change and arrangements. When I sang “Head of Fire,” I just kept on going like, “Head of Fire” in the 2nd verse. It just turned into this weird 10-bar extras bar. Normal verses are supposed to be like 8-bars and I just kept going. It went on until like 12- bars and I just kept repeating. I love that. I love not just being traditional.

I love breaking all the rules. In the middle of “Mother Eve,” it breaks down to a cello when he realizes what he’s doing, this person I was trying to understand, I just broke it down and had him sing like he was a little scared kid. I sang like I was this scared kid because I think he realized he was doing some pretty horrible shit. Then he rebuilt his energy and said, ‘I’ve got my reasons.’ Then I’d break down to a cello part. That’s more fun than just, ‘OK, the intro’s done, let’s do the 1st verse and then we’ll do the chorus.’ It just got really redundant on other records. So, for this record, it was just like, ‘Let’s just do it this way, fuck it. I know it’s not right. I know it’s not the traditional way. Let’s just do something weird’ and all of that is why people like it. It’s reflective of that kid who didn’t necessarily know what he was doing, but created something original anyway.”

For my official weekly Rock Radio Podcast, head to:


LIKE Us via facebook.com/grungemetalgraveyard and go to GrungeMetalGraveyard.com

Trent Reznor Remembers How David Bowie Helped Him Get Clean

Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor has written an essay for Rolling Stone about the late David Bowie.  Below are some excerpts:

“For me, every Bowie album has its own set of memories. Back in the heyday of records, I’d go over to my friends house and listen to his collection of records in his basement. Scary Monsters was the first one I related to. Then I went backwards and discovered the Berlin trilogy, which was full-impact. By the early Nineties, as I found myself onstage with an audience, I was in full-obsession mode with Bowie. I read into all the breadcrumbs he’d put out — the clues in his lyrics that reveal themselves over time, the cryptic photographs, the magazine articles — and I projected and created what he was to me. His music really helped me relate to myself and figure out who I was. He was a tremendous inspiration in terms of what was possible, what the role of an entertainer could be, that there are no rules.”

“At one of our first meetings, in rehearsals, we were talking about how the tour was going to go. I was faced with a strange predicament: At that moment in time, we’d sold more tickets than he did in North America. And there’s no way on earth David Bowie is going to open for me. And on top of that, he said, ‘You know, I’m not going to play what anybody wants me to play. I just finished a strange new album. And we’re going to play some select cuts from a lot of Berlin trilogy–type things, and the new album. That’s not what people are going to want to see, but that’s what I need to do. And you guys are going to blow us away every night.’ I remember thinking, ‘Wow. I’m witnessing firsthand the fearlessness that I’ve read about.’

“We found out a way to do the show that made sense, where it all felt like one experience. We’d play stripped down, then David would come out and he’d do ‘Subterraneans’ with us, and then his band would come out and we’d play together, then my band would leave. One of the greatest moments of my life was standing onstage next to David Bowie while he sang ‘Hurt’ with me. I was outside of myself, thinking, ‘I’m standing onstage next to the most important influence I’ve ever had, and he’s singing a song I wrote in my bedroom.’ It was just an awesome moment.”

“There were a number of times where the two of us were alone, and he said some things that weren’t scolding, but pieces of wisdom that stuck with me: ‘You know, there is a better way here, and it doesn’t have to end in despair or in death, in the bottom.’

“A full year later, I hit bottom. Once I got clean, I felt a tremendous amount of shame, of my actions and missed opportunities and the damage that I’ve caused in the past. And I thought back to the time when we were together a lot, and I wonder what that could have been like if I was at 100 percent. The ‘I’m Afraid of Americans’ falls into that category of me at my worst — out of my mind and ashamed of who I was at that time. So when I see that, I have mixed feelings — grateful to be involved, and flattered to be a part of it, but disgusted at myself, at who I was at that time, and wishing I had been 100 percent me. And it nagged me.

“A few years later, Bowie came through L.A. I’d been sober for a fair amount of time. I wanted to thank him in the way that he helped me. And I reluctantly went backstage, feeling weird and ashamed, like, ‘Hey, I’m the guy that puked on the rug.’ And again, I was met with warmth, and grace, and love. And I started to say, ‘Hey listen, I’ve been clean for …’ I don’t even think I finished the sentence; I got a big hug. And he said, ‘I knew. I knew you’d do that. I knew you’d come out of that.’ I have goosebumps right now just thinking about it. It was another very important moment in my life.”

Courtney Love Claims Nine Inch Nails Song Is About Her

Courtney Love discussed Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominee Nine Inch Nails and Fleetwood Mac in a new Los Angeles Times article discussing her new play.

The Downward Spiral was big for us both,” she said, referring to the album by Reznor’s band Nine Inch Nails. Then she turned to playwright/composer Todd Almond. “There’s one song about me. Very mean. I’ll tell you about it later.”

Love called her playwright partner Todd Almond more talented than Reznor earlier this year in an interview with Billboard. “I was listening to Todd play the other day, and I remembered when I used to date Trent Reznor, who is very talented and has his own thing, but Todd’s is better. Me and Trent would fuck around at the old Sunset Marquis [in Hollywood]. There was a grand piano — he would play and I would chanteuse it out. How fabulous that I got someone better than Trent!”

Love also showed Almond her favorite performance of all time on YouTube – Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham singing “The Chain” on a 1982 Fleetwood Mac tour. Love said she enjoyed the fact that the band hated each other.

“They’re the biggest band in the world, they hate each other — it’s perfection.”

Despite calling Trent Reznor ‘mean,’ Love claimed she has grown up.

“I’m a mature woman who’s no longer 28 years old. I don’t need all the attention all the time. I’ve had all the attention all the time — I know what that feels like. And it’s kind of boring.”