Korn, "Sucker Punch" Director Zack Snyder, Sasha Grey, Skrillex, Hyro Da Hero and More Talk Nine Inch Nails and Trent Reznor
Fri, 18 Mar 2011 16:32:01
Nine Inch Nails and Trent Reznor's influence can be felt in every facet of pop culture.
Whether it's Reznor and Atticus Ross's Academy Award Winning soundtrack for The Social Network [Check out our review here!] or industrial game-changer The Downward Spiral, Reznor's output not only pushes boundaries, but it also continually changes perspectives. In 1989, Nine Inch Nails' Pretty Hate Machine grinded out timeless melodies with a raw, real, and riveting synth assault. Meanwhile, The Downward Spiral remains the sonic equivalent of Taxi Driver—a brilliant and brutal study of self-destruction and redemption lost.
There's still nothing heavier than Broken, and Reznor's daring two-disc opus, The Fragile, stands out as one of the most powerful collections of all time. With Teeth bared a dark elegance, while Year Zero and The Slip lit up the world once more in the 21st century. His work on soundtracks whether it was "Dead Souls" for The Crow or "Burn" for Natural Born Killers is perfect fuel for on-screen action. Reznor's inspired everybody from Korn to David Fincher. Few artists in any medium can cop that, and it's because he's always fearless…
In celebration of Reznor's work and recent Oscar win, ARTISTdirect.com editor and Dolor author Rick Florino spoke to a myriad of different artists about Nine Inch Nails. Here's what they had to say…
When did you first discover Nine Inch Nails? What drew you to their music? Would you want to collaborate with Trent Reznor?
James "Munky" Shaffer of Korn and Fear and the Nervous System
James "Munky" Shaffer: I'd seen them on MTV's Headbanger's Ball really late at night. The show played the music video for "Head Like A Hole" last. Nine Inch Nails had a different take on things. The video had that head spinning, and I was like, "Wow, this is crazy!" That's all I remember. I didn't become a fan until I saw them on Lollapalooza 1991 though. Man, watching Trent Reznor destroy everything on stage was crazy [Laughs]. It was one of the best live shows I had ever seen. They were one of the opening acts, and it was in Irvine, CA during Pretty Hate Machine. I was tripping out because they went on during the day! Here's this guy destroying all his keyboards in the middle of the day and going nuts. I thought, "This is fucking cool!" [Check out our latest exclusive interview with James "Munky" Shaffer of Korn here!]
Jonathan Davis of Korn
Jonathan Davis: I first heard Nine Inch Nails when I was going to mortuary college in 1989. I was at some club and "Head Like A Hole" came on. I was like, "Who is this band?" [Laughs] I was into all of those great Wax Trax Chicago industrial bands like Murder Inc. and Doubting Thomas. This kid came out of Cleveland and just blows the fucking hinges off the whole thing. He's an amazing artist—one of my favorites. Pretty Hate Machine is a classic. It put industrial music on the map. Ministry are the innovators of that shit, but Nails put it on the map. [Check out our latest exclusive interview with Jonathan Davis of Korn here!]
Zack Snyder [Director of Sucker Punch, Watchmen, 300, Dawn of the Dead]
Zack Snyder: That'd be fun! I'm totally into him; he's awesome! "Hurt" is insane. It's funny because for a while, we were going to put "Hurt" in Sucker Punch. We had it in the film for awhile, it ended up just not fitting though. I wanted it so bad because it was just so correct for Sucker Punch. "Hurt" is so obvious, but it's so awesome anyway. It's definitely worth mentioning. For me, Nine Inch Nails started on the "Down In It" video. That was awesome! [See video here!
Sasha Grey [Entourage (TV Series), The Girlfriend Experience, Atelecine]
Sasha Grey: I used to see kids at the bus stop wearing Nine Inch Nails t-shirts, and I was always fascinated by the logo—trying to decipher it like there was a subliminal message. Some kid also mistakenly told me Korn was NIN, so lo and behold, I never really heard their music until I was 12. Of course, like most folks the first song I heard was an edited version of "Closer" on the radio. As I started discovering their music I learned "Closer" was obviously a Joy Division reference, that Trent was heavily inspired by TG, Coil, and that he worked with Dave "Rave" Ogilvie who previously worked with Skinny Puppy...all bands I love. I'm always fascinated by artists who I share similar tastes with, and NIN was the first band to bring Industrial Music to the mainstream, and I think in many ways they encouraged people to seek out more transgressive music. Well, Martin Hannett is dead. Brian Eno...I wouldn't know where to begin, Trent Reznor is alive and well so I think making music with him would produce lovely results. [Check out our exclusive interview with Sasha Grey here and here!]
Skrillex: They were one of the first releases I ever owned. I was nine-years-old, and I was at this Wherehouse Music store. Remember the days of Wherehouse Music? [Laughs] They were one of the first chains that sold used music. I bought Nine Inch Nails' Fixed EP. It was the remix EP of Broken. Going back to the Fixed EP now, if you were trying to get someone into Nine Inch Nails, the Fixed EP would be the last record you'd give them because it's not an introductory record. It's so avant garde. That was one of the first records I ever owned, and it changed my life as well. Ever since then, I've been a huge Nine Inch Nails fan. [Check out our exclusive interview with Skrillex here]
Jeffrey Kendrick of DevilDriver, co-founder AllAxess.com
Jeffrey Kendrick: I first discovered NIN when I was a teenager in the early 90's. The first time I ever even heard or saw them was on Pay-Per-View for Woodstock '94! They were covered in mud and destroyed all the gear on stage! It was insane! NIN always had this dark element that was so heavy and ominous. I think that is what drew me to them. Plus, the songs were amazingly crafted and as a musician I always respected Trent Reznor for his driving force behind the band. I would love to play guitar on anything he would have me on! Glad we got to tour Australia with them! It was amazing! [Check out our exclusive review of DevilDriver's latest album Beast here!]
Hyro Da Hero
Hyro Da Hero: I actually first discovered Nine Inch Nails on The Downward Spiral. The video for "Closer" on MTV tripped me out, and I instantly became a fan. More recently, I really loved Year Zero. The final song on the album, "Zero Sum," really moved me. I love artists that don't care about pandering to anything but their own creativity. Trent embodies that spirit and I'd love to get in the studio with him some day. [Check out Hyro's official site here!]
Sully Erna of Godsmack
Sully Erna: He took an Oscar! It's awesome. I'm so happy for him! That really opens up the doors for a lot for a lot of people. Hopefully, it opens the doors to the minds of the directors and producers of films to know that there's a lot of talent out there even in the rock world. Even though we came from a certain background at one point, there's a lot of depth to a musician and a real artist. He'll help us all get recognized through that. [Check out our exclusive interview with Sully Erna here!]
What's your favorite Nine Inch Nails album or song? When did you first hear NIN?