Nine Inch Nails Stories and Favorites from Peter Murphy, Skrillex, Slipknot, Korn, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Device, Hollywood Undead, and More
Thu, 04 Apr 2013 10:42:54
So what does Trent Reznor's music mean to you?
That meaning is certainly different for everybody. However, there's one thing that's undeniable. Everybody who has opened themselves up to Nine Inch Nails, Reznor's Oscar-winning soundtracks, or How to Destroy Angels has been affected by the music in an unforgettable manner. The man leaves a mark, and that's precisely why he's influenced everybody from industrial pioneers, rock luminaries, metal legends, and even electronic dance music titans. Reznor will be forever revered with good reason. He's never compromised. He's always maintained a personal vision that's proven undeniably powerful, poignant, and potent.
Given his impact, ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino spoke to the legendary Peter Murphy of Bauhaus, Skrillex, and members of Korn, Slipknot, Hollywood Undead, The Dillinger Escape Plan, and more about Nine Inch Nails' legacy for this exclusive feature.
Can you share a Nine Inch Nails or Trent Reznor story? Do you have a favorite song or album?
Peter Murphy of Bauhaus
Peter Murphy: When Bauhaus and Nine Inch Nails toured together in 2006, we did these special backstage Radio Sessions. We'd invite twenty people from the audience in during the day to watch us perform songs from our catalogs. I like when we did "Dead Souls" together, and I really like "Reptile" a lot. That's why I chose to sing it with Trent. A song is a platform for a singer to do what he does. We performed "Hurt" with that idea in mind. Trent is a micro-focused arranger who often writes in a very controlled manner. He does it in a positive way to engineer his music. These sessions were a chance for him to be completely impromptu though. As I worked with him, I noticed he was still very clever with those minimal things. "Hurt" isn't a Johnny Cash song. It's a Trent Reznor song. When we performed it, I wanted to take it back to that original idea. I think "Hurt" is really amazing. "Reptile" is brilliant. "Head Like a Hole" was one of the first songs of his that I heard because he was being pitched to open for me in 1990 on the Deep tour. As soon as they played it for me, I went, "Yeah, that's the one!" It was so good. I'm excited he's going to tour again. I always thanked Trent for taking us out. He honored me. He had me on to close the Nine Inch Nails show with him as well. He paid great respect to me, and we became incredible friends. I'm his elder of course. I'm going to slap him if he misbehaves, but I'll tell him not to hit me back because he's really beefy now [Laughs].
Corey Taylor of Slipknot & Stone Sour
Corey Taylor: Trent Reznor is somebody I respect immensely. He's the kind of guy you can look up to. Pretty Hate Machine, Broken, and The Downward Spiral all kick ass. I really could go and on though. I've covered "Wish" live, and that song is just brutal! Nine Inch Nails puts on a fucking incredible show too—just sick! They're one of those bands you have to see.
Jonathan Davis of Korn & Killbot aka "J Devil"
Jonathan Davis: The Downward Spiral is just so fucking perfect. I can't say it enough. That record's been a very big influence on me. After I heard "Head Like A Hole", I got Pretty Hate Machine, and that album just fucking revolutionized everything as far as industrial music is concerned. There wasn't anything like it before. However, The Downward Spiral is it for me. It's so powerful and just plain fucking intense.
James "Munky" Shaffer of Korn and Fear and the Nervous System
James "Munky" Shaffer: For me, it's The Fragile. It's the hour-and-a-half long double album. I can listen to that whole record from start-to-finish all the way through. "The Great Below" is one of the greatest songs on that record. Also, the lyrics to the song "Starfuckers Inc." are so great because obviously, in this town we live in Los Angeles, you have to watch your back—and your front [Laughs]. There are so many incredible tracks on that record. I can't pick one. It has to be all of them.
Skrillex: It's really funny. The Fixed EP was actually one of the first records I've ever owned, and it changed my life. It's all the remixes of Broken. I bought it at Wherehouse Music when I was like nine [Laughs]. I've been a huge Nine Inch Nails fan from that moment on.
Greg Puciato of The Dillinger Escape Plan
Greg Puciato: My favorite Nine Inch Nails record is actually an EP that Trent Reznor did called Still. He was supposed to score that movie One Hour Photo. They didn't use his score so he took those songs and a couple other instrumentals and made Still. There's a song called "Leaving Hope". Nine Inch Nails has never played it live, and it's absolutely the most gut-wrenching song you'll ever hear. It's the sound of someone in throes of the bottom of the bipolar spike. I've probably listened to it a thousand times.
J-Dog of Hollywood Undead
J-Dog: I like Broken for obvious reasons. That's a tough question because Trent Reznor has done so many amazing records. If you get Johnny Cash to cover one of your songs, you know you're the shit. I was at the right age for Broken, and it really left an imprint on me. I'm big on music production and things like that. I wasn't hearing the sounds they were doing on Broken. It was so unique. Reznor's lyrics and melodies were different too. It was something I'd never heard, and it really left an impression on my friends and me growing up. It wasn't the norm of what was around at the time. It was more accessible to me. It was the perfect medium. It wasn't too much.
Derek Mears [Friday the 13th, Predators, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides]
Derek Mears: I'd say "Hurt". When Johnny Cash covered the song, it was so ominous after he passed away. It paralleled Cash looking at his own life and not feeling good about it. It's crazy. It's my favorite Nine Inch Nails song.
David Draiman of Disturbed & Device
David Draiman: For me, it would be a tie between Broken and The Downward Spiral. I liked Pretty Hate Machine, but I thought Broken was more raw, and I liked the sound design on that record. On The Downward Spiral, he really had come full circle with his abilities and skills. He honed his craft. It's probably his best work.
Sid Wilson of Slipknot & The Miami Vice Sound Crack
Sid Wilson: When Nine Inch Nails first came out, I got into them. I was into a lot of industrial stuff that was out before like My Life With The Thrill Kill Cult and Crash Worship. I remember a lot of chicks were head-over-heels into Nine Inch Nails. They'd be like, "I'll sacrifice myself for Trent Reznor!" I was like, "I want that attention". I was jealous [Laughs]. I love Trent though. He's cool as hell!
Lzzy Hale of Halestorm
Lzzy Hale: I usually shuffle all of my Nine Inch Nails music. I've been listening to them a lot when I'm on a long flight. Instead of zoning out to Pink Floyd, Tom Petty, or something uplifting, I listen to Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, and Korn on the plane [Laughs].
Aaron Nordstrom of Gemini Syndrome
Aaron Nordstrom: I've got to go with The Fragile—the "Left" side. I think it's a masterpiece. I think it's beautiful. I love that instrumental with all of the crazy piano going on, "La Mer". Being a piano player as a kid, there's something really emotional to me about it. The Downward Spiral is a great record too. For some reason, at that time in my life in terms of where I was and growing as a person, The Fragile just hit me and it didn't go away.
Hyro Da Hero
Hyro Da Hero: I like the song "Down In It". That's one of my favorite songs. The emotion Trent Reznor brought out in "Hurt" is something I'm trying to capture when I make music. I saw him play it live on the DVD, and it was simply chilling.
What's your favorite Nine Inch Nails song or album and why?
See our feature on How To Destroy Angels here!