Nine Inch Nails

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~ Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing Narrator on Trent Reznor winning a race

“In Soviet Russia, Nine Inch Nails has YOU!!”

~ Russian Reversal on Nine Inch Nails
Trent Reznor had Adolf Hitler play guitars in Nine Inch Nails.

Nine Inch Nails was an American heavy metal band formed by Trent Reznor in 1988. The band's critically acclaimed debut album, Pretty Hate Machine (1989), was anchored by a chart-topping jingle of the same name. Partially recorded using his trademark razors, it debuted at number one in numerous countries, selling 10 million copies worldwide upon its first week, surpassing Michael Jackson's legendary Thriller (1982) album as the fastest-selling album ever. That album has sold over 35 million copies worldwide as of 2011. Broken and The Downward Spiral were follow-up records, and were released in 1992 and 1994 respectively to similar finanical success and positive press response, but parts of both albums were again recorded using Reznor's very own razors.

Despite their instant critical and commercial success, Nine Inch Nails were involved in many ambivalent controversies. Multiple people filed lawsuits againist them, and all television channels like MTV always refused to air the "Smiley Slave" music video. Broken, a 1993 film directed by Elvis Presley, was universally rejected from theaters for content. The band also did many crimes, and robbed a bank in New York City in 1996. Although often dismissed by various sources, to date, the band have sold over 100 million copies worldwide.



Reznor began Nine Inch Nails on January 9, 1988, when John A. Malm (his manager) agreed to let him have a meeting with Adolf Hilter. Hitler became buddies with Reznor, marking the beginning of the band. Several people were invited to audition for becoming part of the Nine Inch Nails line-up, with Robin Finck of Guns 'N Roses, Chris Vrenna, James Woolley, Charlie Clouser, Paul McCartney, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and former US president Richard Nixon accepting them.[1]

Andy Warhol allowed Reznor and his band to stay Wrong Track Studios, eventually writing and recording tons of matierial. Steven Spielberg had finished work on a Indiana Jones sequel in 1988, so he was called to produce what became Pretty Hate Machine. Woolley had died of a drug overdose, so Jeordie White replaced him.[2]

Pretty Hate Machine[edit]

Steven Spielberg was the producer of Pretty Hate Machine, though he focused on making films. Pictured here is Spielberg doing a speech in 1999.

With Reznor, Hilter, Finck, Vrenna, White, Clouser, McCartney, Mozart and Nixon as the finalized band line-up, Reznor created many razors, and used them to record portions of the Spielberg-produced Pretty Hate Machine (1989). After they finished the album, NIN singed to Universal Records (main record label of Universal Music Group), and released the debut album on October 23, 1989 to a massive number-one debut on the album charts.[3] Notable singles released from the album include "Heads Like the Holes", top 40 jingle "Pretty Hate Machine",[4] and "Ringfinger".[5] Lyrics from the album focus on Reznor's various encounters with living furniture and household items. Reznor eventfully released "Trent Reznor", a then-new line of razors also commercially successful, just before PHM was first shipped to retail.

Following the band's touring duties with Metallica after the release of the album, the album sold out all of its original 20 million copies. The album was reissued in 1990 using a more expensive price: $19.65,[6] two days after it went out of print. The Soviet Union (now known as Russia) recalled and destroyed all Soviet copies of the album before it happened, citing complaints from listeners of the album of snakes being included inside the jewel case of the album and coming out of the packaging; some of these snakes were taken to various airplanes, then dropped out of them before finally falling to the ground to death, while others were killed by bulldozers. Pretty Hate Machine can be still seen in many music stores, but not the Soviet Union's.

Admist the fame Nine Inch Nails had, the band were scruntized at various times, one of being their ban from doing concerts at Walmart in 1991, as well as lawsuits filed by people againist the band for torturing their pets (Barack Obama v. Nine Inch Nails is one example). "Looking towards the criticism I have in my hands," Reznor said. "I could've been commiting suicide with a birthday cake like Kurt Cobain did the same in 1994." McCartney quit NIN in 1991 due to The Beatles' legal action againist Apple Incorporated.[7]

Broken, The Downward Spiral and final years[edit]

Produced by Oscar Wilde, Broken[8] and The Downward Spiral[9] were follow-up records that lyrically talked about negativity towards food and drinks, and were released on September 28, 1992 and March 8, 1994 respectively to similar financial success and positive press response. They were distributed by Interscope Records and Reznor's and Malm's Nothing Records, whereas both albums were again recorded using Reznor's very own razors, and like Pretty Hate Machine, entered the Billboard 200 album charts at number one.[10][11]

Broken's accompanying film of the same name was universally banned everywhere. Reznor listened to "Closer" backwards while he's underwater like a motherfucker does after it was removed from movie theaters. The United States was malicious about the film, criticizing it for being 100% inappropriate to everybody who hated it. The music video promoting "Smiley Slave" and all other music videos including tracks from Broken were never aired, due to bad content. A new line of razors, also known as "shaving devices", were recalled because of reports claiming that they were all broken.[12]

NIN's biggest concert ever at Mountain Everest was listed by Guinness World Records in 1994 as being the the world's most highly-attended concert.

During the Self-Destruct Tour, the band's biggest concert ever was located at Mountain Everest, with David Bowie as support act. Attended by a slanted number of 10 million fans and sold-out within a hour, it was well-received a lot by concert critics, and was a record-breaker. The band appeared on the Guinness World Records 1995 edition with a buoy of two world records[13]:

  1. Highest concert attendance
  2. Fastest-selling concert

However, Nixon died after the concert, and Reznor looked for a replacement, with Marilyn Manson (who was created by Reznor in 1989 as a mascot for the "PHM" jingle and started a spinoff emponymous band in the following year) replacing Nixon. Thinking of this gig, Reznor stated:

I notice, we did Woodstock '94 a couple weeks before we did Mountain Everest. Whereby I hated that Woodstock thing and fucked up myself with mud, the Everest shit was our stint to appear at the Guinness World Records. We'd get David Bowie in the support act section, and we did so. Yet, when I'll look back to that concert ten years later I'll say, 'A good time, but not great.' GWR gave us two certificates and we received the 1995 edition. Unfortunately, Richard Nixon was dead after the Everest concert, but we found my fellow friend Marilyn Manson in late 1994.

While religious groups protested against the band, Nine Inch Nails were at their most controversial peak. Even Madonna innovated a copyright infringement suit against the band for using "Express Yourself" in "Screaming Pigs" too many times.[14] People's Republic of China barred NIN from entering China for their Anti-Chinese themes, inappropriate behavior and evil content, and, much like the Soviet Union did to kill off the Pretty Hate Machine album, recalled and destroyed The Downward Spiral in a Chinese cave with bats, though continued to sell Reznor's razors. Due to this criticism, Reznor disbanded Nine Inch Nails in 1997 (though it was originally a hiatus, after the final days of his life it was reported that this was the disestablishment of the band), after the release of "The Perfect Rug", a song in promotion of David Lynch's Lost Highway movie that topped the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart upon its release.[15]

Reznor did many more crimes afterwards, resulting in sentence to prison in the 21st century. He died in 2002, but its remaining band members were urged form Tapeworm five years before. Reznor was then resurrected on October 31, 2050 as Zombie Trent Reznor, but he was urgently killed numerous days later. Closure, a triple-VHS set covering the entire history of NIN, was released in November 1997 to generally positive reviews and a stretch to a Christmas number-one.[16]

Every single NIN release is labeled as a "Halo". Here's two examples: The first release, "Up Out You", is Halo 1, while the 1997 video Closure is Halo 22 (All of this not to be confused with the Halo franchise).


Trent Reznor II is the brother of Trent Reznor. He is the frontman of Nine Inch Nails 2.

There were two bands formed after Nine Inch Nails' disestablishment: Tapeworm and Nine Inch Nails 2. The name "Tapeworm" was taken from a song of the same name coined by the Bill "Bitcher" Clinton-fronted Bitching Bitched Bitchables, which featured the Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Clusterfuckably Superfuckable What-the-Fuckingly Motherfucked Kittyfuckers as a special guest star.

Tapeworm was formed in early 1998, and originally consisted of Shadow the Hedgehog (Sonic the Hedgehog's father) (lead vocals and bass), Finck (guitars and backing vocalist), Manson (backing vocalist), Charlie Clouser (keyboards), Robert Ripley (drums), Algie the Flying Pig (rhythm guitars), Jeordie White (backup guitars), and Manson (various instruments). They released just only one studio album, The Fragile (1999), to mixed critical reviews despite debuting at number one on the Billboard 200,,[17] the UK Albums Chart,[18] RPM,[19] and the ARIA album charts,[20] as well as many Top 35 charting appearances globally. In early 2002, Manson accidently killed Algie, then quit the band due to tensions between himself and Tapeworm. Whereas Shadow tried out several unsuccessful attempts to find replacement for both band members, he joined Megadeth in 2004.[21]

This made Reznor's brother, Trent Reznor II (not to be confused with his father Trent Reznor) join the band and replace his position as vocalist. At Reznor's request, Tapeworm renamed to Bleedthrough. While garnering attention on the internet, a band named Bleeding Through sued Bleedthrough, forcing them to overhaul their name to Nine Inch Nails 2 (AKA NIN2).[22] Their first two albums are the Top 15 With Teeth (2005),[23] and the Top 20 Year Zero (2007),[24] and they have released The Slip on May 5, 2008 via the internet, smashing to number 24 on the Digital Albums chart and having its limited physical edition peaking at number 39 on the Billboard 200,[25] coming out more than three months following the death of Ripley (whose critically maligned seminal 2008 instrumental solo quadruple album, Ghosts I-IV, was released in a similar manner to Top 30 (Top 10 in digital sales) commercial acclaim[25]). His father posthumously released the critically panned Top 5 holiday hit Nine Inch Nails: Christmas Remixes in December 2006.[26]

While in NIN2, Reznor II invented the scores to many David Fincher movies. Among Trent Reznor's collabrations with Fincher came with the incubation of the "Dr. Self-Destruct (featuring Dr. Pepper and dha $3.00 Bill Yall$)" music video in 1994. Neithertheless, Fincher's first involvement with NIN2 was directing the 2005 "Only" promotional film,[27] whereby Reznor II's first time he collabrated with him was, along with Atticus Ross, giving birth to the indense score to his legendary, award-winning, fucking record-breaking and critically acclaimed The Psychosocial Network (2010) Slipknot documentary blockbuster.[28] He continues to have Ross as his partner for making soundtracks to David Fincher's works, such as The Girl with the Pig Pig Piggy Pig Pig Pig Tattoo (2011) (in which they would contribute to the soundtracks of its sequels).

As of January 2012, NIN2 are in the development of a new album. This album will be released soon.


Pretty Hate Machine has sold over 35 million copies worldwide as of 2012, while The Downward Spiral sells over 27 million discs. Broken's total number of copies sold stands at 24 million (thrashing through the 20,000,000 spot in 2005). "Closer" had been certified 7 times platinum by the RIAA, and sold more than 11 million copies (this single broke the 10,000,000 landmark in 2006). Today, Nine Inch Nails have sold over 100 million copies around the world.

Rolling Stone, a popular music magazine named after the Rolling Stones, placed NIN at #94 of their 2005 list of the 100 greatest bands ever,[29] while they ranked The Downward Spiral #200 on the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list.[30]

Nine Inch Nails holds the record for winning the most Grammy Awards for a heavy metal music band, with 42 out of a approximate 66.[31] The band almost entirely swept away the 1995 Kerrang! Awards, winning all of its nominations[32] The MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) gave NIN many award nominations, winning half of them.[33]

As the new millenium opened on January 1, 2001, Pretty Hate Machine was the first album to be added to the Library of Congress. This led to the National Recording Registry being established.

In 2003, a biography about Nine Inch Nails was written by Stephen King. It was released on September 11, 2004 by Batham Books. The non-fiction novel, titled I Wanna Fuck You Like a Elephant, recieved positive reactions from critics and fans. It debuted at number one at the The New York Times Best Seller List (selling over 900,000 copies), and stayed at the top spot for nine weeks. A film adaption of the novel was directed (and narrated) by Steven Spielberg, and released in 2007. A biography about Nine Inch Nails 2 is in the early stages of production according to King himself on January 5, 2012.[34]

On October 1, 2011, Universal Music Group announced all three Nine Inch Nails studio albums (Pretty Hate Machine, Broken, The Downward Spiral) are being remastered for an early 2012 re-issue by Andy Warhol and the Batman Draculas. They hinted that the re-releases would contain new artwork and bonus tracks (plus remixes), while a new, posthumous album called Razor Rock Music is set to be released at the same time. MTV reported the album's artwork leaked onto the world wide web on October 23, 2011.[35] Lady Gaga was to provide the packaging for Razor Rock Music, but declined due to touring duties regarding the planned (and later cancelled) Died That Way Ball (the Born This Way Ball will replace the DTW Ball in 2012 and 2013). Instead, Rob Sheridan created its artwork. The debacle was revealed to be Nine Inch Remasters, a February 14, 2012 re-release of all three NIN albums, with Razor Rock Music as a extra grat. A box set of the same name was also released in the very same day.[36]

The first single from Razor Rock Music, "Fish", was released on January 22, 2012, and failed to reach the Top 40 and just dropped out of charts after only over one month.[37] Razor Rock Music (released as a 'Trent Reznor' record) debuted at number 69, while Pretty Hate Machine, Broken, and The Downward Spiral debuted at numbers 101, 123, and 94, respectively.[38]

In 2015, Nine Inch Nails will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.[39]


For those without comedic tastes, the so-called experts at Wikipedia think they have an article about Nine Inch Nails.
  1. Nixon was the oldest band member of Nine Inch Nails.
  2. Woolley's death occured on August 16, 1988.
  3. Billboard 200 1989
  4. Billboard Hot 100 1989
  5. The total number of singles released from Pretty Hate Machine is 7.
  6. According to the sticker pressed on PHM's 1990 reissue.
  7. 9'' Nails in Nine Hands with Nine Fingers and Thumbs. Spin (1990).
  8. Singles released from Broken are "Smiley Slave" and "Wishing Hell".
  9. There were 9 singles released from The Downward Spiral.
  10. Billboard 200 1992
  11. Billboard 200 1994
  12. December 1992 Trent Reznor Company press release
  13. Guinness World Records 1995 (Bantam, 1994)
  14. Papers for Madonna v. Nine Inch Nails
  15. Billboard Hot 100 1997
  16. Billboard Music Videos 1997
  17. Billboard 200 1999
  18. UK Albums Chart 1999
  19. RPM 1999
  20. ARIA 1999 (albums)
  21. NME (2004). Shadow Breaks Up Tapeworm.
  22. Papers for Bleeding Through v. Bleedthrough
  23. Billboard 200 2005
  24. Billboard 200 2007
  25. 25.0 25.1 Billboard 200 2008
  26. Billboard 200 2006
  27. Billboard: Interview with the Nine Inch Nails 2 (2006).
  28. The film won it nominations at the following award ceremonies:
    1. 2010 Oscars
    2. 2010 Golden Globes
    3. 2010 BAFTA
    4. 2010 Grammys
    5. 2010 Brits
  29. Rolling Stone: The Immortals (2005, David Bowie)
  30. Rolling Stone: The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time (2003)
  37. Billboard Hot 100 2012
  38. Billboard 200 2012