Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series, “Industrial Metal Edition,” where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore psychedelic tunes from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!

Skinny Puppy is a Canadian industrial music group formed in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1982. The group is widely considered to be one of the founders of the industrial rock and electro-industrial genres.

Skinny Puppy are one of the most influential bands in the field of industrial Music. However, their mainstream success has been modest at best (a few hits on the dance music charts during The ’80s). The impact of “Skuppy” comes primarily from the amount of artists they in turn have influenced.

The band was formed when Kevin Crompton (a.k.a. cEvin Key), drummer for the band Images in Vogue, got bored with making Synth-Pop and wanted to make new and groundbreaking Electronic Music. He got his friend Kevin Ogilvie (a.k.a. Nivek Ogre), to provide vocals. Along the way, various other members have provided the role of third member, such as Bill Leeb (who went on to form Front Line Assembly), and most famously Dwayne Rudolph Goettel (who died of a heroin overdose in the mid-90s, causing the band to break up for almost a decade), and most recently Mark Walk.

Skinny Puppy are widely considered the band responsible for the more popular vibe Industrial has today, as opposed earlier Industrial, which was largely inaccessible to the average audience. Basically, they took the experimental and bizzare approach pioneered by bands such as Throbbing Gristle and applied it to almost-entirely electronic music. Unsurprisingly, their first releases, “Remission” and “Bites” (their first full album, released in 1985), sounded like experimental, angry Synth-Pop

Skinny Puppy were not the first band to take Throbbing Gristle’s attitude and approach Electronic Music with it. Arguably, Throbbing Gristle did this (albeit their work was more eclectic and less electronic than Skinny Puppy’s), and Cabaret Voltaire (as well as many other acts associated with early ’80s Synth-Pop) did it as well. But Skinny Puppy took these ideas into much Darker and Edgier industrial metal territory and were easily the most influential partly because they had a truly gruesome stage act and never refrained from the use of Nightmare Fuel.

The band’s second album, Mind: The Perpetual Intercourse, added Dwayne Goettel to the lineup. Goettel was a classically-trained keyboardist who also had a knack for extremely demented synthesizer and sampler programming. This is the classic lineup that defined the band during their golden age.

Their output was released on the Nettwerk record label and managed to influence a very large number of artists. One of these artists was Trent Reznor, who decided to combine Skinny Puppy’s style with heavy riffs and rock-style vocals and lyrics (and, at times, increased use of guitars). The result was Nine Inch Nails. Trent Reznor himself acknowledges his inspiration, and the song “Down in It” off of “Pretty Hate Machine” is very similar to Skinny Puppy’s “Dig It” from Mind: The Perpetual Intercourse. At one point in Trent’s early career, Nine Inch Nails was the opening act for Skinny Puppy.

In 1989, Skinny Puppy released the album Rabies, which was (upon release) considered a New Sound Album because it contained metal-style guitar riffs on three tracks, courtesy of Ministry’s Al Jourgensen (who had struck up a friendship with Nivek Ogre when the two bands were touring together). In hindsight however, most Skinny Puppy fans have got over the ‘surprise’ and embraced the album, partly because the song “Worlock” is considered one of Skinny Puppy’s Crowning Moments and to this day remains one of their Signature Songs. Unfortunately, it was during this era that Al introduced the band to heroin.

In 1990, the band released Too Dark Park, which is arguably considered their artistic high point by the majority of their fans. The album is not the most bizarre and inaccessible of their works (that honor is reserved for 1988’s “VIVIsectVI” (pronounced “Vivisect Six”), but it manages to approach it, with tighter songwriting, catchy basslines, and surprising sonic range that went from pure Mind Rape rhythmic noise (songs like “Convulsion”) to dark ambient (like “Reclamation”) to danceable, melodic and bizarre industrial (like “Tormentor”) to darker and more minimal industrial (like “Nature’s Revenge”) to going between all these various different styles within the same song (like “Shore Lined Poison”).

In 1996, the band suffered Creator Breakdown after switching to a new label. They released what was believed to be their final album, The Process (a Concept Album about a psychotherapy cult known as the Process Church of Final Judgement), after Dwayne Goettel’s fondness for heroin caught up with him and left him as a corpse at his parents’ house.

In the early 2000’s, Skuppy did a one-off reformation show in Dresden at the “Doomsday” festival. The two Kevins performed in front of a screaming crowd of goths and rivetheads; they left a spare spot on stage for Dwayne out of respect. This reformation resulted in new albums; 2004’s The Greater Wrong of the Right followed by 2008’s Mythmaker, 2011’s much delayed hanDover, which incorporated more minimalist IDM elements, and 2013’s Weapon.

Weapon is the twelfth studio album by The band. It was released on May 28, 2013 through Metropolis Records. Skinny Puppy received mainstream media attention when the band billed the U.S. government for using its music as torture in the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, which was a primary source of inspiration for the album. Musically, Weapon’s sound is reminiscent of Skinny Puppy’s earliest releases, Remission(1984) and Bites (1985), due to the employment of old equipment and simplified songwriting.

Psychedelic Lunch

Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series, “Industrial Metal Edition,” where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore psychedelic tunes from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!

KMFDM is a German industrial band from Hamburg led by multi-instrumentalist Sascha Konietzko, who founded the group in 1984 as a performance art project.

KMFDM – Kein Mehrheit Fur Die Mitleid
Roughly Translated: No Pity for the Majority

Spawned in Germany during 1984, KMFDM pioneered the crossover between techno/dance and heavy metal with their signature industrial sound. Moving to Chicago in the mid-80’s KMFDM was the pride of WaxTrax! Records during the label’s peak. Rapidly evolving year by year through intense experimentation and touring; the band has redefined themselves with each new release.

Venturing on to dabble in side projects and then re-establish KMFDM in Seattle during 1999, Sascha’s revolving band of misfits have stood the test of time. KMFDM is currently helmed by the dual vocal attack of the band’s founder / leader, Sascha and the siren-voiced Lucia. To quote themselves, “The future belongs to those of us still willing to get our hands dirty.” Living by their D.I.Y. philosophy, KMFDM launched their own online store, KMFDM Store (www.kmfdmstore.com) and record label (KMFDM Records). Through relentless musical exploration and reinvention they have continued to top themselves. The band’s 2011 release, WTF?! and its companion single “Krank,” was no exception.

It’s almost impossible to believe that KMFDM is now a band of veterans. Their trailblazing style of industrial ultra-heavy beats, subversive lyrics and righteous rebellion has always seemed so very fresh and anticipatory of the next step in musical evolution that it feels as if they just took the scene by storm last year. Yet, believe it or not, KMFDM’s Hell Yeah marks the Industrial band’s 20th album, a true benchmark of any stalwart industrial band.

Contrary to what the music industry says, the industrial spiral of German band KMFDM doesn’t necessarily reflect “political rage.”

“That’s just something this sort of business’ press releases say,” vocalist/programmer Sascha Konietzko told the Deseret News. “I don’t consider any of the songs reflecting any type of political rage, unless you’re talking about personal politics.

“There’s really nothing about the music that allocates to politics in general,” said Konietzko. “The songs are basically about life and normal stuff. I feel the young people are continuously influenced by this heavy advertizing environment. It’s almost hard to distinguish between the virtual reality of TV and movies to real life. I think the kids relate to our music, and it gives them a foothold to cling to because our music is still something they can look at that doesn’t sell out.”

KMFDM was a mere “art experiment,” said Konietzko. The ultra-heavy beats became the groundwork for the band’s 1986 debut “What Do You Know Deutschland?”

“I got together with our guitarist (En Esch) and began recording some things I had penned together,” said Konietzko. “And ever since then, we’ve had musicians come and go. It’s as if En and I are the suns and the other musicians at the time come and revolve around us.”

In 1988, the band released “Don’t Blow Your Top,” which featured the breakthrough single “Virus.” Since then, KMFDM has released five albums. “Nihil” was released earlier this year.

“Contrary to the past, I wrote all the songs for `Nihil,’ ” said Konietzko. “I’m kind of like a dictator-type and didn’t want to fuss with the petty problems we had during the other recording sessions in the past. And this time, there was minimal problems. I’m very happy with the way `Nihil’ sounds.”

In addition to “Nihil,” which contains the hit “Juke Joint Jezebel,” KMFDM released tracks on two new movie soundtracks, “Bad Boys” and “Hideaway.”

“I’m happy we did `Bad Boys,’ ” said Konietzko. “I saw that movie and it’s not bad, though `Juke Joint Jezebel’ stands out like an open gash on an album full of rhythm and blues. `Hideaway’ is real bad. If I had seen the movie before giving permission for the song (`Go to Hell’), I wouldn’t have gave the go-ahead.”

Konietzko also remixed two Dink songs, “Green Mind” and “Get on It,” and asked Dink to join the tour.

Psychedelic Lunch

Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series, “Industrial Metal Edition,” where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore psychedelic tunes from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!

Ministry is an American industrial metal band founded in Chicago, Illinois in 1981 by producer, singer and instrumentalist Al Jourgensen. Originally a synth-pop outfit, Ministry evolved into one of the pioneers of industrial metal in the late 1980s. Aside from popularizing industrial music in the United States, Ministry is also known for politically provocative and controversial music, videos, and album art.

The band was first formed in 1981 in Chicago, IL by Al Jourgensen. The original lineup consisted of Jourgensen, who, at the time, was responsible for all of the lead vocals, guitar, programming and production, along with Stephen George on drums, Robert Roberts on keyboards and background vocals and, finally, John Davis also on keyboards and vocals.

Ministry took advantage of the technological boom of the 1980s and fused it with edgy sounds characteristic of the dark wave era.

During the early years of the band, Ministry had created a unique fusion of catchy synth-pop, dark wave, and metal; catching the attention of music critics across the United States. The band introduced this new sound by releasing four 12″ singles through Wax Track! Records in 1981 and their first LP “With Sympathy” in 1983 via Arista Records.

Al Jourgensen has never stopped evolving. His constant experimentation and stylistic variation morphed the band from it’s synth-pop origins to the industrial juggernaut of today.

With “Psalm 69” Ministery Set The Bar For Depravity

“That was beyond the limits of good taste.”

Censure like that wasn’t something we heard much of from the crass, couch-bound music snobs and 1990s animated MTV stars Beavis and Butt-head. But in the show’s second season, one band forced Beavis to air such discernment: Ministry.

The cartoon dude who called himself Cornholio and coined insults such as “fart knocker,” “pecker wood,” and “ass munch,” was offended by one scene in Ministry’s “Just One Fix” video, where a teen spews up some blood. It may have been new for him, but not for Ministry. In fact, this kind of reaction was business as usual.

Controversy was commonplace for the Chicago-based industrial-metal band. However, while sensitive types were crying foul, Ministry reveled in the attention by pushing extremes and concocting a sound that was both uncompromising and accessible. In 1992, they fulfilled their greatest achievement: an album bewilderingly titled Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed and the Way to Suck Eggs. And boy did they ever go beyond the limits of good taste in making it.

Ministry has always been a band that sought to piss off (and likely even on) everyone that stood in their way.

Over the course of the band’s next three albums— TwitchThe Land of Rape and Honey, and The Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Taste—he began unlocking his inner demons. With the help of co-producer Paul Barker, a cast of collaborators, and enough narcotics to kill a small country, Ministry’s sound became a nihilistic blend of punk fury, clubbing adrenaline, and industrial experimentation, largely influenced by the boundary-pushing of his other projects: Revolting Cocks, Pailhead, 1000 Homo DJs, and Lard.

Ministry headed into their fifth album with a ton of money behind them, which proved to be both a blessing and a curse. Foolishly expecting it to go towards production, Sire gave them a sizeable budget of $750,000. But Jourgensen and Barker (credited as Hypo Luxa and Hermes Pan) had alternate plans; they cut costs by self-producing at Trax Studios, which they got for a discounted rate. Whatever money they saved in production was quickly gone thanks to a tremendous appetite for drugs.

“We were spending $1,000 a day,” Jourgensen details in The Lost Gospels. “All the money went right into our arms and up our noses. I was shooting up, smoking crack, drinking Bushmills laced with acid. And this was a cycle I’d repeat ten times a day, at least. We were complete nihilists, but we didn’t care because we had money. It didn’t dawn on us that we had to make a record… Sire gave us three-quarters of a million dollars to make this breakthrough record, and we’d get crazy high and record hours of white noise—just walls of static that sounded like a radio stuck between stations—which is kind of what I had become.”

At this point, Ministry was more divided than ever and practically functioned like two separate bands, regardless of Jourgensen and Barker acting as co-producers. Sessions were completely separate from one another. Jourgensen and guitarist Mike Scaccia would lay down tracks on their own while completely fucked up on everything they could get their hands on. And the Book Club—as Jourgensen called Barker, Chris Connelly, and Bill Rieflin, due to their insistence on not partaking in the heroin binges—were in the studio the other half of the day working independently.

“Mikey and I would go into the studio and record stuff all night, and then we’d leave,” Jourgensen writes. “Then the Book Club would come in and add their parts. The next day we’d come in and erase 80 percent of what they’d done and continue what we were doing.”

Eventually, Trax became what Jourgensen described as a “factory of degradation and debauchery.” On the night of his 34th birthday, Jourgensen’s friend, poet Lorri Jackson, died of a heroin overdose. Chicago newspapers blamed him, which raised suspicion with the police, but Jourgensen claims he had nothing to do with her death nor was he charged. The band relocated to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, to finish the album at Shade Tree Studios, which belonged to Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen.

(Jourgensen later bought the studio from Nielsen for $666,666, and then moved the equipment down to Austin, Texas, before taking it all back up to Trax in Chicago after he was charged with possession of heroin in 1995. While recording 1999’s Dark Side Of The Spoon, Jourgensen claims R. Kelly urinated in his grand piano while recording at Trax. Last year, he told The Quietus, “Not only did R. Kelly piss in my piano, he left Kentucky Fried Chicken underneath the fuckin’ hood and broke one of the legs. He’s a douchebag. I hate that fucking guy.” Of course, Kelly would go on to buy Trax and rechristen it the Chocolate Factory.)

Immediately, Ministry knew they were making a different record from the previous ones. Guitars had become more pronounced since Rape and Honey, and from the outset they wanted to intensify that component of the music. The thunderous crash of lead track “N.W.O.” and its sludgy, looped riff opened the floodgates for an ambush of mass destruction, underlined by “TV II” and its vulgar explosion of inhuman speed metal shredding. Ministry was now more a metal band than anything.

“We decided to approach this one by trying to make more of a guitar rockin’ record and still maintain a Ministry record,” Barker told Screamer back in 1992. “That, to us, was a challenge! We didn’t compose on guitar. We did it through sequences and sound effects and ‘sound montaged’ it. With this record we wanted to start with guitar.”

Credit for the guitar-heavy sound may go to Jourgensen and Barker as the decision-makers, but it was Scaccia that composed them. In his book, Jourgensen admits, “Mikey’s thrash-based riffs saved most of [the album]. I just added my production and some movie samples to make it cool.”

Sampling became a huge part of the finished album. Just as lawsuits were just being launched by Rick James against MC Hammer and U2 against Negativland, Ministry managed to nab clips from name films like The Man With The Golden Arm, Suspiria, Blue Velvet, and Apocalypse Now. Most effective, however, were the multiple excerpts from then-President George H. W. Bush that gave “N.W.O.” it’s purpose: “A new world order! We’re not about to make that same mistake twice!”

The use of Bush on the album set an important tone for the new album. Although they didn’t publicly identify as a political band, Ministry was not shying away from airing their grievances with the Bush administration and its Gulf War. And so a number of songs had a slant to them that was adopted as protest music.

“When you have a real right-wing shift in society as America did in the 80s, you get a much more entrenched underground,” Jourgensen told the Chicago Tribune. “Some people get mellow with age, but what I see on CNN these days, I get more ticked off. We’re a wake-up call to do something about what aggravates you. I hate to use a phrase like ‘people power’ because it sounds like some kind of half-time entertainment at a football game, but we’re just trying to raise people from their TV-induced hypnosis.”

Still, politics were best served up with the band’s bleak and black sense of humor. The first song released from the album sessions sounded like a complete pisstake, and ironically became the biggest hit of their career. Featuring Gibby Haynes of Butthole Surfers on lead vocals, “Jesus Built My Hotrod” was an unexpected smash upon its release towards the end of 1991. Equal parts rockabilly and thrash, the song was a breakthrough for the band, finding its way onto MTV and college radio. That it was made from madness should come as no surprise.

“Gibby came in absolutely shitfaced. He couldn’t even walk,'” Jourgensen recalls in The Lost Gospels. “We set him up with a stool, gave him a microphone and a fifth of Jack, and played the track. Gibby started babbling some incoherent nonsense, knocked over the whiskey, and fell off the stool. We propped him back up again and heard, “Bing, bang, dingy, dong, wah, wah, ling, a bong…” CRASH! Back on the floor. We went on like that for take after take, getting nothing but gibberish with a few discernible words. Finally Gibby passed out. He was gone. And that was it. But I knew there was something there. If only I could extract the magic, it would be like pulling a diamond ring out of a septic tank.”

Sire. The label allegedly hated it and demanded to know where all of their money went. Sales for the “Jesus Built My Hotrod” maxi-single were through the roof though. According to Jourgensen, sales reached 1.5 million and surpassed Madonna as the label’s biggest-selling single of that calendar year. To no one’s surprise, the label gave the band another $750,000 to finish the album.

With a hit single under their belt, Sire looked to capitalize, but the album failed to see its expected release in May 1992 because of trouble clearing spoken dialog by Beat writer William S. Burroughs for the track “Just One Fix.” (That was later cleared up and the version would be released as an edit on the track’s 12-inch single, with Burroughs starring in the video. Jourgensen became good friends with Burroughs after solving the old man’s raccoon problem by suggesting he feed them methadone wafers. It worked like a charm and the two became drug buddies until Burroughs’ death in 1997.)

Ministry’s fifth album was finally released on July 14, 1992; it debuted at #27 on the Billboard 200 despite wide confusion over its name. The original title printed on the album’s spine read, ΚΕΦΑΛΗΞΘ, which translated as “head” and “69,” but it is commonly known as Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed and the Way to Suck Eggs ( Psalm 69for short), a reference to the 69th chapter of Aleister Crowley’s 1912 work, The Book of Lies. The delay definitely worked out, as the timing couldn’t have been better. Four days after it hit stores, Ministry joined the second annual Lollapalooza tour for what would become the greatest line-up of its eight years as a travelling festival.

Headlined by the sock-on-cock-wearing LA funkmeisters Red Hot Chili Peppers, the day began with Lush, Pearl Jam, the Jesus & Mary Chain, Soundgarden, and Ice Cube, with Ministry on second to last. As grunge’s influence grew over the summer, by the time the two-month-long tour ended in September, Pearl Jam had moved into the Ice Cube’s slot, while Soundgarden became the penultimate performer.

Going into it, no one in Ministry was enthused about attending alternative music’s summer camp. But even as they were demoted on the bill by a couple of grunge bands, they quickly realized how beneficial the tour would be for them. They even had some fun, drinking Jim Rose’s regurgitated stomach bile and blowing up their tour bus with fireworks. (“The firework shot toward the front of the bus, then bounced into a bunk and started a big green and orange fire,” Jourgensen details in his book.)

“It was the first real commercial thing we had done since the [the early 80s], and we were all prepared to hate it,” Jourgensen told the Los Angeles Times the following year. “By the second day, however, we were having a ball, partly because the guys in Pearl Jam and Soundgarden were just so great to us.”

Ministry were clearly the most antagonistic act on the bill, but they became friendly with everyone—though Ice Cube put up a bit of a fight. After the rapper’s posse stole all of Ministry’s beer, Jourgensen got his revenge by approaching Cube right after his set completely naked. “I ran up to him, swung my hips, and started smacking him with my dick, trying to get him to put his hand on my cock,” he remembers in Lost Gospels. “He freaked out. I think his head was about to explode. He ran down the hall as I chased after him, and then he locked himself in the dressing room.” After a fight with some rednecks at a bar in Charlotte, however, the two sides became friends. “Cube had a new respect for me. He said, ‘You guys are awesome. You didn’t have to do that, and you stood up for me. You can come into my trailer and drink my beer and fuck my bitches any time.'”

They didn’t end up needing Cube’s beer. Instead, Ministry had more than their share of substances. “Shit got so out of hand that we booked hotel rooms for all the guys in the band and crew and then a separate room for all our drugs,” Jourgensen recalls in Lost Gospels. “Our clean needles, cotton, spoons, heroin, coke, pills, acid, ecstasy—all that shit was stuffed into our drug packages, and it went into its own room so if we got busted, nobody would be able to pin the drugs on us.”

The drugs, in combination with being fined $20,000 daily for exceeding the tour’s 90-decibel rule, meant Ministry was hemorrhaging money faster on the road than they were in the studio. When they asked Sire rep Howie Klein for more tour support, he declined. “So I beat off into a Ziploc baggie and mailed it to Howie at Sire,” writes Jourgensen. “I called him up the next day and asked, ‘Did you get my package?’ He’s like, ‘Yeah. What is that, some kind of drug? It smelled horrible.’ I laughed my ass off and said, ‘No, it’s my sperm, and if we don’t get our tour support, every member of the band and crew will be sending you body fluids every week.’ We got our support back.”

After Lollapalooza, Ministry would spend the next year reaching new levels of popularity. In the fall of 1992, they headlined an arena tour that included post-hardcore favorites Helmet and Brazilian groove metallers Sepultura; “N.W.O.” was nominated for Best Metal Performance at the Grammy Awards; and Psalm 69 would go platinum in the U.S.

“I’m happy with [Psalm 69_], yet I don’t feel we have come close to making the perfect Ministry record,” Jourgensen told the Los Angeles Times in 1993. He would prove himself wrong, as the band would hit a wall in the album’s aftermath. The roll that began with _Rape and Honey came to an abrupt halt following Psalm 69‘s promo cycle. It took them nearly four years to deliver a new album, and when it arrived, the sludge-ridden Filth Pig was met with an indifferent response by both fans and critics (the album’s cover was by far the most memorable thing about it). As the years passed, Ministry was affiliated more with bad puns and Al Jourgensen’s unhinged political commentary than any note of music they released. Barker left the band in 2003, and Jourgensen put the band on ice in 2008 for a few years.

Twenty-five years after its release, Psalm 69remains a revelatory, thrilling, and visceral album. At the height of alternative rock when almost anything went, Ministry offered up this post-apocalyptic, doom-laden paragon that was darker and weirder than everything else around. Nine Inch Nails may have commercialized industrial rock two years later with The Downward Spiral, but Psalm 69 reared its uglier, fucked-up head first, influencing the likes of Marilyn Manson, Dillinger Escape Plan, Hatebreed, Korn, and Nachtmystium along the way.

And if that’s not enough, well, it inspired Rammstein to write their jock jam “Du Hast,”which is definitely something to be proud of.

Psychedelic Lunch

Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series, “Industrial Metal Edition,” where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore psychedelic tunes from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!

Nine Inch Nails began in Cleveland in 1988 while Reznor was working at a recording studio. He wrote, arranged, performed, and produced the majority of the material, bringing in other musicians for live performances. The band quickly gained popularity with its debut release, Pretty Hate Machine (1989), which eventually sold more than three million copies in the United Statesand signaled a breakthrough into the American mainstream for industrial music. After a drawn-out legal battle with his recording company, TVT, Reznor set up his own label, Nothing Records, and released the EP Broken (1992), which earned a Grammy Award. Reznor signed glam shock rocker Marilyn Manson to the Nothing label, and the two fed on each other’s successes throughout the 1990s.

Reznor’s second full-length release, The Downward Spiral (1994), bowed at number two on the Billboard album chart. On the strength of such singles as “Closer” and “Hurt,” the album soon surpassed the band’s debut in sales. (An emotional acoustic version of “Hurt” later became a surprise hit for country legend Johnny Cash .) Nine Inch Nails appeared as a headliner at the 1994 Woodstock festival, and “Happiness in Slavery,” a single recorded at that performance, earned Reznor a second Grammy. In 1995 Nine Inch Nails opened for David Bowie on his North American tour, but a new album was slow to follow, and much of Reznor’s time was spent in the production studio with label mate Marilyn Manson.

Friends became enemies in the late ’90s as Nine Inch Nails mastermind Trent Reznor and Marilyn Manson exchanged verbal blows. Reznor produced Marilyn Manson’s ‘Antichrist Superstar’ album, but shortly after, the two butted heads as Manson jumped ship from Reznor’s Nothing Records label to Interscope.

“He and I are two strong personalities that could coexist for a while, but things changed,” stated Reznor. “I think fame and power distort people’s personalities,” Manson fired back. The two have since buried the hatchet, with Manson appearing in Nine Inch Nails’ ‘Starf—ers Inc.’ video and joining NIN onstage in Madison Square Garden.

Nine Inch Nails arrived on the music scene like a wrecking ball and left a wave of destruction behind. Frontman Trent Reznor released explosive and confrontational music that bowled over fans and enraged critics as he battled infamy, drug addiction, and a string of vicious controversies. During the ’90s, Nine Inch Nails were one of the biggest bands on the scene, and they continue to tour and release music today.

Despite weathering controversial press Reznor managed to keep a level of privacy and an air of mystery by focusing on the music. Because of this, surely there are things you didn’t know about Nine Inch Nails.

In 1995, Trent Reznor toured with David Bowie, and the two performed several of each other’s songs together. At the time, Reznor was dealing with severe cocaine and alcohol addiction. After Bowie’s death on January 10, 2016, many celebrities came forward with stories to share about the musician, including Reznor.

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Reznor spoke at length about his time with Bowie and revealed that Bowie, who suffered addiction problems in the past, regularly gave him advice without being mean or judgmental. One time while on tour, Bowie reportedly said to Reznor, “You know, there is a better way here, and it doesn’t have to end in despair or in death, in the bottom.”

Reznor was able to maintain sobriety shortly after. Years after the tour, Reznor went to a Bowie concert in Los Angeles and went backstage to thank him for helping him with his drug problems. Reznor said of the encounter:

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.

Reznor wrote the song “Hurt,” which he included on NIN’s 1994 album, The Downward Spiral. In 2002, producer Rick Rubin contacted Reznor and asked what he’d think about Johnny Cash remaking the song. Reznor said he would be flattered for Cash to do his version, and two weeks later, he received Cash’s cover song in the mail.

Later, Reznor recalled, “I listened to it, and it was very strange. It was this other person inhabiting my most personal song. Hearing it was like someone kissing your girlfriend. It felt invasive.”

“Hurt” went on to be one of Cash’s final hits, earning him commercial and critical acclaim. NME named Cash’s music video for the song the greatest of all time. Reznor, recalling watching the video for the first time, stated:

Tears started welling up. I realized it wasn’t really my song anymore. It just gave me goosebumps up and down my spine. It’s an unbelievably powerful piece of work. After he passed away, I remember feeling saddened, but being honored to have framed the end of his life in something that is very tasteful.

On April 20, 1999, 17-year-old Dylan Klebold and 18-year-old Eric Harris carried out the Columbine High School massacre in Jefferson County, CO. When it was over, they had killed 12 students and one teacher and injured 21 others in the attack, and injured three others who were attempting to leave the school.

After the shooting, both Klebold and Harris took their own lives by shooting themselves. The teens left journals behind detailing their plans for the school massacre, as well as video footage of the two talking about explosives and weapons, and showing them at target practice.

In the daily planner he left behind, Klebold makes many references to Nine Inch Nails songs, including “Piggy,” “Something I Can Never Have,” “Hurt,” “Closer,” “The Perfect Drug,” “The Downward Spiral,” and “Happiness in Slavery.”

And Harris references Reznor in one of his journal entries, stating, “Who can I trick into my room first? I can sweep someone off their feet, tell them what they want to hear, be all nice and sweet, and then ‘f— ’em like an animal, feel them from the inside’ as Reznor said,” referring to the Nine Inch Nails song “Closer.”

Days after the Columbine massacre, authorities shared Harris’s and Klebold’s journals with the public, and the music they listened to and video games they played received a public backlash. Some people even went as far as blaming the school shooting on the teens’ interest in music and violent video games.

On May 4, 1999, the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation held a hearing regarding violent content aimed toward minors by the television, music, movie, and video game industries. During the hearing, senators explicitly criticized Nine Inch Nails.

In 2012, director David Fincher reached out to Reznor in regards to the movie The Social Network. Fincher wanted Reznor to score the film. Initially, Reznor turned down the requestdue to his hectic touring schedule, but then he changed his mind and agreed.

Reznor collaborated with Atticus Ross on the composition, arrangements, performance, programming, and production of songs. They earned several awards for the score, including an Academy Award for Best Original Score in February 2011 and a Golden Globe Award in January 2011.

In 1987, Reznor left the band Exotic Birds to work on his own music. By 1988, he was working as a janitor at Right Track Studios. Reznor asked his boss if he could record his demos while the studio was not in use, and his boss obliged.

Reznor was unable to find a band to work with that had the particular sound he was looking for, so, inspired by the artist Prince, he began playing everything himself, aside from drums – keyboards, drum machines, guitars, and samplers. He also used a Macintosh Plus computer.

Reznor’s demo earned him a record contract with TVT Records, and the songs turned into a platinum album, 1989’s Pretty Hate Machine. Critics credit the album with helping to create an entirely new genre of music, “Industrial Metal.”

n 1995, former senator Bob Dole, former education secretary William Bennett, and former secretary of Pennsylvania and civil rights activist Cynthia Delores Tucker went to the annual Time Warner shareholders’ meeting in New York to air their grievances. The social conservatives took issue with specific bands that had signed with Warner Music. During the meeting, Tucker demanded Michael Fuchs, head of the Warner Music Group, read the lyrics aloud to the Nine Inch Nails song “Big Man With a Gun.”

I am a big man
(Yes I am)
And I have a big gun
Got me a big old d*ck and I
I like to have fun
Held against your forehead
I’ll make you suck it
Maybe I’ll put a hole in your head
You know, just for the f*ck of it

Fuchs refused to read the lyrics. Tucker repeatedly referred to NIN as a gangsta rap band during her speech. Afterward, Newsweekreported on the meeting, also referring to “Big Man With a Gun” as a rap song.

To promote the 1992 album Broken, Reznor worked with Peter Christopherson to create a short film of the same name that featured songs from the album. The 20-minute film is considered a horror musical and was made as a snuff-style film: The beginning of the video starts with an execution via hanging. The movie was never officially released due to its extremely graphic subject matter, but it leaked and became popular in the VHS tape trading days.

In December 2006, the film leaked on the Pirate Bay website, with many assuming Reznor was responsible for putting the film online. In 2013, the movie was uploaded onto Vimeo and posted on the official Tumblr page for NIN. Vimeo promptly removed the video, citing a Terms of Service violation. This pushed the film back into the underground until 2016, when it was uploaded to Archive.org under fair use laws.

Nine Inch Nails ran into several issues while creating a music video for the 1989 song “Down in It.” During filming in Chicago, the band used several Super 8 cameras, including one connected to a weather balloon filled with helium. While filming a scene featuring Reznor lying on the ground and appearing dead, the ropes holding the camera snapped, and the camera floated away.

More than a year later, Reznor’s manager informed him that the camera had landed 200 miles away in a farmer’s field in Michigan. The farmer, believing it held surveillance footage of marijuana fields, gave the camera to his local police department. Police reviewed the video and, thinking it was a snuff film, turned it over to the FBI. The FBI also believed it was a snuff film, possibly involving a ritual gang slaying.

Eventually, the FBI learned the alleged dead man in the footage was Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails. Hard Copy later did a segment on the FBI’s investigation of the Nine Inch Nails video.

The address 10050 Cielo Drive in Beverly Crest, CA, is synonymous with the Manson Family – the home where the brutal murder of Sharon Tate occurred. Rudolph Altobelli, a music and film talent manager, rented the house to Tate and Roman Polanski in 1969. After Tate’s murder, Altobelli moved into the home and stayed for more than 20 years. But the last resident of the original house before it was demolished in 1994 was none other than Trent Reznor.

Reznor rented the mansion in 1992 when he was 28 years old and used the location to record The Downward Spiral. Many believe the move to the Cielo Drive home was intentional on Reznor’s part, perhaps as a way to garner publicity for his upcoming album at the time, but Reznor insists that was not the case.

In fact, Reznor claims he was interested in the home due to how spacious it was, and after looking at several properties, he figured the location was best for an in-house studio. Reznor later found out about the house’s haunted history when a friend mentioned it to him, and they looked at photos in the book Helter Skelter.

In the Nine Inch Nails logo, the last N appears backward. The 1980 album Remain in Light by the Talking Heads inspired Reznor to do this. In the Talking Heads logo, the A letters in their band name appear upside down.

NIN’s catchy logo appears in many projects Reznor has been a part of, including the 1996 video game Quake. Reznor created the soundtrack for the game, and the NIN logo features on the ammo box for the nailgun. In the 2011 film The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, viewers can spot a man wearing a Nine Inch Nails sweater with the NIN logo. Reznor, along with Atticus Ross, composed the score for the movie.

In the 2019 Marvel Film “Captain Marvel,” you can see the main character, Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel sporting a Nine Inch Nails shirt.

As we see in the film, shortly after Carol crash-lands on earth in her black and green Kree supersuit, she realizes that she’s in need of 1) transportation, and 2) an undercover outfit, so that clever young S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Nick Fury has a more difficult time tracking her down. Rather serendipitously, she finds both in a strip mall parking lot: she steals a motorcycle from a sexist biker who asked her to “smile” for him, and then expertly steals a full outfit off a fashion store mannequin. Rather than putting her in “neon spandex or something equally silly,” Hays said they settled on grunge being Carol’s preferred aesthetic.

Thus, Carol’s now-iconic outfit of a Nine Inch Nails t-shirt, loose-fitting jeans, a black leather jacket, and a flannel tied around her waist was born. Does it mean Carol is humming “Hurt” just offscreen? According to Hays, not exactly.

One thing is for certain, Reznor has kept things interesting over the years. He’s explored industrial dance tracks (‘Down in It’ and ‘Sin’), worked through some thrashier moments (‘March of the Pigs,’ ‘Wish’ and ‘Head Like a Hole’), and dug deep into the soul for some deeply emotional catharsis (‘Hurt,’ ‘Something I Can Never Have’). He’s questioned both political (‘Capital G,’ ‘The Hand That Feeds’) and religious (‘Terrible Lie’) leaders, and all the while sustained a loyal following always anxious to see where he’s taking things next.

Psychedelic Lunch

Trent Reznor took to his Twitter Account to announce new music for the first time in a while. Heres what he had to say.











New Nine Inch Nails Ghosts V – VI

If you’re a die hard Nine Inch Nails fan you’ve been in luck. There’s been quite a lot of activity going on with them in the past few years with plenty of material via albums and movie scores and that’s not slowing down any time soon.

The band are currently scoring the new Watchmen film as well as Pixar’s Soul (after scoring both Mid90s and Bird Box on top of three EPs), but once everything is wrapped up we’ll be getting a new full-length album.

Trent Reznor told Rolling Stone nothing will be coming in 2019 while they wrap up the movie scores but they’re hard at work on new NIN material.

“Right now, we are finishing up Watchmen, and we’re working on the Pixar film that we are doing. And we have plans for Nine Inch Nails stuff, but we haven’t got down to doing it because literally every minute of the day for the last several months has working on score stuff. But the plan is to do stuff, yes,” says Reznor.

Later in the interview, Reznor discusses working on a Pixar film and how it relates to the idea of enjoying the process of making art. He explains a quote he heard from a director about making films for the process instead of the end result and how it relates to people asking him about the Pixar score.

“What I found in my own life is that by taking on these scoring projects, for us, it’s not, “How’d it do at the box office?” or “What was the Rotten Tomatoes score?” It’s nice if it does well. But being in the trenches, collaborating with someone new, learning from them, fighting with them, figuring out their process — that’s the exciting stuff, especially when it’s someone you resonate with,” says Reznor.

“I don’t think anybody does animation better than they do. And we end up meeting with [Pixar’s chief creative officer] Pete Docter, and he’s what you hope he would be. It feels very authentic, it feels very exciting and it’s very, very different from anything else we’ve ever done, from the way they do it to how they think about it. And we’re a risky choice for them, so that makes it very appealing. Can we do something like that? That means us working out of our comfort zone. It’s early days but it’s been really cool.

Nine Inch Nails History and Biography

Nine Inch Nails are an American industrial metal band fronted by Trent Reznor. Reznor is the only constant member as well as the main producer and songwriter. The band currently – as of of 2013 – consists of Robin Finck, Alessandro Cortini, Ilan Rubin, and Josh Eustis as well as Reznor.

Forming in 1988, the band released their debut record ‘Pretty Hate Machine’ the following year. They’ve since gone on to release seven more studio albums, hitting #1 in the US twice and becoming one of the most influential acts in modern alternative music.

Nine Inch Nails and Reznor are known for their intense live performances and extensive gigging – before 2013 they’d already notched up close to 1,000 shows. Reznor is known to assemble a talented bunch of backing musicians and reimagines their tracks on stage.

Though NIN announced that they’d be calling time on their touring life in 2008, we knew it wouldn’t be long before one of the world’s best live acts made their return. That came in 2013 along with eighth record ‘Hesitation Marks’, with Reznor teaming up with an experienced crew to put together an amazing stage production that wowed lucky fans across the globe. They’ve since been nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice!

Having since returned with a further two EPs – ‘Not the Actual Events’ and ‘Add Violence’ – Nine Inch Nails are well and truly back at the top of their game.

Are you excited about a new Nine Inch Nails record coming soon? Let us know what you think in the comments below.


Written By Braddon S. Williams

Nine Inch Nails: Pretty Hate Machine

Trent Reznor’s Nine Inch Nails made a fan of me with the arrival of 1989’s Pretty Hate Machine. Industrial music with heart and raw human emotion was Reznor’s particular form of genius, and Pretty Hate Machine functioned on multiple levels due to the strength of the songwriting.

Head Like A Hole was the breakout single, and it was full of rage, angst, and rebellion. The video gained NIN an instant cult of fanatical followers, and Reznor’s touring version of the band started building a legacy of revolutionary live performances. Other memorable songs included Terrible Lie, Sin, Sanctified, Down In It, That’s What I Get, Ringfinger, and the monumental Something I Can Never Have (my favorite Nails song).

Reznor was critical of the album’s production, and it is certainly nowhere near the level of sound that listeners would become accustomed to with subsequent NIN albums.

I always hoped Reznor would take the time to re-record Pretty Hate Machine with state of the art sound…the songs are good enough that it would have been a project worthy of salivating over!

As it is, Pretty Hate Machine established Reznor as a force to be reckoned with, and as a sort of antidote to much of the grunge explosion that would rule the music world in the following years. For myself personally, PanterA and NIN were a welcome respite from the Seattle sound (and I loved a lot of that stuff, too) in the ’90’s, so I will take a flawed production with the quality of songwriting that was present on Pretty Hate Machine.


Influences And Recollections of a Musical Mind

Written By Braddon S. Williams

Static X: Wisconsin Death Trip

Wisconsin Death Trip (1999), the platinum selling debut by Static-X, was an exciting blast of Industrial Metal or “Evil Disco” if you prefer that title instead.

Led by the distinctive presence of Wayne Static on lead vocals and guitar, Static-X had a highly energetic sound, and killer production on Wisconsin Death Trip.

Everything just exploded out of that mix, and I used several songs off this one to get hyped up back in the day.

Some of my favorites were Sweat Of The Bud, I’m With Stupid, Stem, Push It, Bled For Days, and The Trance Is The Motion.

The title song is a rager, too. Great album, great live band, and Wayne had one of the greatest hair styles in metal.

I can’t adequately describe how awesome he looked. If you don’t already know, just google Wayne and his hair. He has gone to the rock ‘n roll ranch in the sky, but his evil disco lives on.

Influences And Recollections of a Musical Mind

Written By Braddon S. Williams


I must confess…Trent Reznor can do very little wrong in my humble opinion. Having said that, I can still tell when he hits on all cylinders and creates a masterpiece.

Such a work is The Fragile (1999), a double album of sonic majesty and despair to rival Pink Floyd’s The Wall.

I’m not going to attempt to compare the two, but just wanted to set the tone that Trent didn’t exactly go to his happy place for inspiration.

The textures and atmosphere are nearly suffocating throughout large portions of this album but there is immense beauty, too. Some of it will rock your face off as well.

Basically functioning as a continuation of The Downward Spiral, Reznor took more time and space to do what he does best; create a musical landscape to mirror a tortured soul.

A small army of musicians and technicians contributed to the making of The Fragile, but Nine Inch Nails is, and always has been, Trent Reznor as the primary creative force.

I can’t even break this one down into favorite songs, because it is so well conceived as a continuous piece of music that it practically demands to be played (loudly) in sequence (preferably through a good set of headphones).

Influences And Recollections of a Musical Mind

“Closer” by Nine Inch Nails

I never realized how much the intro sounds JUST like an Icee machine until now. So every time you get an Icee, remember these words. Remember this song. It’s impossible to disagree. Haha.


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