Trent Reznor

Arguably no artist has done more to popularize industrial music than Trent Reznor -- primarily through his main creative vehicle, Nine Inch Nails, but also as a producer for numerous acts, not least of which was shock rocker Marilyn Manson. Born Michael Trent Reznor on May 17, 1965, in the town of Mercer, Pennsylvania he began taking piano lessons at age five and played tenor saxophone and tuba in his high school band, proving his natural aptitude for music. Reznor later played with several bands while training as an engineer at Cleveland’s Right Track Studios, where he recorded his first demos during off hours and then used them to land a deal with TVT Records, under the Nine Inch Nails moniker. The project’s very first album, 1989’s Pretty Hate Machine, was both a critical and commercial success, immediately establishing Reznor’s songwriting credentials in the industrial rock genre, and leading to a career-building slot on the 1991 Lollapalooza Festival. The next year’s Broken EP only added to Nine Inch Nails’ popularity but it was 1994’s massively influential The Downward Spiral that rocketed Reznor to global stardom — even as he somehow found time on his busy schedule to produce the first of three platinum albums for the aforementioned Marilyn Manson. Reznor continued to diversify his exploits for the duration of the ‘90s, producing soundtracks for Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers in ’94 and David Lynch's Lost Highway in ’97, while simultaneously engaging in several side projects (he had already participated in 1000 Homo DJs, earlier in the decade), and completing work on Nine Inch Nails’ hotly anticipated third album, The Fragile, in ’99. The next half-decade was not as kind to Reznor, who battled substance addictions and engaged in very public feuds with both his former protégé, Manson, and longtime label Interscope. Nine Inch Nails would only reemerge in 2005 via their fourth studio album, With Teeth, but this at least signaled the beginning of a new period of creativity and relative stability for Reznor, marked by frequent and extensive touring behind quickly recorded follow-ups like Year Zero (2007), Ghosts I-IV, and The Slip (both 2008). Nine Inch Nails’ eighth studio album, Hesitation Marks, followed in 2013, by which time Reznor and fellow composer Atticus Ross had scored major motion pictures like The Social Network (for which they won an Academy Award) and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011). In recent years, Reznor has also joined Dr. Dre’s Beats Music service in an executive and consulting role, but his creative exploits are bound to resume at some point, most likely under the Nine Inch Nails brand.

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