Magazine Street studio a
From the moment a visitor crosses the threshold of Trent
Reznor's Nothing Studios, it is apparent that this is no
generic recording facility. The nondescript wood and
glass-paned front door is a macabre relic of American
pop culture: It was salvaged from the Los Angeles house
where actress Sharon Tate was murdered by Charles
Reznor recorded Nine Inch Nails' 1993 album "The
Downward Spiral" in that house, but has worked on all
subsequent projects at Nothing Studios on Magazine
Street. Reznor acquired the building, an old funeral
parlor, in April 1995; since then, says studio manager
Brian Pollack, he has invested $1 million in the
continuously upgrading it with the latest gadgets.
One-way smoked glass allows occupants of the
compound to look out, but prevents passers-by and the
occasional Nine Inch Nails fan that loiters outside from
peering in. The main studio room of the 17,000-foot
facility is a bunker-like space in what was the funeral
home's chapel. A massive 72-input control board is
augmented by banks of recording gear. This was ground
zero for the two-year recording of Nine Inch Nails' "The
Fragile"; previously, it was where Reznor co-produced
Marilyn Manson's "Antichrist Superstar" album.
In the studio that Trent built, functionality is
with rock'n'roll knickknacks and persoman mementos.
Four jet-skis are stored in a garage area. A nearby room
houses a squad of mountain bikes. The funeral parlor's
embalming room is now a laundry room; jet-ski wet suits
hand alongside black and silver-sequined Mardi Gras
Reznor is a big fan of Pink Floyd's epic album/animated
film "The Wall" -- its themes of alienation and spiraling
despair are similar to issues he explores on record.
Hence, downstairs walls are decorated with original
animation cells from "The Wall." An enormous framed
movie poster from "The Lost Highway" -- Reznor
composed the soundtrack -- is signed by director David
Lynch, who thanked "the gang in New Orleans." Photos
of Reznor with Tom Petty hang near gold and platinum
album awards and a trio of original paintings by David
The studio kitchen's refrigerator is adorned with a
typically eclectic collage of snapshots and decorative
magnets, including an old K&B drugstore logo and a
magnet depicting a Weimaraner, the breed of Reznor's
dog, Daisy. A crimson skull with devil horns grins from a
shelf in Studio B, where legendary rock producer Bob
Ezrin, the man who produced "The Wall," sat hunched
over a control board, concocting the final sequence of
"The Fragile." A stuffed raven hangs upside down just
inside the door of the adjacent lounge.
A broad staircase opens onto a long hallway filled with
vintage arcade games and an old Kiss pinball machine.
A large corner upstairs room overlooking Magazine
Street is stocked with exercise equipment. The funeral
parlor's upstairs viewing rooms have been converted into
individual offices and work spaces. The building's old
casket elevator is still functional; it now hauls
gear between floors.
Since its inception, the studio has functioned mainly as
private work space for Reznor. But now Nothing is
being marketed as a commercial studio, available for
rental -- at least until Reznor decides to lock himself
away and make another album.
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is provided courtesy Keith Duemling and Tracy Thompson from the collection previously
located at SUS.