A Betrayed Rock Icon
On front cover: Trent Reznor in Nine Inch Nails canīt forgive Marilyn
Centrefold: "A betrayed rockicon"
London. Nine Inch Nails leader Trent Reznor, 34, has become the
industryrocksī icon and been chosen to one of US most important
personīs. But he has felt really bad the last few years. When his
friend Marilyn Manson betrayed him he sank down in a deep
depression. Now Nine Inch Nails is back with the acclaimed "The
Fragile". Nöjes Martin Carlsson got as the only swede an own chat
with Trent Reznor.
Minneapolis, march 1995. By a coincidence I have been invited to join
a party after Nine Inch Nails concert. The backstagearea looks as
chaotic as the damaged stage that the band has just left. After a
while I get lost into a room all decorated in black. The roof is covered
by net for hens and there also hangs lollipopps and condoms which
impatiently are awaiting to be used.
The nights contempt Jim Rose Cirkus Sideshow are talking, and
especially Mr Lifto (known for lifting an iron with his dick) makes sure
to maintain his vulgoimage. He exposes himself for a couple of young
girls to get them to repeat the procedure. Before no-one knows, the
girls the least, the girls are naked and trying to defend themselves
against mr Lifto. It is humiliation in the name of rockīnīroll and in a
corner tonights king are sitting and watching silently. Trent Reznor
London, october 1999. Trent Reznor still seems broken. He has been
hit by the flu and threw up all yesterday. Interviews has been
cancelled or reduced to round-table discussions, but at last I get an
own chat with the shy american.
Trent apologizes, he looks ashamed. After all I was there, witnessing
the sexual perversions that has become so mentioned after the tour
for the album "Downward Spiral".
"That tour went on far too long," Trent explains. "A degree of insanity
turned up. Every night was a bizarre occurrence and one was
surrounded by childish behaviour everywhere and then one do things
which one normally wouldnīt do just to keep sense in that situation.
Everybody tried to outdo each other. What you saw wasnīt
especially extreme compared to other things which sometimes
"I was in the periphery and observed everything that took place. I
was there, thus I take some of the blame. But afterwards some
people, among them Marilyn Manson, has pointed out me as the
ringleader. Thatīs incorrect! It was never my intention that someone
should be hurt or used in a grotesque way. But I canīt put the blame
on someone else, you saw with your own eyes what happened.
Trent Reznor had reached the bottom, without really being aware of
it. He went on into the studio to produce Marilyn Mansons
breakthrough-record "Antichrist superstar" and then collapse. Trent
got into a depression when his grandmother, who had raised him,
died. The situation got worse when his best and O N L Y friend,
Manson deceived him in his book "Long hard road out of hell".
"Distorted reality" "Manson distorted reality and painted a very unfair
picture of me," Trent claims. "I didnīt say anything for years, but it is
important that I give my version to explain how I got into a deep
hollow after being involved with Manson and how it has affected my
new album. But I will sleep as good at night again if I never mention
his name again."
In 1997 Time selected Trent Reznor to one of Americas 25 most
Nice, sure, but Trent felt more paralysed the more the world around
was screaming after the follow-up to Nine Inch Nails masterpiece
"Downward spiral". He isolated himself in his studio in New Orleans,
often apathetic and without belief in the future. Two painful years
later the double-album "The Fragile" was ready.
"On Downward Spiral I began on top and sank down into swamp while
"The Fragile" starts on the bottom and then sees a brightening," Trent
You often talk about your loneliness. From where do you think it
All my life I have felt that I doesnīt fit in anywhere. Maybe it
depends on that my parents got divorced when I was small. Before
the recording of "The Fragile" I pondered a lot upon my loneliness. I
had reached a point when I got everything I wanted and people
flattered me to such an extent that it was impossible to handle a
common conversation. I felt more alone than ever before, which
aggravated my general condition.
You have nobody you can turn to?
It has become a pure Moment 22. I absolutely donīt want to feel
alone, but I am fighting in despair to not let anyone into my life. The
guy you saw in the corner backstage wanted so badly to feel affinity
with these people , but he was in the middle of an emotional tumult. I
created a circus around me, but Iīm not really that guy. This record
deals a lot with my attempts to repair myself. I have got to know
myself better and now I am ready to take my art and my life in hand.
Is it impossible for you to experience love?
I suppose so, since I donīt love or are beloved by anybody, with the
exception of my dog (smiles askew). I donīt let anyone come close to
me, which is an excellent way to avoid feeling love. That is one side
of me which I strongly dislike.
So there is no use for girls to flirt with you?
Well, I have always sabotaged my relationships. I donīt know what
mechanisms are put at stake , but I seem to always escape into my
work. During the last two years I have worked throughout the
twenty-four hours until I have collapsed and I canīt demand that
somebody want to live with me under these circumstances. That I
have forgotten to be a human being is a different thing.
Do you force yourself into a depression to feel creative?
Not consciously, but unconsciously I think I cheat myself to believe
that if I live in destitution it leads to great art. I hope that I wonīt
have to repeat the same procedure in the future.
Just recently you went to theraphy for the first time. Did you learn
anything about yourself?
Yes, above all that if one is depressed one doesnīt take things in
hand and that one must admit to oneself. That was the last I wanted
to hear, but when I had accepted it I felt much better. Everything
isnīt my fault, I feel that I can love myself.
The big quote on the left side (page 16) says:
"I will sleep as good if I never mention Marilyn Manson's name again."
Name: Michael Trent Reznor
Background: Played in a number of bands before he 1988 founded
Nine Inch Nails.
Breakthrough: With the hit "Head like a hole" from the second album
"Pretty hate machine". The broad breakthrough came with the album
"The downward spiral" 1994.
Film: Reznors band problems participated in "Light of day" with Joan
Jett and Michael J Fox 1987. He has furthermore written soundtrack
to "Natural born killers" and "Lost highway".
Topical: With new album "The Fragile" which got five wasps by Nöjes
Tour: Will unfortunately not come to Sweden, but plays in
Copenhagen the 23rd november.
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is provided courtesy Keith Duemling and Tracy Thompson from the collection previously
located at SUS.