The Ledger

May 2000

A Hint at a Light of Optimism

Loyal Nine Inch Nails fans may want to brace themselves for a slightly more optimistic experience, as the alternative music gems of tormented rock hit The Lakeland Center's stage Thursday.

Lead guitarist Robin Finck hinted at the addition of a few more optimistic songs to be included on the band's first U.S. tour in five years to promote the new CD, "The Fragile."

"There are moments on the new record that die-hard fans will really appreciate and there's also some quieter moments in songs such as 'We're in This Together' and 'Fragile,' " Finck said during a phone interview. "They hint at a light of optimism, which I think is new for Nine Inch Nails."

The U.S. "Fragility v2.0" tour began April 12 in the band's hometown of Cleveland after a sold-out tour of Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand, bringing together the dynamics NIN has always had of "high highs and low lows," Finck said.

"This tour is a bit more sleek, streamlined and tightly fitted," Finck said. " 'The Downward Spiral' Tour (promoting NIN's last album) was dilapidated, falling apart and blowing up."

Throughout the years, NIN has been known for Trent Reznor's aggressively dark lyrics and riveting stage performances, complete with the destruction of instruments.

The "Fragility v2.0" tour consists of Reznor, Finck, keyboardist Charlie Clouser and drummer Jerome Dillon, playing among giant projection screens for lighting.

"A lot of thought went into the set and presentation of the material. We've taken with us what we've known and felt worked in the past," he said, adding that he hopes the band can begin to reach a new audience.

Once a staple only on college radio, NIN crept into Top 40 playlists during the late 1980s and early 1990s with the singles "Head Like a Hole," "Down In It" and "Closer." Reznor has also gained recognition as a producer of movie soundtracks including "Natural Born Killers" and "Lost Highway."

But that was the past -- Nine Inch Nails is now looking toward the future.

When compared with the band's previous albums, Finck said "The Fragile" is "further down the evolution."

And "The Fragile" is not "The Downward Spiral" Part Two, Finck said.

"It comes from the same place 'Pretty Hate Machine' (1989) was born, and has evolved into what it is now," he said. "It's just dynamically more high and more low, it's richer and intricately textured."

While the new tour may have a tinge of optimism, the band will not alienate faithful fans and will continue to rely on its strengths: "integrity and sincerity of music and lyrics," Finck said.

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Nine Inch Nails
Nine Inch Nails
This article is provided courtesy Keith Duemling and Tracy Thompson from the collection previously located at SUS.