|In the early hours of May 17 1965, Michael Trent Reznor was born to Michael Reznor and Nancy Clark. He has a younger sister, Tera. Trent was brought up by his grandparents in Mercer, Pennsylvania. As a child, Trent hated it there and eagerly awaited the chance to leave. He felt isolated from the outside world which he longed to see. As a child, he did manage to do something he liked - he took up the piano. After leaving Mercer, Trent joined a few college bands, until he went to Cleveland to form a serious band. Finding inspiration while working in a recording studio and listening to industrial bands like Skinny Puppy, he began to write songs. By 1989 he had released his first album, Pretty Hate Machine. It was an insight into his most intimate and personal feelings. Trent got the recognition he deserved when MTV began to play Head Like A Hole, one of the singles from the album.|
It was one of the most requested songs at the time and made Trent a star. In 1992, he made a Grammy-winning EP, Broken, which was inspired by NIN's live performances of songs from Pretty Hate Machine. Broken was much more raw and angry sounding, featuring more loud guitars and less synths than PHM. After that, Trent released Fixed - a remix EP of Broken. By now Nothing Records, Trent's own record company, was prospering. He signed Marilyn Manson to Nothing, his first big signing.
1994 was a very busy and excessive year. He released The Downward Spiral - an angry, hate-filled album which made industrial rock mainstream, and Nine Inch Nails superstars. It featured one of the most famous NIN songs to date, Hurt, a revealing song which showed Trent's true feelings of despair and self-loathing. It also featured Closer, which is probably the best known NIN song. The music video for Closer was a masterpiece, but was heavily censored for TV play.
The band embarked on what would be a lengthily and destructive tour, aptly named The Self Destruct Tour. This saw them team up with Marilyn Manson and the Jim Rose Circus - a particularly sick freak-show. NIN managed to play one of the best sets at Woodstock 94, showing their energy and intensity playing live.
During '94, Trent was given the task, by Oliver Stone, of putting together the soundtrack to the motion picture Natural Born Killers. That soundtrack is now recognised as one of the greatest of all time. As well as containing excellent music, it enhanced the movie by setting the moods and creating the right atmosphere. It featured a new song by Trent, Burn; and 2 NIN songs, A Warm Place and a remix of Something I Can Never Have. When The Self Destruct Tour was finally over, Trent got to work on Further Down The Spiral. It was an remix EP of The Downward Spiral. There were 2 versions, one UK and one US. The US-only tracks are: Self Destruction, Part Two, Hurt (Quiet), Eraser (Polite), The Beauty of Being Numb, and Erased, Over, Out. The UK-only tracks are: Self Destruction Part Three, Heresy (Version), Hurt (Live), and Ruiner (Version). Though featuring fewer tracks, the UK version is the definitive one.
In 1996, Trent helped launch Marilyn Manson's career by producing, co-writing, and playing on Antichrist Superstar. Trent (an avid videogamer) went on to make the music for Quake, a dark first-person shooter, and later became hooked. Although no new NIN material would be released until late 1999, Trent kept busy.
He produced another soundtrack, this time for David Lynch's Lost Highway. It featured 2 songs credited to Trent, Driver Down and Videodrones; Questions. Most significantly, it featured The Perfect Drug, the song many consider to be NIN's finest moment. 1997 brought Closure, a 2 tape video box set. The first tape contained live footage of the band and some behind-the-scenes footage. The second tape contained every NIN music-video ever made, including many never released or aired. To many NIN fans' dismay, Closure was only released in the US. A new video and DVD containing videos from live performances from the Fragility Tour will be released soon.
In 1999, Trent finally released The Fragile, an epic 2-CD album which confirmed that Trent was still a genius and could do no wrong. It featured a song, Starfuckers Inc, which was seen as a vicious attack on once friend, Marilyn Manson. The break up of their friendship had made Trent angry and he felt betrayed. During the making of The Fragile, Trent's grandmother died and he fell into despair. He made a song called I'm looking forward to joining you, finally. The first half of 2000 saw Trent as a happier person, and the release of the Starsuckers inc. video.
It featured Trent and a mystery date going to a carnival and playing games like "smash the plate" with celebs faces on. The plates featured some of Trent's least favourite people: Fred Durst, Courtney Love, Marilyn Manson and himself. In an ironic twist, the "mystery woman" turns out to be Marilyn Manson in drag; signifying their renewed friendship. During a NIN show in New York, Marilyn Manson appeared on stage for the end of Starfuckers inc. and stayed on to sing The Beautiful People. NIN fans now await the new releases, and material from the side project Tapeworm which features Trent, Clouser, Lohner, Maynard James Keenan and Phil Anselmo.