Nine Inch Nails has perhaps been classified under more labels than any other group on earth (alternative, industrial, techno, rock, just to name a few), but the fact is: you can’t brand NIN’s music.

An evolving blend of artificial, industrial beats, harsh guitar, and pure human core, growing from unrelenting thrash to delicate, fragile and emotional balladry, it all revolves around one man: Trent Reznor. Band members come and go, but he is the constant behind this conglomeration of works - many of the group’s dedicated fanbase have even come to call him a god.

Trent Reznor is Nine Inch Nails, and Nine Inch Nails is Trent Reznor.

Common Misconceptions

Someone unfamiliar with NIN’s music will find it very confusing, and often unwelcoming, when beginning to approach it. It’s not for everyone; and it is an acquired taste, being quite intimidating at first. The misconceptions made by those unacquainted with Reznor’s work can also disinterest people before they even give it a chance.

NIN is not goth. It is not satanic, nor is it attempting to convey some absurdly profound message. Reznor simply makes music and lets others hear it: that’s what it’s all about. Many liken him to the great ones of the past, classical composers such as Chopin, Debussy, or Rachmaninov, a composer of (insanely intricate) works to relate emotions, or simply to sound good.

The Halo

Nine Inch Nails has released four “core” albums (known as halos): Pretty Hate Machine (1989), Broken (1992), The Downward Spiral (1994), and The Fragile, a double CD released in 1999. In addition to these are 10 other halos, consisting of remixes (greatly prized by longtime NIN fans), singles, and a few unreleased tracks.

The contrast between these albums is extremely drastic. Broken is composed almost entirely of pure thrash, whereas The Fragile delves into the depths of the human soul, and even contains some (possibly pseudo?) love songs.

NIN albums are appreciated for their intricacy and depth. Even within one halo there is a huge variety from track to track, making it very relistenable. Despite the contrasts, however, music by NIN is distinct, and is fairly recognizable.

Brief History

Reznor formed Nine Inch Nails in the late 1980’s, choosing the name simply because it sounded good and suited his purposes. He was the sole member, but soon realized the importance of a live band, and took in other musicians to help him out. NIN is usually thought of as a band, but the members rotate rather frequently.

''Down In It'' was the first single released by NIN (off the album, Pretty Hate Machine), catching attention, but not achieving any grand-scale success. It set the tone for future Nails releases, however, and was amazingly drastic for its time, emphasizing synthesizers when it was the trend to subdue them.

The subsequent albums were huge hits in the alternative/industrial/any other what-have-you genre scene. A dedicated following of the band developed in the early 90’s (that still buys NIN Halos religiously today), but huge pop success wasn’t really achieved --not that it was something Reznor was striving for-- until the release of The Downward Spiral, especially with the single ''Closer.''

In September of 1999, Halo 14 was released: The Fragile, a double CD set. It debuted at number 1 on the Billboard charts, and was the most anticipated NIN album ever released; with great support from the NIN internet community (dubbed the Ninternet) prospering on the web.

A remix CD of The Fragile, entitled "Things Falling Apart" will be released in late November of 2000; a DVD of live performances, and more, is expected in the following months.