Reznor celebrates ups & downs of 40

Reznor: Manager duped me into bad contract

By LIISA LADOUCEUR for Jam! Showbiz on May 17, 2005

Trent Reznor turns 40 today. He has a lot to celebrate, if not in the best setting.

The one-man, heavy-industrial hate machine known as Nine Inch Nails topped the Billboard album charts last week with his latest record, With Teeth.

The first album from Nine Inch Nails in six years sold 272,000 copies in the U.S. the first week of its release, beating out Bruce Springsteen and Mariah Carey.

The bouncy first single The Hand That Feeds is No. 2 on the modern rock charts. In Canada, With Teeth was the No. 2 album with 24,900 copies sold.

For the first time this century, Reznor is hot. Unfortunately, his birthday plans are a bit of a downer.

"What I thought I would do, just to break the good times up, is sit in court," Reznor said last week while in Toronto for two sold-out gigs. "I'll actually be in a fight-to-the-death cage match with my ex-manager in New York. On my birthday, I'll be staring at that mother----er."

Reznor's lawsuit against former manager John Malm, filed May 2004, claims Malm committed fraud and breach of fiduciary duties in handling his career. (Malm actually sued Reznor first, claiming more than million owed in unpaid commissions.)

Singer clean and sober

Beyond the legal battle over who owes whom is the more important issue of who owns whom. Reznor is fighting to regain full control of the Nine Inch Nails name and logo. Considering With Teeth's sales, a lot is at stake.

On the upside, Reznor, who recently went public with his recovery from alcohol and drug addiction, is in a much better position to handle the situation than ever before.

"There are lot of emotions involved," he said. "I've certainly wanted to kill this guy in the past, it's true. But with time, and this is a new thing I'm able to do, I can put things in perspective. I could wake up every morning and allow myself to think about that guy, get worked up and pissed off, but it won't do any good ... I choose not to worry."

That's not to say that Reznor won't have any more fights on his hands. Here is a guy who writes all his own stuff, hiring and firing musicians for recording and touring as he sees fit.

On 1990s hit Head Like A Hole he proclaimed, "I'd rather die than give you control," and he continues to wrestle with record-company standards. The video for The Hand That Feeds, for example, is simply a clip of the band rehearsing.

Details of NIN's fall tour will be unveiled in June. They perfrom June 9 at the MTV Movie Awards.

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