Reznor off razor's edge

By FREE PRESS STAFF AND NEWS SERVICES for London Free Press on March 2, 2006

It is a good time to be Trent Reznor -- chart-topping sales for his comeback album, With Teeth; sold-out tours for his band, Nine Inch Nails; successful resolution of his long-standing legal battles with an ex- manager; a cleaned-up bill of health.

"My outlook on life is much better," Reznor says. "I've been sober for four years. I put a record out that I feel good about and it's been pleasant to see it get a good response."

Nine Inch Nails' fans are responding in big numbers and new places -- such as the John Labatt Centre, where Reznor and friends headline on Monday night.

The brooding man who masterminds the acerbic industrial-electro-rock juggernaut that is Nine Inch Nails is seldom free of curses -- but he is appreciative.

"I would like to say, 'thank you,' " Reznor told Toronto fans at an Air Canada Centre stop late last year. "It's been a (bad) year for a lot of people, so it means a lot that you're here."

Then, because in the Nails' world, thanks and the dark side aren't too far apart, Reznor and the band went out and nailed a cover of Joy Division's Dead Souls.

Led by Reznor, Nine Inch Nails has been touring to support its With Teeth (Nothing/Universal). With Teeth has such singles as Only, Every Day Is Exactly the Same and Hand That Feeds.

Nine Inch Nails and Hand That Feeds were beaten at the 2006 Grammys in the best hard rock performance by System of a Down and its hit, B.Y.O.B.

Rob Evans, editor-in-chief of liveDaily.com, was following the Grammys and reports it didn't take long for Reznor to get down on the system.

"The Grammys make me hate music and certainly everyone in the ass-licking music industry," Reznor wrote in a posting at Nine Inch Nails' website about an hour into the 48th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony.

There is the revolving door behind the drum set on the tour.

Nine Inch Nails' drummer Jerome Dillon suffered heart trouble on-stage in September 2005. He was in hospital, shows had to be cancelled and a replacement, Alex Carapetis, came aboard.

Dillon then announced his permanent departure from the band.

Carapetis was given the boot a little later and now it looks as if A Perfect Circle drummer Josh Freese is the man to bring down the hammer at the Nails' live shows.

If that holds true on Monday night, it will be Freese's third high-profile gig in London in recent years. Freese was at a sold-out Centennial Hall in 2003 with A Perfect Circle and then at the downtown London arena with Sting in 2005.

Internet sources say the 40-year-old Reznor (vocals, keyboards, guitar) and Freese are joined by Alessandro Cortini (keyboards), Jeordie White (bass and also a member of A Perfect Circle), Aaron North (guitar) in the 2006 edition of Nine Inch Nails.

Opening for Reznor and the touring Nine Inch Nails is spoken-word artist Saul Williams. His books include The Dead Emcee Scrolls: The Lost Teachings of Hip-Hop and he also released a self-titled album in 2004.


What: Concert by U.S. rock band Nine Inch Nails; spoken-word artist Saul Williams is also on the bill

When: Monday, 7:30 p.m.

Where: John Labatt Centre

Tickets: .75 and .75, plus applicable charges; general admission on the floor, reserved seating in the stands; call 1-866-455-2849 or check www.johnlabattcentre.com or hob.ca for details

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