Nine Inch Nails' 'With Teeth' tour comes to Champaign

By Sean Moeller for Herald & Review on February 9, 2006

Slightly left of the norm, Trent Reznor and the fruit of his dark imagination, Nine Inch Nails, have held a high post at the summit of a mountain all their own.

Nine Inch Nails will perform tonight at Assembly Hall in Champaign.

Reznor is arguably the godfather of industrial music. Over the course of nearly 18 years of recordings, Reznor has released just five records, the most recent of which - "With Teeth" - was released last May, in time for his 40th birthday. It came almost six years after the two-disc set "The Fragile" burst a five-year dry spell between releases.

He's worked meticulously on his arrangements and augmentations - maintaining an identity that he's kept shrouded in mystery - establishing his image as a recluse who emerges as a player and Grammy-nominated artist every half-decade.

"With Teeth" is a back-to-basics album that generates a froth and a hissing fit. Lead single "The Hand That Feeds," a rancorous lashing out against the Bush administration, was up for a Grammy award in the Best Hard Rock Performance category.

The long waits through which Reznor puts his fans have done nothing to dilute their dedication.

"I guess one does run the risk of losing fans when you take so long between albums, but I think if he would have kept releasing albums, he wouldn't be doing what he's doing now," said Jeordie White, Nine Inch Nails bassist and formerly Twiggy Ramirez of Marilyn Manson. "He wouldn't still have a wide audience. People get burnt out on music. I know I do. There are bands that keep putting the same thing out and doing the same thing. It gets old.

"I think five years is a bit much, but I think the Nine Inch Nails fan base is pretty dedicated. It ranges from a 14-year-old kid who is new to the band to someone who's 50 and has been with the band since they were 30. I don't think Nine Inch Nails is such a passing fad kind of thing. People are still interested in what Trent has to say."

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