Trent Talks about Fragile

Originally published in CMJ on June 1, 1998

When Nine Inch Nails recorded Pretty Hate Machine in 1989, the audio tracks could not be put on computer. The album was still sequenced with Mac Plus. Their third release album The Downward Spiral was a different case. It was completely recorded with computer, just like Marilyn Mansons Antichrist Superstar, which Reznor produced.

"Instead of recording to tapes, I played parts of the songs into my computer and after that I could make loops and stuff ", Reznor says. "If you want to write a song, just put a loop from a drum track, and then add bass and guitars into it. After that you can do whatever you like with the song: use samples, put on the vocals and so on. This way it's easy to make remixes of a song when you have the basis of it saved in your computer."

On the next NIN album Reznor will be using computers as well, but he has something new in his mind too. He's going to use different vocalists on the backround, many musicians and many real and exotic instruments. "I've gathered pieces from many different music styles in these few years and I'm trying to find a way to mix them." Reznor's music writing didn't work out with piano, so maybe he's getting help with that from his "assistant musicians".

Transcribed by Keith Duemling

View the NIN Hotline article index