Trent Speaks About Marilyn Manson

Originally published in Kerrang! on September 1, 1999

Trent Reznor has been speaking exclusively to Kerrang! about his relationship with Marilyn Manson. Reznor signed Manson to his Nothing Records label and produced his breakthrough "Antichrist Superstar" album in 1996, but the two fell out shortly afterwards and have been engaged in a bitter war of words ever since.

"I knew him for a while," Reznor says of Manson. "We sat and shared ourselves. The Manson other people know is not the guy I know. I haven't run into him for some time, but all the shit that's gone on between us comes down to one thing - fame distorts people.

"When I signed him, I knew there was gonna be a time when he was going to want to get out from under the umbrella. He'd get tired of questions about what Trent was like. Then his popularity rises and distortion occurs. I'm not blaming everything on him - there's a shared responsibility here. I doubt if many people think I'd be a great person to have as a friend."

Reznor also hit back at the portrait Manson painted of him in his "The Long Hard Road Out Of Hell" book, and at Manson's claim in Kerrang! 761 that his success had been "solely responsible for giving Nothing Records the opportunity to exist".

"I didn't say anything about it at the time, but that fucking book and those quips about Nothing Records are very irritating," says Reznor. "There was a lot of revisionist history going on with the storytelling to make his position seem a little better. Some of these things are the reason there's now no communication between us."

Nine Inch Nails made their first live appearance in more than three years last week at MTV's Video Music Awards at New York's Metropolitan Opera House, performing the title track from their eagerly-awaited double album "The Fragile". Reznor admits that veteran producer Bob Ezrin - who has previously worked with Pink Floyd (on "The Wall"), Kiss and Alice Cooper - 'rescued' "The Fragile".

"I was trying to make something cohesive, but I couldn't listen to the songs objectively," reveals Reznor. "I needed someone from the outside, someone with a good storytelling approach. I had a list of people - including Brian Eno and Todd Rundgren, who'd both made records with a flow - and Bob was top of the list. He loved Nine Inch Nails and he did an incredible job."

Transcribed by Keith Duemling

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