Fans Try To Grasp Meaning Of New Nine Inch Nails Video

By Teri van Horn for Sonicnet on September 1, 1999

Industrial rockers' clip for 'We're in This Together,' which debuted Thursday, inspires multiple interpretations.

Trent Reznor appears to be the only survivor of Nine Inch Nails' new video.

The eerie, black-and-white clip for the song "We're in This Together" (RealAudio excerpt) - the second single from NIN's forthcoming album, The Fragile - depicts the industrial rockers' leader and hundreds of black-clad extras running frantically through a barren desert, as though trying to escape an unspecified evil. Ultimately, Reznor is left alone, surrounded by the empty clothing of those who ran with him.

The video, which premiered on MTV on Thursday, has Nine Inch Nails fans theorizing about its possible meanings, as they await Tuesday's much-anticipated release of the two-CD The Fragile.

"I think that the people in the video might [represent those] who have stuck by him in his life, in his music," the 27-year-old webmaster of the Nine Inch Nails fansite www.9inchnails.net, who identified herself only as "April," wrote in an e-mail. "All the running - who knows? It will take more than a couple times to figure it out.

"That's the beauty of a NIN video," she continued. "They are worth watching over and over, and it means something different for everyone, which is exactly what Mr. Reznor wants. He knows what it means to him. For someone to take what they will from it ? what a compliment to him."

Amid the video's myriad scenes of crowd chaos, people at times stampede through a barren desert, some unlucky souls falling to the ground as others' feet hurtle around them. At other points, the masses scurry through tunnels, up staircases and through a train station.

"We will make it through somehow," Reznor sings. When he's not in the crowd, quick shots show the singer behind a fence, chain-link shadows falling across his face.

"I think the fact that he's alone at the end is really significant," Daniel Tyler, 19, wrote in an e-mail. "His fall-out with [Marilyn Manson], the death of his grandmother - stuff like that that's happened in the last few years, it seems to me like he's [echoing] that in the video in his own weird way."

The clip, filmed by director Mark Pellington, was shot in Guadalajara, Mexico, last month. Local journalist Francisco Gonzalez said he believed the video portrays "some sort of nightmare Reznor was having. We were told he was supposed to be fighting with his own interior demons, that it was a story about him and his [sub]conscious."

The album, NIN's third studio effort, was produced over the past two years by Reznor and engineer/mixer Alan Moulder at Reznor's New Orleans studio. Among the songs that already have been released are the moody ballad "The Day the World Went Away" (RealAudio excerpt) and the hard-rocking "Starfuckers, Inc." (RealAudio excerpt), which were issued as singles.

In addition to their 1989 debut, Pretty Hate Machine - which included the alternative-rock hit "Head Like a Hole" (RealAudio excerpt) - and 1994's The Downward Spiral, NIN have released a number of remix projects, including 1995's Further Down the Spiral.

Transcribed by Keith Duemling

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