March 4, 2004
Oh Look, A Shiny Thing

Electric goth warlock (or whatever Spin calls him now) Trent Reznor is widely known for creating some of the most unique and innovative music to ever sit on a shelf and collect dust. But those of you who have other things in life to think about may not be aware that Reznor not only produces his own material that will never see the light of day, but he also frequently works with other artists on material that will never see the light of day. It's true! You may think Trent is doing nothing but sitting around on his ass and eating Doritos. But in fact he can often be found in the studio, working very hard on music that you will never, ever get to hear due to procrastination, neurotic perfectionism, changes of mind, legal complications, sunspots, global warming, Ringo Starr, paper cuts, or whatever the raison du jour is.

Some of this never-to-be-heard music falls under the category of Nine Inch Nails, which basically consists of Reznor, a bucket full of angst, and whatever studio lackeys he's suckered into pushing various buttons and turning assorted knobs for him. But the rest of it consists of collaborations with unfortunate, nave musicians who actually think that they will benefit in some way from their work with Reznor, and that the end result will be a completed record sitting on store shelves. Instead of doing anything worthwhile today, I've taken the time to examine some of these album-delaying endeavors in what I've chosen to call The Reznor Distraction Roundup! Glory be!

Let's start with the most well-known and irritating of the distractions: the widely rumored and perpetually nonexistent Tapeworm. Consisting of Reznor, Maynard J. Keenan (TOOL, A Perfect Circle), Atticus W. Ross (The Bee-Gees), and some other losers, this project was first mentioned as far back as 1996. Various others have been "in" Tapeworm in the past, including former NIN dude Charlie Clouser, but quit once they decided the joke just wasn't funny anymore. Keenan, being a total dick, perpetuated the sick joke even further by playing some scrapped A Perfect Circle song at several of their concerts and calling it a Tapeworm song.
Recently, Tommy Victor (Prong) admitted to Rolling Stone magazine that he was one of the people who actually fell for the gag:

"Actually, that's one of the reasons I threw in the towel for a while," Victor told the magazine. "I was promised so much by that whole camp ? not to sound bitter or anything. I went down to New Orleans and worked on some stuff, but I never heard any finished product. But some of that stuff I worked on appeared on some MARILYN MANSON stuff. I was ripped off that's happened several times."

Sucks to be him.

Projected Release Date: the day after never

Deciding that working on the NIN record full-time wasn't really doing it for him (Priorities? What are those?), Reznor got in touch with his old college drinking buddy Zack de la Rocha of the famed 90's ska/punk outfit Rage Against The Machine, and offered to produce his first solo record. de la Rocha, having no idea that even the most tenuous association with Reznor would result in his project getting sucked into a massive, crushing vortex of nonproductivity from which nothing can possibly escape, agreed to let him produce the record, and the rest is history.

Projected Release Date: when pigs fly

The most recent Reznor distraction involves Ian "Who The Fuck Is This Guy, He's Not Jim Morrison, Get Him!" Astbury, of The Cult and The Doors (2000) fame. Rumor has it that Reznor and Astbury are working together with engineer Leo "Sex God" Herrera on an as-yet-unnamed project. Apparently Astbury was unsatisfied with pissing off The Doors' entire fanbase by having the gall to try passing himself off as Jim Morrison II, so he is going after Nine Inch Nails' fanbase as well by providing yet another excuse for Trent Reznor to not put out anything ever. Of course Reznor, who had nothing better to do besides release a painfully long-overdue album, wholeheartedly agreed. Ritalin? What's that?

Projected Release Date: who cares

The road to hell is, as they say, paved with good intentions, and Reznor probably covered a good ten-mile stretch of it with the failed Doom III project. After the success of his dark, creepy soundtrack for the groundbreaking Quake, news of Reznor's involvement with id Software's latest installment of the frighteningly-popular Doom series was met with excitement and moist anticipation, even though it spelled out yet another nerve-grating delay for the next NIN album. However, in true pot-kettle fashion, Reznor ultimately bailed out of the project, claiming the game's developers were taking too long with it. And just to be a little bit more annoying, he took all of his work so far with him.

Projected Release Date: N/A

Former controversial shock-rocker and prodigal son Marilyn Manson has recently asked Reznor to produce his next attempt at an album, entitled Kill Your Mother, Rape Jesus, Shoot Heroin. Reznor, being bestest friends ever with Manson after they resolved their well-publicized feud back in 2000, wholeheartedly agreed. The album will consist entirely of material by Tommy Victor of Prong, with some leftover scraps from the Doom III soundtrack thrown in. Despite the fact that the whole thing is essentially already recorded, Reznor will still find a way to delay it indefinitely, which is just as well since nobody really cares about Marilyn Manson anymore, anyway.

Projected Release Date: hopefully never

This project isn't very well known (yet), but it looks like something that might certainly be kind of interesting if we were ever allowed to listen to it. According to my inside sources, Trent Reznor, Maynard Keenan and Atticus Ross were hanging out at Keenan's house in Los Angeles, and had consumed an entire tray of his special magic brownies. After staring at a TV test pattern for approximately four hours, Ross suddenly had a revelation. Start a new band, record a bunch of songs backwards, and call it Wormtape. And when they perform live (as if), they can all face away from the audience. Well, except for Maynard, who would actually face towards the audience for once (even though those cretins don't deserve it). Reznor, too stoned to realize that it was an insanely stupid idea, wholeheartedly agreed.

Projected Release Date: time is like, just an illusion, man.

That concludes the Reznor Distraction Roundup! Stay tuned for the next exciting Meathead Perspective update, where I'll be posting some hilarious paparazzi shots of Trent in the bathroom! ROTFLMAO! Bye for now.

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