Trent Reznor is a genius. Yet he comes from a small town in Pennsylvania and his parents got divorced when he was really young and he grew up with his grandparents. So he had a somewhat different upbringing. When he was only five years old, he started to play the piano and then down the road he started messing around with the saxophone and then he got really into computer generated music. Trent is a multi-instrumentalist and has a lot going on in his head. For him, the music he has created since 1988, its all about an escape. Escape from reality, a normal life and the celebrity world that he never really felt was kind to him. A lot of his lyrics deal with torture, submissiveness and being dominated. A sense of danger seemed to encompass the world of Nine Inch Nails, his industrial rock group. Reznor started producing soundtracks and really, he became this sort of “mood composer.”
In the studio, Trent lays down all of these digital tracks with guitars, drum loops, computer tricks and a techno vibe that definitely creates a dancing yet ambient sound of regret and pain. However dark you might think it sounds, his stuff is so catchy. He has a band but they only play live with him on stage. Otherwise, all of these noises on the albums pretty much just come from his creative mind and body. It has been his responsibility for the direction that this band followed over the years. He is aggressive yet he is passionate. Several albums over the years have defined his sound. Pretty Hate Machine with its “Head Like A Hole” anthem or The Downward Spiral’s infamous recordings at a house where Sharon Tate was murdered all seem to sum up the kinds of atmosphere associated with that of the Nine Inch Nails sound.
NIИ is the popular symbol, by the way. There is no true meaning as to the name or what it means. Only rumors have circulated over the years. So this album, Hesitation Marks, truly is a brand new music moment for me. I grew up in the high school and college years always listening to NIИ and wearing hats and shirts with that symbol. It was all about a gothic, grungy, indie and hipster kind of fashion era of my life. But with this new release, it is like Trent flipped everything in his life upside down on its back and emits the same noise but with the opposite feelings about his former drug and alcohol usage. He is married now with two children and he is sober. However those dark sounds and dismal lyrics are still present.
The “hesistation marks” title suggests that of someone who contemplated taking his own life but only leaving “cutting traces” as a reminder but never going through the actual deed of ending his life. He must live with the pain but use it as energy into a positive direction with a digital masterpiece of a record that does everything its supposed to do. It is a way to get all of these real emotions out there in a vulnerable sort of way without fear or remorse and just let it be. I have attached a new video with insane imagery and a layer of sounds that truly define him as an artist before (pre-dating today) and Trent’s music now as a homage to himself and to his fans that no mater what you go through in life that as long as you’re not compromising your true feelings then people will still love you, no matter what. Good job Mr Reznor. Thanks for staying with me for all of these years.