The Downward Spiral album is Nine Inch Nails’ most consistent, unified piece of music and remains one of the most artistically and culturally significant albums of the 1990s, with an influence that reaches well into the present day.
If heaven was ever a place on earth by 1980 David Bowie had yet to find it. Adopting “Kingdom Come” a song written by Tom Verlaine, as his chosen cover for Scary Monsters, Bowie elevates the lyrical struggle with God and the search for an afterlife into a new realm of spiritual angst.
Nine Inch Nails “Big Man With A Gun” portrays a negative character in order to question the media-saturation and gangsta-rap glamorization of gun violence and straight, white violent masculinity, highlighting the use and abuse of firearms in America. In spite of this, the song and Nine Inch Nails’ music in general, would stand accused of directly inspiring and causing gun violence in the form of the Columbine High School shooting of April 20, 1999.
On Big Man With A Gun Nine Inch Nails presented the negative side of guns in America — gross and grotesque, violent and vulgar — another painful reality which some of its citizens prefer not to see. As the narrative voice behind The Downward Spiral album Trent Reznor is forever torn between running away and confronting the issue head-on.
Within the twisted and broken heart of The Social Network movie we find a story that is really about the the growing pains of those who achieve greatness; behind every brilliant idea there lies the bodies and shattered dreams of peers and former collaborators, once friends, now sworn enemies; the many people who get used, beaten or simply left behind as fame and success, and often a toxic blend of ego and paranoia, take over.