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.
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.
BBC Radio presenter Edith Bowman talks to the dynamic duo about their soundtrack work – a really great podcast series – definitely check out the other episodes!
Reznor had his doubts about Hurt, conscious that even though it is not explicitly about suicide, perhaps a death revisited, it might still allow people to wallow in its mood long enough to fantasise about their own passing. Even though Hurt perhaps offers a glimpse of hope, it remains mired in realisation perhaps too late, and this distanced perspective can become appealing if it is allowed to be romanticised into the idea of being ‘in a better place’.