The beat was complete chaos. The lyrics intense and hateful. Then there is this piano breakdown that asks if "it makes you feel better?"
I still remember when I heard March Of The Pigs in 1996. It was awesome, nestled on a triple J compilation it stood out for its more abstract take on heavy music. At that stage in my life it was perfect- mental, distant, yet strangely comforting. I would hunt down it's parent album and immediately fell in love with it. I was on The Downward Spiral and my teenage years would never be the same.
When I was lost in 99 they released a two disc opus called The Fragile. My girlfriend at the time had no chance of understanding why I would choose to sing "Broken Bruised Forgotten Sore!" Admittedly it did make more sense when we broke up. Just as TDS characterised the few years before, TF would soundtrack me through illness and recovery and culminate in the 2000 Big Day Out when I finally saw the five headed monster live. Things would continue this way until 2005, when free of a previously restrictive relationship and in a new frame of mind I would hear With Teeth and my new outlook would be met by the lyrics of You Know What You Are and The Hand That Feeds. Their reknewel timed my own.
So this is it?
After 20 years, Trent Reznor pulls the plug on Nine Inch Nails- my favorite band. Am I sad? Actually no, as a fan there was no better band to be a fan of the last five years. The have released four full albums of interesting and quality projects. With Teeth was followed by a live DVD Beside You In Time (first HD music DVD). In 2007 Year Zero was preceded by a ground breaking Alternate Reality Game and set lists covering the full repetoir including the rarely heard Last and never before played We're In This Together Now. Then there was the site remix.nin.com that allowed users to remix nin tracks any way they want. The YEARZEROREMIXED album came with a data disc to facilitate this. Photos started appearing on the site of strange instruments and rather non-NIN personnel. The result was the brilliant Ghosts I - IV project, available in a range of formats and configurations to cater for different types of fans. (I have the $120 delux addition that is my favourite package ever.) Less than two months later a free download appeared again, recorded by the soon-to-be touring band, Discipline. Within weeks a full ten track album had appeared. The Slip is completely free and still available here. Late last year he uploaded 400GIG! worth of raw unedited concert footage for fans to build a performance dvd of the awesome Lights In the Sky tour. Again, there is no band on Earth that has given their fans this much to go on in such a short period.
So I reflect on the impact NIN has made on my life, both as outlet for frustration and inlet for new ideas. Finally I have a partner who loves NIN with me and maybe (just maybe) it's time to take a break from NIN for both of us. We share a favourtie NIN song (or songs) and will see them for the third time together this week. (It's possible NIN actually got us together but that is a story for another time). The journey has been all encompassing for nearly fifteen years and since they seem to be in a good place (and I am certainly in a good place) then this is the perfect time for TR to split NIN and live a little.
This week makes the seventh and eighth time I have seen Trent and his revolving door of collaborators. And I am back at a festival, at the same venue I saw them in 2000. (pics here for Melbourne 2007 and Sydney 2007).Unlike other bands, they are back for two shows to wave goodbye and celebrate 20 years of innovation and industrial mayhem.
So I'm just going to go sing and dance and rock out and reminisce about my own development.
Now doesn't that make you feel better?