The mastermind behind "Nine Inch Nails"is known as "Trent Reznor" and is thought of by many as one of the most original sounding artists of the 90's. Michael Trent Reznor, born 17th May1965, in Mercer (Pennsylvania) Formed Nine Inch Nails in 1988 in Cleveland, Ohio (USA). He had graduated, and became a recording engineer in Cleveland, Ohio, but was fed up working as a "Synth prodder for no-hopers" as he described (Trent had re-arranged Buddy Holly's "True Love Ways" for the Michael J Fox/Joan Jett movie, "Light Of Day"). Due to this, he decide to seize the creative reins, and recorded and produced his debut album, "Pretty Hate Machine" (1989). This album made very little impact on anyone, let alone the music industry, and was a commercial failure. However, Pretty Hate Machine created enough interest to secure Reznor, and Nine Inch Nails, slots supporting bands such as "The Jesus And Mary Chain" and "Peter Murphy".
Slightly later, "Ministry's" Al Jourgenson, recruited Reznor for a side project, named "Revolting Cocks". Later on, they re-united as "1000 Homo DJ's" for a cover of Black Sabbath's "Supernaut" in 1990. Al Jourgenson also remixed Nine Inch Nail's cover of Queen's "Get Down, Make Love". Finally, in 1991, "Pretty Hate Machine" took off. It's screaming hit "Head Like A Hole" triggered this after hitting the charts, and a European tour with Guns 'n' Roses was secured. After supporting Guns 'n' Roses on their European tour, Reznor assembled a band for the first "Lollapalooza" tour. By this time, Nine Inch Nails had a large following, which only grew with the ferocious performances that they put on.
However, Trent Reznor had a large fall-out with his record label, TVT, which delayed the release of a new album. Because a full album could not be released at this point in time, Nine Inch Nails released their first "Mini album" in 1992. This album was called "Broken", and was described as "Harder and more abrasive" than the debut. Yet, "Broken", sold well and still hit the top 10 in the album chart. Later in 1992, "Broken's" follow-up ("Fixed") was released. Fixed contained out-takes and remixes of the songs that appeared on "Broken". "Happiness In Slavery" was the latest Nine Inch Nails video to create controversy. In previous promotional videos, Nine Inch Nails had settled for violent live recreations and hints of S&M. However, "Happiness In Slavery" contained full masochistic scenes, as performance artist, "Bob Flanagan" enjoyed clamps applied in unmentionable places.
1994 saw the release of "The Downward Spiral". This album was promoted as a concept album, and showed up Reznor's true roots (70's progressive rock). The Downward Spiral stormed the transatlantic top 10's, with it's multi-layered mix of Synthesisers, and ferocious wall of guitars. Also in 1994, Reznor covered the Morbid Mancunian's "Dead Souls" for "The Crow" (Starring Brandon Lee). Due to Trent Reznor's dabblings in film music, Trent Reznor ended up masterminding music for Oliver Stone's "Natural Born Killers" (1994). Reznor had long admired the director, and had sampled dialogue from "Midnight Express" in Nine Inch Nail's "Sanctified". Also in 1994, Trent Reznor put on a spectacular headlining performance at "Woodstock 2", established his own label "Nothing" (Signing such acts as Marilyn Manson), and featured in 1996's "The Fan" soundtrack. Reznor also contributed to David Lynch's "Lost Highway" (1997) and wrote music for the computer game, "Quake".