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Famous Like Me > Composer > R > Trent Reznor

Profile of Trent Reznor on Famous Like Me

Name: Trent Reznor  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 17th May 1965
Place of Birth: Mercer, Pennsylvania, USA
Profession: Composer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia
Trent Reznor during The Fragile era.

Trent Reznor (born Michael Trent Reznor May 17, 1965), is an American musician.

Reznor is the founder and main creative force behind the band Nine Inch Nails. He is also the only official member of the band: different producers, engineers and musicians are assembled to assist him in writing and performing new material. Reznor writes all of the lyrics himself and is in sole control of the direction of the group.


Michael Trent Reznor was born in Mercer, Pennsylvania, about 60 miles north of Pittsburgh, to Michael Reznor, an interior designer and bluegrass musician, and Nancy Clark. Reznor was called by his middle name to avoid confusion with his father. When Trent was five, his parents divorced, and he was sent to live with his maternal grandparents in Mercer. His sister Tera, born in 1971, remained with his mother.

Trent began playing the piano at the age of five and showed an early aptitude for music. In a 1995 interview, his grandfather Bill Clark remarked, "Music was his life, from the time he was a wee boy. He was so gifted." His former piano teacher Rita Beglin said Reznor "always reminded me of Harry Connick, Jr." when he played. Reznor was sufficiently talented on the piano that it is believed he could have pursued a career as a pianist.

At the Mercer Area Junior and Senior High Schools, Reznor learned to also play the saxophone and tuba. He was a member of both the jazz and marching bands. Former Mercer High School band director Hendley Hoge remembered Reznor as "very upbeat and friendly." Reznor also became involved in theater while in high school. He was voted Best in Drama by classmates for his roles as Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar and Professor Harold Hill in the Music Man.

Option 30 album cover with Reznor on the far right

Reznor graduated from high school in 1983 and enrolled at Allegheny College. He studied computer engineering and music, and he joined a local band named Option 30 which played three shows per week. After a year in college, Reznor decided to drop out to pursue his career in music fulltime.

With his high school friend Chris Vrenna, Reznor moved to Cleveland, Ohio. In 1985, he joined a band named The Innocent as a keyboardist. They released one album, Livin' in the Street, but Reznor quit after just three months.

In 1986, Reznor appeared as a member of the fictional band The Problems in the film Light of Day. He also joined a local Cleveland band the Exotic Birds.

He got a job at Right Track Studio (now known as Midtown Recording) as a handyman. Studio owner Bart Koster commented how Reznor "is so focused in everything he does. When that guy waxed the floor, it looked great." Koster allowed Reznor to use the studio during off hours, which he used to record demos for songs that ended up on Nine Inch Nails' first album, Pretty Hate Machine. These demos were later released as a bootleg under the name Purest Feeling.

Reznor was the credited producer for Marilyn Manson's albums Portrait of an American Family (1994), Smells Like Children (1995), and Antichrist Superstar (1996), as well as the soundtrack for the films Natural Born Killers and Lost Highway. Reznor is credited for "Driver Down" on the soundtrack for Lost Highway. There are two other tracks, "Videodrones; Questions" and "The Perfect Drug" which are credited to Nine Inch Nails instead.

Reznor likes video games, most notably Doom by id Software, which he has said he played in the Nine Inch Nails tour bus after doing shows. He also created the soundtrack for id Software's hit Quake. (As a side-note, the NIN logo also appears on the nail gun ammo boxes in Quake and prior to this, embedded in the floor of a secret room in Ultimate Doom).

Trent returned to work with id Software in 2003 as the sound engineer for video game Doom 3. However, due to "time, money, and bad management", he had to abandon this project, and his audio work did not make it into the game's release. The original audio files can be found on the Internet, although they are not officially endorsed by Reznor or id Software. Chris Vrenna, former drummer for Nine Inch Nails, produced the music for Doom 3 with his partner Clint Walsh.

During the five years between his albums The Downward Spiral (1994) and The Fragile (1999), Trent Reznor struggled with depression, social anxiety disorder, writer's block, and the death of his grandmother. It has also been revealed by Reznor that he had been suffering from alcohol addiction during the Fragile era. It was reported that Reznor had considered committing suicide during this period. In a 1999 interview for Rolling Stone magazine, he said that "It just took me time to sit down and change my head and my life around. I had to slap myself in the face: 'If you want to kill yourself, do it, save everybody the fucking hassle. Or get your shit together.'"

Tapeworm, a collaboration with Danny Lohner, Maynard James Keenan of Tool, and Atticus Ross of 12 Rounds, was in production for almost ten years, but an update on the official Nine Inch Nails website has declared that the project has been terminated. The only known performance of any Tapeworm material was when Keenan's other band A Perfect Circle performed the song "Vacant" on tour in 2001. "Vacant" appears on A Perfect Circle's third album eMOTIVe, reworked and retitled "Passive". "Passive" was subsequently used in the first bar scene in the movie Constantine.

Reznor is believed to be involved in discussions regarding a musical version of the novel Fight Club.

Work with other bands


  • "My Monkey" for Marilyn Manson, appears on Portrait of an American Family (1994)
  • "Victory (Nine Inch Nails Remix)" for Puff Daddy & The Family, appears on Victory: Remixes (1998)


  • "Lunchbox" for Marilyn Manson, appears on Portrait of an American Family (1994)
  • "Deformography" for Marilyn Manson, appears on Antichrist Superstar (1996)
  • "Mister Superstar" for Marilyn Manson, appears on Antichrist Superstar (1996)


  • "Cryptorchid" for Marilyn Manson, appears on Antichrist Superstar (1996)


  • Portrait of an American Family (Marilyn Manson, 1994)


  • "Man That You Fear" for Marilyn Manson, appears on Antichrist Superstar (1996)


  • Get Your Gunn, tracks 1-2 (Marilyn Manson, 1994)
  • Portrait of an American Family (Marilyn Manson, 1994)
  • Natural Born Killers (Soundtrack, 1994)
  • "Down in the Park" for Marilyn Manson, appears on Lunchbox (1995)
  • Prick, tracks 1, 3–5 (Prick, 1995)
  • Smells Like Children (Marilyn Manson, 1995)
  • Antichrist Superstar, tracks 1-2, 4-10, 12-16, 99 (Marilyn Manson, 1996)
  • Lost Highway (Soundtrack, 1997)
  • Sweet Dreams, tracks 1-3 (Marilyn Manson, 1997)
  • The Beautiful People (Marilyn Manson, 1997)
  • Tourniquet (Marilyn Manson, 1997)
  • "Victory (Nine Inch Nails Remix)" for Puff Daddy & The Family, appears on Victory: Remixes (1998)
  • Voyeurs (Two, 1998)
  • It Dreams (Guest producer, Jakalope, 2004)
  • "We Want It All" with performer Zack de la Rocha, appears on Songs and Artists That Inspired Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004)


  • Antichrist Superstar (Marilyn Manson, 1996)


  • "Burnt Offering" for Machines of Loving Grace, appears on Burn Like Brilliant Trash (At Jackie's Funeral) (1992)
  • "Burn Like Brilliant Trash (Dub 120 BPM)" for Machines of Loving Grace, appears on Burn Like Brilliant Trash (At Jackie's Funeral) (1992)
  • "Symphony of Destruction (The Gristle Mix)" for Megadeth, appears on Foreclosure of a Dream (1992)
  • "Stone Cold Crazy (Re-produced by Trent Reznor)" for Queen, appears on Stone Cold Crazy (promo) (1992)
  • "Missing Link (Screaming Bird Mix)" for Curve, appears on Blackerthreetrackertwo (1993)
  • "Who Was In My Room Last Night (Trent Reznor Remix)" for Butthole Surfers, appears on The Wooden Song (1993)
  • "Light (Fat Back Dub)" for KMFDM, appears on Light (Single) (1993)
  • "Mother Inferior Got Her Gunn (Trent Reznor Remix)" for Marilyn Manson, appears on Get Your Gunn (1994)
  • "The Heart's Filthy Lesson (Alt Mix)" for David Bowie, appears on The Heart's Filthy Lesson (1995)
  • "I'm Afraid of Americans" for David Bowie, released as a single, (1997)
  • "Pleasant Smell (Rethought by Trent Reznor, Keith Hillebrandt and Clint Mansell)" for 12 Rounds, appears on Pleasant Smell (1998)
  • "Pleasant Smell (Rethought by Keith Hillebrandt, Clint Mansell and Trent Reznor)" for 12 Rounds, appears on Pleasant Smell (1998)
  • "Lapdance (Trent Reznor Remix)" for N*E*R*D, appears on Spin This (compilation) (2001)
  • "Growing Up (Trent Reznor Remix)" for Peter Gabriel, appears on Growing Up (2003)
  • "Vertigo (Trent Reznor Remix)" for U2, appears on Vertigo (promo) (2005)


  • "Communique" for Lucky Pierre, appears on Communique (1988)
  • "I Need to Get to Know" for Lucky Pierre, appears on Communique (1988)


  • "Communique" for Lucky Pierre, appears on Communique (1988)
  • "I Need to Get to Know" for Lucky Pierre, appears on Communique (1988)
  • "Supernaut" for 1000 Homo DJs, appears on Supernaut (1990) (vocals distorted due to a dispute with TVT Records)
  • "Suck" for Pigface, appears on Gub (1991)
  • "The Bushmaster" for Pigface, appears on Gub (1991)
  • "Supernaut (Trent Reznor Vocal Version)" for 1000 Homo DJs, appears on Black Box: Wax Trax! Records, The First 13 Years (1994) (vocals restored)
  • "Past the Mission" for Tori Amos, appears on Under the Pink (1994)
  • "Black Bomb (Jerry in the Bag)" for Josh Wink, appears on Herehear (1998)


Reznor is in possession of John Lennon's Mellotron, which he has used on Broken, The Fragile, and Marilyn Manson's third full-length studio album, Antichrist Superstar.

Trent Reznor is known to speak out strongly against organized religion and recently the policies of President George W. Bush.

Reznor has recently made certain song session files from With Teeth available publically, allowing anyone to remix them using commerical software like Garageband or Protools. To date, Reznor has released files for "The Hand That Feeds" and "Only."

While writing The Downward Spiral, Trent lived in the Tate mansion where the Manson family murders took place. He only learned of the grim history of the home until after he moved out, and it was demolished. When he found out, he went back, and took the door as a souvenir.

He is rather short, only about 168 centimeters tall (5'6").

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Trent Reznor