The time has finally come. Nine Inch Nails are now a part of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the induction ceremony finally happening Saturday night (Nov. 7). As the pandemic kept from putting on a traditional ceremony, a video package was put together to induct the group.
Iggy Pop got first crack, discussing his entry into Nine Inch Nails, seeing Trent Reznor and recollecting, “I saw a face straight out of 15th century Spain.” While the group is often credited as an industrial act, Pop added, “I actually hear a lot of funk – just listen to ‘Closer,’ and the foundation could be Stevie Wonder or George Clinton. But on top of that is a focused and relentless process of emotional destruction which paints a portrait of pain, pressure and dissatisfaction. It’s the soundtrack to the dark and lonely party that was starting to playing out in America at that period.”
Concluding his commentary, Pop suggested, “Listening to Nine Inch Nails feels like the truth. So it gets you a little bit closer to God.”
Iggy wasn’t alone in singing the praise of the Trent Reznor-led act. Producer Rick Rubin offered, “Nine Inch Nails was always outside amazing. The rest of the culture is moving and changing a certain way and they were always outside of it.”
Movie director and collaborator David Fincher suggested, “There’s any number of people that can write a good lick and produce something that’s instantly hummable but it’s when somebody drops something into your lap that has to be dealt with, that’s the difference.”
Music mogul Jimmy Iovine proffered, “Trent has an enormous impact culturally. His psyche is the lead instrument of that band,” then later adding, “Nine Inch Nails is a pure raw nerve emotion. It appeals to you and freaks you out at the same time.”
St. Vincent vocalist Annie Clark recalled, “The performance at Woodstock in the mud, that’s going to be in my brain forever. They created a world that is tumbling toward hell in the best possible way.” She joined fellow artists Miley Cyrus, Mark Ronson and Saul Williams in adding their praise to the Nine Inch Nails segment.
As for Reznor, he opened up about his approach to music, stating, “What I always thought rock should be is something rebellious. There should be something about it your parents shouldn’t like. It should be anti-establishment. It should have some sense of danger. It should have some sense of chaos.”
The vocalist then finished the segment with his own speech. In it, he stated, “What a disorienting strange year we find ourselves in. As I’ve been wrapping my head around Nine Inch Nails being welcomed into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame I think I was most looking forward to the ceremony itself where hopefully the whole camp, past and present was hopefully going to get together and have a moment and we’re all stuck in our little boxes staring at our screens.”
Reznor continued, “Even now music’s always been the thing that keeps me going and as an artist I think the most significant accomplishment or feeling is realizing that something you’ve created from a fragile and intimate place has reached out, resonated and affected someone else, possibly changing how they see the world. So as to whatever being in a Hall of Fame means, thank you for the recognition.”
While recognizing past and present members that were inducted as well as those who weren’t, he also called out some of those who’ve helped along the way with guidance and a kick in the ass.
Finishing his speech, he concluded, “This journey’s far from over if I have any say in it so let’s stop fucking around and patting ourselves on the back and get to it.”
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