Nine Inch Nails
|Origin||Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.|
Nine Inch Nails is an American industrial rock band founded in 1988 by Trent Reznor in Cleveland, Ohio. The band's live performances contrast with its in-studio counterpart; although Reznor is in complete creative control of Nine Inch Nails in-studio, he typically assembles groups of backing musicians to interpret songs for live performances. In 2009, Reznor announced that Nine Inch Nails was no longer touring, but that he would continue to create music under the name. In 2013, he announced that Nine Inch Nails would return to the stage and revealed tour dates for the Twenty Thirteen Tour.
The band's lineup has changed consistently throughout the band's history, with Reznor remaining the only constant. Notable musicians who have contributed to live performances include Chris Vrenna, Richard Patrick, Jeff Ward, James Woolley, Danny Lohner, Robin Finck, Charlie Clouser, Jerome Dillon, Alessandro Cortini, Josh Freese, and Ilan Rubin. In 2016, frequent Reznor collaborator and multi-instrumentalist Atticus Ross was announced as an official member of Nine Inch Nails, becoming the only person other than Reznor to have held an official position in the band. The configuration of Nine Inch Nails as a live band has evolved consistently. Early incarnations of the band featured three people playing guitar, drums, keyboards, and samplers. Later incarnations replaced the keyboards and samplers with an additional guitarist, and further incarnations added a bassist. The live component later settled on a five-piece band between the Self Destruct Tour in 1994 and Lights in the Sky tour in 2008. In September 2007, Reznor expressed his interest in moving away from the "rock band configuration" to explore "other ways [to] present the material in concert", and by 2009 the live band was once again pared down to four positions.
Between major tours, live band members have on occasion contributed instrumental performances to official Nine Inch Nails releases, though creative control and direction has always been the responsibility of Reznor. Nine Inch Nails has released one album and four videos featuring the live band: Closure (1997), a double-VHS set featuring live performances from the Self Destruct Tour; And All That Could Have Been (2002), released in CD and double-DVD formats featuring performances from the Fragility Tour; Beside You in Time (2007), released on Blu-Ray and DVD and featuring performances from the Live: With Teeth Tour; and Another Version of the Truth (2009), an officially sanctioned fan-made release in HD and triple-DVD sets featuring performances from the Lights in the Sky Tour.
Nine Inch Nails studio recordings are heavy on synthesized sounds and one might assume that the group's material doesn't translate well in a live setting and they'd be sorely mistaken. As the band's Friday night (5/13) performance at Boston's Orpheum Theatre.
In theory, Nine Inch Nails shouldn't be a great live band. Reznor's music sometimes consists of non-organic instruments thrown straight onto a computer, at times being twisted to the point of not even sounding like the original source.