Michael Trent Reznor was born May 17, 1965. His main areas of music are as a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, composer, and producer. Leader of the industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails and currently a member of How to Destroy Angels, he was previously associated with bands Option 30, Exotic Birds, and Tapeworm, among others. In 2007 he left Interscope Records and is now an independent musician.
Reznor began creating music early in his life and after being involved with a number of synthesizer-based bands in the mid-80s, Reznor gained employment at Right Track Studios and began creating his own music during the studio’s closing hours under the name “Nine Inch Nails”. Reznor’s first release as Nine Inch Nails, Pretty Hate Machine (1989), was a commercial success, and he has since released seven major studio albums. Reznor has also worked with artists such as Marilyn Manson and Saul Williams.
Reznor also worked with film composer Atticus Ross, and composed the score for The Social Network, a 2010 theatrical film about the founding of Facebook. The Null Corporation, Reznor’s own independent record label, released the soundtrack album. Earlier this year, Reznor announced that the pair would once again be collaborating with David Fincher by composing the score to the US film adaptation of the novel The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, set for release in late 2011.
Reznor is a fan of David Bowie, and has cited Bowie’s 1977 album Low as one of his favourite albums. Reznor has stated that he played the album constantly during the recording of The Downward Spiral for inspiration. Reznor also states in the 2010 documentary “Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage” that the band Rush had played a major part in his childhood influences. He also stated that he considered Rush to be “one of the best bands ever” and had gained a perspective on how keyboards could be introduced into hard rock after listening to their 1982 album Signals. Reznor also stated “Freddie Mercury’s death meant more to me than John Lennon’s”.
In 1997, Reznor appeared in Time magazine’s list of the year’s most influential people, and Spin magazine described him as “the most vital artist in music”. Bob Ezrin, producer for Pink Floyd, Kiss, Alice Cooper, and Peter Gabriel, described Reznor in 2007 as a “true visionary” and advised aspiring artists to take note of his no-compromise attitude.