Earlier this week, we were treated to the earliest live footage of Tool, grainy recordings of them performing “Hush” and “Sober” circa 1991. Today, we time-travel back a couple of more years to 1987 — when Nine Inch Nails hadn’t yet been officially formed and a 22-year-old Trent Reznor was still playing keyboards for a terrible synthpop outfit named Slam Bamboo.
Slam Bamboo, which also featured original NIN drummer Ron Musarra, had been invited onto AM Cleveland, a local Ohio morning show, to perform their 1986 single “House on Fire”. As the video above shows, the band was as ’80s as you could be, and Reznor knew darn well how to sport an ace haircut; it also pretty much confirms that the NIN frontman was destined to wear black forever.
Though Slam Bamboo’s tunes were decidedly more poppy than anything in NIN’s discography, it’s not hard to see where “House of Fire” ended and the industrial dance elements of NIN’s 1989 debut, Pretty Hate Machine, began; it’s believed that Reznor started writing that LP while still in Slam Bamboo.