Trent Reznor on Approach to Adding Nine Inch Nails Members to Rock Hall Induction: “Make This F**king Happen”

"From my perspective, I just felt it was the right thing to do"

Nine Inch Nails Trent Reznor Rock Hall
Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor, photo by Melinda Oswandel

    Last month, Nine Inch Nails were officially inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Initially, Trent Reznor was set to be the only member enshrined, but the NIN mastermind saw to it that other members of the industrial band were inducted, as well.

    Nine Inch Nails were announced as part of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame class of 2020 back in January, with an induction ceremony originally set for May in Cleveland. The ceremony was eventually canceled due to the pandemic, and the 2020 inductees were instead honored with a November television special on HBO.

    In September, it was revealed that six current and former members of Nine Inch Nails — Atticus Ross, Robin Finck, Chris Vrenna, Danny Lohner, Ilan Rubin, and Alessandro Cortini  — would be added to the Rock Hall induction alongside Reznor, after it was presumed for months that Reznor would be the only NIN honoree.


    We recently caught up with Reznor and Ross to discuss their film-scoring career in light of Consequence of Sound naming the pair our 2020 Composers of the Year. During that conversation, we asked Reznor about the process that went into adding his fellow NIN members to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction, and he told us it was a mission that was dear to his heart.

    “From my perspective, I just felt it was the right thing to do,” began Reznor. “I think, kind of lazily, the approach was, ‘Okay, we’re just going to induct you.’ Then I thought I’d push back and say, ‘Well, you need to at the very least induct Atticus, and you should induct these guys.’ And that was pre-pandemic. And the endless kind of justification of that, which wasn’t necessarily fought by me, as much as me telling my manager: ‘Make this f**king happen … Enough.'”

    He continued, “It’s backed up by the precedent where you could look at other bands and say, “The Cure got these guys in. That guy’s been in the band X amount of time.’ Again, I wasn’t the one presenting the case, but I felt strongly that it’s a shared recognition. And it would certainly feel better to me. It wasn’t rolling a boulder up a hill. They weren’t against it. I don’t know where their minds were at, but I’m glad it turned out the way it did.”


    As for Ross, the honor came unexpectedly, but with much appreciation. “From my perspective, I try and approach life without any expectations,” remarked Ross. “Something like being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and something like Trent going out on a limb to make sure that happened, I’m incredibly flattered. And I think it’s incredibly generous.”

    Ross added, “I mean, did I ever think I was going to be in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame? No, I never thought that would be the case. Did I ever think any of this was gonna happen? I’m just trying to get through the day. You know what I mean? So, it’s all been good.”

    Along with Nine Inch Nails, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s class of 2020 also included Depeche Mode, Whitney Houston, T. Rex, Notorious B.I.G., and the Doobie Brothers.

    Nominees are usually revealed in the fall before the year of enshrinement, but due to the pandemic, the 2021 nominees won’t be unveiled until early next year. Among the artists eligible for the first time will be Foo Fighters and Jay-Z.


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