« Song Exploder

Nine Inch Nails - The Lovers

2017-12-06 | 🔗

Trent Reznor started Nine Inch Nails in 1988. He released eight albums, sold over 20 million records, won two Grammys and was nominated for 11 more. Then, in 2010, Trent Reznor and his longtime collaborator Atticus Ross scored the film The Social Network, and they won an Oscar for it. A few years later, in 2016, Atticus Ross joined Nine Inch Nails as an official member. The duo’s most recent release is Add Violence, an EP, and in this episode, Trent and Atticus break down a song from it called “The Lovers.”


This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Listening to song exploiter, where musicians take apart their songs and piece by piece tell the story of how they were made. My name is ratification. Your way song exploiters brought you by progressive. Have you tried the name your price tool, yet it works just the way it sounds. You tell progressive how much you want to pay for car insurance and I'll show you coverage options that fit your budget. It's easy to start a quote, you'll be able to find a rate that works for you. One of the many ways can save with progressive get your quote today, a progressive dot com and see Four out of five new auto customers recommend progressive, progressive casualty, insurance company and affiliates price and coverage match limited by state law. Song exploder sponsored by distro kid district, it has always been the easiest fastest and least expensive way to upload all your music to streaming. Services like spotify, apple, music, tiktok and more they offer so much more, including a wide range of free promotional tools for artists like the promote
A website that includes links to your music on streaming services and more district kid or even automatically pay your collaborators. So you don't have to hire an account to get ten percent of your first years membership. Just had to distro kid dot, com, slash, vip, slash song, exploded. Trent reznor started nine inch nails in nineteen. Eighty eight, he released eight albums sold over twenty million records, won two grammys and was nominated for eleven more in two thousand and ten trent reznor and his longtime collaborator. Atticus Ross scored the film the social network and they won an oscar for a few years later in two thousand and sixteen atticus ross joined nine inch nails as an official member. Now as a duo. Their most recent release is add violence and he p in this episode trend atticus,
break down a song from it called the lovers I am trent reznor a year. Half ago we decided that the next major snails work, rather than one kind of lengthy, album, mid split it up in the EU peace in the plans, three, the first which was not the actual events very kind of aggressive return. Guitars and confrontational type of music It was fun it was exceeding the current.
B and violence which the lovers is from when we started that out it was less define it was going to be? It was gonna be another punch in the face when one is gonna feel like it started at that point, but when, in a more potential experimental direction the way the lovers began is I had the color of poem. I guess what it was about was the inevitability of diction or seduction where one could try to resist, but you gonna wind up succumbing and the setting was a visual one of new orleans a place. I lived for many years hot summer night time gas, lamp burning hundred degrees. It two in the morning human earthy, and I that feeling. Well, I also the feeling of being are fulfilled
just living in new orleans in the summer and nothing you wanting to do something but unable to stop myself so that where the lyrics took place and that would end up being the verses slipped back again. Ah, if you. To return to the place where I already have always been. If I just really loved allowed myself to see, these words, the verse, which was the denial phase in the chorus, was gonna, be the release and succumbing to whatever it is I prince of the shape of the song. But I had no idea was gonna sound like atticus ross, where we originally started, was bring to life a score for this thing that come out of twenty.
And we know each other really well we're close friends, one the foundation of our musical relationship with. That kind of familiarity. I can say Hey here's these words. It might be terrible. I think it's about this. I can not with him with the medium amount of skin on fire feeling? that I couldn't do it somebody. I didn't know that, while I had to sheet, which I would look at and study, and then we start to pay together. What might be the best tool kit, too, MR life reaction. Talk about it. Here's the setting of the song, sometimes a literal place, or a visual or a vibe that wicked both have our own versions are what that is visually and our heads and it helps us choose arrangement and choose what type of instruments? How can we achieve that. How can we score that scene
the creator vocabulary sound. It would be right, for that is what we ve learned a long time ago was too many options led to paralysis, sell it. That setting- and I know that feeling is of beings? locked into something in that environment them. Instinctively can reach for things that we may not have reached out. If we hadn't talked about this case he was saying was tried. Luminous garden said that up there's a manufacturing folk tech that makes you weird little boxes that do a variety of things, but one that we like the law is voluminous garden. It's like sooner box with a mental played on the top with some thick. Our strings kind of sticking out to declare if you can tell from their description the This garden is not a traditional musical instrument. I thought and national studio before we started recording the interview, and I didn't really know what I was looking at. There aren't any
it's three played on it. It's more of a conceptual sound manipulator I put a link on the song is put a you can see what it looks like Essentially, what happens is my tapping on that mental top? I could pick By mike, which feeds through delay and reverb circuit and then can create a loop, we're gonna thought Let's make it sound, like fingers, tapping on a table nervous something adds an anxiety why I'm in the throes of addiction, so we were doing things like dropping keys and souls hitting it with a hammer banging the table real hard that it sitting on the sea? What comes I'm trying to make it kind of accidental capturing a little bit we we recording the output of that and protocols. What
Guess who do then is cut together, two or three loops allusion leave for the twenty minutes it takes for that process to happen. Not sign is a fresh air and come in and suddenly there's a weird tone happening? hmm No, drone that's a snippet of illusion Scott, whether we ve got engaged that informed. The key of the song he's then cut together, the school polly rhythmic drum lip the river generated by hitting arranged in a way that is much better than it was when I walked out of the room. The different mindsets, different hats, one has to wear in this environment. One of them is the
subconscious fallen the muse eyes closed. Another one is radically different. Is the editorial? What socks? What was good? What's the peace that fits with them I love, haven't him? Do that part, because I can stay in the other mode of trying to analyze exactly what's going on and still state subconscious in a way it can this momentum going that neither of us are bogged down too much in our skill sets complement each other so it's him arranging stuff, I just got him. Into things
The next thing that happened was tuning. Kick drum to now sit with that just to anchor it. That was what got us saying. Alright, that's the foundation of one part of the track. We knew that was kind of the verse. So, let's see where that leads us, so the rhythmic loop, led to the tuned kick from, which fell on a base. How about it imprecise, unsure guitar that feels a little exploratory in a little apprehensive. I'm just gonna. Do the circular sunday descending line of guitars around it, though Was it meant to be kind of serpent teen like just going to play and purposely kind of not have it be a four bar or eight bar thing? That was laid single line, a number five times
trying to remember what I'd done the time before, but not intensely stand a note for three or two one minute: explaining him atticus? My intention to sis ii would happen, and when I came back in the room after he'd arranged, he just left him sit on top of each other, so they got off because I wasn't play in the same way it sounded cool the right, a dream like hulu, natori feel, like so slowly spun me around, and I'm not sure where, where I am they didn't sound, overly dissonant and one on the whole song to feel seductive, but uneasily seductive idle, the credit for that that just his arrangement pulled at all. There is attack tile kind of. The humanity has been left in I feel that it is an exploration of human
in one way or another, I think some people think were real. Meticulous in the studio were not really win. Inspiration hits and you get that thing that fails exciting. Let's as fast as we can see where that leads until it goes away with plenty of time to bring out the it sucks hammer winter months, not over, think things it to be gaining of a creative flow? Did you have a different process back before you two started working together? Was it different when you, you're on your own. We ve been doing so long now that this feels like It always has been this way, but were free. Hey machinery is a lack of. Understanding how to make a record and that with its own set of inexperience and intimidation and broke who was kind of the same way downward spiral a lot of fear involved
cause. I made a record that people liked and will I ever be able to do that again. Being in studio and creating was tortuous. High pressure self imposed My heart is, but I ll enjoy the act of doing it A few years later, the fragile now, I'm in the throes of addiction and my brain is not working his best and I'm scared. Record took forever as two and half years working on an album because of fear. I wasn't embracing the process of creating a straining at through it the pivot. For me, too, They saw getting clean, which is when I met atticus there, I was scared, if I could do it sober. I didn't know, and you told yourself enough- invalidated terrible behaviour. Bile, I need I'm an artist, that's what these guys did new kind of bullshit, but
To my amazement, that's I feel like a color came into my own and, like I can embrace the process of doing those present in me ended up having fun in studio. So, back to this tracked lovers, the trick we used quite a bit is having modify sequences that don't loop in time. So if it's in for four, rather than having a sixteen step, sequencer, have it ten steps
it's the same pattern, but it's starting at a different spot, which makes it sound completely different, as it sits over that drum that it adds complexity that still feels musical and also like the way it rhythmically anchored that drum loop into something that just felt like a good foundation that we could sustain for a while to let the vocal breathe all that everyone seems to be with these it makes it was me, allow myself permission to examine period of my life that I'd consular chose not to think about very much Then immersed myself in it in a kind of what, if the path, am currently on. Wasn't really the right one, and I just when hard left the other way. My true nature is being denied, it feels curve dangerous to think about that. But I
weird to allow myself to kind of deep dive into what that might be like to return to the place where I already had all my spanish class. Just really luck out myself. The difficult part of the song was trying to place the verse vogel. What's the right approach, They re recorded a couple times trying to find the right process, love that has to do with delivery as well, where the emphasis is purred. Let me record organisers talk which feels kind of natural drop. It and then see how sits over the music part of it. Considering what the role of the verse vocal is in terms of the narrative of story,
It was written in a cut up style that wasn't necessarily linear, so it wasn't a store. You had to listen to every bet. What, if we kind of made it overheard driving? If you want to listen to this there, but it's not in the way and if I want to you, can ignore, like it's, a tv set left on, why you known signals inverse to you might notice is talking in law, thing and whatnot actually from a tv. The whole song structure was meant to be a rhythmic saw a puzzle and the verse that Lee as to the feeling of release. When you got to the course yeah
choosing sound, sir instrumentation, nor what timbers villainy is we are. Thinking about if there's something that feels electronic or unfamiliar to juxtapose, something that feels acoustic and sonically familiar to avoid everything, sounding like science fiction and then led to an acoustic piano with anchor in, would have the kind of firmness and that kind of foundation that could hold the chorus together. That feel ok! I can exhale for a second. The But doesn't it triumphant, because you ve given up the fight I'm in resisting resisting resume, can't I'm going dive in I'm going to say. If this is where I am This is where I am
to me when I listen to it, I feel connected emotion me to this story, and huge part of it is how he is delivered to the courts. Yeah the cussing at twice and the second time was the best one. And then we didn't go back in and say: okay, let me micro tune that note. Leave it the way it is That's him saying this primarily gently fairyland secure, but this course is excellent. Not to be discarded, because the voice, cracked or whatever, a lot of what I get for music? Is your humanity? Is the imperfections? Is then the soul
is as much as I enjoyed floating around with self, destruction and depression and staring into the abyss caught up with me. It took me a place where it wasn't sexy and it wasn't romantic. It was just ass death I really didn't want that, and I would do anything to get away from that and needed to make some serious life changes and going to redefine who I am and why I'm here, and I feel good about my life right now. I would be happy not ever thinking about that stuff again it is making us on like this, allow you feel, like you, don't have to think about it anymore. I think I'd be just as happy not having open that care
firms and thought about it, because I find myself I dream about it now, as well as its thing now. I say We made something artistically, I'm very proud of, but I am feeling like man, I'm glad I process that and was able to work that out of my system. I couldn't welcomed it back into my system of reaction, it's something that even Didn't physically glutton do anything. I've lived it in a way that It's part of me again, and now here's the lovers by nine inch nails in its entirety.
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Transcript generated on 2022-06-07.