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I tried to make it something that opened the palate for NIN, so we don't get pigeon-holed. It was a conscious effort to focus more on texture and space, rather than bludgeoning you over the head for an hour with a guitar. I was really into electronic music at the time. I related to it on a song-writing level, a mood level, and on a song-structure level I like working within the framework of accessibility, and songs of course, but I also like things that are more experimental and instrumental, maybe.
Pink Floyd's The Wall was also heavy in Reznor's rotation during the making of the album. Reznor set out to make an album that was a departure from the Broken EP "when I went into the studio, I knew that I didn't want to make Broken again" , which he described as "a real hard-sounding record that was just one big blast of anger.
Perkins played a number of drum parts that were recorded live in the studio; these tracks were then turned into sample loops. Reznor took a similar approach to recording guitar parts. Reznor would record 20 to minute long sessions of himself playing guitar on a hard disc recorder with a Studio Vision sequencer, then would cut out parts of the recording he found interesting for later use.
Reznor said, "99 percent of the stuff we do—even vocals—is recorded into the computer [hard disk] first. We get an arrangement together and then dump it to tape. Self Destruct", Reznor ran the entire mix through the mic pre-amps of several modules plundered from an old Neve board. Like other NIN releases, some songs never made it to the final album. In this case, some songs were " The Beauty Of The Drug ", which was a general out take, and " Just Do It ", which was a track prompting the album's protagonist to kill himself.
The latter was axed at the request of Flood , who refused to have anything to do with it. An article from Sound On Sound contains a list of some of the equipment used on the album:. Contrary to popular belief, it was not used to record The Beatles' "Strawberry Fields Forever", nor is it owned by Reznor.
There are numerous layers of metaphors that are present throughout the album, which leaves it open to wide interpretation. As a whole, The Downward Spiral is defined by Nietzschean concepts and a prominent theme of existentialism.
It is a concept album in which the overarching plot follows the protagonist moving through his own "Downward Spiral", dealing with religion, dehumanization, violence, disease, society, drugs, sex, and finally suicide. Reznor has stated that the character is a representation of himself:. Prior to that I would have considered myself pretty normal. With the Downward Spiral, I can remember where I was in my head, what I was thinking, and I can remember writing that record, and the mindset.
This record that was about an extension of me, became the truth fulfilling itself. Most fans seem to agree that "Closer" noted for its "I want to fuck you like an animal" lyric has meaning deeper than its surface lyrics note the desperate dependency expressed by the final line, "you are the reason I stay alive".
The narrator was not exactly modeled after Reznor's previous life, though he would later go through his own sort of "downward spiral" during the Fragility tour, battling issues such as drug abuse. This is a lengthy interpretation of the album's story written by two men back around Read it at:. The book's press release states that it "explores the creation and cultural impact of The Downward Spiral , one of the most influential and artistically significant albums of the twentieth century" and features "new interviews with collaborators and artists inspired by the album.
When the two men finally met face-to-face, Jimmy cut to the chase and asked what it would take. Among other demands, Trent asked for his own imprint so that he could sign acts with a degree of independence from Interscope. This he got — and more — and in , Nothing Records was born. In the early hours of August 9 , , at Cielo Drive, four members of the Manson Family brutally murdered five people. These included actress Sharon Tate, the wife of director Roman Polanski, and their eight-and-a-half-month unborn child.
Twenty-three years later, the trip into The Downward Spiral began at that very same address. Both featured artists making drastic left turns during fraught periods in their lives. This culminated in an incident during a show at Montreal Olympic Stadium, when bassist and songwriter Roger Waters spat in the face of one rowdy fan. The Downward Spiral clearly pulled on threads from both albums. From Low, as illustrated by a largely instrumental second half created with ambient supremo Brian Eno , was the use of synthesisers to build soundscapes that conveyed an atmosphere of disquiet NIN would, of course, end up supporting David Bowie on his Outside Tour in From The Wall, The Downward Spiral took the idea of having an overarching concept in which to articulate a sense of frustration and alienation.
Trent Reznor, like Roger Waters , had felt the deep undercurrent of negativity that can envelope a rock star on a big stage. And, as Roger Waters had done on The Wall, Trent built an album around a wounded central figure to help him navigate it. His relationship with bandmate Richard Patrick had become so fractious that Richard would quit in the midst of recording The Downward Spiral, and form new band Filter soon afterwards.