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Page 1

 Trent Reznor hits rock bottom, comes to terms with his addiction and embraces music again ...

Page 2

 Reznor explains why The Fragile didn't work and ropes in Dave Grohl for With Teeth ...

Page 3

 "I would hate to think I would ever be in a position where I'm faking it to get a paycheck." ...

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"There are things that I said I would never do/ There are fears that I cannot believe have come true."
— "The Line Begins to Blur"

Originally, With Teeth was going to be a concept album called Bleed Through.

"About five or six songs into writing it, the songs started to sound good on their own and they didn't need this framework to work together," Reznor says. "I took a moment to be editorial and say, 'I think it's an unnecessary idea,' and it wasn't out of laziness. It felt like this is going to be an album of a collection of songs that are friends with each other, but they don't have to rely on each other to make sense."

As with Nine Inch Nails' past albums, With Teeth is destined to be blasted from the stereos of men with relationship problems. Lyrics like "Why do you get all the love in the world?" and "Don't you f---ing know what you are?" are the perfect remedy for a bad breakup.

Reznor typically doesn't discuss what songs are about ("Books are better than movies because you design the set the way you want it to look," he offers as an analogy), but he cops to With Teeth being a relationship record, just not the kind you think.

"A lot of this was [about] my relationship with myself, the world at large, and where I might fit into that," he explains. "I learned in my life that I don't know everything. I'm not always the exception to the rule. Also [it's about] my relationship to a disease that's going to kill me if I don't deal with it, and I came very close to that. Hopefully disguised enough that it's not a terribly boring record about recovery and addiction and that nonsense."

 "The Hand That Feeds"
With Teeth
(Interscope Records)

When Reznor first started finishing songs for With Teeth he would send them to Rick Rubin, who produced one of the greatest recovery records in modern rock, Red Hot Chili Peppers' Blood Sugar Sex Magik. Reznor had always produced his own material in the past, however, and eventually he got enough confidence that Rubin's guidance became unnecessary.

"I felt like 'I just need to do this my way, I need to see it through, for better or for worse,' " Reznor says. "It wasn't against any ideas Rick had, it was just every cell in my body as an artist said do this record how you would do it, 'cause I didn't feel short of ideas and I felt like I had a plan and I don't need to approve it by anybody. And I talked to Rick about it and he was cool about it. It was just the natural progression of the record and I'm happy with how it turned out."

Along with the 13 tracks on With Teeth, the sessions yielded at least seven more songs Reznor hopes to eventually release. And since wrapping the album, he's already been writing the next one. "I haven't interrupted the writing process this time, and I feel energized," he says.

"So naive/ To keep holding on to what I want to believe."
— "The Hand That Feeds"

Green Day singer Billie Joe Armstrong recently said, "It's sexy to be an angry young man, but to be a bitter old bastard is another thing altogether." It's something Reznor's been thinking about lately. In a few weeks he turns 40.

"I feel like I've come out of a coma and thought, 'Wow, how did I get to be this age?' " he muses. "When I've sat down to write, I've always had the main criteria to be honest with myself about how I feel about whatever it is I'm writing about. As long as it feels valid to me and feels sincere, I'll do what I do under the moniker of Nine Inch Nails if it's appropriate. I would hate to think I would ever be in a position where I'm faking it to get a paycheck.

"Frankly, on that topic," he continues, "It's been four and a half years since we've toured and a big question for me was wondering if this is going to still seem valid and relevant. ... And as of right now, we've played a handful of shows and it felt real onstage. I don't feel like I'm playing a role that I used to be. It feels relevant and valid and I'm very happy that it feels that way. It feels good to be onstage."

Just where he belongs.


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 "The Hand That Feeds"
With Teeth
(Interscope Records)

 "March Of The Pigs"
The Downward Spiral
(nothing/TVT/Interscope Records/The Atlantic Group)

Natural Born Killers - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
(nothing/Interscope Records/The Atlantic Group/Warner Brothers)

The Downward Spiral
(nothing/TVT/Interscope Records/The Atlantic Group)

(Interscope Records/The Atlantic Group)