Trent Reznor

Trent Reznor is the driving force behind industrial rock "band" Nine Inch Nails. Though he tours under the NIN umbrella with other musicians and a few have been featured on NIN albums, Reznor conceives and performs his music largely by himself in the studio.

He was born on May 17, 1965, in Mercer, Pa. Reznor studied classical piano as a child and added keyboards by the time he was playing in garage bands as a teenager.

Reznor then moved to Cleveland, where he cut a demo that resulted in his signing with the indie TVT Records. Assuming the name Nine Inch Nails, Reznor issued Pretty Hate Machine (1989), which debuted his dark, atmospheric music. The album yielded the alternative rock radio hit "Head Like a Hole" (RealAudio excerpt). He also began his practice of touring behind his music with a guitar-heavy band.

The angst-ridden 1992 EP Broken hit the top 10 of the Billboard 200 albums chart and was the first effort on Reznor's own Nothing Records. It also earned a Grammy Award for the track "Wish."

The Downward Spiral (1994), featuring cuts such as "Closer" and "Ruiner," debuted at #2 and sold well. NIN performed a highly praised show at Woodstock '94. That same year, Reznor conceived the soundtrack to the controversial Oliver Stone film "Natural Born Killers."

After a long hiatus, during which Reznor produced Marilyn Manson's Antichrist Superstar, NIN was resurrected last year for The Fragile. Though the two-CD set debuted at #1, sales still have not reached the multiplatinum level of its predecessor. It included intense songs such as the title track, "Starfuckers, Inc." (RealAudio excerpt) and "Into the Void."

NIN is now on tour.

Other birthdays Wednesday: Jesse Winchester, 56; Bill Bruford (Yes, King Crimson, Genesis), 51; Audie Desbrow (Great White), 43; Paul Di'anno (Iron Maiden), 41; Dave Abbruzzese (Pearl Jam), 36; and Malcolm Hale (Spanky and Our Gang), 1941–1968.