|Date of Birth
|Place of Birth
||Mercer, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Michael Trent Reznor is an American singer-songwriter, composer, and record producer. As both a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, Reznor has led the industrial rock project Nine Inch Nails since 1988; he left Interscope Records in 2007 and is now an independent recording artist. As of 2010, he and his wife Mariqueen Maandig are members of the post-industrial trio How to Destroy Angels with Reznor's fellow composer Atticus Ross, with whom Reznor scored the David Fincher films The Social Network and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, winning the Academy Award for Best Original Score for the former.
Reznor was previously associated with the bands Option 30, The Innocent, and Exotic Birds in the mid-80s. He gained employment at Right Track Studios in Cleveland and began creating his own music during the studio's closing hours under the name of Nine Inch Nails. Reznor's first release as Nine Inch Nails, the 1989 album Pretty Hate Machine, was a commercial and critical success and Reznor has since released seven major studio albums. Outside of Nine Inch Nails, he has contributed to the albums of artists such as Marilyn Manson and Saul Williams. In 1997, Reznor appeared in Time magazine's list of the year's most influential people and Spin magazine described him as "the most vital artist in music".
While he was enrolled in Allegheny College, Reznor joined local band Option 30 and played three shows a week with them. After a year of college, Reznor dropped out and moved to Cleveland to pursue a career in music. In 1985, he joined The Innocent as a keyboardist; they released one album, Livin' in the Street, but Reznor left the band after three months. In 1986, he joined local band Exotic Birds and appeared with them as a fictional band called The Problems in the 1987 film Light of Day Reznor also contributed on keyboards to the band Slam Bamboo during this time.
Reznor got a job at Cleveland's Right Track Studio as an assistant engineer and janitor. Studio owner Bart Koster later commented, "He was so focused in everything he did. When that guy waxed the floor, it looked great." Reznor asked Koster for permission to record demos of his own songs for free during unused studio time. Koster agreed, remarking that it cost him "just a little wear on his tape heads". While assembling the earliest Nine Inch Nails recordings, Reznor was unable to find a band that could articulate his songs as he wanted. Instead, inspired by Prince, he played all the instruments except drums himself. This role remains Reznor's on most of the band's studio recordings, though he has occasionally involved other musicians and assistants. Several labels responded favorably to the demo material and Reznor signed with TVT Records. Nine selections from the Right Track demos were unofficially released in 1988 as Purest Feeling and many of these songs appeared in revised form on Pretty Hate Machine, Reznor's first official release as Nine Inch Nails.