Between inspiring the artist to notch the longest-reigning Billboard Hot 100 hit of all time and providing Black Mirror with its perfect pop parody fodder, 2019 was a big year for Trent Reznor — but 2020 is set to surpass last year thanks to the news that Nine Inch Nails will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on May 2 in Cleveland.
Reznor, the primary creative in the long-running industrial rock outfit whose sophisticated approach to composition attracted fans from David Bowie to David Lynch, reacted to the news of NIN entering the Rock Hall on its third nomination.
“A sincere THANK YOU goes out to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame voting body – it always feels great to be recognized for your artistic efforts and I am honored. Many congratulations to this year’s fellow inductees (DM finally!) – see you back in Cleveland where it all began for me!”
The “DM” refers to fellow 2020 inductees Depeche Mode. Along with NIN, Depeche tips to the Rock Hall’s increasing openness to synth-based rock acts, particularly in the alternative realm. As for Cleveland, while Reznor was born in Pennsylvania, he moved to Cleveland to kick start his music career after dropping out of college. (An Academy Award and Rock Hall induction later, it’s starting to seem like he made the correct choice.)
The multi-disciplinary talent hasn’t always had the kindest words for the Rock Hall (although after the drubbing Hard Copy gave him in 1991, who could fault Reznor for laughing in the face of most institutionalized media). Still, after years of tepid statements toward the institution, Reznor backtracked a bit in 2019 while inducting the Cure at the 2019 Rock Hall ceremony.
“I remember saying to myself not so long ago, ‘How can I take this awards ceremony seriously if they’ll [induct] X, Y and Z, but they won’t even acknowledge The Cure?’ But then I got a phone call, and here we are,” he said at the Brooklyn ceremony while inducting Robert Smith & co. “Let’s just say I’ve never been so happy to eat my words as on that day.”
The artist to induct NIN into the RRHOF has YTBA (yet to be announced).
— Additional reporting by Gary Graff.