This writeup not meant to be the rambling account of why Mr Reznor is god. It is meant to be a discussion of why it would be that he is held in such high esteem, and why the statement "Trent Reznor is god" is so often repeated. It is also a discussion about his work, and why his fans would consider it to be of such high quality that they would compare its author to a deity. I am not claiming that he is god, I am merely trying to ascertain why it is so so many others do.
There are a great many bands which have formed, released a hit single, and faded from memory in the amount of time a Nine Inch Nails fan will wait for a new release. Trent Reznor seems to work on a five-year cycle, and his fans are so devoted that they are willing to make do with remixes and the works of affiliated bands in the time between his releasing a new album.
There can be little doubt that Trent Reznor is a man of incredible musical ability, and his work revolves around themes that so many can relate to personally. Whether is be the anger and rage of 'Pretty Hate Machine'; the anguish against oppression of 'Broken'; the suicidal emotions and feelings of 'The Downward Spiral'; or the more positive yet longing outlook of 'The Fragile'; his work contains an emotional depth that is so very lacking in the work of so many other artists.
“Trent Reznor is God”; so often will this be heard from a dedicated fan of Nine Inch Nails – yet what is it about this man and his music that has created such a cult-like following? In his music he exposes his own feelings and emotions which are so very far from the all-knowing and perfect image one would expect of a deity. He seems so very incapable of hiding any facet of his being from his audience; and all that can be gleaned from his work is a deeper understanding of a man who is just as flawed as any one of us. Where so many people bottle up their fears and emotions, he does exactly the opposite – baring his soul for an audience of millions.
Outside of his musical work, the albums and their supporting tours, the man is seldom seem or heard from. He is a riddle of sorts, and his fans are struggling to figure him out. After 'The Downward Spiral', just when they may have thought that they could understand him, he came out with 'The Fragile' and left them all reeling. His works charts the emotional and spiritual growth of one man, and it is as if his fans simply want to know where he will go next.
On his official website (www.nin.com), a fan asked him the following:
“You seem to be an intensely private and isolated person. Yet you can scrape out your soul and present the results to millions of people. What gives?”
“shy, loner misfit type writes personal lyrics from journal figuring the world won't notice. World unexpectedly notices. Shy, loner, misfit type retreats further feeling unnaturally exposed.”
Through his albums, Trent Reznor bares his soul to an extent that is almost unheard of; and with every new album he reveals an entirely different layer to his psyche. Perhaps his appeal comes simply because his fans want to know what comes next, and to try to understand the man whose work seemingly embodies the pain and passions that we all struggle with at some point in our lives – and how he is capable of surviving it and moving on. Is that why he is so often referred to as being a god?
Whatever it is, wherever his appeal is drawn from, his fans choose to patiently wait out the time between releases rather than be sucked in by whatever passing musical fad MTV would have us grab a hold of today. Compared to Trent Reznor's work, so much of the music being released today seems so artificial and devoid of emotion. So we wait patiently for his new releases - hoping for more passion, more anger, more rage, more of the sheer emotion that he he has given us so far.