Was Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor inspired by David Lynch? Singer decodes the mystery in ‘Song Exploder’
In this episode, he sheds light on various aspects of his career’s biggest hit record ‘Hurt’ from the 1994 chart-topping project ‘The Downward Spiral’
Netflix’s ‘Song Exploder’ is back with the second season where we will see artistes like Dua Lipa, Nine Inch Nails Latin American crooner Natalia Lafourcade and American rock band The Killers breaking down one of their biggest hits with the host Hrishikesh Hirway. In the third episode, the host sits with Trent Reznor, who is best known for being the frontman of the '90s iconic industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails.
In the episode, the 55-year-old musician sheds light on various aspects of his career’s biggest hit record ‘Hurt’ from the 1994 chart-topping project ‘The Downward Spiral’. While breaking down the song, Reznor dives deep into lyrics, vocals, melodies and layering of the sounds. While mentioning sound design, the Nine Inch Nails frontman spills the beans on how he got inspired by Hollywood’s legendary filmmaker David Lynch.
Stating that how his Grammy-winning record ‘Hurt’ had elements inspired from David Lynch’s style of sound, he asserts, “I'd been thinking about sound design in films, how it can make you uncomfortable by hiding some things in there that subconsciously can make you feel a certain way because that was what the record was about.” He adds, "I was very much inspired by the films of David Lynch. Not so much what the music was doing, but what sound was doing.”
While talking about a scene from Lynch’s 1977 indie-horror movie ‘Eraserhead’, Reznor says, “There’s a radiator, and I feel like I am going crazy. Why is that? Oh, because that humming sound in the room is super loud. It miraculously could make you feel incredibly uncomfortable.”
He further says, "It's not all meant just to repulse you, but to be able to emotionally set the stage for what I was trying to get across. So, we started laying in subliminal sounds throughout the whole record.” For the unversed, Reznor has also scored music for Hollywood blockbusters such as ‘The Social Network’, ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’, ‘Gone Girl’, and the most recent ‘Mank’.
The second edition of ‘Song Exploder’ comes two months after the first one aired in October 2020. The first season saw artistes like Ty Dolla $ign, ‘Hamilton’ star Lin Manuel Miranda, Alicia Keys and the rock band R.E.M. breaking down one of their best works. The Hrishikesh Hirway-created podcast, which originally started back in 2014, got picked up by Netflix and turned into a docuseries.
The new series sticks to the original pattern which includes artistes deconstructing their most popular or newly-made composition into its component parts. Viewers also get to see in-depth interviews, archival footage and raw recordings as each artiste breaks down their hit song, layer by layer, and gives an intimate insight into the personal inspiration behind the music and lyrics.
The second season of 'Song Exploder' airs on Netflix on December 15, 2020.