“Is it good? I’m not sure, but I know I worked my ass off,” Trent Reznor, the Nine Inch Nails frontman/Oscar-winning film composer told me of his latest score — the one that he and Atticus Ross put together for David Fincher‘s smash-hit Gone Girl — when we sat down for an hour-long conversation a few weeks ago in Beverly Hills.
It took a while for me to accept that the person sitting across from me — a clean-cut, soft-spoken and polite family man just months shy of his 50th birthday — is the same one behind NIN, the post-punk “industrial rock” band that he founded in 1988. Ever since, the band has churned out a constant flow of hit songs like “Closer” and “Something I Can Never Have” — the sort of music that my generation grew up listening to when we were brooding or wanted to piss off our parents — en route to more than 20 million album sales worldwide, two Grammys and coming very close, this year, to earning an induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
But I should have known better than to make assumptions about Reznor, especially in light of the fact that he is the same fiercely independent artist who five years ago, in the midst of a flourishing career with NIN, took everyone by surprise by signing on, along with his longtime friend and collaborator Ross, to score Fincher’s The Social Network — not the sort of thing that most rock stars choose to do in the prime of their careers. In the end, it turned out to be a brilliant move, resulting in a haunting score that sounded unlike anything else out there at the time, and landed Reznor and Ross both Golden Globes and Oscars. Read the rest of this page »