On the Beat

October 18, 2013

Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor channels his inner Hank Williams

Trent Reznor drew unlikely inspiration from country legend Hank Williams Sr. for a song on the new Nine Inch Nails album, which the band will show off Monday in Raleigh.

When interviewing someone who talks to the press a lot, it’s always nice when the subject tells you they’ve not yet been asked a particular question -- all the moreso when the question in question seems obvious. So I recently asked Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails something I noticed in the credits of his new album “Hesitation Marks,” about the song “While I’m Still Here.” According to the credits, it contains “portions of ‘Weary Blues From Waiting’ (Hank Williams Sr.).”

“It has to do with the feeling of that song,” Reznor said. “I was thinking a lot about Hank Williams and how his catalog has some of the loneliest, saddest songs ever. In context, him singing certain things is chilling to me. So we were (expletive) around with this deconstructed beat, and I just started singing ‘Weary Blues’ over that in an earlier version of the song. That kind of became the breadcrumbs leading back to the source, and congratulations on being the first to ask about it. So we asked for permission to use a few lines of lyrics.”

For more, including Reznor’s thoughts on Nine Inch Nails’ unexpected comeback after a 2009 farewell tour and details on the group’s upcoming Raleigh show, see the previewfrom Friday’s paper.

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David Menconi
News & Observer music critic David Menconi's random (and we do mean random) musings about all things related to music and culture of the popular variety.

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