.

Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson Hit CMJ with Surprise Set

An industrial parade unleashes controlled anarchy on Irving Plaza September 5th

October 17, 1996
Marilyn Manson and Trent Reznor backstage.
Marilyn Manson and Trent Reznor backstage.
Catherine McGann/Getty Images

The newspaper ads mentioned nothing about Nine Inch Nails. In fact, the ads simply read, NOTHING. The event, a surprise CMJ Music Marathon show featuring Meat Beat Manifesto, Marilyn Manson and Nine Inch Nails (all of whom are on NIN frontman Trent Reznor's label, Nothing), was veiled with the kind of hush-hush secrecy that usually accompanies an exclusive party.

Meat Beat Manifesto opened the proceedings with a phantasmagoric techno performance, but the party didn't really get rolling until the end of Marilyn Manson's five-song set of industrial ghoul rock, when frontman Marilyn accidentally clocked drummer Ginger Fish in the side of the head with a mike stand. Fish collapsed in a bloody heap and was dragged off to a hospital, where he received stitches for his injury.

From there, the pace was set, ensuring that the rest of the evening would be a bacchanalian orgy of malignant delight – but not a flawless one. Just seconds into NIN's metallic-industrial show, Reznor forgot one of the lines to "Terrible Lie" and started laughing. Minutes later, microphones were shorting out and guitars were feeding back. But rather than agonize over mistakes and technical difficulties, Reznor shrugged them off as the byproducts of his band's controlled anarchy.

NIN blended thrashy tempos and caustic guitar distortion with bleeping keyboards and grinding samples, balancing demolitionfests like "Wish" and "Suck" with more atmospheric fare like "Sanctified" and "Something I Can Never Have." Most of the songs were from the band's first album, Pretty Hate Machine. "March of Pigs" was the only track from NIN's most recent disc, The Downward Spiral. The biggest surprise came when one-time NIN member and alleged Reznor rival Richard Patrick (now of Filter) joined the band for a bombastic encore of "Head Like a Hole."

This story is from the October 17th, 1996 issue of Rolling Stone.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“You Oughta Know”

Alanis Morissette | 1995

This blunt, bitter breakup song -- famous for its line "Would she go down on you in a theater?" -- was long rumored to be about Alanis Morissette getting dumped by Full House actor Dave Coulier. But while she never confirmed it was about him (Coulier himself says it is, however), she insisted the song wasn't all about scorn. "By no means is this record just a sexual, angry record," she told Rolling Stone. "The song wasn't written for the sake of revenge. It was written for the sake of release. I'm actually a pretty rational, calm person."

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com