.

Reznor Rolls Out Summer Nine Inch Nails Tour

Page 2 of 2

As an experiment, Reznor gave away a pair of tickets for the tour's dress rehearsal by hiding an envelope under a rock in Burbank. Using a Google Earth link on his Website, Reznor indicated the tickets' location with a question mark. Fans quickly found the envelope. "Well, we couldn't leave that alone," Reznor says. "We hid another 30, in places from Watts Towers to behind a mirror in a strip-club restroom to a Home Depot." One envelope was hidden in a graveyard; the location was announced after it had closed for the day: "We wanted to see if anyone would break in, because I would've. And someone did." Reznor contemplated providing the location of Axl Rose's house and encouraging people to dig in his yard for tickets, "just to see how many people got arrested on his front lawn."

On opening night at Seattle's Key Arena on July 26th, Reznor delivers on his head-exploding ambitions. After an opening half-hour played under bright white lights, the band is sandwiched between video screens upstage and downstage. The screens create optical illusions, assault the audience with strobes and even deliberately hide the musicians' images behind a wall of static. The two-hour show careens through Reznor's catalog, including a set of chilled-out Ghosts material featuring Reznor on marimba. "Hurt" is apocalyptic, and during his savage attack on "March of the Pigs," Reznor throws his mike stand like a javelin. There are still a few technical glitches, including one point where the show grinds to a halt. "Somebody's supposed to press a button to turn on the lights," Reznor tells the crowd. "Things fuck up."

Reznor is girding himself for the rest of the tour, which crisscrosses the U.S. through September before moving on to South America and Mexico. A lot of the Nineties are a blur to Reznor, who was an alcoholic and a heroin addict; he's been sober since 2001. "I've learned how to stay sane on the road," he says. "One of the great things about being fucked up on the road is that it's not as boring. There's a lot of hours in the day. 'Have I jacked off to that movie yet?' Yes, I have. Again. Finally, I realized I can get work done – I've got three hours before soundcheck, let's see if I can get a song written in that time."

He still relishes the moment when he hits the stage. "That's the ultimate – you walk out, and you feel cool. Having good lighting and a cool stage is like having a nice outfit on." Has he ever wished he had that lighting offstage? Reznor laughs. "Yeah, and have it follow me around, playing 'Closer' the whole time." He beatboxes his song's famous rhythm and adopts a faux-smug expression: "That's me."

This story is from the August 21st, 2008 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

“Whoomp! (There It Is)”

Tag Team | 1993

Cecil Glenn — a.k.a., "D.C." — was a cook at Magic City, a nude dance club in Atlanta, when he first heard women shout "Whoomp — there it is!" Inspired by the party chant, he and partner Steve "Roll'n" Gibson wrote a song around it. Undaunted by label rejections, they borrowed $2,500 from Glenn's parents and pressed 800 singles, which quickly sold out in the Atlanta area. A record deal came soon after. Glenn said the song was meant for positive partying. "If you're going to say 'Whoomp there it is,' and you're doing something negative, we'd rather it not have come out of your mouth."

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com