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Trent Reznor Recalls Making Early Albums, Moog Influence

There’s never a time when there’s not one of them [Moogs] in the room, because it’s part of the vocabulary of how I arrange music,” Nine Inch Nails singer says

Moog Music recently announced that, after 13 years, they would discontinue production on one of their most innovative devices, the Minimoog Voyager. The instrument was crucial to Trent Reznor on both a musical and personal level, and in a new interview, the Nine Inch Nails mastermind talks about his love of Moog and how the Voyager has played an indispensable role in his music.

“From my own perspective, I can’t overestimate how important the Voyager has been,” Reznor says. “It managed to satisfy any mini-Moog need I had. I see it everywhere I go, and I always have one in backup in case something might happen because it’s part of every project I’ve ever done. The end.” Reznor also recounts, while touring in support of The Downward Spiral, meeting Bob Moog backstage. “It was a treat to actually meet somebody that was the driving force behind something that very much shaped how I view and create music,” Reznor said.

“The first synth I ever got, which was the greatest day of my life at the time, was the Moog Prodigy,” Reznor remembered. “It was pretty new. There was a music store in Youngstown, Ohio – New York Music – and through begging and chore-doing, my grandparents bought this synth for me. And that was really the huge turning point. I knew that thing inside and out. And it just felt musical. I didn’t have anything to compare it to, but it was deeply satisfying, and it felt like a musical instrument and not just a collection of circuitry in a box.”

More than 25 years after Nine Inch Nails released their debut LP, Reznor continues to rely on Moogs. “My entire musical career, from the first demoes of Pretty Hate Machine to the present, really the only constant has been Moog in one form or another,” Reznor said. “There’s never a time when there’s not one of them [Moogs] in the room, because it’s part of the vocabulary of how I arrange music.”

In This Article: Nine Inch Nails, Trent Reznor

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