Following the release of Pretty Hate Machine, Nine Inch Nails spent over two years straight on the road – largely because Reznor was suing his record label at the time, TVT, to be released from that deal. As the liner notes for the band's 1992 EP Broken indicate, the release was crafted "without the permission of The Record Label." Eventually released by Interscope, the eight-track offering was a quick but brutal statement of purpose. The centerpiece was "Wish," a hard-charging, Grammy-winning rock riot that further opened the floodgates to Reznor's brooding inner demons.
The musician was fully aware of the path he was on. "I realize that's the strength of Nine Inch Nails – there's not much room for happy songs," he told Rolling Stone. "And I like that; I don't want that to change."