Trent Rezner is the founder, lead vocalist, and principal songwriter of the industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails (NIN). Trent Rezner recalls getting his first Moog Prodigy synth as a child at a shop called New York Music in Youngstown Ohio. Later due to his skills with synths and other studio gear Rezner went on to an impressive career in music that spans from rock to EDM and even film scores.
Reznor graduated from high school in 1983 and went on to study production at Allegheny College. It was around this time that he joined his first “real” band, Option 30. They became popular in the college scene in western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio but Reznor clearly wanted to get out and see more. After a year in college, Reznor dropped out of school and left Option 30.
Due to his love for and in-depth knowledge of synths was offered a job as a salesperson at a specialty keyboard and pro audio shop, Pi Keyboards and Audio, in Cleveland and moved there. While working there, he met a man named Bart Koster, he was building a new recording studio called Right Track Studios. Koster was impressed with Reznor’s skills and offered him a job as a studio technician before he even moved into the building.
Reznor founded NIN in 1988 and of which he was the sole official member until adding long-time collaborator Atticus Ross as a permanent member in 2016. Rezner has delved into the creation of tracks for film later in his career. His latest collaboration has led to one of his most noteworthy recent film soundtrack projects. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross have created full end credits music for HBO series Watchman and shared it via Nine Inch Nails’ YouTube channel.
The track that played for two minutes at the end of the premiere episode, is a throbbingly pensive and pulsating ambient track. This version of the video includes the original credits and then extends the track, with throbbing and more experimental ending.
“The Oscar-winning composition duo will release three volumes of music for Watchman, with the first volume coming on November 4th. Volume Two is due out November 25th and the final installment will arrive December 16th. Reznor and Ross planned the three releases with the series’ writers and will feature artwork that reflects the mythology of the show. They will be available digitally and on vinyl. – Rolling Stone“
Many don’t know Rezner’s synth work was actually sampled in one of the biggest “country music” hits in recent years. His music is the base of the track in “Old Town Road”. YoungKio, a Dutch producer grabbed the banjo, added some beats and then uploaded it for sale online. Lil Nas X bought it for $35, and wrote the melody to “Old Town Road” and the rest is history.
The Rolling Stone interview quotes Rezner as remarking on the sample saying:
“The way it was presented to me originally is I got a call from my management saying, ‘We got a call from a panicked manager saying they had used the sample of something off Ghosts,’” Reznor recalls. “‘They should have cleared it, but it didn’t get cleared. It’s picking up some steam on the viral Spotify charts. What do you think about that?’ And I said, ‘Look, I’m fine with it. I get how stuff goes. They’re not saying they didn’t sample it. Just work it out, but don’t be a roadblock to this.’ I hadn’t heard it yet. Then a few weeks later, I was like, ‘Holy shit.’”