Nine Inch Nails Inducted Into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
"What a disorienting, strange year we find ourselves in," frontman Trent Reznor in his induction speech. "As I’ve been wrapping my head around Nine Inch Nails being welcomed into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, I think I was most looking forward to the ceremony itself – where hopefully the whole camp past and present was going to get together and have a moment. And we’re all stuck in our little boxes, staring at our screens.
"Even now, music’s always been the thing that keeps me going. As an artist, I think the most significant accomplishment or feeling is realizing something you’ve created from a fragile and intimate place has reached out, resonated and affected someone else, possibly changing how they see the world."
Although Nine Inch Nails have been primarily a one-man band through 11 albums since 1989's debut, Pretty Hate Machine, Reznor thanked his various bandmates – who flesh out the group onstage and occasionally in the studio – during his speech. He referred to them as "a strong collection of people around me that have offered everything from encouragement to guidance to a kick in the ass when needed." The Rock Hall also inducted musicians Atticus Ross, Robin Finck, Chris Vrenna, Danny Lohner, Ilan Rubin and Allesandro Cortini as part of Nine Inch Nails.
After a brief introduction by Iggy Pop, who inducted the band into the Rock Hall, Reznor said in his pre-taped acceptance speech that "this journey is far from over if I have any say in it. So, let’s stop fucking around, patting ourselves on the back and get to it. Hope to see you all in the flesh soon."
Reznor hasn't always been so enthusiastic about being inducted into the Rock Hall. In 2018, three years after Nine Inch Nails' first time on the ballot, he said: "I honestly couldn’t give less of a shit" about being inducted. "I’m not gonna sleep any better, included or not. With that being said, it’s always nice to feel you’ve been appreciated to some degree, but it’s not on my list of things I have to achieve before I die."
After inducting the Cure into the Rock Hall in 2019, however, Reznor began to feel differently. "It ended up being a pretty cool experience," he said. "And I thought, ‘All right, it doesn’t feel as bullshit as I kind of snarkily dismissed it as.’ I don’t have any problem admitting I’ve changed my opinion about something."
The annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony was supposed to take place in Cleveland in May, but was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, this year's class – which also includes the Doobie Brothers, T. Rex, Depeche Mode, Whitney Houston and the Notorious B.I.G. – are being virtually inducted tonight during pre-recorded segments for an HBO special.