What does Axl Rose have in common with Trent Reznor besides a large bank account and a bad case of writer's block? Actually the reclusive pair also share a fondness for applying the latest technology to howls of pain and anger, and studio pros like drum programmer Chris Vrenna list both as references. Reznor rode the alt-rock revolution to stardom, but few know he had an unlikely, bandanna-sportin' champion from the very beginning. A brief account of W.Axl Rose's enduring fascination with the inner workings of the pretty hate machine.
I remember late one night Axl was sitting there telling me about this band called Nine Inch Nails. He was saying "This is the coolest thing I've ever heard." And we were all sitting there going, "What the fuck are you talking about?" He had Nine Inch Nails support Guns-N-Roses in Europe, and I remember hearing how they got booed off the stage. But he was there when the rest of us were still listening to fucking Judas Priest.
Several years ago, Axl told me to go shopping for CD's for him. He gave me a credit card, and I bought him stuff like Front 242, Nine Inch Nails, KMFDM, early Prodigy-all the early Techno stuff. He was really excited by it.
Axl was well-versed in what was new and happening. He was the first person to play me Nine Inch Nails. He said, "They're gonna be huge."
Basically Axl said, "I want to change the sound of the band. I want it to be more industrial-type things." He was really into bands like Nine Inch Nails.
Axl was always a big Nails fan. I was in Nine Inch Nails for 10 years so I went from (playing with) Trent Reznor to Billy Corgan to Axl Rose.