Listen to Remixes by Ed Unger under the moniker ‘UngerRose’.
The NIN remix was for a contest in Atlanta which won the ultimate prize – meeting Trent Reznor and having him hear the remix! Below is the original write up after meeting Trent Reznor and watching NIN perform in the mosh pit afterwards.
…..Last night was one of those nights you remember forever. A night that makes you walk around dumbfounded for a week – Then years later you tell your kid about it.
Getting to Phillips Arena with no time to spare, we meet a NIN promoter (not sure of his title) named, James that was to ‘walk us through’ the whole process and show us where to go, what to do, and what not to do, etc. He was a real nice guy that instantly put us at ease explaining that Trent was a down to earth guy and would take his time with us, that is, if he liked us. We get escorted in an elevator to the first floor and on through a series of doors and security. We wait for awhile and then get let into a green room where the band is hanging out. They were chillin out and eating. Very down to earth and friendly guys. They answered a few questions we had and signed our poster and CD. We then get led to the other side of backstage following signs that read: “NIN: Solitude” with an arrow pointing the way we were going……”Hmm… Trent likes solitude…Don’t we all?”
So we wait outside his dressing room while he listens to the remix. At this point I start getting butterflies in my stomach and notice how fast this whole ordeal is going by…”No! Stop…really feel this moment!” Just then, the body guard comes out and says that Trent is ready to see us. We go in and there he is; Standing like a solid rock ready to shake our hands. His eyes were really intense and deep. He had shaved off his hair so there was no obstruction when looking at his face. He looked healthy….tan. Like he worked out…A LOT.
The first thing he says to me is: “This remix is awesome!!! It’s the best remix I’ve heard!”…..uh…(jaw hitting the floor….Did he just say that or am I dreaming???) Trent said, “Yeah, man…it’s really good. I’m impressed with the creativity.” Trent goes on to ask us what gear was used to do it and then says “Well, I can re-track the vocals for you and send them to you.” (I cut and spliced the hook to rearrange it in the remix – You can’t really hear the splice unless you have a trained ear.) Trent goes on to say, “Yeah, I’d be happy to do it so it doesn’t sound cut… did they play this on the radio?” We reply, “Uh…no, not yet.” We give him our CD and he looks at it and asks, “Is your contact information on here?” We say, “Yes, of course!” James then hands us a sheet of paper and pen and says, “Here, write your email address on this.” (I’m thinking, I don’t want to waste any time doing that right now!!) I say, “No, no we have a business card! Here take one.” (Wow…Trent wants to send us his vocals to work more on this remix!?!?! HOLY SHIT!!!)
Trent laughs and says, “I don’t even have a business card” (Uh…you don’t NEED one Trent, trust me!!! LOL) At this point, time is standing still, It seemed like we were standing there forever. Like a sliver of time had stood still just for us to really drink it in….and we did. I looked around and James and Jen (girl from Interscope) and the bodyguard were all circled around, smiling, enjoying the moment to.
It is then we remember that we have a sheet of well thought out questions. We ask if it’s ok to ask them and he’s more than happy to. (we had about a total of 12 and got through 4 or so)
Disclaimer: The answers to these questions are not verbatim. We did not record this interview so it was impossible to remember every detail of what he said.
What tough dilemmas & hardships did you face before your work on Pretty Hate Machine really got noticed? And how did you maintain pushing forward afterwards?
He was in Cleveland, Ohio at the time, interned at a studio in town, and was learning how to engineer on his own by working with productions that no one else wanted to work on in that studio. He wasn’t getting much label support for Pretty Hate Machine so he decided to tour, tour, and tour some more. Regardless of success, he knew he would be doing music no matter what and kept pushing forward through those tough times. At the time of the first Lollapalooza is when things started taking off he finally was reaching a massive audience.
How did collaborations come about like with Pig Face and how do you feel about those days looking at them through new eyes? He said it was kinda whorish. He said the major labels thought that if they got all of these great names together, no matter what they put together, it would sell. When he went in to record, they would only have a drum beat for him, no music, and say just sing something and record that once or twice Ok, that good. Fortunately, he prepared lyrics just in case something like that happened. The project for him didn’t really work out – He was looking for more of a collaboration and decided he didn’t want his name on that kind of project.
What do you look for in working with new bands or what is it that has captivated you when choosing to work with other bands (Prick, Marilyn Manson, etc.) Trent said he took interest in bands that were really saying something and had an interesting sound. He said MM had opened up for NIN years ago when there were just two of them and that Kevin from Prick was in an old band with him a long time ago. He’s really not into A&R or developing someone’s career but is more into collaborations these days.
We saw your MTV Interview and have a question about addiction. Would you say you are at peace now? And how have you changed from who you were then? He said he kept putting his hand in the fire and had to absolutely hit rock bottom before change could occur. The biggest struggle was with the change of lifestyle. He said Damn, what do I do now? Everything I used to do I can’t do anymore – There’s nothing to do! He had to find other ways to have fun. Hence With Teeth became a creation through new eyes and a new focus.
Afterwards, we mentioned how much of an inspiration he has been and how thankful for his time with these questions and comments on the remix.
This may sound like an ordinary interview but there was so much more that we discussed. We couldn’t possibly put in every word and remark to respect Trent’s privacy. We just wanted to share a tiny glimpse of our amazing night for all of those who voted for us.
After the questions were done he signed our poster and CD and shook our hands. I felt so much warmth in that room and realized again that we’re all human. We all have so much to offer the world, our own expression, and it’s up to us to choose to be successful. How much hard work are you willing to put in? Do you sabotage yourself the minute something good starts to happen?
I felt that Trent was very real and genuine.
When we left the room, James turned to us and said, I have to tell you guys, he’s never responded like that to anyone else he’s met. He really meant all that. We gave him our thanks and he replied, I didn’t do anything, you did it.