I've been a big fan of Nine Inch Nails and of course, of Trent Reznor ever since Pretty Hate Machine was released. Back in those days I was more of a cautious fan. Loved the music, the energy, the videos and all but backlashed against the Reznor worship that developed among people I knew.
That said, I always followed and respected him and his music and kept a distance from the dramas of his personal life that a lot of fans got into. I guess it was around the time Year Zero came out, I really started getting 100% into Reznor. His personal life seemed to stabilize and the promotional / interactive stuff with that release was interesting and fun.
So, since then I've been really digging him as an artist overall. Now that he's got some 25 or so years worth of work, it's great to reflect on his career so far. He's never compromised on what he's wanted to do. I like every album he's released. I think he has a genuine respect for his fanbase (free downloads, etc). Plus, I just think he's a really gifted musician with a sense of vision. His music is going to stand the test of time, in my opinion.
Being around the same age as the guy, another thing I really respect is how he's matured as an artist. He hasn't abandoned his roots but they've definitely grown and mutated into new directions. Most importantly, he hasn't turned into a parody of himself. So much of the early work was so strong, it holds relevance now and probably always will, and his new stuff is him making art that I'd expect from a guy over 50 but that's still just as strong on a different level. That he's branched out into film scores and what not seems like such a natural thing to me. And, of course his partnership with Atticus Ross over the years has had a lot to do with everything I've just mentioned. Those two have a great working chemistry.
Above is some really good footage from the Tension tour back in 2013 at the Staples Center in LA. Sounds great. Visuals and lighting are a perfect fit. No Atticus on this but it really amazes me how Reznor and his traveling bands (who are always real pros) recreate the studio sound live. They really catch the nuances and layers combined with the energy a live show brings.
Enjoy or if by some chance you've never heard NIN, check it out.