Nine Inch Nails were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame overnight during HBO’s 2020 induction ceremony. Trent Reznor and co were praised by a bunch of artists including St. Vincent, Miley Cyrus, and Rick Rubin, and most notably Iggy Pop.
Reznor began his acceptance speech by acknowledging how strange this year’s ceremony is. Initially postponed back in March, the ceremony was held virtually this year.
“As I’ve been wrapping my head around Nine Inch Nails being welcomed into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I think I was most looking forward to the ceremony itself,” said Trent Reznor.
“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, and, as an artist, I think the most significant accomplishment or feeling is realising something you’ve created from a fragile and intimate place has reached out and resonated and affected someone else, possibly changing how they see the world.
“So as to whatever being in a hall of fame means, thank you for the recognition,” said Reznor.
He goes on to acknowledge his fellow inductees, previous Nine Inch Nails members, his family and the fans. You can catch his full speech down below.
Iggy Pop delivered a speech ahead of their induction.
He compared Nine Inch Nails to Stevie Wonder, Nirvana, and Bob Dylan. Iggy said, “Listening to Nine Inch Nails feels like hearing the truth, so it gets you a little bit closer to God.”
Read the speech in full down below along with Reznor’s.
In celebration of the induction, St. Vincent teamed up with Dave Grohl ahead of the ceremony to cover ‘Piggy’.
Trent Reznor Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Acceptance Speech
Thank you so much, Iggy. Hello, everyone. What a disorienting, strange year we find ourselves in. 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 the hopefully 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, and, as an artist, I think the most significant accomplishment or feeling is realising something you’ve created from a fragile and intimate place has reached out and resonated and affected someone else, possibly changing how they see the world. So as to whatever being in a hall of fame means, thank you for the recognition.
With that said, this has been far from a singular endeavour, and I first one to introduce my fellow inductees: Atticus Ross, Robin Finck, Allesandro Cortini, Ilan Rubin, Danny Lohner, and Chris Vrenna. I love these guys and they’ve all been an integral and central part of why we’re here. Additionally, there’s been a number of other key players involved over the years I’d like to recognize and thanks, including Charlie Clouser, James Woolley, Rich Patrick, Josh Freese, Justin Meldal-Johnsen, Jerome Dillon, Aaron North, Jeff Ward, and Jeordie White.
Throughout the years I’ve benefited from a strong collection of people around me that’ve offered everything from encouragement to guidance to a kick in the ass when needed. These include Jimmy Iovine, John Silva, Marc Geiger, Ross Rosen, Alan Moulder, Rick Rubin, Zia Modabber, Bill Harper, David Fincher, Jerome Crooks, Steve Barnett, Jim Guerinot, and John Malm. You’re all appreciated and this is for you too. Special thank you to my wife Mariqueen and the kids, you keep me humble and everything worthwhile.
And for the Nine Inch Nails fans out there—you guys are the best. We’ve wound up in some weird places together, and you’re an intense bunch that can drive me out of my mind, but you’re the best. This journey’s far from over if I have any say in it, so let’s stop fuckin’ around pattin’ ourselves on the back and get to it. Hope to see you all in the flesh soon. Thank you.
Iggy Pop Nine Inch Nails Induction Speech
When I first heard about Nine Inch Nails and I heard a little of their music, I thought, “Well, who is this guy?” So I took look and I saw a face straight out of 15th century Spain. I think Trent could have played Zorro. If he’d been alive at the right time, I think he could have been painted by Velasquez or El Greco, and his portrait would probably be painting in the Prado today.
Listening to Nine Inch Nails’ music — which is so often called “industrial” — I actually hear a lot of funk. Just listen to “Closer,” and the foundation could be Stevie Wonder or George Clinton, but on top of that is a focused and relentless process of emotional destruction which paints a portrait of pain, pressure, and dissatisfaction.
It’s the soundtrack to the dark and lonely party that was beginning to play out in America at that period, so I would call it, not industrial, but the sound of industrial and digital ambition.
I went to the Nine Inch Nails show at the Forum in Los Angeles, the one together with David Bowie, and Trent held the centre of that room just by being a kind of dark spot, hunched behind the mic. I’ve seen the same thing accomplished in different ways by T. Rex at Wembley, Nirvana at the Pyramid Club, and Bob Dylan in ’65. This is the mark of the master artist, simply to connect.
The controversial and brilliant French novelist Michel Houellebecq, when asked the secret of his success, said, “It’s easy: Just tell the truth.” Listening to Nine Inch Nails feels like hearing the truth, so it gets you a little bit closer to God. It is my honour to assist in inducting Trent Reznor and Nine Inch Nails into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.