This video, unearthed by media gossip site Gawker of all places, shows Nine Inch Nails performing on some American Bandstand bastardization back while promoting Pretty Hate Machine, probably sometime in 1989. Along with being absolutely ridiculous, it shows two things: how closely related dance and industrial music are and were at the time and just how out-of-step with the mainstream Nine Inch Nails were. Obviously Trent’s label at the time, TVT, had no idea how to promote the band. Trent Reznor was at one time considered one of the most important figures in music. And while he continues to push boundaries with new marketing and distribution models, it would be nice to see him stretch himself musically, so he might once again seem so out of place in the mainstream.
“Down In It” – live on Dance Party USA