Nine Inch Nails Icon ‘Broke’ For Awful Reason


Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor breaking guitars was described by A Perfect Circle guitarist Billy Howerdel in a powerful new video. A Nine Inch Nails legend was recently stunned by a terrible heart attack announcement.

“So, my first Gibson was really one that I got in 1994. I worked for bands up until then, I started working for Nine Inch Nails and Trent [Reznor] was who I was assigned to. He had Gibson Les Pauls and he notoriously broke them. I didn’t know that at the time, I just showed up for work and planned to delicately work on guitars and didn’t know how these were going to be completely trashed moments after the show started.

So, my main guitar is the first guitar I worked on for him. And after I worked for the band for about a year and a half or two years, at the end of the tour, he let me kind of take it home; he said, ‘Pick two or three guitars.’ So I picked three to take home with, I picked this one, my favorite main guitar that I still have. It’s the first guitar that I worked on for him and it’s been really the only guitar for the most part that I played on most of these records.”

Tool recently called out Nine Inch Nails festival disrespect. Howerdel added, “I think it’s a 1960s re-issue built in ’91, I believe. I went through 137 Les Pauls on that tour, there’s nothing that sounds like this guitar and that held up. Even though he would break it, I could repair it easily and it would come back together quite well. It just sounded and played better to me and Trent kind of went with what I thought was the best idea. I don’t really remember how this [crack] happened – this is a really nasty wound – I want to say it was somewhere in the drum kit. This is probably normal wear, the neck has been split and off.

It came off but there was a really good repair job that I didn’t do – I think I might have sent this back to Gibson in Nashville to get glued back on at some point, but the story with this guitar…When I was working with Nine Inch Nails, the very first thing I did was I burned it accidentally. I put it down on my table to change the strings and I put a soldering iron down and it hit this little part of the paint and it just took that off.”

A Nine Inch Nails icon dating a Smashing Pumpkins member was recently revealed. Howerdel continued, “And this headstock got ripped off this guitar that first time out – it got taken, somebody took it in the crowd, and this sat with a headless guitar for quite a while and I went through a lot of guitars and finally got another guitar exactly this color and it pretty much got a damaged body beyond repair. And I Frankenstein-ed its headstock onto this one. It’s a different headstock from a different guitar, and as you can see, it’s really terrible. So, this was the one that was the best-sounding one I have ever heard.

I don’t know what it is about – if there’s something about the way – I guess the wood is where the tree was at when it was cut, how dense it is, how light it is… I mean, I can’t say that heavier is better or lighter is better, this one I would say is right in the middle.”

Ultimate-Guitar transcribed Howerdel’s comments.