How to Destroy Angels and post-industrial experimental rock

Posted: Motiejus Ramasauškas Date: 2016-09-06 04:17

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Most likely everyone has heard about an American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails. Fans of this band, perhaps will not be very surprised that the leader of the band, Trent Reznor also plays in another, not worse project How to Destroy Angels. Together with his wife and two friends of him, Reznor creates experimental rock full of electronic sounds, which will attract the attention of every person looking for some fresh music.

The band was formed in 2009 by Trent Raznor and his wife Mariqueen Maandig. Maandig was not new in the music industry, as soon as How to Destroy Angles was set up, she left West Indian Girl (Los Angeles’ psychedelic rock band name, which was chosen accordingly to the type of LSD), where she played for 5 years.

Trent Reznor himself began his career in the 80′s. At first, he was the keyboardist in several bands, later on, Trent worked in the recording studio as the sound engineer’s assistant and the janitor. Then, after getting the studio owner’s permission, Reznor stayed there even after working hours and when nobody was there, he was recording his own music. Inspired by the singer Prince, Reznor recorded all the instruments (except for the drums) by himself. This way is much simpler, as all your musical ideas can go straight to the record and the whole bunch of problems that might occur, when trying to explain the other musician how to play one or another part, disappears. A demo tape, composed of Reznor’s songs, attracted the attention of some recording studios and in 1988 an unofficial nine-song album was released. A year later a few songs were improved and released on the debut Nine Inch Nails’ album “Pretty Hate Machine”. The band was getting more and more popular – in the 90′s NIN performed a lot in various tours and big festivals (including Woodstock festival in 1994, which was organized to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the original Woodstock festival). Also, Nine Inch Nails released 3 studio albums. Up to now, the only official member of the band is Trent Reznor – other members are assembled only due to the live performances.

In 2010 a directional video appeared on the Internet, in which the musician Atticus Ross was mentioned as the member of a new project. However, later, it was revealed that this is the band of Reznor and Maandig How to Destroy Angels.

Ross was known since the 90′s as a Reznor’s partner, who worked with him on NIN project, which he occasionally performed with , and as a partner in recording soundtracks for movies. Ross together with Reznor wrote the music for 3 movies of the director David Fincher – “The Social Network” (2010), “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” (2011) and “Gone Girl” (2014). They got the Academy Award for the soundtrack of the film “The Social Network” and the Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media for “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”.

Rob Sheridan, who is also related to NIN, joined How to Destroy Angels as well. Actually, Sheridan is not a musician – as being a graphic designer, he created album covers, music videos, web design, photographs, etc. For the song “The Space in Between”, which was included in the first six-songs studio EP of How to Destroy Angels, released in 2010, Sheridan created an amazing music video.

This mini album was released for free download, subsequently, the band separately released 3 singles: “The Drowning”, the previously mentioned “The Space in Between” and “The Believers”. The latter was used by the director Neil Burger in his movie “Limitless” (2011) and the cover of “A Your Love Song” by Bryan Ferry appeared in the soundtrack of the movie “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”.

The next EP, named “An Omen EP”, released in 2012, marked Trent Reznor’s comeback to working together in partnership with the grand recording companies. Being tired of control, in 2007 Reznor decided to become an independent musician. At that time, Reznor was happy that he will be able to release his albums only when he wants to (when signing the contract with studio, the dates of the albums’ releases are set in advance) and to get the bigger percentage of the profit from all the sales, he even released one single for free (it was downloaded by almost a million and a half people). However, two years later, Reznor saw the advertisements of the tour of Radiohead and by comparing them with his own, the amount of which was not that big, he began to doubt his decision. Due to this reason “An Omen EP” was released together with Columbia Records, as well as the following works of How to Destroy Angels and NIN.

The last work of the band, which at the same time was the greatest – it is their full 1 hour length album “Welcome Oblivion”, released in 2013. It consists of 4 songs from the previously mentioned “An Omen EP” and 9 absolutely new songs. The band showed everything what they are capable of – 65 minutes of the album are full of non-standard rhythms, electronic sounds and some long instrumentals followed by Maariqueen Maanding’s vocal. The ones who love Nine Inch Nails and experimental alternative rock with electronic elements, like the album “King of Limbs” released in 2011 by Radiohead or the projects of Thom Yorke (the solo album “The Easter” (2006) and the band Atoms for Peace), would definitely admire the last album of How to Destroy Angels.