July 9, 2012 – Trent Reznor

Trent Reznor Silhouette

Ok im going to start this with a couple disclaimers. First, I am ridiculously busy these days. But I am going to stick to this posting schedule the the best of my ability. Second the pictures in this post are very early work. I had’t even held a DSLR at this point. And the camera I took these with was many steps below even a low quality point and shoot from this time. Seriously, this camera came in a blister package, in 2005.

Ok, excuses over. Post continues.

I have been a fan of Nine Inch Nails (NIN) and Trent Reznor since 1994, when I saw the video for March Of The Pigs. You could say it was probably one of the most important musical influences of my adolescence, and to this day I believe had a major impact on the path my life took.

This would be the closest to a recognizable image of Trent.The one-man-shop aspect of NIN amazed me, and the thought that a single person could have control over the creation of so much sound was exciting. In 1999 I moved to London and attended the Ontario Institute of Audio Recording. I had big dreams of becoming a record producing rock star. Knowing myself now, it does seem kind of silly. I don’t regret getting that education (though I always get saddled with being the sound guy when my band plays), but I don’t think I am destined to be a record producer, at least to the level I thought I was.

In all these years, I had never gotten the chance to see my  “idols” live. Growing up in Sudbury, Ontario, meant a three hour drive to Toronto, where the big shows were. It was not a practical situation, since, well, I didn’t drive.

Another of my favorites, the show had great lighting.Fast forward to 2006, I get an announcement that NIN will be playing at The John Labatt  Centre, in London. I just happened to be living across the street from The John Labatt Centre. This transportation situation I could swing.

When it came time for the concert, I didn’t want to take my digital point and shoot, for fear it would be confiscated. So instead, I opened up a birthday present I was waiting to mail to my brother. I tried to find a picture of it, but no matter how strong my google-fu is, it is like this camera never existed.

It was at best, 0.6 megapixels. It was the size of a normal thumb drive, and similar in every way, except that it had a tiny lens, a shutter button, and a 2 digit digital counter. The package boasted a 16MB capacity, space for hundreds of photos!! WOW!

I wasn’t holding out much hope, picture wise. I couldn’t wait to get to the show.

I kind of like the low-fi jpegness of this one. When NIN took the stage (after Saul Williams blew my mind) I went straight for the moshpit. One of the benefits of buying your camera in the checkout isle at Zellers is you won’t be too broken up if it goes flying. For the entire show I kept it in my hand and would hold it up and snap a few pictures now and then.

Easily my favorite, Trent in mid-guitar-smash. He auctioned of a smashed guitar from each show to Hurricane Katrina relief.I definitely used the 16MB capacity of that little camera. And there was a lot of garbage. But there were also some gems. I ended up keeping 14 of the pics for different reasons. There aren’t any that are so sharp that you could really tell who it was if I didn’t tell you, but I think a couple managed, somehow, to capture the intensity of the performance.

I look forward to someday getting to photograph Trent with some proper gear, but until then these will have to do. I still kinda like ’em.