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2000.06.DD - San Jose Mercury News - Interview with Robin

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2000.06.DD - San Jose Mercury News - Interview with Robin Empty 2000.06.DD - San Jose Mercury News - Interview with Robin

Post by Soulmonster on Wed Jun 04, 2014 9:59 am

As you might not expect a zydeco player to be a Nine Inch Nails fan, you probably wouldn’t expect NIN’s New Jersey-born guitarist to have been playing his last gig while the band was off the road.

Robin Finck, 28, put down his thrashing electric guitar and joined the East Coast touring unit of Cirque de Soleil, performing ”Quidam.”

”It was exactly what I needed at the time,” says the guitarist, who also spent 2 1/2 years in a Los Angeles recording studio working on a still-unreleased Guns N’ Roses album with Axl Rose.

”I met so many cool people. I was surrounded by 9-year-old Chinese girls and 60-year-old clowns from the South of France. I was one of nine people who spoke English as a first language.”

Finck recalls his time with Rose, a recluse whose command of the language never seems to rise beyond four-letter words:

”It was a thrill in the beginning playing with Axl,” he says. ”We recorded several albums worth of material. All of it was good. But the songs aren’t completed after 2 1/2 years. I decided my work was through. I had to move on to something different.”

The guitarist, who was recruited from the drag band Impotent Sea Snakes to play on the Downward Spiral tour, called Trent Reznor, who had just finished his album ”The Fragile,” and rejoined NIN.

What’s it like playing those intense, despairing songs night after night at full volume?

”I’ve never had such an emotional experience onstage. Night after night I get lost in it. Sometimes I’m afraid the show will be over and I won’t know what to do with myself.”

What are you listening to on the road?

”World music. The German composer, Arvo Part.”

What’s the difference between the Cirque and NIN?

”Just a different group of clowns.”

Does it take immense discipline to put on the madness of a NIN show?

”He (Reznor) comes from a school of reckless abandonment, but onstage, he’s tremendously focused. He gives his all no matter what. But his heart is more wild than disciplined.”

Is this positive or negative music?

”I wouldn’t say it’s music for shiny, happy people, possibly. But I wouldn’t say it’s bad. I think the music of NIN is a natural response to intimate human emotion. It’s really genuine, and that’s what’s important to me.”

Who would win in a fight, Trent or Axl?

”I think both would shove each other around the playground quite a bitbefore it came to actual blows. I’d be in the middle jumping up and down for the lunch lady.”
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