calling Nine Inch Nails “industrial” is like calling Black Sabbath a “blues” band

Here’s the most insightful thing I’ve read on the internet this week:  “I dunno . . . it always seemed to me that calling NIN “industrial” was like calling Black Sabbath a “blues” band.”

From this Boing Boing article:

Documentary about Nine Inch Nails and industrial music – Boing Boing

Categorized as Music


  1. Oh, I see, the remark is in the comments. Would you care to enlighten those of us who are not well-versed in industrial music (or industrial music that’s not really industrial)?

  2. I think the Wikipedia article describes industrial music way better than I ever could:

    Because of its emphasis on traditional melodic patterns and dance beats, I’d call the music of Nine Inch Nails “industrial-inspired techno-pop” or maybe “industrial-inspired rock”.

    Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin took the essence of American blues music and turned it into something new that appealed to a wider (largely white) audience. Nowadays we call that “heavy metal”. In the same way, Trent Reznor took a form of music with very little commercial appeal (industrial music) and made a new form of music with popular marketability.

    So, “real” industrial music (such as Throbbing Gristle or Nurse with Wound) is to Nine Inch Nails what Memphis Minnie is to Black Sabbath.

  3. Lots of information there. I like the fact that one person involved in industrial music likes Abba.

    Do you think Kraftwerk is a precursor to industrial music?

  4. Hmm, I don’t know how much the early industrial music creators were inspired by Kraftwerk, so I guess I can’t answer that. That’s a question for a real music historian.

  5. Yeah, I guess I’ve always thought of NIN as more techno than industrial. But I don’t tend to label my music too much. I call Green Day and Rise Against punk (along with a whole lot of other people) but my car calls them pop. Maybe it just means “pop”ular.

  6. I was just checking out the Facebook page for 101.5 FM, aka “Denver’s Independent Alternative.” On the requests page, someone posted, “Whatever you do, don’t play Green Day.” They’re so overexposed and overproduced, I’d agree with your car that they’re “pop” music.

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