The Nine Inch Nails founder, with collaborator Atticus Ross, again teams with David Fincher for a film score.
As the lone artistic voice behind Nine Inch Nails, Trent Reznor regularly had the pleasure of answering to no one during NIN’s approximately 20-year run of emotionally damaged hard rock. Now in his mid-40s and into his second career as a film composer, Reznor not only is having to learn a new discipline, but adjust to ceding control and holding back his reflex of saying ‘no.’
Take, for instance, the music that opens David Fincher’s “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” which marks the second film score for Reznor and his latter-days NIN producer Atticus Ross. The tune is familiar — Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” — and the sound recalls the underground, synthetic aggressiveness of Reznor’s work with NIN. It's a collaboration with Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ singer Karen O, and none of it was Reznor’s idea.
Said Reznor, “That was David coming to me and saying, ‘What do you think about a version of this?’ I wouldn’t have thought of it. But I don’t think of it in terms of how he sees it in the film, and he doesn’t always explain himself. You learn to fill in the blanks. David didn’t just make this up. That was not an off-the-cuff suggestion. So whereas I may look at it and go, ‘Well, I’m not sure about that,’ I have to stop myself and think it through.”
The song was used in early promos for Fincher’s U.S. take on writer Stieg Larsson’s “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” and the full track is used as the film’s credit sequence. “When you see it,” Reznor said, “it’s like, ‘Oh, now I get it!’ What we’ve learned is that he has a vision, and we should trust him.”