The frontman won an Academy Award in 2011 for Best Original Score on the David Fincher film, The Social Network. It was an achievement that caused Reznor to rethink his career as a rock star.
“Your head spins a little bit when your first film goes on to win an Oscar,” he told Variety. “There’s nowhere to go but down from there, right? And you start to wonder — should it be ‘Fuck rock and roll! I’ve got a new lease on life that doesn’t have quite the age limit restrictions that playing in a rock band does? Should I put all my eggs in that basket?”
He continued: “Because one thing about us is, as great as winning an Oscar is, the next day by lunchtime, we were back to being the same not-good-enough assholes that we were before we’d won one. It felt good for maybe 18 hours. It was a great experience and I have a lot of respect for the institution, but it didn’t fix everything that’s wrong with our brains, and our inadequacies remained.
“It caused us to kind of think about, if we do take on more roles of scoring, are we trying to be completists? Are we trying to tick every box, to want to be able to do everything from a complicated orchestral score to a rom-com? Do we want to be journeymen, or jacks of all styles and techniques?”
Atticus Ross, who won the award with Reznor, has since joined Nine Inch Nails as the only other permanent member besides Reznor.
The pair have worked together on other scores including Jonah Hill’s new film, Mid90s.
Other projects have seen Reznor and Ross compose the soundtrack for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, for which the duo won a Grammy in 2013.