Prior to forming Nine Inch Nails, a 22-year-old Trent Reznor performed with cheesy 80’s synth-pop group Slam Bamboo. Previously unreleased footage leaked earlier this week showing Reznor, along with original Nine Inch Nails drummer Ron Musarra, playing with Slam Bamboo in 1987 on AM Cleveland, a local Ohio morning show.
Reznor, now hailed as one of his era’s premier front men, plays keyboards and sings backing vocals on his group’s single, “House on Fire”. He’s dressed in all black, and sports an un-ironic John Cusack looking haircut. His bandmates sport even more 80’s centric outfits, and are led by a singer dressed in a yellow tuxedo. The track itself adheres to classic 1980’s synth-pop standards, featuring bouncy vocals and heavily electronic instrumentation. Keyboards and electronic drums drive the track’s production, creating easily accessible rhythms yet strongly dating the track.
Despite Reznor’s demonstrated pop inclinations, he supposedly began writing Nine Inch Nails’ 1989 industrial dance touchstone debut Pretty Hate Machine while still with Slam Bamboo. Reznor has since released seven additional LP’s with Nine Inch Nails, achieving worldwide fame while Slam Bamboo fades into history.
In December 2015, Reznor announced the impending 2016 release of new Nine Inch Nails material. They will likely release a new single, “Dive and Slam”, in September. Earlier this week, original keyboardist James Woolley passed away at age 49 due to unknown causes.