Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross of Nine Inch Nails won their first Emmy award Sept. 17 for the musical score for HBO’s Watchmen, according to Paste Magazine. The pair won the award for Outstanding Music Composition For a Limited Series, Movie or Special (Original Dramatic Score). They were also nominated for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics.
They’ve previously won an Oscar for The Social Network’s score in 2011 and a Grammy for 2013’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, meaning they only need a Tony to achieve EGOT status.
The pair released vinyl pressings of The Social Network and Quake scores earlier this year.
Watchmen is based on a graphic novel by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons and follows events that ensue after a white supremacist attack on a police department that results in law enforcement hiding their identities behind masks and Angela Abar, played by Regina King, adopting the identity of a racist-fighting vigilante. The show led all TV shows with 26 Emmy nominations.
King said in June that a second season of the show may not happen, as she’s unsure if she’ll return to the show.
Nine Inch Nails dropped two surprise albums in March, Ghosts V: Together and Ghosts VI: Locusts.In May, Reznor said he planned to work on new music during quarantine and revealed that the band was supposed to go on tour this year. The Cold and Black and Infinite tour was set to have Jehnny Beth, who used to worth with the band Savages, as the opener, but the tour was scrapped due to the coronavirus pandemic. Reznor said he hopes he can tour next year.
Reznor also unveiled a new concert film, documenting the 2018 edition of his Cold and Black and Infinite tour.
Nine Inch Nails recently announced the first ever independent release of their 1996 Quake video game soundtrack. It was also recently announced that only certain members of the band would be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year.
Rezner and Ross recently discussed their creative process behind composing Watchmen’s score with Rolling Stone. Reznor said it was about focusing on how the characters are feeling at any given time.
“We spent a good year either in the trenches working on it or thinking about it and prepping to do it. You’re emotionally invested in these characters,” Reznor said. “Our primary way of scoring is to think about how do they feel? It’s the emotional thing, it’s not the mechanics of how people score. We don’t even know how to do that. It’s about emotionally resonating with the story or how they’re feeling.”
They also discussed their cover of David Bowie’s 1971 classic track “Life on Mars?” They said they were initially hesitant to remake such a powerful song, but were ultimately glad they did their own instrumental take.
“Bowie‘s music certainly means a lot to us, and that song in particular is one of them where it’s hard not to tear up thinking about that track,” explained Reznor.
Everyone who heard it responded positively to it, and when it came out it got more attention than probably anything else in the series. It felt good to get that recognition and now when we listen to it we’re not filled with anxiety,” he added.