Nine Inch Nails 1989 album Pretty Hate Machine has a song called "Down In It" with lyrics that formed the basis for this. Example:
"Down In It": "Just then a tiny little dot caught my eye; it was just about too small to see. But I watched it way too long; it was pulling me down."
"Only": "Well the tiniest little dot caught my eye and it turned to be a scab and I had this funny feeling like I just knew it's something bad."
David Fincher, who directed the movies Seven, The Game and Fight Club, directed the video for this song.
Suggestion credit: Donovan Berry - El Dorado, AR, for above 2
This song is based on the movie Fight Club, which Fincher directed. Lyrics like, "You were never really real to begin with, I just made you up to hurt myself" point to the main character in the film and his alter-ego Tyler Durden.
Jon from Sydney, AustraliaWhile I can't discount the ideas that this song is about drugs or schizophrenia, for me this song is about the process of letting go of someone one is obsessed with and estranged from, someone whose world one wanted to part of, but could not be. In this sense, the song is about addiction, but not of the purely chemical kind.
Mike from Phoenix, AzOr maybe it's just because you don't need to live up to anyone else. And realizing that your own feelings / opinions are what makes and matters the most. Don't hide between the lies you tell yourself and the world.
Joe from Fredericksburg, VaI like to think this song is about the philosophy of self, and knowing you, yourself is the only thing that you know is real, and the rest of this world, everyone, and all the inanimate objects on it, might not really be there, you could be the "only" and this could be your world.
Cory from Louisville, KyThis song, and the whole album was created by Trent during his recovery from addiction. He wrote almost all the songs off of With Teeth, dealing with addiction and the pain associated with it. I've been through heavy opiate addiction, and that stuff does exactly that to you, I had a well defined character before opiates, that faded away as days went by with my oxymorphone use. I had a well defined body from working out, that faded quickly also. I felt like I was fading away from the people that I knew, going from a well educated, fully capable of tackling complicated mechanical and technical issues to completely losing my focus. And that was in part of the dissolution of my ego and confidence through the misery and pain that opiate addiction caused. And when it came down to it; when you start going through heavy addiction, There really is no YOU, There is no helping others, It becomes all about YOURSELF and what you're going through, because once you start goign through severe opiate withdraws, you become so far from your true self you will do anything so far out of your normal character to make the pain and your actions disappear in a white line or dark ssolution in a syringe. You can easily relate any of those songs if you've ever been through Addictions hell. Another cool fact: David Grohl (foo fighters lead singer) Did the percussion for 3/4 of the songs on the album, I found that bad ass :)
Brigette from Melbourne, Australiain my opinion, it could be related to society..being a social outcast and just being burdened by people and trying to just..be. also, it could be thinking u know someone but in the end they just screw you over. this is one my favourite songs by them, i can relate to it alot.
Nubyw00tz from Halifax, NsIt's about schizophrenia, the mental disorder which can cause auditory hallucinations.
Adam from Cary, NcI think ernest might have the song right, thats the best description of a song meaning i have ever heard
Kate from New York, NyI absolutely love this song. But to make a correction to David and Chris, schizophrenia has absolutely nothing to do with having multiple personalities. What you are referring to is called dissociative identity disorder (formerly multiple personality disorder).
Steve from Ridgecrest, Camost of these make sense.. but i think its drugs, and the only reason i say that is because of this sentence: Well the tiniest little dot caught my eye and it turned to be a scab and I had this funny feeling like I just knew it's something bad.
the only thing that could be is from a syringe for heroin. Plus Hurt is also about trent kicking the drug habit.
Jeff from Atlanta, GaSociety , God , and I get a strong Feeling it's about internet chat lines. I dunno......
Scott Atlanta, Ga
Chris from Buffalo, Nyjust cos its about schizophrenia doesnt make it based off fight club. who cares if fincher directed both. . it doesnt make the songs connected. . wow. . take that off the facts. . .
Ernest from Northfield Center, United StatesI think this is not about about mental illness or anything like that. Considering Trent Reznor's lyrical themes, I believe that it is more likely to be about introversion. When he says "Kind of drifting to the abstract" this is a refernce to the idea that only(hence the name)individual existance can be known. Therefore he now can live in his own world without being burdened by the notions of other people("I'm becoming less defined as days go by"). Making up people refers to us creating perceptions of other people that affect the perciever's persective of his world. This can be harmful to our personality because we live in their world instead of our own, unique world. When we realize this idea of only individual existance we lose all traces of credibility in our opinions of others as we believe that they were always made up anyways. Reznor is disscussing how he doesn't have to live for other people's intentions any more.
Connor from Ridgefield, WaThis song to me is about him thinking that a woman was someone else, and thought they were someone he could trust and care about, but it turned out the woman wasn't real..."I just made you up to hurt myself..." "There is no you there is only me..."
David from Lakeview, NcIt's about schizophrenia or having a another personality or imaginary friend. "Yes, I am alone, then again, I always was. As far back as I can tell, I think maybe it's because, 'cause you were never really real, to begin with. I just made you up to hurt myself."
Tyler from Confidencial, CaI believe it's about a relationship whether it be with a drug or God or a loved one etc..
Jen from New York, NyI think this song is about breaking away from that whole Christian "Believe in God or Burn in Flames" mentality that has been drilled into many people since birth. Many devout christians define themselves by how they think God sees them, by how loyal their "faith" is. So you break away from this belief ("Less concerned about fitting into the world - your world that is") and later of course "yes i'm alone but then again i always was - as far back as i can tell i think maybe it's because you were never really real to begin with - i just made you up to hurt myself - and it worked" soooo i think when he says, "There is no you, there is only me," he is essentially saying there is no longer this god he has been taught to believe in, he can only live for himself ("only..." "only...."
Ziggy Hendrix from Lindenhurst , IlDave Grohl from Nirvana and the Foo Fighters played drums on some songs on this album.
Munch from Peterborough, CanadaAbout when you go through the same routine enough you start to create things to keep yourself amused and this is trying to pull out of that and back into reality.
Antz from Glasgow , Scotland, ScotlandI think this song is about is about being alone in your head and how you create a another section of u to talk to be it a conscience or whatever i mean the fact he got david fincher to direct the video after he did fight club and tht whole film is about mental illness really with lyrics " there is no you there is only me " is like the conflict in himself and "how he becoming less defined " is how if u work a 9 to 5 job u become less of an individual and more a mere tool
Dale from Palmerston North, PeruLove the drumming on this song :)