The Lovers

Album: Add Violence (2017)
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Songfacts®:

  • During the second half of the 1990s, Trent Reznor found himself battling alcoholism and substance abuse. His struggle with addiction was at its most severe during the recording of Nine Inch Nails' 1999 album The Fragile. During an episode of the Song Exploder podcast, the Nine Inch Nails frontman explained how the lyrics on "The Lovers" reflect his then dependence on alcohol and drugs.

    "It was me allowing myself permission to examine a period of my life that I had consciously chose not to think about very much," Reznor said. "Then immerse myself in it in a kinda 'What if the path I'm currently on wasn't really the right one, and I just went hard-left the other way? What if my true nature is."

    Reznor added that he "welcomed [those memories] back into my system" by writing "The Lovers." "I've re-experienced something that, even though I didn't physically go out and do anything, I have lived it in a way that it's part of me again," he said.
  • In 2001, Reznor successfully completed rehab. Ever since he got clean, the Nine Inch Nails singer has found that his creative process with the band is much more free and open.

    "When inspiration hits, and you get that thing that feels exciting, let's, as fast as we can, see where it leads until it goes away," he said. "There's plenty of time to bring out the 'it sucks' hammer. Let's not overthink things at the beginning of a creative flow."

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