With Nine Inch Nails in full swing since last year, it seemed that Trent Reznor’s other band, How to Destroy Angels (on which he collaborated with his wife Mariqueen Maandig and Atticus Ross) wasn’t going to get any attention soon. That changed this Wednesday, in Tokyo, as Mr. Reznor surprised the audience by bringing his wife onstage to perform a couple of HTDA songs with NIN’s current 4-piece lineup.
The performances of Ice Age and BBB (which can be seen below) were excellent, especially due to the live drums on the latter, but they bring up a few questions about the mixing of main and side projects, especially since HTDA had apparently established a more solidified, separate identity. To cite a couple of Reznor’s recent contemporaries, Josh Homme’s Queens of the Stone Age never covers Eagles of Death Metal (except for that one time), and Them Crooked Vultures played no covers at all; meanwhile, Jack White made it a point to never let any of his three main bands cover each other – then played material from all of them on his solo tour. And as far as we know, none of Mike Patton’s multitude of projects ever covered each other. Does NIN covering HTDA blur the lines defining the identities of the groups?