Today we wish a very happy birthday to the darkly creative former Nine Inch Nails’ and Marilyn Manson drummer Chris Vrenna.
In the video above, a mud-slathered Nine Inch Nails, including Vrenna, add a, well, less peaceful feel to the reboot of original “peace and love” festival of the ‘60s at Woodstock 1994. Apparently just before the band was set to perform, they took it upon themselves to do a little mud wrestling. (Because songs about self-loathing are more impactful when the band is covered in mud and dripping with brown water.) The band had just released its breakthrough album The Downward Spiral, and this iconic performance helped launch the band into superstardom.
The Chicagoan started playing drums at age six, and reportedly met NIN frontman Trent Reznor in high school.
He’s also recorded and played drums or percussion with Megadeth, Butthole Surfers, KMFDM, Stabbing Westward, Gnarles Barkley, and many others, including his own group, Tweaker, which has released four albums.
Vrenna also plays keyboards, and did so with Marilyn Manson in the late 2000s to early 2010s. Recently he has taken to scoring music for video games, including Quake 4, Quake Champions, Doom 3, Area 51, and others.
In the interview below, he talks about collecting drum machines in the ’80s and buying Trent Reznor’s LinnDrum from him in high school. Give some love to a true drum programming pioneer!