Mini Interview with Robin [Kerrang, 1999]
Robin Finck. Guitarist. Met Trent Reznor in 1993 and joined Nine Inch Nails for the lengthy "Mr Self Destruct" tour. Left to become musical director of touring circus Cirque Du Soleil and then spent two years working with Guns N' Roses on their "The Chinese Democracy" album. Rejoined NIN in the summer. Offstage attire consists of a bandanna, tracksuit trousers with elasticated bottoms, and dogs.
How does it feel to be back in the band?
"The first day, when we started going back through some of those older songs - 'Terrible Lie', 'Wish' - we broke quite a sweat and it felt f**king great. Better than any of us felt it would. And then getting to know the new material has been inspiring and challenging. So far, so good."
What did you think when you heard 'The Fragile' for the first time?
"I expected to be floored and I was. Mostly with the hint of optimism in some of the tracks. I feared that Trent was never going to get to that place, so when I heard songs like 'The Fragile' that were a little bit more hopeful, it felt really good. And, of course, sonically and intelligently, technically and dynamically, there's nothing like it around.
"I'd made the decision to come back before I'd heard the record, which is something I did intentionally. I'd been in contact loosely with mostly Danny through the past couple of years, so I knew what stage they were at and that they'd never replaced me - they'd never needed to for a live situation.
"It was a difficult decision to make because I was so wrapped up in what I was doing at the time and I was proud of the work I'd done. But when it came down to it, I couldn't imagine NIN going out without me or with somebody else. I'm in a good place right now."
It's taken you four shows to injure yourself...
"Unfortunately, Trent and I were dancing, he dipped me and we both fell down. I got six stitches above my left eye. Usually, it's bruises and stuff that goes away.
"It was really quite alarming - only the second song into that set and I was pretty much maimed for the rest of the show. It was a long hour-and-a-half. But that kind of comes with what we're doing. Anything goes."
How bad did things get at the end of the last tour?
"It was difficult for me. The Manson crew and the Jim Rose Circus were with us for most of a year and it got pretty stupid. Then coming off the road and landing in New Orleans - that's a tough place to try and re-collect yourself, because it's a city built on night-life and alcohol. I had to do something that was the complete polar opposite to Nine Inch Nails. So I joined the circus! Then Axl Rose called me up.
"But I had to rein back from the way things were at the end of the last tour, because after a while you get pretty warped. I couldn't do 'Mr Self Destruct' again, so this has to be different."
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