October 10, 2005
Bitching To The Beat Of A Different Drummer

Ever since Jerome "Rubber Baby Buggy Bumpers" Dillon abandoned his post as NIN's drummer so he could pursue his dream of sitting on the couch in his underwear and watching his 7th Heaven DVD's without Alessandro Cortini making armpit farts the entire time, there have been countless Jerome wannabes who have been filling in for him in his absence. In fact, just yesterday, while I was at the VFW playing bingo, I asked for a show of hands of who had yet to play drums for Nine Inch Nails this tour, and only four people raised their hands. The rest of them just stared at me like I was on drugs (so what if I was, and so what if I wasn't wearing any pants). Anyway, long story short, I'm not allowed to play bingo there anymore. Wait, why the hell am I talking about bingo again? Goddamn it, I promised myself I would quit doing that.

Okay, so there have actually been only two replacements for Jerome's worthless ass so far. Trent managed to rope A Perfect Circle drummer/groupie procurer Josh Freese into playing for a few shows, but he soon escaped from the tour bus under the cloak of night and was never seen again. Once again, the band found themselves in desperate need of someone to hit the skins, despite the fact that we all know they use backing tapes most of the time anyway. Fortunately, Lady Luck was on their side (and was fingered by Jeordie a couple times as well, but that's for a later update). While the bus was filling up at a truck stop on the way to Chicago, Trent noticed that the attendant squeegeeing the windshield had long, ratty hair and reeked of marijuana, and immediately knew he must be a drummer. After being lured onto the bus with the warm, tantalizing aroma of Hot Pockets and eventually convinced that they were in fact the legendary jam band Phish, Alex Carapetis agreed to join them for a while, provided they swing by Philly so he can beat down a former roommate named Mike who totally owes him like, 200 bucks and probably ganked his bong too. Fucker.

Judging from eyewitness accounts of Chicago's performance, Alex either totally kicked ass, was okay all things considered, or was fucking terrible and I want my money back. But regardless of how great, average or poorly he may have played, one really must take into account the circumstances. What Alex lacks in attention span, job skills, and overall personal hygiene, he makes up for in ability to hit things with sticks while Trent Reznor yells at him at 1:30 in the morning. That is, if you choose to believe the things Trent says in his "blog" (I generally don't).

However, they nearly went with a different, more well-known drummer who bathes regularly. Meg White, of the incestuous rock duo The White Stripes, attended the Chicago NIN concert for one reason or another, and hung out backstage since that's what famous people are supposed to do at concerts. Trent soon spotted her and, leaping at the opportunity to have someone in his band who people have actually heard of, pleaded with her to tour with Nine Inch Nails as their new drummer. She finally agreed, but her stint with the band was short-lived. In fact, it only lasted about five minutes, up until they were faced with two unignorable problems:

Meg can't technically "play drums", per se

Trent isn't into white chicks

Therefore, they parted ways and Trent was forced to stick with Alex, who was totally sitting right there in the room the whole time (awkward!). Meg agreed to at least pose with the band for a picture for the website, and was later fingered by Jeordie in the bathroom.

I know what you're thinking. "I have nothing better to do with my life, how can I drum for Nine Inch Nails too?" It's pathetically easy, trust me. In fact, believe it or not, I actually played drums at the Pittsburgh show during the Fragility tour while Jerome had polio. And if I can do it, anyone can. All you have to do is ask yourself these questions:

"Can I play drums?"
This is arguably the most important requirement to being a drummer, even for Nine Inch Nails. Someone needs to be there in case the backing tape breaks. Don't worry, there aren't any demanding drum solos. All you have to do is hit the drums really hard and try to keep time with Aaron Jeordie the click track. And lucky for you, Trent's too old to pull off the encore thing these days, so once "Head Like A Hole" is over, you're done, no matter how many times those idiots in the audience chant "Nine Inch Nails". Fuck them.

"How do I feel about being blamed for every single time the band fucks up a song?"
Since you're not only the drummer, but the new one at that, you're going to be singled out by the rest of the band as well as the fans for all the mistakes that are made during the show. Even when Trent forgets the lyrics to "Starfuckers", and he will, it'll still be your fault somehow. The LED lights didn't turn on? Your fault. The band accidentally left Alessandro behind in Detroit? Your fault. Jeordie? Your fault. Deal with it, bitch.

Do I really want to have to hear Queens of the Stone Age play every night?"
I guess it's not quite as bad as putting up with Trent's body odor all day long, but personally, if I wanted to listen to some drunk asshole ramble about how much he hates me for an hour, I'd just go over to my uncle's house for dinner. I guess you could just wait out in the parking lot during the Queens set, but then you run the risk of encountering a disgruntled fan who saw you play at the previous night's show.

"Do I mind spooning with Aaron on the tour bus?"
Hey, filling in for Jerome means more than just playing drums. At least you'll eventually get used to his night terrors, or so I've heard.

It's only a matter of time before Alex Carapetis comes down enough to realize he's not really playing for Phish, so they'll doubtlessly need another drummer pretty soon. If you've given up on your aspirations of scraping fat off the fryers at Jack In The Box and want something to do before you finally work up the courage to throw yourself in front of a train, why not try working as a substitute drummer for Nine Inch Nails? If you're interested, email Trent at, or if you're a Spiral member, you can send trent_reznor a private message on that message board they have there. He'd love to hear from you!


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