Nothing Records

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Nothing Records
The Nothing Records logo.
Parent company Universal Music Group
Founded 1992
Founder John Malm Jr.
Trent Reznor
Status Defunct
Distributor(s) Interscope Records
Genre Industrial rock, electronic
Country of origin USA
Location New Orleans, Louisiana
Official website nothingrecords.com (defunct)

Nothing Records was an American record label, specializing in industrial rock and electronic music, founded by John Malm Jr. and Trent Reznor in 1992. It is considered an example of a vanity label, where an artist is able to run a label with some degree of independence from within a larger parent company—in this case, Interscope Records was the parent company.

Nothing Records became largely defunct in 2004 due to lawsuit by Reznor against John Malm. The label became inactive as a whole following several further releases—the Beside You in Time (February 2007) home video was the label's final release.

Background[edit]

Nothing Records is most famous for its two original signings, Trent Reznor's own band Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson.

Still, the label gained semi-iconic status within the industrial rock scene, and even acquired its own online-fanzine in Sick Among the Pure, although this later became a more general industrial fanzine, and ceased to exist at all in 2005. The Nothing label would often reward its fanbase over the Internet — one form of this outreach was Radio Nothing: an exclusive collection of free MP3 music streams, compiled by Nothing label artists, producers and fans.

In September 2004, coinciding with Trent Reznor leaving New Orleans for the west coast, the Nine Inch Nails website announced "nothing studios: 1994-2004", suggesting that Nothing Studios was closed. This later proved to be the end of the associated record label as well. Speculation among listeners that the label could continue ceased when Reznor successfully sued co-founder John Malm for fraud and breach of fiduciary duty (amongst others), ensuring that the Nothing era was over.

In a May 5, 2005 post to nin.com,[1] Trent wrote, "To be clear: my involvement with Nothing Records is over. Is Nothing Records alive or an entity? You'd have to ask John Malm (we're not really speaking that much these days)... Nothing studios is still in New Orleans and I'm not sure what I'll do with it. I'll figure that out when I finish touring."

While With Teeth and its following singles carry the Nothing Records logo, Reznor has publicly stated that this was at the insistence of John Malm.[citation needed]

Beside You In Time (February 2007) was the last release to carry the Nothing Records logo on its packaging. The logo also appears in the end credits.

Year Zero (April 2007) and its single "Survivalism" do not carry the Nothing logo.

Since early 2004, the official website, NothingRecords.com, has closed down.[2]

Artists[edit]

Marilyn Manson in 1994, performing during the label's "A Night of Nothing" showcase of Nothing Records acts.

In addition to Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson, the label also signed and released albums from 2wo, Pig, Pop Will Eat Itself, Prick, 12 Rounds, Einstürzende Neubauten, The The, and Meat Beat Manifesto. Additionally, Coil was under contract for a record but it was never delivered (though some of the songs from the slated Nothing album appeared in reworked form on The Ape of Naples and The New Backwards). John Bergin was also signed briefly under the name Trust Obey, but the album he recorded ("Hands of Ash") was instead released in 1996 on Fifth Colvmn Records with a sticker that quoted Reznor's reaction to the completed work: "Not a great commercial potential."

Nothing also distributed music from Warp Records, Sheffield, England's venerable electronic music label, under an exclusive license in the U.S., with albums by Autechre, Plaid, and Squarepusher (although Warp's Aphex Twin appeared on the Further Down the Spiral release, he was already under a contract with Sire Records in the U.S. at the time). This distribution deal ended when Warp expanded operations into the U.S. market in 2001. Nothing also managed to secure the U.S. release of two albums from England's Blue Planet Recordings. The two albums were slightly different than the UK releases. Plug's "Drum and Bass for Papa" included an extra disc of tracks from earlier EPs, and The Bowling Green's "One Pound Note" omitted one track from the UK release due to problems with sample clearance.

Nothing Studios[edit]

The studios, located on 4500 Magazine St., were apparently not seriously damaged by Hurricane Katrina.[3] On the Los Angeles radio station KROQ-FM, Reznor stated during an interview (Breakfast with Kevin and Bean) that the studio in New Orleans was not a studio anymore. He later put a collection of his photos on nin.com, detailing the aftermath of the hurricane on his former studios and the surrounding area, before his band played a scheduled concert (which had become a benefit for the survivors).[citation needed]

While writing The Downward Spiral, Reznor lived in the Tate mansion where the Manson family murders took place. After he moved out, it was demolished, he went back and took the door as a souvenir. It became the front door to Nothing Studios.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Reznor, Trent. "Access". Nine Inch Nails. Archived from the original on 2007-03-05. Retrieved 2008-02-16. 
  2. ^ "nothingrecords.com". Retrieved 2006-02-03. 
  3. ^ "Friday News Roundup". The NIN Hotline. September 30, 2005. Retrieved 2008-01-10. 

External links[edit]