Chris Vrenna

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Chris Vrenna
Chrisvrennadrums.jpg
Chris Vrenna recording in 2013
Background information
Birth name Chris A. Vrenna
Born (1967-02-23) February 23, 1967 (age 51)
Erie, Pennsylvania
Origin Chicago, Illinois
Genres Industrial rock, industrial metal, alternative rock, electronica
Instruments Drums, keyboards, vocals, piano, synthesizer, guitar, bass, programming
Years active 1988–present
Labels Six Degrees, Waxploitation
Associated acts Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails, Tweaker, Stabbing Westward

Chris A. Vrenna (born February 23, 1967)[1] is an American musician, Grammy-winning producer, engineer, remixer, songwriter, programmer, and founder of the electronic band Tweaker. Vrenna played drums for the industrial/rock band Nine Inch Nails from 1989 until 1997, and was the keyboardist and drummer of the American rock band Marilyn Manson from 2004 until late 2011.

Career[edit]

Soon after graduating from McDowell High School in Erie, Pennsylvania in 1985, Vrenna moved to Chicago, quickly becoming a part of the Chicago industrial music scene and was briefly a member of Die Warzau and Stabbing Westward.

He later reconnected with Trent Reznor, whom he met during high school in Pennsylvania,[1] when they both were in local Cleveland, Ohio band the Exotic Birds. He also toured as a live drummer for KMFDM during the Money era tours, in 1992. He records under the name Tweaker, and has released four albums under that name: The Attraction to All Things Uncertain (2001), 2 a.m. Wakeup Call (2004), Call The Time Eternity (2012), and And Then There's Nothing (2013). Tweaker toured select North American dates with Skinny Puppy in 2004.

As producer, remixer, or engineer Vrenna has worked with The Smashing Pumpkins, U2, Nine Inch Nails, Gary Numan, Scar the Martyr, David Sylvian, Mudvayne, Lords of Acid, God Lives Underwater, Megadeth, Rammstein, Metallica, The Rasmus, Weezer, P.O.D., David Bowie, Slipknot, Cold, underwater, Scarling., Hole, Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie, Green Day, Bush, Live, Adema, the Wallflowers, Dir en grey, and Psyclon Nine. He has also worked with the industrial group Pigface and produced songs and albums for underground girl groups TCR, Jack Off Jill, and Rasputina.

Vrenna has also worked on music for several video games, including Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Doom 3 (as producer with Clint Walsh), Quake 4, American McGee's Alice, its sequel Alice: Madness Returns, Enter the Matrix, Sonic The Hedgehog, Area 51, and Need for Speed: Most Wanted. In 2004, he started soundtrack work on Tabula Rasa, a massive multiplayer online game. He also helped compose the theme song to the animated series Xiaolin Showdown.

He can be seen performing in the music videos for the songs "Gave Up", "Wish", and "March of the Pigs" on the Nine Inch Nails video compilation Closure, and also makes a brief appearance in "The Perfect Drug".

Vrenna won a Grammy award as a member of Nine Inch Nails for "Best Metal Performance" for "Happiness in Slavery" in 1995 for the live performance of the song on Woodstock '94.

Vrenna was Billy Corgan's programmer for four months in 1997. While he was on tour with the Smashing Pumpkins, Vrenna got a call from Axl Rose, who invited Vrenna to spend time with Guns N' Roses to work on what would become "Chinese Democracy". "I did for a couple weeks, but then decided I didn't want to join the band", said Vrenna.[2] Vrenna stated in a later interview that he was in the band for several months before dropping out due to the required time commitment.[3]

Vrenna was chosen to take over the drumming responsibilities for Marilyn Manson after Ginger Fish was injured in 2004 during the Lest We Forget tour. He then replaced Madonna Wayne Gacy as the permanent keyboardist for Marilyn Manson. Vrenna co-produced the albums The High End of Low (2009) and Born Villain (2012). In April 2011, following the departure of Marilyn Manson's drummer Ginger Fish, Chris Vrenna was announced to be his official replacement. However, in November 2011, it was announced that Vrenna had parted ways with the band in order to focus on scoring movies and video games.[4]

In 2015, Vrenna announced on his Facebook page that he was composing the music on a series of downloadable content packs called Exo Zombies for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.[5]

In 2017, it was announced by Vrenna's Facebook page that he would be composing music for the upcoming video game, Quake Champions, which marks his second collaboration with id Software since Doom 3.[6][7]

Discography[edit]

Solo[edit]

Instrumental contributions[edit]

List of instrumental contributions for other artists, showing album title, year released and artist name
Title Year Artist(s) Instrument(s) Song(s)
Big Electric Metal Bass Face 1991 Die Warzau Drums N/A
Broken 1992 Nine Inch Nails Drums "Wish"
"Gave Up"
The Downward Spiral 1994 Drums "Hurt"
Portrait of an American Family 1994 Marilyn Manson Percussion "Dope Hat"
Natural Born Killers 1994 Various Artists Drums "Burn" by Nine Inch Nails
Smells Like Children 1995 Marilyn Manson Programming N/A
Load 1996 Metallica Programming N/A
Antichrist Superstar 1996 Marilyn Manson Programming
Drums
"Kinderfeld"
Lost Highway 1997 Trent Reznor Drums "Driver Down"
"The Perfect Drug"
Batman & Robin 1997 The Smashing Pumpkins Programming "The End Is the Beginning Is the End"
Songs of the Witchblade 1998 Various artists Programming "Saraphrenia"
"Finale: Apocalypticraft / Tunnel"
How We Quit the Forest 1998 Rasputina Drums
Programming
N/A
SuperCoolNothing 1998 16 Volt Drums N/A
Celebrity Skin 1998 Hole Programming N/A
Love Thinketh No Evil 1999 Peter Himmelman Drums "Eyeball"
Neve 2000 Neve Programming N/A
13 Ways to Bleed on Stage 2000 Cold Programming N/A
The World Needs a Hero 2001 Megadeth Percussion "Disconnect"
Weird Revolution 2001 Butthole Surfers Drum Programming "Jet Fighter"
Commencement 2002 Deadsy Programming N/A
Modern Folk and Blues: Wednesday 2006 Bob Forrest Drums N/A
Bat Out of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose 2006 Meat Loaf Programming "Bat Out of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose"
The High End of Low 2009 Marilyn Manson Programming N/A
Evanescence 2011 Evanescence Keyboards
Programming
N/A
Scar the Martyr 2013 Scar the Martyr Programming N/A
Man on the Run 2014 Bush Keyboards N/A

Soundtracks[edit]

Year Title Developer Notes
1996 Quake id Software Credited as member of Nine Inch Nails[8]
Co-composed with Trent Reznor
2000 American McGee's Alice Rogue Entertainment N/A
2003 Xiaolin Showdown N/A Television series
Composed with Clint Walsh
Theme music
2004 Doom 3 id Software Theme music producer
Also provided additional in-game sounds[9]
Theme music composed by Clint Walsh
Also credited in Doom 3 BFG Edition
2005 Area 51 Midway Studios Austin Additional music composition by Robert King and Clint Walsh
2005 Quake 4 Raven Software Theme music producer
Theme music composed by Clint Walsh
2007 Tabula Rasa Destination Games Composed with Clint Walsh, Curse Mackey and Tracy W. Bush
2011 Alice: Madness Returns Spicy Horse "Wastelands" track
2015 Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Sledgehammer Games
Raven Software
(Exo Zombies)
Exo Zombies game mode available in Havoc DLC pack
TBA Quake Champions id Software Main theme composed with Ken Pearall
Also mixing engineer

With Tweaker[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Chris Vrenna of Nine Inch Nails (Rhythm Mag – March '97)". Theninhotline.net. Retrieved 2011-10-30. 
  2. ^ "July 2002 – Chris Vrenna". Audiohead.net. April 5, 2009. Retrieved 2011-10-30. 
  3. ^ "Interview with Chris Vrenna on VampireFreaks.com". 2010. 
  4. ^ Ramirez, Carlos. [1] 'Tweaker's Chris Vrenna on Playing Drums for Marilyn Manson: 'I Just Couldn't Take the Lifestyle Anymore' Noisecreep.com September 18, 2012
  5. ^ Excited to announce the latest project I've been working on! on Facebook
  6. ^ Excited to announce that I've been working on the score to Quake Champions! on Facebook
  7. ^ "Chris Vrenna writes OST for Quake Champions, News". Plus Forward. Retrieved 1 May 2017. 
  8. ^ "American McGee on Quake". Quaddicted. 2011. Retrieved 24 January 2018. 
  9. ^ "Doom 3 – Credits". MobyGames. Retrieved 24 January 2018. 

External links[edit]