Chris Vrenna

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Chris Vrenna
Chris Vrenna recording in 2013
Background information
Birth name Chris A. Vrenna
Born (1967-02-23) February 23, 1967 (age 50)
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

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 also played drums for the industrial/rock band Nine Inch Nails from 1989 until 1997. Vrenna was also the keyboardist and drummer of the American rock band Marilyn Manson from 2004 until late 2011.


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. "I did for a couple weeks, but then decided I didn't want to join the band", said Vrenna.[2]

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.[3]

In 2015, Vrenna composed the music for the video game Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Exo Zombies.



Video games[edit]

Year Title Developer Notes
2000 American McGee's Alice Rogue Entertainment N/A
2004 Doom 3 id Software Composed with Clint Walsh
Theme music
2005 Area 51 Midway Studios Austin N/A
2005 Quake 4 Raven Software Theme music
2007 Tabula Rasa Destination Games Composed with Clint Walsh
2011 Alice: Madness Returns Spicy Horse "Wastelands" track
2015 Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Sledgehammer Games Exo Zombies main theme

Television series[edit]

Year Title Notes
2003 Xiaolin Showdown Composed with Clint Walsh
Theme music


  1. ^ a b "Chris Vrenna of Nine Inch Nails (Rhythm Mag – March '97)". Retrieved 2011-10-30. 
  2. ^ "July 2002 – Chris Vrenna". April 5, 2009. Retrieved 2011-10-30. 
  3. ^ Ramirez, Carlos. [1] 'Tweaker's Chris Vrenna on Playing Drums for Marilyn Manson: 'I Just Couldn't Take the Lifestyle Anymore' September 18, 2012

External links[edit]