James Woolley

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James Joseph Woolley (September 26, 1966 – August 14, 2016) was an American keyboard and synthesizer player, best known for performing with industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails during the 1991 Lollapalooza Tour and the beginning part of the 1994 Self Destruct Tour.[1] Woolley also appeared in the videos for "Wish" and "March of the Pigs", as well as parts of the Nine Inch Nails release Closure (1997).[citation needed] Woolley won a Grammy Award in 1993 for "Best Metal Performance" for "Wish".[2][3]

Prior to Nine Inch Nails, Woolley was a major collaborator along with former NIN drummer Chris Vrenna to Chicago band Die Warzau. In 1994, just before NIN hit the road, Woolley contributed to Sister Machine Gun's album, The Torture Technique.[4]

Subsequent to Nine Inch Nails, Woolley made contributions to Die Warzau albums again, particularly 2005's Convenience.[citation needed] In 1998, Woolley toured with Rob Halford's one-time band 2wo, which also included John 5 of Marilyn Manson. After 2wo, Woolley did some studio audio work in Los Angeles. After 2006, he was involved with V.O.I.D., whose debut album was released in 2009, after his relocation to Chicago in June 2008.[citation needed] The band was led by Woolley and featured Jon Roberts, Mark Pearlman, and DJ Aaron Chase.

Woolley last resided in Round Lake Beach, Illinois, and had a studio near Lake Forest, Illinois. Woolley died on August 14, 2016 at the age of 49. His ex-wife Kate Van Buren revealed that Woolley had been living with "significant neck and spine injuries" which later contributed to his death.[5][6]


  1. ^ Huey, Steve. "Biography: Nine Inch Nails". AMG. Retrieved May 17, 2010.
  2. ^ Huxley, Martin (September 1997). Nine Inch Nails: Self Destruct. St. Martin's Press. p. 65. ISBN 0-312-15612-X.
  3. ^ Taylor, Steve (2006). The A to X of Alternative Music. Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 165. ISBN 0826482171. Retrieved December 4, 2012.
  4. ^ "The Torture Technique - Sister Machine Gun | Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-08-18.
  5. ^ Lewis, Randy (2016-08-18). "James Woolley dies at 49; former Nine Inch Nails keyboardist". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2016-08-19.
  6. ^ Kreps, Daniel. "Former Nine Inch Nails Keyboardist James Woolley Dead at 49". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2016-08-18.