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apex-twin
 Rep: 199 

Re: NIN (w/ Robin) in Twin Peaks

apex-twin wrote:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QczxCxFRUf0

NIN are featured in episode 8 of Twin Peaks: The Return, performing 'She's Gone' in the Roadhouse, an iconic location in the series. Robin's still there, which should say something. Trent's been able to handpick his players for a long time, but he's always poached Robin back from Camp Axl whenever possible.

Robin's vagabond ways have caused much talk, in both fanbases. But if you look at Robin's point of view, it's also quite natural. He was hired by Trent on a fluke encounter to tour The Downward Spiral. After the tour, the band members settled into New Orleans, but Robin eventually needed a change of pace from the Rock Star life. He remained friends with Trent and joined the circus as a guitar player. Little did he know, one night in California, Matt and Axl attended the show. 

Robin had made a smooth transition into lead guitar in Guns. He replaced Cirque de Soleil with an even bigger circus. He was given a two-year contract and he was surrounded by familiar faces from his NIN days. A dream job for him, essentially. He got to be there throughout 1998, when most of the original album was written and recorded.

For the next year or so, Axl kept to himself, writing the lyrics and recording his bits in utmost privacy. Robin was unaware of this. His contract was about to end when Trent called him up to tour Fragile. Fellow live members, Danny Lohner and Charlie Clouser, had contributed to the double album, as Trent, an advocate of computing like Axl, had decided on building a network of digital audio workstations in their New Orleans base. Robin missed out on that as he waited on Axl.

At this point in time, it's important to remember all those in the band and crew have described the album as 'done' instrumentally.  Work had been completed early, which stands as a silent nod to Sean Beavan and his crew. People were literally waiting for their contracts to run out, so they could leave in good terms to escape the inactivity.

Robin was actually the first nu-Guns to run out of contract on Aug 1st, 1999. A month later, Billy Howerdel left. Early next year, Josh Freese, Sean Beavan and their audio engineer, Critter. They were moving on to new things, while Axl was holding the album up - while failing to communicate his plans for it. It was a solo album in the sense that one person had absolute power. Many people, including Robin, left disappointed but grateful.

Robin left in what he considered good terms. He always intended to come back to tour behind CD. Only Guns kept him in the dark on future plans, whereas Trent was quite detailed on what was on the table. For Robin, it was natural progression to return to NIN. Axl bemoaned the loss of his Randy Rhodes, enlisting Brian May and Buckethead to fill the void. The tail-end of the Beavan crew's tenure was to re-do guitars because Robin left.

After the Fragility tour, Robin was out of work and touched base with Guns. Lucky timing. Axl had his comeback thought out as a facsimile of the UYI tour. Launch the new band at Rock in Rio 3, go on to a summer tour and drop the album on the road. Paul Tobias was a bit wary on the big stage. Axl tried to get Izzy to stand in for him. Robin showed up.

As in '97, Axl, again, had the opportunity to replace Paul with Robin. Just that, more is more. Axl got obsessed on the three guitar concept, as he felt it brought the music the best both leads had to offer. His management style had already left the band members disgruntled many times over, and the enforcement of three guitars would continue to vex interpersonal relations. By its nature, Guns is a two-guitar band.

Robin was given a good contract, again. Get back in and tour the album, finish what you started. Things were a bit different. New studio, new crew. New drummer and a new guitarist. Who wears masks wherever he goes and talks through a puppet. As a guitarist, he was insane, though. Unlike anyone Robin had ever played with. Axl had finally contracted someone as unreachable and talented as himself.

The RIR3 rehearsals were an old hat. Turn your clock around and get in the Sony lot around midnight. At 2AM, Axl would call in and say he might show up. Robin and the other legacy members would recall the many times they heard that one at Rumbo. Axl was about a 40-minute drive away and would show after 1,5 hours, if at all. Facing the music freaked him out and he needed to work himself up for it. He failed often.

On the final night, Axl needed to see the show after blowing off every other opportunity. Axl one-upped it. In the middle of that night, he figured he might as well see the entire stage show, with pyros et al. The crew worked insane, getting fire marshals in et al. Axl got in and watched the entire show as an instrumental from a couch. He then walked out and allowed a dead-tired crew to wrap it up.

A big reason why Axl was acting so flustered could've been Bob Ezrin's quip on three good CD songs. Axl knew his comeback was deflated for the time being. He was not doing the summer tour without an album. The show was the only thing going for him at that point. He was about to face criticism, but was unable to deliver an album as planned.

This breakdown and the subsequent Groundhog Day of recording was not what Robin signed up for, as the sole person in the CD era to come back for more. And yet, with all the chicken coops and dog poo, the Roy Thomas Baker album was getting there. Around the '02 tour, he might've accepted a two-year extension. All was good, album looming ahead. Just that the same thing happened all over again. Axl saw his shadow and got spooked.

The next year, Buckethead got fed up. He rode to the end of his contract (2+2y, '99-'03) and left. He was bullied to no end by Axl's lawyers, who'd had the been worked up by the boss himself, fuming at them to get a response out of Bucket. Eyewitnesses have said Axl can be a pretty scary guy when properly pissed. If he's one step away from breaking things, you're in for it. You'd get the corn, as the band would say, giggling at his hair style.

RIR4 was still within Robin's contract. It never happened and the band had been marooned from Village Studios, anyway. They'd done away with a third round of recording on the same material, without an album. It was a two-guitar lineup as they left it. Then, in the spring of '06, Axl was getting ready to release the album and offered sizable retainers to get the band back together.

What Axl might've been mum about was that he pined for Buckethead and wanted someone to play his parts. Bucket blew them off and Guns scattered to a whirlwind of 'tryouts', going through new guitar players to suss out one Axl would like. This was not what Robin and the others had signed up for. The new unknown was designated for a cold shoulder, because the boss was indisposed. They ended up with a player Axl's cronies blew off two years earlier.

In April '08, Robin was at the same crossroads as he'd been nine years earlier. Again, Trent came up to him at the opportune time. This was quite a turnaround from the snide remarks by Trent as he was prepping to tour With Teeth in early 2005, sans Robin. While that album had been more of a solo effort, it's certainly plausible that Robin chose to keep Guns as his priority and this scorned Trent at the time. While discussing Robin, the Guns fans generally overlook the With Teeth situation.

Robin was asked, want to do an album and tour it? This was The Slip, reuniting Robin with Josh Freese. It must've been fun for them to finally play live together. Hindsight says Robin made the right choice to go back to NIN when he did. Even with CD out, there was nothing left but diminishing returns before a reunion with Slash. Robin played it the way he wanted and remains a highly regarded employee by both Axl and Trent.

He would have a plethora of stories to tell if he would.

esoterica
 Rep: 69 

Re: NIN (w/ Robin) in Twin Peaks

esoterica wrote:

If you believe DJ, a dubious proposition to be sure, they had been auditioning Robin's replacement since 2007.

I still find him playing the one-off in 2012 strange. I mean Izzy and Duff set precedent for former members but the one off is odd.

I enjoyed The Slip quite a bit but think he's been wasted in NIN with Trent's beep boop experiments.

elevendayempire
 Rep: 84 

Re: NIN (w/ Robin) in Twin Peaks

Wagszilla wrote:

If you believe DJ, a dubious proposition to be sure, they had been auditioning Robin's replacement since 2007.

I still find him playing the one-off in 2012 strange. I mean Izzy and Duff set precedent for former members but the one off is odd.

I enjoyed The Slip quite a bit but think he's been wasted in NIN with Trent's beep boop experiments.

I think the annoying thing is that Robin's got a very distinctive rock tone – those emotive bends, choppy/syncopated rhythm parts and big slides that are quite unlike anything I've heard from another player – and that Chinese Democracy buried him under three other guitarists, so only dedicated fans could work out which parts were his, which were Buckethead and which were Bumblefoot. And in NIN he just ends up playing chuggy rhythm over synths.

Where he'd be best used is in a Big Damn Rock Band with one guitarist, where that player has room to breathe and showcase their unique tone and style, like Matt Bellamy in Muse, Jimmy Page in Led Zep or Brian May in Queen. Put Grohl or Freese on drums, someone distinctive like Maynard James Keenan or Eddie Vedder on vocals (up until recently I would've said Chris Cornell, but, well...). Maybe a female bassist like Melissa Auf der Maur, to provide some contrasting to the raspy vocal with their backing vocals. Get Finck to do this:

esoterica
 Rep: 69 

Re: NIN (w/ Robin) in Twin Peaks

esoterica wrote:

You mean like 1999 GNR? 16

elevendayempire
 Rep: 84 

Re: NIN (w/ Robin) in Twin Peaks

Wagszilla wrote:

You mean like 1999 GNR? 16

Well... yeah. Except with just Robin and no second guitarist.

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