seize with teeth

With Teeth

With Teeth is the fifth studio album by American Industrial rock act Nine Inch Nails, released in 2005 on Interscope Records. The album was produced by Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor and long-time collaborator Alan Moulder. Reznor ultimately described the album as "13 songs that are friends with each other". More specifically, he has indicated that the album is highly influenced by his battle with, and recovery from, alcoholism and substance abuse. This album generated three singles: "The Hand That Feeds", "Only", and "Every Day is Exactly the Same".


Following the release of the band's previous album, The Fragile (1999), Trent Reznor struggled with addiction. "That was the path I chose", Reznor told Spin in 2005. "I was going to just drink myself or drug myself out of it. I got back to New Orleans after the Fragile tour, and I'd pretty much lost my soul." After Reznor hit bottom and decided to go to rehab, he began work on a new album. The songwriting process moved along easier for Reznor than in the past. He said that was due to having "a pretty good game plan [...] I had themes and subjects [...] As my brain started working, the songs just started to come out. I regained my self-confidence."

Reznor originally planned the album to be a concept album, complete with a storyline. "I'd come up with this kind of elaborate storyline, and the record was gonna be a concept record that had a number of pretentious elements to it," Reznor said. "I was gonna talk about multi-layered reality and waking up in a dream you can't wake up out of, and eventually finding acceptance after you go through this period of trying to fight it. It was all kind of a big analogy for me getting sober.

Reznor recorded the album at Nothing Studios in New Orleans, the last release he recorded at the location before permanently relocating to Los Angeles. The album was produced by Reznor and long-time Nine Inch Nails producer Alan Moulder, with engineering and assistance by Atticus Ross. The album was mixed in stereo and 5.1 surround sound. Former Nirvana drummer and current Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl contributed drums and live percussion on seven tracks. According to a statement on the official Nine Inch Nails website, Reznor stated that producer Rick Rubin was his "mentor" and "source of inspiration" throughout the planning and writing process of the album. Reznor was also heavily inspired by the use of more analog electronic effects and instruments, specifically tape delay and modular synthesizers. A post on the band's official website dated May 5, 2003 indicated that Atticus Ross, Leo Herrera and Reznor were in the studio recording and "refining" rough new material. It also stated Jerome Dillon was on drums on these sessions.

Early reports indicated that the album had a working title of Bleed Through. Reznor stated that the name was eventually changed because "it was supposed to be about different layers of reality seeping into the next, but I think some people were thinking about blood or a tampon commercial. Mixing began on October 28, and on New Year's Eve Reznor revealed that the album was complete, as well as the album's final title.


Before the release of the album, fans were able to listen to With Teeth in its entirety by attending listening parties that took place in 13 cities throughout the U.S. Anyone who attended received promotional posters and stickers. Those who pre-ordered the album received a limited edition 7" vinyl containing the single "The Hand That Feeds," as well as the B-Side track "Home."

With Teeth was released as a standard CD, double vinyl, a DualDisc and a CD/DVD combo. In addition to 5.1 surround and stereo mixes of the songs, the DualDisc (and DVD) contain the video for "The Hand That Feeds", an interactive discography and a slide show of album artwork. In a statement to fans on the official Nine Inch Nails website, Reznor explained that his dislike for the constraints of CD artwork led to the creation of a downloadable 20 megabyte 3'×4' poster, incorporating credits, lyrics, and artwork. The poster, designed by Trent Reznor and Rob Sheridan, contains lyrics that are not featured in the actual songs (a practice Reznor has continued since Pretty Hate Machine), as well as song titles and lyrics not featured on the album, possibly recorded but unreleased. The poster is available to members of the official NIN fan club as part of the initial welcome package.

With Teeth debuted at number one on the Billboard album charts in May 2005. Its first-week sales in the U.S. of 272,000 copies surpassed the 229,000 copies sold of The Fragile in its first week.

Reznor also released multitrack files for a few of the songs. In retrospect Reznor said, "That whole idea of putting up multi tracks, really was just, several years ago, bored in a hotel room [...] just as an experiment I happened to have the multi tracks with me--I think I was doing press for With Teeth--I loaded up "The Hand That Feeds" and made it as a multi track, in Garage Band. [...] I thought it would be cool to give the sound to people, and I knew the challenge would be to get that past Interscope, essentially giving the masters out. But they agreed." Reznor has released multitrack files for every major Nine Inch Nails release since.


Before its release, Reznor would describe With Teeth as "more song-oriented", "much more lean" than The Fragile, and "just straight to the point. Reznor said he "tried to keep a lo-fi aesthetic running through it, a kind of carelessness." The album's lyrics tackle Reznor's relationships with himself, the world in general and where he fit into it, and his addiction troubles from previous years that almost claimed his life. Although it dealt with these issues, Reznor was hopeful that it was still "disguised enough that [it was] not a terribly boring record about recovery and addiction". Moreover, he stated the music was less of a concept album, and more of "a collection of songs that are friends with each other, but don't have to rely on each other to make sense".

Reznor also drew influence from the September 11, 2001 attacks, which occurred shortly after his recovery. The album's first single, "The Hand That Feeds", was a direct example of the themes of protest and propagandistic fear that helped influence the album. These influences would become more prominent in his next album, Year Zero, and the alternate reality game that accompanied it.

An interesting side-note is that the first song, "All The Love In This World", was originally part of the soundtrack to the game Quake.

Critical reception

Critical response to the album was generally favorable, with an average rating of 71% based on 22 reviews on Metacritic. Rolling Stone's Rob Sheffield described the album as "vintage Nine Inch Nails", while Stylus Magazine said "The words 'triumphant return' are apt."

Other critics panned the album, however, such as Robert Christgau who labeled the album as "shtick". The Village Voices review was similarly critical, describing the album as "all paint-by-numbers with no topography or relief—just one angry distorted chord after another. PopMatters summarized its review by simply saying "Trent Reznor has run out of ideas.

With Teeth was named one of the top 40 albums of 2005 by Spin magazine, and chosen as one of's Top 100 Editor's Picks of 2005. The album was certified Gold in the United States, and Silver in the UK. The song "Every Day is Exactly the Same" was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2007.


Nine Inch Nails supported the album with the "Live: With Teeth" tour. The touring lineup featured Jeordie White, Aaron North, Alessandro Cortini, and Jerome Dillon. Midway through the tour, Dillion was forced to stop playing due to a medical condition. He was initially replaced by Alex Carapetis, and then later by Josh Freese.

The tour began with a small club tour in early 2005, and the band members were reportedly "pleasantly surprised by the interest" despite the group's lengthy hiatus between tours. This initial leg of the tour also included a headlining performance at Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. The band followed up with a North American arena tour in autumn 2005, supported by Queens of the Stone Age, Autolux, Death from Above 1979, and hip-hop artist Saul Williams. The second leg of the tour consisted of a series of North American amphitheaters performances in the summer of 2006, supported by Bauhaus, TV on the Radio, and Peaches. In 2007, a tour documentary entitled Beside You in Time was released in three formats: DVD, HD DVD, and Blu-ray Disc.

Track listing

All songs written and performed by Trent Reznor.

  1. "All the Love in the World" – 5:15
  2. "You Know What You Are?" – 3:42
  3. "The Collector" – 3:08
  4. "The Hand That Feeds" – 3:32
  5. "Love Is Not Enough" – 3:41
  6. "Every Day Is Exactly the Same" – 4:55
  7. "With Teeth" – 5:38
  8. "Only" – 4:23
  9. "Getting Smaller" – 3:35
  10. "Sunspots" – 4:03
  11. "The Line Begins to Blur" – 3:44
  12. "Beside You in Time" – 5:25
  13. "Right Where It Belongs" – 5:04Bonus tracks
  14. "Home" – 3:14 (non-US pressings)
  15. "Right Where It Belongs V.2" – 5:04 (UK and Japanese releases)
  16. "The Hand That Feeds (Photek Ruff Mix)" – 3:44 (Japanese pressings)

The track "Home" was originally a B-side to "The Hand That Feeds". On CD versions the track is placed after the last track, on vinyl it is placed after "Sunspots". As mentioned above, the UK version also features an additional track, an alternate version of "Right Where it Belongs", and the Japanese version also contains the alternate track, as well as a remix of "The Hand That Feeds" by Photek, bringing its track total to 16.


  • Trent Reznor – songwriting, arranging, performance, production, engineering, 5.1 surround mix, sound design
  • Alan Moulder – production, engineering
  • Atticus Ross – programming, additional production, sound design
  • Leo Herrera – engineering, project coordination
  • James Brown – engineering, 5.1 surround mix
  • Rich Costey – engineering
  • Tom Baker at Precision Mastering – mastering
  • Adam Ayan for Gateway Mastering – surround mastering
  • Gem Archer – production, engineering
  • Rob Sheridan – design
  • Jeremy Berman – drum technician
  • Gerch for Drum Fetish – drum technician
  • Dave Grohl – percussion on 1, drums on 2, 3, 6, 9, 10, 11
  • Alien Tom – turntables on 1
  • Rupert Parkes – additional programming on 1
  • Jerome Dillon – live drums on 7 and "Home" (bonus track), additional drum programming

Chart positions


The Billboard 200 1
Billboard Top Internet Albums 1
United World Chart 1
Australian Albums Chart 10
Austrian Albums Chart 4
Canadian Albums Chart 2
Finnish Albums Chart 9
German Albums Chart 9
Irish Albums Chart 7
UK Albums Chart 3

Country Certifications
(sales thresholds)
United States Gold
Canada 2× Platinum
United Kingdom Silver


Song Chart peak positions
US Pop 100 US
US Digital CAN

"The Hand That Feeds" 31 31 1 2 10 1 15 7
"Only" 90 1 22 23 12
"Every Day is Exactly the Same" 56 48 1 12 1
"—" denotes releases that did not chart.


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