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Nine Inch Nails: Quitting Like Jay-Z, or Quitting Like Syd Barrett?

You'll forgive us if we're a little skeptical about so-called "retirements." It's just that we've been burned before by Jay-Z, who said he was stopping, maybe should have stopped, talked on and on about stopping, and then didn't. Egos are funny things; once you get used to people listening to you, it's hard to pull yourself away from the Teat of Attention. It's apparently addictive.

Respect for your decision, Trent. But how do we know you mean it?

Timothy NorrisRespect for your decision, Trent. But how do we know you mean it?

So when Trent Reznor says, NINE INCH NAILS WAVE GOODBYE FINAL TEN LIVE PERFORMANCES CONFIRMED, we want some sort of guarantee. Give us something, preferably notarized and binding, that says, "No, really, we're done here, and here's proof."

Maybe we can get Trent to promise that if he ever feels the compunction to revive Nine Inch Nails the way that, say, Jane's Addiction did this year, he'll have to do something painful like record an entire cover version of, say, Alanis Morrisette's Jagged Little Pill album. Then we can be like, 'Cool, Trent, more power to you, come on back, but first, you're going to have to pay for breaking the promise.' Make Nine Inch Nails do a record of Billy Joel songs or something.

It's not even that we necessarily want NIN to retire -- though there are way way too many bands in this world, and most of them suck -- it's just that we don't want to be jerked around.

And then there's the whole problem of what "retiring" NIN actually means. Face it, Trent Reznor IS Nine Inch Nails. He's got a rotating group of back-up players; he writes and sings all the songs; when he tours, it's him and everyone else. So to say Trent's "retiring" Nine Inch Nails but not saying that Trent himself is quitting really means next to nothing. If he promises that he'll never ever play another Nine Inch Nails song live, regardless of whether he's performing solo or with his new band Ten Foot Screws, then we're in the ballpark. So what's it gonna be, TR?

Ten shows:

8/22/09 NY, NY Bowery Ballroom *

8/23/09 NY, NY Webster Hall *

8/25/09 NY, NY Terminal 5

8/26/09 NY, NY Terminal 5

8/28/09 Chicago, IL Aragon Ballroom

8/29/09 Chicago, IL Aragon Ballroom

9/2/09 Los Angeles, CA Hollywood Palladium

9/3/09 Los Angeles, CA Henry Fonda Theatre *

9/5/09 Los Angeles, CA The Wiltern

9/6/09 Los Angeles, CA Echoplex *

*Tickets available exclusively at NIN.com