Trent Reznor, 49, takes Nine Inch Nails on tour with fellow Alt Godheads Soundgarden for the loudest rock bonanza of the season

By Kyle Anderson
May 23, 2014 at 04:00 AM EDT

Why coheadline with Soundgarden?
Trent Reznor I don’t know those guys personally, but we’re both surviving here, however many years later. I don’t think we’re similar in style that much, and that makes it a challenge for it to come off as a cohesive show. That kind of getting uncomfortable helps keep things from becoming too routine.

How do you keep the show fresh after not only being on the road for a year with NIN but also being in a band for 25 years?
I’m very aware that in this day and age there’s a lot of competition for people’s attention. So to go into a place and dedicate your evening to that and to spend money to do that, I don’t take that for granted. But it’s tough also not to fall into the trap of ”Hey, how can we out-Pink Floyd Pink Floyd? Put more s— on stage!”

Nine Inch Nails’ first coheadlining tour was in 1995 with David Bowie. What do you remember most from that?
I still look back and go, ”Oh, man, that actually happened.” He’s one of those few people who didn’t disappoint me when I actually got to know him.

Which Soundgarden song will you be requesting on the tour?
When I got [1991’s] Badmotorfinger, I made a tape of it, and I put the songs in the wrong order. There’s a song called ”Slaves & Bulldozers” that I thought starts the album, and it doesn’t. That’s my favorite.