Here’s a bunch of different opinions and theories on why Trent Reznor chose the name Nine Inch Nails…which have all been denied by the band.
- The unproven fact that there is enough iron in a person to make a Nine Inch Nail.
- The nails driven into Jesus Chirst’s wrists and feet during the crucifixion were Nine Inch Nails.
- The Statue of Liberty has Nine Inch Nails.
- Nine Inch Nails are the customary length for coffin nails.
- From an obscure lyric from the Tori Amos song “Precious Things” from her Little Earthquakes album released in January of 1992. Amos sings - ”Those demigods with their nine-inch nails and little fascist panties tucked inside the heart”. NIN had already been around by the time the album was released. On a side note: On Tori Amos (1996) Boys For Pele album Tori sings the lyric, “Made my own Pretty Hate Machine” on the song “Caught A Light Sneeze“. Pretty Hate Machine was the name of Nine Inch Nails debut album.
Putting to end all the rumors, Reznor simply named his band Nine Inch Nails because he wanted something that sounded “hard” and “tough as nails”. In the words of Trent Reznor himself,
“I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to think of band names, but usually you think you have a great one and you look at it the next day and it’s stupid. I had about 200 of those. nine inch nails lasted the two-week test, looked great in print, and could be abbreviated easily. It really doesn’t have any literal meaning. It seemed kind of frightening. [In his best he-man voice] Tough and manly! It’s a curse trying to come up with band names.”