Well, unfortunately for Trent, and hilariously for us, local TV in Cleveland during the 1980s has been preserved for the ages.
So apparently, while Trent was working on Pretty Hate Machine and starting to craft his own gothy image, he paid the bills by playing in bands like the legendary Slam Bamboo.
I know it was the '80s and all, but yowza. Just LOOK at these guys!
Don't worry...Trent isn't the lead singer here. He's hiding in the back, looking shockingly normal. In fact, he looks pretty much the same as he does RIGHT NOW--heavy on the black and leather, short hair...maybe just a bit more feathery than present-day Trent. Still, it's a departure from the hair-sprayed excess of Exotic Birds Trent, and he has a way to go before he develops the godawful dreadlocks of classic PHM Trent. He's not sporting a gold suit or bolo...really, it's a good fashion moment for Trent here. Except for the loafers with white socks:
And lest you think that Slam Bamboo was merely a one-hit wonder, here's their second hit, if you can handle it:
Actually, "Little White Lies" is probably a better song than the first one, but still. As Iris said, "being in bands like this must have given him so much fodder to be pissed at the fucking world about."
Oh, and here's a little interview with the band. The only really notable aspect of it is Trent getting called out by the host as a "nice young man," which he responds to not with a Downward Spiral-esque snarl, but a sheepish "aw shucks" grin from the dork that resides within Trent Reznor. The dork that we know and love.