Patriarchy Gets Smashed On a ‘Pretty Hate Machine’

My Favorite Album: Patriarchy gets Smashed on a 'Pretty Hate Machine' – Actually Huizenga of L.A. art-rock three-piece Patriarchy told us about her love for a NIN classic.


Actually Huizenga: I, Actually Huizenga of Patriarchy, discovered NIN through my obsession with David Bowie as a pubescent child. Trent Reznor scared/intrigued me when I saw him driving the cab in the video for “I’m Afraid of Americans.”

So I started my research listening to the albums. Pretty Hate Machine was the first album to make me cry and masturbate; to question my childish romantic preconceptions.

Of course Downward Spiral blew my mind and made me decide I needed to have sex with a penis as soon as possible, but Pretty Hate Machine has more of a personal connection for me mostly because as I grew older, I grew into it.

It wasn’t until recently that all of the things Trent was singing about in this album finally happened to me.

It connects directly to my new album The Unself, because this is the first album that I wrote entirely about actual romantic/ sexual/ addictive heartbreaks (that I had during quarantine).


I never thought I’d get to experience that angst. When I finally decided to use the pain, it helped me to realize I was losing myself in it (along with other addictions).

I thought I was singing from the perspective of the guys who I thought had “hurt” me, but I was actually allowing myself to become my shadow self… to realize that I’ve always been in control of the hurting.

I found my Unself by becoming the darkness that was tempting me into my despair. The darkness only hurts you if you don’t accept it.

Now that I’ve finally experienced this for myself, I’m excited about the pain that will always come with pleasure.

I am no longer embarrassed to open myself up to the dangers of human affection/ human contact. Humans are my favorite animals. The worst kind, but the most fun to study, play with, make art about…

Pretty Hate Machine is a combination of hate and love/ church and state/ biology and technology/ dominance and submission… and sung by a man who sounds like he’s in the room with you, breathing down your neck, totally uninhibited; not afraid to cry and smash all of his instruments while covered in mud.

I will never get tired of this album—it’s an album that will not allow you to get tired. It fucks you awake.

I hope that I can stay awake long enough to keep fucking and writing myself.

Patriarchy’s “Good Boy” single and The Unself album are out now.




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