Nine Inch Nails is the creative vehicle for Trent Reznor, the only continuous member. He formed the outfit in 1988 in Cleveland, Ohio, having previously played with local synthpop group The Exotic Birds. Playing all the instruments himself, Reznor completed and released his debut album in 1989. It earned rave reviews, and sold remarkably well considering the small size of the independent TVT Records. The record was well promoted with a number of outstanding live performances. After releasing an EP in 1992, Reznor released what would become NIN's defining album in 1994. The Downward Spiral peaked at number 2 on the Billboard 200, and has sold in excess of 5 million copies worldwide. He then released a remix version of the album the following year, which featured contributions from the likes of Aphex Twin and Dave Navarro of Jane's Addiction. Due to writer’s block and struggles with addiction, it took until 1999 for a new album to materialise. Although reviews were nowhere near as positive as for its predecessor, the album shot straight to number 1 in the USA, and sold strongly around the world. In the new millennium, albums have been infrequent, and the outfit no longer sells records in the same quantity. However, when Johnny Cash released a stunning version of Hurt in 2003, it introduced many new fans to NIN. It is understood that on hearing the song, Reznor broke down in tears. In 2009, Reznor stated his intention to wind down NIN as a touring act, and that there may be a lengthy hiatus before any new material is released.