Robin Finck of Nine Inch Nails: Five Things We Learned from His Ernie Ball 'String Theory' Episode

Today, presents the exclusive premiere of the latest episode of String Theory, starring Robin Finck of Nine Inch Nails.

A web series created by Ernie Ball, String Theory explores the sonic origins of influential and innovative musicians. In the episode, Finck discusses his beginnings with music and guitar, his love of playing, and his relationship with Ernie Ball.

Below, you can find five facts revealed in the episode.

1. He started playing guitar in second grade (2:30): “My introduction to playing the guitar was in second grade. I was seven years old. I graduated from my wooden tennis racket and half-empty box of blood capsules to my dad’s garage sale special, which was a neglected nylon string guitar that he kept in a pleather, vinyl zipper bag.”

2. He reached a new level of guitar playing after moving to a new town as a kid (4:30): “My family moved from the North to the South on the East Coast the summer before my high school freshman year, and I didn’t know anybody then. I was pissed. I didn’t want to be there, and I didn’t want to meet anybody. I sat in the basement, and just played guitar all summer long. I kind of excelled that summer more than I ever have in my life.”

3. He’s played Ernie Ball strings for the majority of his career (5:40): “I probably started playing Ernie Ball strings when I started changing the whole set, instead of just the one broken string. And that would’ve been the summer of 1986.”

4. Finck was originally drawn to Ernie Ball strings because of the artwork, but knew he’d made the right choice once he saw the list famous players on the back of the pack (6:18): “I pointed at the pack that looked like it could maybe be stapled to a telephone pole, you know. And once I had it in my hand [and saw] Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Metallica, Steve Vai—that was impressive.”

5. To him, playing in Nine Inch Nails is similar to playing in an orchestra (9:07): “Playing with Nine Inch Nails is more akin to a position in an orchestra as apposed to, you know, a jam band or some kind of improvisational trick. It’s meticulously schemed, devised and executed.”

Of course, these are just five facts pulled from the clip. Be sure to watch the entire episode below.

For the latest on Ernie Ball, visit

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