Chris A. Vrenna (born February 23, 1967) is an American musician, Grammy-winning producer, engineer, remixer, songwriter, programmer, and founder of the electronic band Tweaker. Vrenna played drums for the industrial/rock band Nine Inch Nails from 1989 until 1997, and was the keyboardist and drummer of the American rock band Marilyn Manson from 2004 until late 2011.
Chris Vrenna recording in 2013
|Birth name||Chris A. Vrenna|
|Born||February 23, 1967|
|Genres||Industrial rock, industrial metal, alternative rock, electronica|
|Instruments||Drums, keyboards, vocals, piano, synthesizer, guitar, bass, programming|
|Labels||Six Degrees, Waxploitation|
|Associated acts||Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails, Tweaker, Stabbing Westward, Gnarls Barkley|
Soon after graduating from McDowell High School in Erie, Pennsylvania in 1985, Vrenna moved to Chicago, quickly becoming a part of the Chicago industrial music scene and was briefly a member of Die Warzau and Stabbing Westward.
He later reconnected with Trent Reznor, whom he met during high school in Pennsylvania, when they both were in local Cleveland, Ohio band the Exotic Birds. He also toured as a live drummer for KMFDM during the Money era tours, in 1992. He records under the name Tweaker, and has released four albums under that name: The Attraction to All Things Uncertain (2001), 2 a.m. Wakeup Call (2004), Call The Time Eternity (2012), and And Then There's Nothing (2013). Tweaker toured select North American dates with Skinny Puppy in 2004.
As producer, remixer, or engineer Vrenna has worked with The Smashing Pumpkins, U2, Nine Inch Nails, Skinny Puppy, Gary Numan, Scar the Martyr, David Sylvian, Mudvayne, Lords of Acid, God Lives Underwater, Megadeth, Rammstein, Metallica, The Rasmus, Weezer, P.O.D., David Bowie, Slipknot, Cold, underwater, Scarling., Hole, Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie, Green Day, Bush, Live, Adema, the Wallflowers, Dir en grey, and Psyclon Nine. He has also worked with the industrial group Pigface and produced songs and albums for underground girl groups TCR, Jack Off Jill, and Rasputina.
Vrenna has also worked on music for several video games, including Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Doom 3 (as producer with Clint Walsh), Quake 4, American McGee's Alice, its sequel Alice: Madness Returns, Enter the Matrix, Sonic The Hedgehog, Area 51, and Need for Speed: Most Wanted. In 2004, he started soundtrack work on Tabula Rasa, a massive multiplayer online game. He also helped compose the theme song to the animated series Xiaolin Showdown.
He can be seen performing in the music videos for the songs "Down in It", "Head Like a Hole", "Gave Up", "Wish", "The Perfect Drug" and "March of the Pigs" on the Nine Inch Nails video compilation Closure.
Vrenna was Billy Corgan's programmer for four months in 1997. While he was on tour with the Smashing Pumpkins, Vrenna got a call from Axl Rose, who invited Vrenna to spend time with Guns N' Roses to work on what would become "Chinese Democracy". "I did for a couple weeks, but then decided I didn't want to join the band", said Vrenna. Vrenna stated in a later interview that he was in the band for several months before dropping out due to the required time commitment.
Vrenna was chosen to take over the drumming responsibilities for Marilyn Manson after Ginger Fish was injured in 2004 during the Lest We Forget tour. He then replaced Madonna Wayne Gacy as the permanent keyboardist for Marilyn Manson. Vrenna co-produced the albums The High End of Low (2009) and Born Villain (2012). In April 2011, following the departure of Marilyn Manson's drummer Ginger Fish, Chris Vrenna was announced to be his official replacement. However, in November 2011, it was announced that Vrenna had parted ways with the band in order to focus on scoring movies and video games.
In 2017, it was announced by Vrenna's Facebook page that he would be composing music for the upcoming video game, Quake Champions, which marks his second collaboration with id Software since Doom 3.
|Big Electric Metal Bass Face||1991||Die Warzau||Drums||N/A|
|Broken||1992||Nine Inch Nails||Drums||"Wish"|
|The Downward Spiral||1994||Drums||"Hurt"|
|Portrait of an American Family||1994||Marilyn Manson||Percussion||"Dope Hat"|
|Natural Born Killers||1994||Various Artists||Drums||"Burn" by Nine Inch Nails|
|Smells Like Children||1995||Marilyn Manson||Programming||N/A|
|Antichrist Superstar||1996||Marilyn Manson||Programming
|Lost Highway||1997||Trent Reznor||Drums||"Driver Down"|
"The Perfect Drug"
|Batman & Robin||1997||The Smashing Pumpkins||Programming||"The End Is the Beginning Is the End"|
|Songs of the Witchblade||1998||Various artists||Programming||"Saraphrenia"|
"Finale: Apocalypticraft / Tunnel"
|How We Quit the Forest||1998||Rasputina||Drums
|Love Thinketh No Evil||1999||Peter Himmelman||Drums||"Eyeball"|
|13 Ways to Bleed on Stage||2000||Cold||Programming||N/A|
|The World Needs a Hero||2001||Megadeth||Percussion||"Disconnect"|
|Weird Revolution||2001||Butthole Surfers||Drum Programming||"Jet Fighter"|
|Modern Folk and Blues: Wednesday||2006||Bob Forrest||Drums||N/A|
|Bat Out of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose||2006||Meat Loaf||Programming||"Bat Out of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose"|
|The High End of Low||2009||Marilyn Manson||Programming||N/A|
|Scar the Martyr||2013||Scar the Martyr||Programming||N/A|
|Man on the Run||2014||Bush||Keyboards||N/A|
|1996||Quake||id Software||Credited as member of Nine Inch Nails|
Co-composed with Trent Reznor
|2000||American McGee's Alice||Rogue Entertainment||N/A|
|2003||Xiaolin Showdown||N/A||Television series|
Composed with Clint Walsh
|2004||Doom 3||id Software||Theme music producer|
Also provided additional in-game sounds
Theme music composed with Clint Walsh
Also credited in Doom 3 BFG Edition
|2005||Area 51||Midway Studios Austin||Additional music composition by Robert King and Clint Walsh|
|2005||Quake 4||Raven Software||Theme music producer|
Composed with Clint Walsh
|2007||Tabula Rasa||Destination Games||Composed with Clint Walsh, Curse Mackey and Tracy W. Bush|
|2011||Alice: Madness Returns||Spicy Horse||"Wastelands" track|
|2015||Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare||Sledgehammer Games
|Exo Zombies game mode available in Havoc DLC pack|
|TBA||Quake Champions||id Software||With Andrew Hulshult|
|Will You (Chris Vrenna Remix)||P.O.D.||Will You||Atlantic Records||2003|
|Lights Out (Chris Vrenna Remix)||P.O.D.||Goodbye For Now||Atlantic Records||2005|
|If Only (Chris Vrenna Remix)||Dethcentrik||Electronic Saviors Volume 3: Remission||Metropolis Records||2014|
|No Funeral (Remixed by Tweaker)||Nachtmystium||Retox: Remixes and Rarities||Earache Records||2017|
- "Chris Vrenna of Nine Inch Nails (Rhythm Mag – March '97)". Theninhotline.net. Retrieved 2011-10-30.
- "July 2002 – Chris Vrenna". Audiohead.net. April 5, 2009. Retrieved 2011-10-30.
- "Interview with Chris Vrenna on VampireFreaks.com". 2010.
- Ramirez, Carlos.  'Tweaker's Chris Vrenna on Playing Drums for Marilyn Manson: 'I Just Couldn't Take the Lifestyle Anymore' Noisecreep.com September 18, 2012
- Excited to announce the latest project I've been working on! on Facebook
- Excited to announce that I've been working on the score to Quake Champions! on Facebook
- "Chris Vrenna writes OST for Quake Champions, News". Plus Forward. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
- "American McGee on Quake". Quaddicted. 2011. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
- "Doom 3 – Credits". MobyGames. Retrieved 24 January 2018.