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The Hand That Feeds

"The Hand That Feeds" is a song by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, released as the lead single from their fourth studio album, With Teeth (2005). It is the highest charting song by Nine Inch Nails on all charts except for US Modern Rock Tracks, where it stayed at number one for five weeks, because the single that followed, "Only", stayed at number one for two more weeks (non-consecutively), and the Billboard Hot 100 peaking at number 31, bested only by the group's 1999 single "The Day the World Went Away", which peaked at number 17 but did not chart anywhere else in the US and never had any popular success[citation needed], making it one of their less popular singles. It is, to date, Nine Inch Nails' only single to hit the top 10 of the UK Singles Chart, as well as their highest-charting single on the US Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, peaking at number two. It was also a crossover hit, crossing over to pop radio as their first top 40 radio hit since "Closer" and "Hurt" in 1994 and 1995, respectively, peaking at number 31 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

"The Hand That Feeds"
Single by Nine Inch Nails
from the album With Teeth
ReleasedMarch 28, 2005 (2005-03-28)
Songwriter(s)Trent Reznor
Producer(s)Trent Reznor
Nine Inch Nails singles chronology
"Into the Void"
"The Hand That Feeds"
Halo numbers chronology
Halo 17
Halo 18
Halo 19


Though several stations played a leaked copy of "The Hand That Feeds" in February, official radio play of the song began on March 14, 2005.[citation needed] "The Hand That Feeds" was released for sale on both iTunes and Napster on March 22, 2005.[citation needed]

A music video was made for this song. It was directed by Rob Sheridan and was released on March 17, 2005 on the NIN official website. A second video for this song was directed by Ian Inaba, but was shelved and was never completed.[citation needed]

The April 15, 2005, update to the NIN website included a link to a multi-track GarageBand file of the song. This file allows anyone with the Macintosh program GarageBand to remix the song.

NIN was due to play this song at the 2005 MTV Movie Awards, but dropped out due to conflicts between Trent Reznor and MTV concerning the band's plan to incorporate an image of George W. Bush into the performance. An announcement made by Trent Reznor on the NIN website on May 26 stated:

"Nine Inch Nails will not be performing at the MTV Movie Awards as previously announced. We were set to perform 'The Hand That Feeds' with an unmolested, straightforward image of George W. Bush as the backdrop. Apparently, the image of our president is as offensive to MTV as it is to me. See you on tour this fall when we return to play in America."

The following day, MTV stated,

"While we respect Nine Inch Nails' point of view, we were uncomfortable with their performance being built around a partisan political statement. When we discussed our discomfort with the band, their choice was to unfortunately pull out of the Movie Awards."

Nine Inch Nails was eventually replaced by Foo Fighters at the ceremony on June 9.

During the performance of The Hand That Feeds in Jacksonville, Florida on October 29, 2008, a photo of George W. Bush was displayed behind the band, and as the band played the photo gradually morphed into John McCain, the Republican candidate for the 2008 presidential election.

The song was nominated for Best Hard Rock Performance for the 48th Annual Grammy Awards in 2006.[2]

The song is included in the videogames Rock Band, Midnight Club 3 and as downloadable content in Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock and Rock Band 4. The song also appears in the trailer to Red Riding Hood and in the TV spot for Underworld: Evolution. In 2009, it ranked at number 406 in Pitchfork Media's list of The Top 500 Tracks of the 2000s.[3]

Music videoEdit

The music video for the song was directed by Trent Reznor and Rob Sheridan and debuted on the official Nine Inch Nails website. The video features the live band, featuring Aaron North, Jeordie White, Jerome Dillon, and Alessandro Cortini, performing the song in close quarters. The video features the use of the pan and scan technique, resulting in video distortion such as pixelization and interlacing. During the final chorus, the band members become intentionally more distorted by additional interlacing.

The singleEdit

The single for "The Hand That Feeds" was only given a wide release in Europe. The European releases include a 3-track limited edition CD, a 2-track standard CD, a 9-inch vinyl and a DVD single.

In the United States, "The Hand That Feeds" was released on various vinyl formats. A limited edition 10-inch picture disc and a 7-inch promotional disc (the latter available at With Teeth listening parties) contained the title track and the b-side "Home." Additional 12-inch remix records, containing mixes by Photek and DFA were also available.


  • Island Records CID888 - CD
  • Island Records CIDV888 - DVD
  • Island Records 9IS888 - 9-inch vinyl
  • Interscope Records HALO_18 V2 - 10-inch picture disc (limited edition)
  • Interscope Records INTR-11401-7 - 7-inch vinyl (promo)
  • Interscope Records B0005127-11 - 12-inch vinyl, Photek remixes
  • Interscope Records B0005129-11 - 12-inch vinyl, DFA remixes

Track listingEdit

CD (Available as 2-track standard release and 3-track limited edition digipack)
1."The Hand That Feeds"3:38
2."The Hand That Feeds (Straight mix)"7:46
3."The Hand That Feeds (Dub mix)" (limited edition only)7:52
DVD (includes poster)
1."The Hand That Feeds (Video)" 
2."The Hand That Feeds" 
3."The Hand That Feeds (Straight Mix)" 
9-inch vinyl
1."The Hand That Feeds" 
2."The Hand That Feeds (Dub Mix)" 
10-inch picture disc and 7-inch promotional vinyl
1."The Hand That Feeds" 
12-inch Photek remixes
1."The Hand That Feeds (Straight Mix)" 
2."The Hand That Feeds (Ruff Mix)"3:58
3."The Hand That Feeds (Dub Instrumental)"7:51
4."The Hand That Feeds" 
12-inch DFA remixes
1."The Hand That Feeds (DFA Remix)"9:02
2."The Hand That Feeds (DFA Remix Instrumental)"9:01
3."The Hand That Feeds (DFA Version I)"14:12


Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[4] 41
Belgium (Ultratip Wallonia)[5] 17
Canada Rock Top 30 (Radio & Records)[6] 8
Denmark (Tracklisten)[7] 15
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[8] 15
Germany (Official German Charts)[9] 62
Italy (FIMI)[10] 15
Norway (VG-lista)[11] 17
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[12] 36
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[13] 67
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[14] 7
US Billboard Hot 100[15] 31
US Digital Song Sales (Billboard)[16] 10
US Mainstream Rock (Billboard)[17] 2
US Alternative Songs (Billboard)[18] 1
US Dance Club Songs (Billboard)[19] 30

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Corcoran, Nina (March 28, 2016). "Ranking: Every Alternative Rock No. 1 Hit From Worst to Best: Nine Inch Nails - The Hand That Feeds". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved January 18, 2017.
  2. ^ "The Complete List of Grammy Nominations". The New York Times. 2005-12-08. Retrieved 2008-04-13.
  3. ^
  4. ^ " – Nine Inch Nails – The Hand That Feeds" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved February 9, 2019.
  5. ^ " – Nine Inch Nails – The Hand That Feeds" (in French). Ultratip. Retrieved February 9, 2019.
  6. ^ "RR Canada Rock Top 30" (PDF). p. 58. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  7. ^ " – Nine Inch Nails – The Hand That Feeds". Tracklisten. Retrieved February 9, 2019.
  8. ^ "Nine Inch Nails: The Hand That Feeds" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved February 9, 2019.
  9. ^ " – Nine Inch Nails – The Hand That Feeds". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved February 9, 2019.
  10. ^ " – Nine Inch Nails – The Hand That Feeds". Top Digital Download. Retrieved February 9, 2019.
  11. ^ " – Nine Inch Nails – The Hand That Feeds". VG-lista. Retrieved February 9, 2019.
  12. ^ " – Nine Inch Nails – The Hand That Feeds". Singles Top 100. Retrieved February 9, 2019.
  13. ^ " – Nine Inch Nails – The Hand That Feeds". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved February 9, 2019.
  14. ^ "Nine Inch Nails: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved February 9, 2019.
  15. ^ "Nine Inch Nails Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved February 9, 2019.
  16. ^ "Nine Inch Nails Chart History (Digital Song Sales)". Billboard. Retrieved February 9, 2019.
  17. ^ "Nine Inch Nails Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard. Retrieved February 9, 2019.
  18. ^ "Nine Inch Nails Chart History (Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved February 9, 2019.
  19. ^ "Nine Inch Nails Chart History (Dance Club Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved February 9, 2019.

External linksEdit