"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, 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.
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. "The Hand That Feeds" was released for sale on both iTunes and Napster on March 22, 2005.
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.
The April 15, 2005 update to the current section of nin.com 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.
The song is included in the videogames Rock Band, Midnight Club 3 and as downloadable content in Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock. 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.
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. File Hashes