Here are two names you would never think would be in a statement together: Miley Cyrus and Nine Inch Nails. Netflix premiered its fifth season of Black Mirror on Wednesday (5th), which includes the highly-publicized, Miley Cyrus-starring episode “Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too.” According to Consequence of Sound, Cyrus plays a pop star “trapped in the cycle of her own fame.”
Now, if the song Cyrus is singing in the episode, “On A Roll,” sounds familiar, that’s because it’s a reworking of Nine Inch Nails’ 1989 classic “Head Like A Hole.” Creator and co-showrunner Charlie Brooker rewrote the song’s chorus for the show. Instead of:
“Head like a hole / Black as your soul / I’d rather die than give you control / Bow down before the one you serve…”
The show has Cyrus’ Ashley O singing:
“Hey there, whoa-ho, I’m on a roll / Riding so high, achieving my goals / I’m so stoked on ambition and verve / I’m gonna get what I deserve.”
Of course, this was done with Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor’s blessing. Brooker told iNews in an interview that:
“Trent got it straight away, it was via email and he was really happy pretty quickly. He wanted to see the script and I got to re-write his lyrics in a chirpy way.”
Added executive producer Annabel Jones:
“[Trent Reznor] thought it was very funny, he found the dark comedy very entertaining.
There are lots of dark concepts in the film and we just enjoy that sort of childish subversion of them.”
Cyrus performs a cover of “Head Like A Hole” with the original lyrics as well. That can be heard during the end credits of the show.
“Head Like A Hole” isn’t the only Nine Inch Nails song to appear in the episode. The band’s “Right Where It Belongs” is also featured. To capitalize on Black Mirror’s usage of their music, Nine Inch Nails has collaborated with the show to release a limited-edition t-shirt featuring their names on the front and the rewritten lyrics on the back. The band did a similar t-shirt collaboration when Marvel costumed their Captain Marvel character in a NIN t-shirt throughout the 2019 film. The shirt is available now on Nine Inch Nails’ website for $25.
Nine Inch Nails released their latest album, Bad Witch, in June 2018. Most recently, Reznor and Atticus Ross scored HBO’s upcoming Watchmen series, which is set to premiere some time in 2019’.