If you don’t already know the name Robin Finck, chances are you know his playing. A member of both Nine Inch Nails and Guns n’ Roses, Finck is a heavy-hitter capable of adding to textural wall-of-sound murk or busting out the blistering solo. He also plays mandolin, ukulele, lap steel and keyboards/synths and on stage is known for mesmerising performances where he treats instruments, using pedals and effects to create exciting new textures; he’s also known for his abilities to rigidly recreate studio tones in the live setting.
As a jobbing guitarist Finck has worked with the Cirque du Soleil circus troupe as well as a range of metal and indie bands. But for most of the last 20 years he has moved back and forth between NIN and GNR, picking up loose strands as well as creating signature parts. When Slash left Guns N’ Roses in the mid-90s Finck was first called on to replicate parts. This after filling in for Nine Inch Nails as a live guitarist. Then it was back to NIN for studio work and a further world tour. After that he contributed to the sprawling Chinese Democracy sessions as the lead guitarist for the Axl-led Guns N’ Roses. His solo on ‘Better’ is a highlight of that record.
It was back to NIN for another world tour after that.
A gifted player and a very theatrical performer Finck has – through his long-running associations with two hugely enduring and influential bands – been one of the most important hard rock guitarists of the last two decades.