In November, Chris Vrenna will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
WAAY 31 spoke with the former Nine Inch Nails drummer, who put down his drum sticks after 35 years to become the music technology instructor at Calhoun Community College.
For the past three years, Vrenna's been teaching music at the Alabama Center for the Arts in Decatur. An injury forced him to stop playing professionally, so he decided to use his knowledge and experience to help the next generation of hopeful musicians.
“I like to tell them like it is, which is an important part of the teaching part is so they know what they’re, they know exactly what they’re going into and they’re better prepared for that," said Vrenna.
Calhoun Community College, combined with everything North Alabama offers, made his destination an easy choice.
"It’s definitely time to pass it on, you know, pass that torch onto the next generation," Vrenna said. "Teaching has become very important to me.”
He tries to remind students that it takes a lot of hard work. Vrenna and Trent Reznor formed Nine Inch Nails in the late 80s. It took years for the group to make it big.
“If you work hard and pay your dues, you may just win a Grammy, or get a gold record on your wall, or get in the Hall of Fame if you last long enough," said Vrenna."Those are all, that’s just icing on the cake though, all of that stuff.”
Although he misses performing in front of thousands, Vrenna's passion is music and he's more than happy to continue it while in a classroom.