Originally, I wanted to sign a record deal with Nothing Records, which was owned by Trent Reznor and his ex-manager John Malm. I wanted to do this because, I was a huge NIN fan, but most importantly because I wanted Trent to produce my record. John Malm told my manager at the time, "Trent Reznor will never work with Sister Soleil. Stella is too pop for him." I was devastated. When I signed with Universal Records, Trent's manager had come out to Chicago, invited especially so that Universal could try to convince him to re-consider. Again, I was told I was too 'pop' for Trent. I did something really stupid and risky then. I took the instrumental track of "a warm place" on the actual release of 'A Downward Spiral' and brought it to Chicago Trax Recording studios and dumped it into pro-tools. I had written lyrics and melody to it, and i just, really wanted to see if it would work. I didn't want anything to jeopardise the possibility of this working (for instance, if my lyrics really were "too pop"), so i broke the words up into a kind of code, pronouncing the wrong syllables, etc. I had been listening to a lot of Hildengard Von Bingen's "A Feather on the Breath of God". A lyric that had stuck with me, on that recording, was "illum tangendo' which is a very old form of Latin for the phrase "touching Him". Without permission, I recorded vocals on top of Trent's release. I didn't play it for anyone, until Bud Carr (the music supervisor for the Stigmata soundtrack) called me asking for submissions for the movie he was working on. I think I just wanted somebody to acknowledge that, working with Trent, could still happen (even though, everyone, was telling me to forget it. i could not forget it.) I submitted 5 tracks to Bud. Ofcourse, he called me enthusiastic about 1 track, "a warm place'. I got scared. I explained that I did not get permission to do this, it was only a kind of test for myself, it was stupid, etc….Bud insisted that he would get it to Trent and he would like it. I got a phone call about a week later, from John Malm saying that Trent wanted to speak to me. It did not sound good. I instantly regretted trying to go around him. About another week after that, Trent called me, and I remember spilling an entire gallon of milk on myself and the hardwood floors in my friend's apartment as I braced for what could have been, and rightfully so, a very bad response. He said "I'm usually an asshole about people trying to use my music, but I was pleasantly surprised when I heard this. Did you want to come to New Orleans to re-cut this?". I spent about 4 days at his studios. I met a really cool guy named "rave" that engineered this version. Trent produced it. I had a blast. I stayed at the famous Pontchatrain Hotel, which sadly, I think, was washed away with Katrina. I cried when I left, but not until I was out of sight. It was a kind of victory and a dream, all rolled into one. A couple years ago, someone told me that he posted it onto his remix site on nin.com. Now that was the coolest thing ever. I think he talks a little about what happened to the track there.
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