is paying tribute to
, the man who helped the Nine Inch Nails founder get sober.
on Jan. 10, after an
18-month battle with cancer
“I didn’t think we were done,” Reznor, 50, said in an interview with
. “It feels like the loss of a mentor, fatherly figure, someone looking out for you, reminding you that in a world where the bar keeps seeming to be lower, where stupidity has got a foothold, there is room for excellence and uncompromising vision.”
The rocker detailed just how Bowie inspired him and his music tastes, revealing that he “was in full-obsession mode with Bowie” during his pre-fame days.
In 1995, dreams became reality when the Starman invited Nine Inch Nails to co-headline the
tour. “The fact that he was this graceful, charming, happy, fearless character became a new point of inspiration for me,” Reznor shared.
But the most poignant memory of all for Reznor was how Bowie helped him reach sobriety after deep in the throes of drug and alcohol addiction.
“There were a number of times where the two of us were alone, and he said some things that weren’t scolding, but pieces of wisdom that stuck with me: ‘You know, there is a better way here, and it doesn’t have to end in despair or in death, in the bottom.'”
No one was more supportive of Reznor staying sober than Bowie, a fact that was validated years later when the two were reunited.
“I was met with warmth, and grace, and love,” he recalled. “And I started to say, ‘Hey listen, I’ve been clean for …’ I don’t even think I finished the sentence; I got a big hug. And he said, ‘I knew. I knew you’d do that. I knew you’d come out of that.’ I have goosebumps right now just thinking about it. It was another very important moment in my life.”
The late legend was
in New York City, as the world continues to mourn in the weeks after his death.
Bowie is survived by his
wife of 24 years
, Iman, their 15-year-old daughter Lexi, and his son Duncan Jones, 44, from his first marriage to Angela Bowie.