School News

Former Rockstar Turns Teacher at Calhoun

There’s not a lot about Chris Vrenna that makes you think he’s a teacher, except maybe a shocking resemblance to Professor Snape from “Harry Potter.” He was the original drummer for the band Nine Inch Nails and even performed with Marilyn Manson. Now, however, he’s one of Calhoun Community College’s newest professors and the head of the Music Technology Program, according to WAAY 31.

He was about the same age as his students when Nine Inch Nails was formed. At 21, the band got signed with a record label. Most recently, he toured with Marilyn Manson as a programmer and drummer for the band, according to his Linkedin page.

Eventually, the rockstar life got to be too much for Chris.

“One thing that’s crippled so many people I’ve worked with, and it’s in the news again, is substance problems. It feels like you either figure out a way to live sober as you grow older, or a lot of them don’t make it. I just had a friend die two months ago from alcohol,” Chris told WAAY.

Today, Chris is a long way from his days on a stage in front of cheering crowds — mosh pits are generally frowned upon in college classrooms. Instead, he will be teaching students the ins and outs of recording studios, record labels and audio engineering, according to the Calhoun website.

When he’s not teaching, he will be recording his own music. Chris also has an adorable dog that helps him in the creative process, according to his Facebook page.

If you have Chris Vrenna as a teacher, leave a comment letting us know how class is going.

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About the author


Jessie Harbin

Jessie lives in Meridianville with her husband, baby and four dogs. She thrives on chaos, and loves finding good news stories where you least expect them.

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