Nine Inch Nails lead singer Trent Reznor says David Bowie played a pivotal part in getting him sober.

On their 1995 Outside joint tour, Reznor says Bowie provided the wisdom he needed when he was spiralling out of control with alcohol and drugs.

"My career was skyrocketing, but the scaffolding that was holding me up as a person was starting to collapse," he said to Rolling Stone."I wasn't fully aware of how bad it was getting, but I knew, in my heart, that I was on an unsustainable, reckless, self-destructive path."

Having a few moments alone with Bowie on tour, who had gone through similar experiences, gave Reznor some well needed perspective.

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"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'," he said.

Once he got clean a few years later, Reznor was overcome with shame for letting things get that far, for the missed opportunities and the damage he'd caused.

Sober for a while, Reznor found an opportunity to thank Bowie for his words when he was in Los Angeles for a tour.

"I wanted to thank him in the way that he helped me. And I reluctantly went backstage, feeling weird and ashamed, like, 'Hey, I'm the guy that puked on the rug.' And again, I was met with warmth, and grace, and love," Reznor said.

"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.

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"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."

With David Bowie's death on January 10, Reznor admits he feels like he's lost a mentor, "a fatherly figure".

"I didn't think we were done," he said.Trent Reznor is currently working on new Nine Inch Nails material, that will be released in 2016.

Their last studio album was Hesitation Marks released in 2013.

-AAP