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Robin joined Nine Inch Nails as part of their touring band in 1994-95 for their Self-Destruct and Further Down the Spiral tours following the departure of previous guitarist Richard Patrick. Finck appeared with Nine Inch Nails at Woodstock '94 and saw his first official release with them, the Closure video, released in 1997.
Once the tour was completed, he took a job playing for the circus troupe Cirque du Soleil in the original tour of Quidam.
In 1997 Finck signed a two-year contract with Guns N' Roses as the replacement for Slash (who had quit the band at the end of the previous year) and began work on what was ultimately to become the band's long delayed album Chinese Democracy. When the two years were up the album had not been completed, although the song Oh My God was released on the End of Days soundtrack. Whether or not Finck played on the song is in dispute; GNR vocalist Axl Rose says he did while Finck himself says he did not.