Send your questions in for Trent Reznor...the genius behind SPIN magazine's
Album of the Year "The Fragile." Trent has arrived, but keep sending in your questions. This is his first
Internet chat, so he's very excited to be here....
I want to show you all what we've been up to for the past few months. I felt
very proud of what came out of it, from our first show in Barcelona. I hadn't played in almost five years and, I wasn't
sure what to expect and I was very blown away by the response, esp. from a
place where we haven't played before. This album is very experimental and I
just want to get it out to the people.
Hi Trent! Here's my question: You said that anger was your
main source of energy for the Self-Destruct Tour was anger, since The Fragile
is kinda different, what is you source of energy for the Fragility Tour
Trent, what is your favorite track right now?
How come we never got to see the video for The Day The World Went Away?
The reality is this: I've always had a very difficult time making videos. We
were with Tomato, who did Underworld's videos. They are part of Underworld's
collective. When NIN started out in 1990, I looked for directors, I realized
that I was a musician, not a director, so I looked for people who might convey
my music through video, but things change. Things change a lot. When I put
"Broken" out, my friend put a video out; it was so intense, like
Henry the Serial Killer. Now, it's like a commercial. I think music, in
general, as a product to be sold to the masses, has become a commodity, it's
not about art, and it¹s about commerce. It's sickening to me. What I do I
consider art. If you hate me for it, fine, if you don't like it, then fuck you,
that's what I think. If my music doesn't fit in with the backstreet boys
suck-my-dick white boys tryin' to be black, then I hope it never will.
How did Dr. Dre affect the final product of "even deeper"?
I'm a big fan of Dre. I've always respected everything he's done. We wanted to
get a certain sound, a feel. With Dre, he'd been a friend of mine for a while,
and I wanted to pick his brain. He impressed me so much that I wanted to make a
record with him. one that might transcend the way the world of music is right
now. Music is a crucially human element that communicates with people. It
transcends all racial and economic boundaries. I truly believe that.
What hardware/software does he use to mix his music
Everything we do is on apple Macintosh computers; Without a question or
compromise, they've been the ones who've supported the musicians and the
independent mindset, and that will never change. Computers have been an
integral part of how I make music, and if it weren¹t for apple, I wouldn't make
music the way I do. They've allowed me to . . . grow. I respect them and will
support them, with no product endorsement, I just believe in their mindset.
What do you start a song with usually? I mean do you use a piano? Guitar? Drum
On the new record I start with a visual idea. It might be a postcard of a swamp
at sunset. That¹s all that matters to me. I try to write a song around that
mood or feeling. That's what "The Fragile" really represented to me,
I wanted to make a place that you've never been to before. To be quite frank,
the record came out. I didn't know if the label would understand what I was
trying to do, I was trying to not make a commercial record. I wanted to make a
record that mattered to me as a person. That's the only thing that has ever
mattered to me, ever, fuck Universal. All I ever want to do is make a difference,
change some lives. And now, I'm up against Britney Spears, and I say,
"fuck you." I appreciate for what she does, but that's not what it
should be about. I've dedicated my life and watch me. The only thing that I
care about in my whole fucking life is to make a difference. I won't concede, I
won't give in. I love music, and that's all I care about.
Mr. Reznor, What album do you feel has been your greatest work?
Hey Trent? Would you consider yourself a post modernist among your peers (in
music, that is)? Are you, yourself, an adherent of the revivalist frame of
I challenge myself to make the best art I can make. Regardless of pretension. I
wanna lay at night, thinking that I've done the best I can do, that's all that
matters to me. That's the only criteria that I have for myself. I don't care
about money; making new friends or fans, I could care less about that.
Trent, who has your favorite artist to work with over the
years been, and who would you like to work with in the future?
Prince, very much. Coil. I'd love to work with them again. Lou Reed, David
Bowie, I've worked with him. I'd love to be challenged by, there are a lot of
people smarter than me, I realize. David Gilmour, Roger Waters . . . I'm ready
to be challenged.
Trent, how do you feel about the lack of album sales in the
States right now?
The reality is, when it came out, I was very humbly surprised that we debuted
at number one, because none of the other records did. I couldn't believe that
anyone still cared. After the joy of debuting at number one, I realized that I
don't belong there. I don't want to compete with Britney Spears and Backstreet
Boyd. You go from being the Golden Boy to why haven't you done as well this
week. I'd like my music to appeal to a lot of people, but I'm not catering to
Mr. Reznor, what makes your record label any different than the other labels?
'Cause we don't give a fuck, we're not Universal. We're like 4AD or Mute or Wax
Trax who cares about artists. Try anything and we'll support you. The success
of Marilyn Manson was that I believed in them and I still do. They have a
vision and they need to be supported in what they do. All the bands that I've
ever loved have been on labels that I've loved. Those labels promoted artists
to be as unique and experimental as they wanted to be and that's how music and
art has to be. If not, music will fail and be backstreet boys or Fred Durst
wiggin' out on your ass. When I started out in Nine Inch Nails, I wasn't sure
about anything. TVT told me that everything I was doin' sucked. I said fuck
Fine Young Cannibals, fuck 'em, I didn't want to be like them. I didn't have
anyone telling me to believe in myself. I want to provide artists on Nothing
Records support. Fuck underage chicks, do it, music needs it. Music needs
extremity. I told Manson to just do it. We don't need another Mandy Miller,
what the fuck is that?
I was wondering if you ever planned on releasing the track that you did with
That came up in an odd way. I became aware of her music through different
people. When the movie "Stigmata" came out, I was offered to work
with her. At first I was like no, but then I listened to her music. Her track
never came out, but I really liked it. Will I work with her in the future, I
don't know, I like her, she's a friend, that's about it.
How do you feel about the Internets effect on music? And how is the Internet
effecting your future projects?
The distribution of music is getting interesting now. I like the idea that it
can be immediately dispersed to people who wanna hear it. But there is a
difference; labels can introduce music to people. It's the whole indie rock
problem. The problem is, as a consumer, you need to know the difference between
what is and isn't good. I'm on a major label now that I don't think believes in
me very much. I hope they do, but I don't think they do. I made a record that I
think is, I cried when I heard it. As an artist and a human being, it's the
most I can make in my life, but I don't want to kiss Carson Daly's ass to get
it played. Cuz I think it's art, you should frame it on your wall. Maybe I'm
pretentious. I'm trying to get Tapeworm started because Nine Inch Nails is all
about my neurosis and trying to change the world. Tapeworm is a collaborative
project. I promise by mid-2000 it will be out. I believe in my band and respect
those guys. And you'll see.
What were you laughing about on the MTV VMA performance?
I wasn't. I'm so pissed off about that, I've never been more scared in my life,
I couldn't hear anything because I had to wear those stupid-ass in-ear
monitors, I got talked into it. When I wrote the lyrics, it was supposed to be
that you couldn't understand. . . I didn't fuckin' smile!!! To be completely
honest, I would rather sit in the studio and do a new record. But I love this
record so much that I have to support it. I'll give up my life to prove to you
that this is a great fuckin' album. If you don't believe that, fair enough, but
I'll try to prove it. I remember putting this album together, I love it. I need
to prove to everybody that it's a great fuckin' album. I care. I'm tired of
watching TRL, I'm tried of the tediousness of that, am I the only person who
feels this way? I don't know. . .
trent: if you were a sandwich, what kind would you be?
Mr. Reznor, what instrument do you start playing first?
Piano. I'm intrigued and fascinated by the GUITAR because I don't know how to
play it. All of Fragile is based around guitar because I don't know how to play
How has your stage show changed?
In a weird way. In the past, the stage show was all about aggression, jumping
around, being ridiculous. With this album, there is a lot more emphasis placed
on restraint. Trying to express it over a period of time. I was very concerned
about conveying restraint without looking like old men. When we played this new
music, a weird thing happened, we discovered we are capable of more expression.
Not yet. Sade said no; I didn't know how to deal with it. I realized that I had
about 15 more songs sitting around that I didn't feel motivated to write lyrics
for. But I didn't want to find a Trent
replacement to do that. So if I could find someone with a different
perspective, that's what we're looking for right now.
A fan asks: Do you have any upcoming remixes?
We have a bunch we've done ourselves, but I don't feel this record will be that
remix-oriented as the other records before it.
Are there any classical composers who have inspired you?
snguest_trent_reznor: Debusey. I was sitting in Big Sur, losing my mind. His contribution was that you need to be regimented,
with whatever you decide to do. When I was sitting there, Debussey and I had a
mind meld for a second. I felt the need to plagiarize the title, "La
Mer." He revolutionized the Mozart bullshit world of everything was rigid
When do you expect to tour the U.S. in support of the Fragile?
Middle of February, in a very different capacity. We're in arenas and there
will be more new material. We started the web site and tried to put out
disinformation, Fight Club style. Our web site is fake. The web is a great way
to be whoever you want to be. We play upon that. We spend so much time fucking
with people. We make up people. My webmaster is the main guy that fucks with
everybody. But don't tell anybody. We spend hours making up characters and
fucking with people.
How have your fans influenced your music?
In a way that I sit in a room by myself writing music that matters to me. When
I play live and see people respond to it, that's the only thing that matters. I
hope that I still matter to people, but at the same time, as an artist, I'm not
responding to whether they like it or not. I'm not hearing that.
Do you feel you've achieved happiness through what you've done and
I'm a fucking imbecile and I thought that if I could ever communicate with
people that make I would . . . communicate with them. It doesn't matter. I've
toured for a fuckin long time. I've realized that it doesn't mean anything.
Being human is a lot more difficult thing than being on tour. With that said, I
will tour forever to show you that this is a different record. I'm looking
forward to presenting "The Fragile" in different formats. All those
formats require infinite amounts of work that I'll never not do. When you go to
see our show, I'm proud that you'll see the best that you'll see. And thank
The NIN hotline, Seems Like Salvation, Nine Inch Nails news and that's it.
Thank you and good night.
Yahoomc: Hey folks - Thanks for joining us tonight! Thanks to Trent for making his on-line chat debut on Yahoo! Thanks to all of you for
your kick ass questions ... Thanks to MTV for bringing us this killer event ...
Now, go buy Fragile -- It rocks!