Nine Inch Nails‘ mastermind Trent Reznor spoke out in a recent interview with the “Tetragrammation With Rick Rubin” podcast that he feels the media landscape has changed for the worst, including the cultural reception to new music, which isn’t what it used to be.
In Reznor’s words:
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In the context of Nine Inch Nails, in terms of an audience and the culture, the importance of music — or lack of importance of music — in today’s world, from my perspective, is a little defeating. It feels to me, in general — and I’m saying this as a 57-year-old man — music used to be the thing that, that was what I was doing when I had time. I was listening to music. I wasn’t doing it in the background while I was doing five other things, and I wasn’t treating it kind of as a disposable commodity.
I kind of miss the attention music got, I miss the critical attention that music got. Not that I am interested in the critic’s opinion, but to send something out in the world and feel like it touched places, might’ve got a negative or positive [review], but somebody heard it, it got validated in its own way culturally. Culturally, that feels askew.
I can’t think of any review I care about today that I even trust. I could write it before it comes out because it’s already written. In fact, ChatGPT could probably do a better job, you know? Or is currently doing the job. That makes for what I feel is a less fertile environment to put music out into — in the world of Nine Inch Nails.
Reznor also spoke of touring:
I don’t want to be away from my kids. I don’t want to miss their lives to go do a thing that I’m grateful to be able to do, and I’m appreciative that you’re here to see it, but I’ve done it a lot, you know?”
But, fans of Reznor’s music, do not despair: he is still into writing music scores for movies.
Some of the excitement of composition in film has thrust me into places I wouldn’t be with my band. It’s made me learn and be in awe of what music is and how powerful it is and how much there is to know about it and how much I don’t know about it. And [I’m] in awe of seeing these different ways it can affect you emotionally, and techniques and sound and soundscapes and things I don’t think I would’ve come across on the typical trajectory of being in a band.