Maybe Don’t Hold Your Breath for New Nine Inch Nails Any Time Soon
Long-time fans of Nine Inch Nails may want to sit down before reading this one. After decades of cutting edge music and a flurry of albums in the 2010s really showing the band’s creative strengths, it sounds like frontman Trent Reznor might be winding things down — and it’s all thanks to changes in the way music is being made and his interest in being a more present father.
The news came during an interview on the Tetragrammaton With Rick Rubin podcast, in which the 58-year-old Grammy winning musician says he’s finally ready to take things easy and just live in the moment with the people he loves.
“I don’t really want to do anything right now. I want to feel okay and I want to make sure my family’s okay. And that’s okay.
“I don’t want to be away from my kids, not that much. I don’t want to miss their lives out to go and do a thing I am grateful to be able to do and I’m appreciative that you’re here to see it, but I’ve done it a lot.”
Seeing as how yesterday was Father’s Day, I’m sure there’s plenty of dads reading this right now that can relate. And while the father of five said his family is a huge reason why he’s thinking of slowing things down to a glacial pace with Nine Inch Nails, he also pointed to today’s media landscape and how music is consumed these days.
Back in the 90s and early 2000s, during the height of Nine Inch Nails’ popularity, people had to go to stores and buy these things called cassettes and CDs if they wanted to listen to music. There was an allure to new songs written by your favorite artists that Reznor thinks is entirely missing in today’s constant push for immediacy.
“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.”
You can check out the full interview below.