In an interview with Scotland’s Daily Record, Trent Reznor spoke candidly about what he feels is wrong with rock music today. “When you see a lot more excitement generated from the dance tent, I do think a staleness has permeated [rock music],” he explained before making the broader claim that “a pretty conservative nature has crept into music, and I don’t mean sonically.
“I get the sense that a lot of bands today are designing themselves to get a good review in the hip blogs, and that is probably the safest and most cowardly thing you can do as an artist,” added the Nine Inch Nails musician. “If you have something to say, then say it. Express yourself and break the rules.”
In contrast to other aging musicians decrying the changing times, the 48-year-old Reznor still comes across as self-aware, quickly clarifying his position: “I’m saying this as an old guy. You start to morph into the guy you railed against when you were younger. What I don’t want to realize tomorrow is that I have been this clown pretending to be someone half his age and thinking, ‘How did that happen?'”
Elsewhere in the interview, Reznor spoke about how he has worked to continue moving forward creatively. The singer explained how Nine Inch Nails was “starting to get comfortable and routine,” leading him to get involved with film scoring and the creation of new band How to Destroy Angels.
“Around that time in my life, I just felt, ‘I’ve done this, I know how to do this, it doesn’t feel broken, but at the same time the list of creative things I’d like to do is growing and I never get to them because I’m constantly in a Nine Inch Nails tour schedule.'”
Nine Inch Nails are currently touring Europe through June before kicking off their co-headlining tour with Soundgarden July 19th at Las Vegas’ Planet Hollywood.