Trent Reznor called in to The Kevin & Bean Show this morning to talk about new music from Nine Inch Nails.
“I gotta admit we were quite nervous before the show,” says Reznor about the band’s appearance at FYF Fest this past weekend. “It has been 3+ years since we performed. The stress of finishing the last record and also rehearsing with the band and getting everything together, and trying to think about how we’re presenting ourselves, and realizing that we’re pretty high on the bill, and does anyone still care? The normal type of insecure demons were present.”
“I don’t take anything for granted,” Reznor continues. “At this point, I’m doing this because I need the uncertainty of it in a sense. It still feels vital to me… I need to be in places where it doesn’t feel necessarily comfortable. Then when I find a place that’s comfortable I start to complain about it.”
“If we’re doing this, it needs to be in the moment and it needs to be real… or what’s the point of doing it? Now, deep into a 2-year tour, having played 5-nights a week for ever… is it hard to be in the moment at times? Yes, it is. Sometimes it’s very hard not to float away because you’ve done it so many times.”
It’s been over 3 years since the band last performed, so Bean wanted to know what they’re doing differently now than they did in the past.
“My thoughts this time, and this is having paid attention to what bands are doing these days, I think visuals are kind of played out. I think we’re in a world where the EDM tent is blowing everybody’s minds with the IMAX experience, overstimulation. I can look back on what we’ve done in the past and admit that we have relied on imagery at times to carry portions of the set. It became a bit of a crutch for certain things. The idea on this wave of shows, which may continue in this style of performance or not, was to eliminate all of that. Throw a rag over the back video screen and don’t have any visuals. Let’s make this about a band playing and sweating and actually performing in the moment, in front of you. It doesn’t feel polished and safe and predictable necessarily.”
Fans may be a bit disappointed if they were looking to catch the band in Los Angeles again in the near future. With their 2017 schedule already full, Reznor says that “the real master plan is seeing if Nine Inch Nails can pull off 30-40 shows a year for the next few years, rather than be gone 10 months on a tour. That doesn’t appeal to me for a number of reasons.”
Nine Inch Nails’ latest EP Add Violence was released last Friday, and although Reznor still finds it difficult to connect with fans, it isn’t as hard as it once was. “The act of writing music is as difficult as it always has been. It always feels like the hardest thing one can try to do. I’m not as afraid of it as I used to be. I think you see more output from me these days because I’m not hiding years at a time because I’m afraid to pick up a pen and see what happens. But the actual act of getting there and writing, I still feel like I’ve got a lot to learn and a lot further to go.”