In an extensive interview with Spin, Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor reveals details about his creative process, touring, his family, his experience in the film world, and his opinion about the cost of his music.
"When I was 25, people used to say to me that having kids would change you, and I'd roll my eyes," says Reznor, who married singer Mariqueen Maandig in October 2009. "I don't know what it'll be like when they read old stories about my addiction or listen to the older songs. I do know that I caught myself swearing in front of them during a road-rage moment and was worried they'd parrot it back."
He shakes his head. "It's a humbling thing, having kids. One of my sons came to rehearsals, and now he says Daddy's job is 'go play loud music.'"
After working on the score for The Social Network, he had this to say:
"Seeing more about how Hollywood operates, you recognize that making movies is an economic calculation. If, by chance, a high-quality film comes out, that's good, but it's not about executing some great vision. Working with someone as smart as David Fincher isn't normal. I love the idea of making films, and hopefully want to make one of my own someday, but it wasn't a world I wanted to spend more time in."
Wait. So what Trent Reznor really wants to do is direct?
"I'm thinking a super low-brow bro comedy," he says dryly. "I'm into nut humor."
"Nine Inch Nails feels bigger than it ever has," says a bemused Reznor. "Is it because we're on Columbia? Is it scarcity? I don't know, but it doesn't feel bigger in the sense that we've desperately adopted some new clothing style. It feels organic, and it feels good not to be worrying about whether or not we shipped vinyl to the cool record store in Prague. I know that what we're doing flies in the face of the Kickstarter Amanda-Palmer-Start-a-Revolution thing, which is fine for her, but I'm not super-comfortable with the idea of Ziggy Stardust shaking his cup for scraps. I'm not saying offering things for free or pay-what-you-can is wrong. I'm saying my personal feeling is that my album's not a dime. It's not a buck. I made it as well as I could, and it costs 10 bucks, or go fuck yourself."
Reznor wraps the interview up neatly by trying to alleviate any fears that he's gone soft: "Believe me. There's still no shortage of things that piss me off."