Well, that was fast. Just a few days ago, we told you about the records we’re anticipating the most in 2011, and wondered which projects Trent Reznor would be releasing this year. That question was answered, among several others, in a candid interview for New York Times’ TimesTalks on Friday evening that was broadcast on Livestream for fans.
Early in the interview, Trent told the mandatory backstory on how he and his musical partner Atticus Ross got together with director David Fincher to score the film The Social Network and how rewarding the experience was, citing that it was a “natural step forward” in his career, creating a musical atmosphere that has nothing to do with himself. After that, he took the opportunity to announce that he is, in fact, scoring David Fincher’s next film, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, set for release this December. For this soundtrack, Reznor explained, he took a different approach, focusing mostly on performances and an organic feel – more specifically, “nothing would be programmed” and we’ll get to hear “his limited skills at stringed instruments.” We can definitely expect to see this record in 2011.
As for the deluxe edition of The Fragile, a project that was mentioned over a year ago and has been left somewhat in the dark, Mr. Reznor finally revealed the plan behind it: Alan Moulder, who originally produced the record, is in charge of restoring the original multitracks of the album for a surround mix rerelease of it, sometime this year. Trent expanded on how The Fragile has aged in a somewhat unusual manner, since, at the time of its release, “it felt like no one liked the album,” but now “it feels like it’s everyone’s favorite.” He also said that he feels that it could’ve been better received if it were released as two separate records (citing Radiohead’s move for Kid A / Amnesiac), and even considered rerecording bits of songs for the rerelease, but ultimately decided against it.
The NIN frontman also had the chance to discuss How To Destroy Angels, his group with Mariqueen Maandig (his wife) and Atticus Ross. Trent confirmed that their full-length album is on its way, much more “beat and rhythm-oriented” than TSN’s score, and that it will sound very different from the EP they released last year. About that first release of the group, he added that he’s “proud of it, but it feels like the first things we’ve done,” and that it was merely “the results of a couple of months of experimentation and tinkering.” From the sounds of it, the LP will be much more fleshed out.
The end of Nine Inch Nails as a live act was discussed as well. First, Trent joked that before the band’s Wave Goodbye tour, he got a call from Gene Simmons advising him to “just say it’s your last tour, that always keeps the fans coming,” in addition to having “played Head Like A Hole enough times.” But on a more serious note, he said: “Will I tour again? Certainly. Will Nine Inch Nails play shows again? I’m not saying it’s out of the question…” though he was quick to point out “there is no tour booked.”
When the mic was passed on to the crowd, a few obscure questions from the black-clad fanatics were expected, but we’re kind of glad they came up. For one, Trent was asked about the songs he recorded with Zack De La Rocha after Rage Against The Machine’s initial demise. Trent sighed, looked at the camera and said “Zack, are you watching?”, later explaining that the material the duo worked on “was in the middle of ‘I can’t do this, it sounds too much like Rage / I can’t do that, it doesn’t sound enough like what they expect me to do,'” furthermore adding that there are a few good tracks lying around, but they’ll likely never see the light of day.
Trent mentioned, among other responses, that NIN “still owe Interscope a greatest hits bullshit of some sort,” that he’s plowing through footage of the band’s final tour for a release and that he initially saw Twitter as a great way to get feedback from his fans, but that a few “clearly unstable” people ruined the fun. Finally, the last person to come to the microphone made the two “obligatory” questions that somehow manage to pop into almost every fan Q&A with Mr. Reznor: firstly, if he would ever work with Marilyn Manson again, to which he hastily responded “yes, I’m open to whatever;” and secondly, whether or not the Tapeworm project (a collaboration between him, Maynard James Keenan & others) would ever come out, to which he gave the same, usual answer: “No.” In Trent’s opinion, Tapeworm never sounded quite good enough, as he was “spinning my own wheels at the time,” and whatever was usable from those sessions ended up taken by Maynard’s project A Perfect Circle.
Trent then returned to the Manson question, stating that his former protege “is a talented person” and that “we’ve had our problems, but I’m an adult now… I wear suits,” with a priceless smirk on his face.