Trent Reznor Yahoo! Chat-11.21.00

Life__Saver:How did "The Fragile" change you? (by Thinking how "The Downward Spiral" changed your live for the "worst")?

The Downward Spiral started as a story about a character that was mainly me, and his descent into madness and/or suicide, or self-destruction. At the time it was a fantasy. As we went on a world tour, it sort of became a self-fulfilling prophecy. The Fragile pics up where that left off. It was much more about self-healing and looking for answers, and heal things rather than try and destroy them. It's more of a positive record. Less self-destructive.

Tropicana67: You seem to have an affinity for reconstructing your music; what do you get from your remix albums, musically?

I think an important thing to know about the remix record is - when I hear the word remix, I think... find whatever's happening in the disco scene, and that's not waht these records are about. When I Was recording the Fragile, there were a lot of extra bits. I would be in the studio working on the "main" versions of the song. But friends would take an interest in reconstructing a song. They became curiosities. There were a lot more unfinished songs that weren't appopriate for either album. I thought fans would be interested in getting a look behind the curtain. When I got off tour, I looked at the large amount of things we had lying around and I thought they should be released in some fashion. Not a big statement from NIN. Just a companion piece.

trentlover_65: Are you planning any future collaborations with David Bowie?

I would love to. I was offered to do some work on his last record, but I couldn't. He's one of the few heroes that I've met that turned out to be much more inspiring in person than I would expect. I respect him immensely.

digital_carnivore: What ever happened to Alec Empire's mix of Starfuckers, Inc.?

He never did a mix of that. Atari Teenage Riot opened for us throughout Europe. But someone was pregnant in the band, and they couldn't do it. But he's a person I'd very much like to work with.

Tropicana67: Is there any truth behind the rumors of a club tour for early next year?

We are considering going out in the beginning of the year. It could be about a month, but not much longer. If I had my way, I'd much prefer to play clubs than theaters or arenas. It's much more fun for the band. You feel alive, there are people right in your face. There's a chance that we'll be out in the first part of the year; less semis and more sweat.

TRM_Ben: what are the people involved with the tapeworm project? and can it be the opportunity to work again with former associates like Chris Vrenna, Richard Patrick and Marilyn Manson?

I'm hesitant to say too much about tapeworm right now, other than it's a priority. Right now, I'm starting a new NIN record, working on tapeworm and starting a new side project that is healthy for me as an artist. Tapeworm is getting its identity right now for their participation. People who have participated include Maynard from Tool and Page, ex-Helmet. Right now, I'm making sure that when Tapeworm does come out, it sounds like a band, and not a collection of different singers over different sounding songs. There are people involved who I don't want to confirm until I Know it can happen. The people you mentioned are not out of the question.

digital_carnivore: Why did you do a cover of Gary Numan's Metal - was it out of boredom, or just 'coz you wanted to say 'hey, i like gary numan!' or something... ?

That track was actually recorded before The Fragile started. A certain era of Gary Numan's work, form early work until about "Telecom", I found myself listening to quite a bit. I thought I could do a version of that song that did it justice without turning it into a club song or anything like that. I tried to use elements of other songs of his. It was a way to get an introduction into starting the album.

bluegoddess42: how does it make you feel to learn that after listening to your music (namely 'the fragile') for the first time, some people have broken into tears from the emotion you stirred?

When I work on music, I try to dig down into my own heart and my own head. It's usually about something that means a great deal to me. I try to be as honest as I can about my own feelings. A lot of those times, those feelings aren't exactly things I'm proud of. But I like turning things that are ugly into things of beauty. When I work on the music for a song, I try to enhance the words with an emotional backdrop that evokes a mood. And the greatest reward of doing NIN is 2x: one when you finish a song and you think it's something great, and you feel good that you could create that, and the second big thing is when it connects with somebody else and they get something out of it, and they may not know what I was talking about. And I'm sure it means something else to them than it did to me. But to make that connection to them - I think that's the beauty of music. That feeling makes up for all the tedious business nightmares and long interviews, and all the things that you didn't get into it for. I didn't say this is one of those things!

Scott_Lucas: What do you think of the song Hotdog from Limp Bizkit (the one with the Closer lyrics) did you give permission to LB to take the lyrics?

I did. As I learned when we did Starfuckers and I wanted to use the Carly Simon lyric, you have to ask permission to use something out of context. She was very difficult about it. For whatever reason. LB -- I think they're just comical. When they asked to use it, I wasn't going to hold up their record. Plus, I think people need to hear the intelligence behind that song.

jeffhawkins17: is there a female singer on the great collapse?

It's not me. So, yes there is. Let's leave it at that. Check your "Fragile" credits. It's the same person.

mad_scientist_wannabe: Are you planning to work with Robert Smith (The Cure), like producing his solo album?

Robert and I have met a few times. The Cure has always been one of my favorite bands. When I saw them on their last tour in LA, we were on tour -- I made a detour just to see the show. We spoke at length about contributing something to his solo record. Hopefully, something will come out of that. I have great respect for him.

dirtwormus: Would you ever want to be involved in the film industry in a greater capacity than your involvement with Lost Highway?

Very much so. I plan to eventually put an end to NIN and move more into film scoring and production work. And that will happen when I feel I've said all I need to say as NIN. And that could be next year or in ten years.

crimsonplague: Can we expect the lost Fragile/acoustic (from Chicago) tracks ever to be released?

Good question. We did a radio show in a somewhat scaled down acoustic capacity, of a few songs. We spent maybe three days preparing for it and it turned out better than I thought it would. One idea I had was to go in fairly soon and do a record of half old songs and half new songs in a real stripped down capacity. Stripping away the noise and focusing on the song beneath it. I'm not sure if I'm going to do that or not. The new music I'm working on with NIN is very abrasive. So I have a split personality -- I'm not sure what to do. The kinder, gentler, sad me, or the "I'm gonna stab you in the eyeball" are fighting for attention right now.

thisisoneword: you are marilyn mansons idol, has marilyn manson been an influence at all to how you write songs now?

To clarify, I would never say that I was his idol. I think we have a mutual respect for one another, but we work in different ways. He learned some things when we worked together, and I know I learned some things from the way he works.

kentino: I loved your vocals on Past the Mission. is there any chance you might collaborate with Tori Amos again?

I like her music. I don't know -- it would seem unlikely. But that's more from her side than mine. You can read into that what you will.

intomydream: How has your musical approach changed with the absence of Chris Vrenna?

Chris and I were best friends for a long time. His role in the studio was more of a support, moral support type figure, rather than a guy full of ideas. And I don't in any way mean that to be disrespectful to him. I still love Chris. His departure was more like losing a good friend, more so than it was like losing a musical collaborator. I think it was the best move for him and I. And the people that I'm around now -- in particular Keith Hillebrandt -- and Charlie Clouser -- we're more collaborative than Chris and I ever were. To sum up: it was more the loss of a friend than a collaborator. Nothing against his talent. I have heard his unreleased Tweaker album. It's really good. Hopefully it will come out soon. It's not like me to unnecessarily talk nice about people -- so trust the sincerety.

thecenterwillnothold: I know you're anti-Npaster -- with very valid reason -- but where do you see NIN heading in terms of Internet distribution in the near future?

I think the internet is great, and it's definately changed the way we work around the studio. Right now our DSL line is down and everyone's sitting around looking like they don't now what to do. It'll be nice to see when technology and bandwidth catch up to where your ideas are now. I would have no problem with the net as a distribution means, especially if it lessened the power of big record labels that are full of shit. Artists should be paid for their work. And I think it's important that people experience their art the proper way. With good fidelity, with the proper packaging, with the right aesthetic that it's intended to be. And a little icon on your desktop of a staticky, am radio version of a song that you worked endlessly on to get just right is not my ideal way of experiencing new music. Obviously, those things will change with technology. But I still like the idea of purchasing something, opening it up, seeing if there's lyrics... When I buy records that I'm excited about, I don't l isten to them until I have a couple hours to sit down and concentrate on listening to them. I don't want to be interrupted.

bernie725: Trent first I and everyone here would like to say, Thank You. What do you like the most about your Fans?

I like the fact that they seem real. And it was very nice that when I went away for 5 years to make a record, because i had to or I was going to lose my mind, to find that people still cared. And when you write music that seems to matter to some people or touch them in some capacity, it makes me feel like I'm not alone. And nothing can compare to that. My motto to myself has been: you may not like what I do, but it's honest. I sleep well at night knowing that I didn't try and make music to appeal to someone I don't care about. or try and get on the radio just to get on the radio, or kiss the right ass to open some doors. I'm doing what I believe in. And the buck stops with me. If you hate it, there's no one to blame but me.

evildaffodil: How was working with Dr. Dre for Even Deeper? May I add that I love that song!

Dr. Dre and I met during the Downward Spiral. I have always been a big fan of NWA, and I think we both were mutually intrigued by how differently we worked on things. Two very different people from different upbringings having a respect for each other's music. We had talked about working on some project that his quote was "to fucking change music", where both our sensibilities were combined. We were both in LA one time when I was working on Even Deeper and we took the track to him to show us how to mix in his style. And we both learned a lot. We experimented on a couple new tracks that are just sitting around. But we made a promise that when both our time frames meet up, to get together -- possibly him come to New Orleans -- and see what happens when we're both in the same room. That would appeal to me very much. I'm very into learning from other people and otehr perspectives.

ofredearth: I noticed on the 10 Miles high (version) off of Things Falling Apart, the intro to the song is also on The Frailge, actually played backwards where we hear "I'm getting closer..." what was the purpose of "hiding" it into The Fragile like that and exposing it in the new album?

10 Miles High was a full song that had three completely different sets of lyrics and choruses during the course of its life span. When it came time to put the Fragile together, and decide what was gonna get kept, that song took a bullet. But we left a little reminder of it on there, and we put one of the versions on the vinyl version of The Fragile. There are other versions with varying degrees of embarrasing lyrics that are floating around the vaults here.

silver6moon: do the sounds and textures you create in your songs come out as they sound in your head, or are they considerably different from what you orignally planned?

About halfway through The Fragile -- it took 2 years to write -- and nearing the halfway point, I hired a couple friends of mine to actually start working on a book that was going to be scores of all the music in the Fragile, for the instruments that we actually used to make it. because a lot of the way I put the record together was from that perspective. I approached all the different voicings as if it was being arranged for an ensemble. The grandiose plan was to put out a book that had all the true versions of the songs done in orchestral format... a real collectible nice piece of art. But the project became so massive that about four songs into it, it became overwhelming. It's one of those things that never got finished because I had to work on getting the record done. Someday when I run out of ideas, I'll go back and finish that. Now, to your question. When I'm arranging parts in the studio, before I get to that phase, I become very familiar with what all the different equipment can do - the way all the synths sound, etc. And I'll hear a sound in my head for a part, And I'm pretty good at reaching for the right combo of equipment or processing to get that sound out. The combo of Alan Moulder and I works well. Generally I was able to use the studio as an instrument, where I could transfer what was in my head onto tape.

razorbladejunkie: When manson surprised your audience at... I think it was MSG by coming on stage and singing Starfuckers with you... how did you feel your fans would react to that before he actually got up and sang with you... how pre-meditated was that?

At that time, we had done the video. It felt good to be friends again, and he'd said I'd love to come onstage with you somewhere and sing part of that song. And I said MSG is coming up and he said "I'll be there for sure." It was my idea to then do Beautiful People so it wasn't just one word and goodbye. I've made the mistake in the past -- I had Adam Ant come out and sign with us once. And I love Adam Ant but I realized a lot of young fans didn't know who he was and it seemed a bit indulgent on my part. When we did it with Manson, that was probably the best moment of the tour. Just seeing the excitement level when he came out -- love him or hate him -- it just went well. I got goosebumps. It felt good.

hcpatty: What is your favorite book, Trent?

It depends on what's been recently read. I went through a huge Clive Barker phase on tour. I was reading 'The Great and Secret Show" and "Everville" currently, I'd recommend "survivor" by Chuck Pahulniak. That actually angered me because it was so creative I realized I couldn't have thought of those things. If you didn't like "fight club" you won't like this. But if that warped sensibility is your thing, I think "survivor" surpasses it. Last question please.

dont_tread_on_me_i_bite: What do you see as the future of rock music, with the death or disbanding of several bands and the rise of hardcore rock? Many good bands such as Smashing Pumpkins are calling it quits.

I think the future of any genre relies on innovation, and people taking chances. When you have a marketplace flooded with soundalike bands -- and I don't have to name 'em cause you know 'em. Rap-rock crap. Post grunge anonymous bands. And that's being propelled by record labels who are much more interested in selling CDs than taking chances - Chances on anything that might be unusual or something that might topple this pyramid of shit. I have to have faith that the public is smarter than that. And will reach a saturation point, and demand something of substance. It happened with punk. It happened again when Nirvana killed off Guns n' Roses. It can't get much worse than it is now. And I think, for me personally, something that makes me like a band or a project is the feeling that they're sincere. Or that they really mean what they say, And I see an awful lot of bands that are real angry -- fat guys from California who are skaters all of a sudden -- that I don't believe in. I believe they have flannel shirts hanging in their closet that they had to take off when grunge dies. Hanging right next to the spandex and the axl rose headband that they had to take off to put the flannel on. I see a big change on the horizon. And I hope that there are still people out there who want something more out of music than lowest common denominator stupidity. I appreciate you all being here. It means more than you'll know. And that's what keeps me going. I won't let you down.