The Holland Interviews

Originally published in unknown on September 1, 1994

Interview 1:

Down in it. That was probably... that was the first song I'd ever written I sat down, I took a very experimental approach to it. and.. the original version I did was about half speed of the one on the record. And it was a total rip-off of "Dig It" by Skinny Puppy. I'll admit that now. But, lyricly, I was experimenting with just kind of a train-of-thought, writing down whatever I thought and all it was was a kind of... I hate to say what I'm talking about, but I'll do It now, since it's so old I just like to think about it now. It was just this feeling of like.. at an earlier stage of my life I thought I had my act together, I thought I knew what I wanted to do. I thought, and thought I had pride in myself, and as I had gotten older, and realized that certain things don't work out the way you hoped they would at a certain stage and a lot of the illusions you had been led to believe growing up in a fairly sheltered environment.. Just.. I dunno, I was kind of coming of age, realizing that, you know, things might not work out sort of feeling. That's kind of the bridge of the song.

Interview 2:

A lot of what went into Pretty Hate Machine was, when I started, these were the first songs I'd ever written. And I didn't know what Nine Inch Nails was about, and when it's one person and a computer, there's a pretty big palette of sounds, and identities you can assume. And It wasn't really based on can I play the guitar, because I could simulate that through the computer. So, what I did was after some experimenting and failing on a few different things, realized that what would make the biggest impression I thought was to make a very honest, thing. So, the only thing I could speak about with any authority was my own personal experience and tried to relate situations I'd been in or feelings I'd thought or dissatisfaction with relationships or religion or the government of the country I live in, or whatever it is. And disguise that so it's not in a preaching way cause I have no, nothing to preach to anybody about except this is how I feel if you can relate to that, great. I don't consider us a political band on any level. It's not that it was an honest thing, now the backlash of that is sometimes you have to deal with people knowing about you in a way that you really don't want everyone to know about.

Interview 3:

It's made me see a really horrendous side of the music business. And realized that it's just a big slavery system, and i'm jsut a cog in this wheel of machinery. And It's not about art, it's about who can sell the most units, and how can we manipulate this audience to like this, and I've realized that the next nine inch nails record may never come out. I've got it half written, I know what it's about, it's ready to go. But We've had so much trouble with our record label in America, that a giant lawsuit is about to begin. And I just made the decision myself. The only reason I got into this in the first place was to have some sort of integrity, to kind of say look, I grew up in the middle of nowhere, I have no one in my family is in the music business, I had no money, my family had no money and I did it without knowing that. With maybe, I'd like to think i have some amount of talent, and now I'm at the point where I'm being raped, and I can't do this because.. and I can't say this word because you cant get it played on the radio and we're going to decide who does your next video and shit like that and I can't do that. I can't put up with that.

Interview 4:

The new record draws upon the experiences, I mean i had a real fear when probably middle of 1990 when it was time to start, okay, lets start working on this new album, I had nothing to say really, cause I was at a stage where I felt like well, I had accomplished something. I was enjoying this high of... In a period of 6 months we've attained a level that I never thought we'd reach maybe 5 years from now after 3 or 4 albums. And I was pleased with that but, I had really nothing to say, I tried to think, why did people like this record, you know I didn't think they'd like it in the first place, they do. Do I want to make Pretty Hate Machine Part 2? and, I realized that from touring, I changed. and a lot of times, Our, I'd say our more mainstream audience comes up to me and says "Oh, That's What I Get, that's my favorite song," which is one of the first, and least like what I am now songs, ever, you know, it's very different from where I am now. The next record gonna be a lot harder and a lot uglier and a lot more honest hopefully, and mean, and I know I'm going to alienate a certain amount of people by doing or, I'm going to alienate a certain amount of people. But the last record was very true to where I was at the time when I wrote it, and I realized I have to be very true to myself now. Regardless of how marketable that may be or anything else. So. A lot of this sounds like the artist talking about his art, but when it comes down to the paycheck, of course I'm going to cash in. You know. If we switch to a major label, everyone's going to read sell out into that, but the proof will be in what comes out, you know. If you look at it as a sell out, don't buy it. You know, teach me a lesson, but I'm not approaching it that way.

Interview 5:

When I started out, I did the record myself, This was... beginning of '89, to about the middle of '89. Then I worked on trying to present it live, and how would I go about doing that, since it was all done on the computer, with a little bit of guitar, it was a struggle as to what kind of people should I use, what instrumentation should I use, I didn't want to go out with just a tapedeck and me, so. I decided to arrange it with real drums, add another guitar player, I'll play guitar live, keyboard player. And to mainitan the integrity of the electronic side of it, which I really like, and I like electronic music, and there's an element of that I wouldn't want all the music to be live, because there's certain things I want to sound like a computer, like the bass for example. So we worked out a way to play with tapes where, a certain part of the music, like the bass for example and some loops and things that you don't need to see a person playing, or would be very difficult to play, like a 16th note pattern real fast for the whole song, put that on tape, the have all live drums, live guitars, live vocals, live keyboard parts that matter, melody lines and stuff. And after about 6 months of messing around, I got it to the point where I thought it was pretty cool. So we started in the States. We opened for Jesus and Mary Chain, and we opened for Peter Murphy, and by the summer of that year, 1990, we attained a following that we could do a headline tour, and we had Meat Beat Manifesto support us, which has always been, I've always been a big fan of theirs. It was like, a nice upward curve of success. And the neat thing that happened with the music was, it was live enough that it could mutate into whatever it would mutate into. It got harder, and it got uglier, and it got more live, and it got more vicious, and it got more hate fueled, and there's still a lot of electronics there, but it's kind of now a wierd hybrid of, I don't know, like aggression, rock elements are there, but there is still an electronic base to it.

Transcribed by Keith Duemling

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