Trent Reznor, Charlie Clouser

Originally published in Makakofonia on January 1, 2000

Trent Reznor: Umm... In the seventies we were all into Pink Floyd. Recently i learned (how to listen to) the Beatles... The old beatles i didn't like much because i didn't like the first albums. But i like the later stuff like the White Album, mainly for production and songwriting. I also listened to the entire Glam rock scene: Iggy Pop, David Bowie, Pink Floyd... That left it's mark. As well as Queen.

Charlie Clouser: There are also couple good times in the early Talking Heads years, and the album David Burns and Brian Eno recorded together, "My time in the bush of ghosts" i like also. Moments like that were an impact on both of us.

The next Question was about NIN's Remix work:

TR: In the past we had made several remix albums. they were the infleunces of music making friends of ours, who we respect. They helped us reinterprete that stuff. But i don't think that we will be doing this anymore. That was fun, but i don't think that we will be doing it with the Fragile. We might make a few minor adjustments, but thats all.

Then Came the Marilyn Manson Question:

TR: Yeah, i worked with Marilyn Manson on the old stuff up to Antichrist Superstar. I think that I got very envolved in that album, and it was the most fruitful of my work with Marilyn Manson

Makak: And what do you think of him now?

TR: We aren't freinds at the moment. We had fallen out, so i haven't been close to his stuff for some couple of years.

Makak: What do the words :"sex, drugs and rock'n'roll mean to you?

TR: It's as simple as that. (laughs) Well, umm, They go hand in hand together... If you're asking about envolvment, then yes, we were envolved during the last tour and it got to a really ridicilous level of selfdestruction... But now we're diffrent, and doing pretty good on this new tour... Being four shells and all (laughs)

The Next question was why did we have to wait five years for the new album:

TR: Basically because the two year tour promoting The Downward Spiral, which turned us into a large band in the US. Then i went right on into working with Marilyn Manson on Antichrist Superstar. Then i burned out, and i had to slow down and get my head together and answer the question whether i want to make my own music further. Then I took on some soundtracks, got a studio together, just to loose some time... Then two years of making this album (The Fragile). I just had to be sure that i was ready to make an album. I wouldn't want to do something that i wasn't sure about. The price paid is maybe a few lost fans, and the change of the generation, but i had to know that i was ready to do it.

Makak: How did you work on this album?

TR: For this record i first composed the music. That's not the way i normally work, but it was an experiment that seemed to get me to a very intersting place. I recorded 47 demos, and then i chose those songs, to which i could write the lyrics to. It was an adventure in time, and i won't do it again, but it was a great experience and learning process. I worked on this album in my studio in New Orleans, where i composed and wrote the songs every day, at least 12 hours a day creating and discarding different ideas, and that was satisfying, but i want to say that i'm anxious to go back there and lock myself in the studio. That would be somewhat ridiculous to work with no compromise again. When i had a good idea i could punch it out, use more instruments, add new sounds. it took time to do that. I also unknowingly added an depth to the vocals, which is unnatural in todays singing (shudders indifferently) For better or for worse.

The ensuing question was about future plans:

TR: I'd like very much to workwith other musicians, but first i'd want to concentrate on a new album (tapeworm), which is going to be more democratic, where all of us would write some material, with the help of different vocalists...

Charlie: Well, i think that Trent's original idea for this tapeworm project was that we all made some stuff together which doesn't fall into NIN criteria. We also added a few things that do not immediatly sound immediatly like Nine Inch Nails, but they expand boundries without destroying the very strong identity that he's (Trent) created over the years.

As we were trying to create some ideas for the last record Danny and I created rhythem and bass and drum patterns, that were good and we wanted to work on them though they didn't seem right for a NIN record right away, so we tried to find a framework, that would allow us to work with different people like Maynard from the band Tool, and Phil Anselmo from the band Pantera. We already got a few demos recorded that are somewhat diffrent from "The Fragile", but they also don't detrack the image that Trent had created for NIN over the years.

TR: Umm, i still don't know for sure, but after this album is finished, or after it is going to have a sure form, then i'd like to take on a project with a female vocalist.

Makak: Do you alredy have someone in mind?

TR: No, Not yet, but i'm looking for a very original voice, that's going to be ripped out of the context. So if you know anybody like that, then drop me a line.

Transcribed by Keith Duemling

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