What does Trent have to say?

Trent Reznor ventures toward a new start with Nine Inch Nails - poppier than before.

By Michael Huber for Kurier on May 7, 2005

For a man, who has for years explored his self-destructive tendencies, Trent Reznor actually looks splendid. With his neatly brushed mop of hair in his face, the narrow face, and the light heart-shaped lips, the 40 year old has almost a poster like quality - when his fans want to hang posters.

Pop Star

Most followers wear rather blank black "NIN" t-shirts. And they admire the man that brought cold, computer-generated industrial rock back to the masses in the 90s, because of his feelings toward the extreme: the songs of his one-man-project Nine Inch Nails scream out what others deny ("I Want To Fuck You Like An Animal"), his videos shock, [and] on the stage he becomes like a Berserker.

Nevertheless Trent Reznor is a pop star. Now his music sounds like pop: "With Teeth", the new Nine Inch Nails album, is filled with catchy numbers; the single "The Hand That Feeds" could go on to become a disco hit. "I thought, if I create an abstract song, then no one would criticize me", says the industrial hero. "When I include one [a song], that is accessible, it is risky for me."

However, Reznor's new softness is more than just a new form of refusal. The songs also show the way out of the anxiety and dependency, that the NIN leader had maneuvered in his search for the extreme. "How many psychoiactive pills kann one take? What happens then? With NIN there is a part of my personality, that wants to know", Reznor strongly pronounced in 1996. In the six year since the album "The Fragile" Reznor has been up to something, bringing his life back together.


"With Teeth" is a coming-to-terms album, with songs, in which an experienced man sings about his stability. If the fans in the black t-shirts want to truly listen is the first question. However, as a musician Reznor has lost barely any strength, he has actually triumphed with clarity. "I have just learned something", he says. "To write a song, I must no longer be in a situation, that will destroy me."

Transcribed by Gutner

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