Reznor Opens Up "The Fragile" To "USA Today"

By Robert Mancini for MTV on February 1, 1999

Trent Reznor, the elusive mastermind behind Nine Inch Nails, has finally revealed details about NIN's widely anticipated upcoming album, and chose a rather surprising place to do it? page 11E of "USA Today." Friday's edition of the national daily newspaper featured an extensive interview with Reznor, in which he dished the dirt on his long-awaited album "The Fragile," and the road the album has taken to completion. "For the past two years, I've been trying to reinvent myself," Reznor tells the newspaper. "I didn't have a plan? I let my subconscious go in an unpredictable direction." And what can fans expect when the sonic results of that experimentation arrive later this year? "Imagine Tom Waits on a bayou filtered through a funk blender and slowed down," Reznor told "USA Today" of the album's sound.

He tells the paper that he has completed 20 tracks for album, which should arrive in stores in June. With another 25 demo tracks to be tinkered with, Reznor tells the paper that he may release "The Fragile" as a double album with one instrumental disc and another featuring vocals. "By the time it's sorted out, I hope it makes a pretty monumental statement in terms of where I'm at," Reznor is quoted as saying. "I'm less concerned with going out of my way to make it unlistenable," Reznor told "USA Today." "I'm approaching music as art, but part of my head is tuned into the hooks of AM radio."

The report seems in line with what former Helmet guitarist Page Hamilton told MTV News late last year after working with Reznor for two days on the project. Then, Hamilton said parts of the album were reminiscent of the '60s British group the Yardbirds yet still very NIN courtesy of some "brilliant sound manipulations" (see "Former Helmet Guitarist Provides Update On New Nine Inch Nails Record"). All that experimentation, which Reznor told "USA Today" packs "a newfound maturity," has the NIN maestro a bit concerned. "I'm in the home stretch and there's this question nagging me; Is this fantastic, or so self-absorbed that I missed the mark," he tells "USA Today." We'll find out when "The Fragile" arrives in stores later this year.

Transcribed by Keith Duemling

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