In Nine Inch Nails, I've been the guy calling the shots since inception. I'd gotten used to that.
To me, rock music was never meant to be safe. I think there needs to be an element of intrigue, mystery, subversiveness. Your parents should hate it.
iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up.
I used to buy vinyl. Today, if you do put out a record on a label, traditionally, most people are going to hear it via a leak that happens two weeks - if not two months - before it comes out. There's no real way around that.
Today, if you do put out a record on a label, traditionally, most people are going to hear it via a leak that happens two weeks - if not two months - before it comes out. There's no real way around that.
One of the biggest wake-up calls of my career was when I saw a record contract. I said, 'Wait - you sell it for $18.98 and I make 80 cents? And I have to pay you back the money you lent me to make it and then you own it?'
I'm a lot less precious than I used to be about putting things out, for better or for worse. The result of a public that has a very high consumption rate and turnover rate is people listen to more music but spend less time with individual bits of music.
I've attended many concerts where I felt let down and I was wishing it would be something else. Not that it's their duty to please me, but at the same time, I think a lot about what it's like through the eyes of the consumer, the fan. I want not to pander to the audience, but to be aware of them.
I'd rather not get into what I'm talking about lyrically. I think it's impossible not to demystify a song when saying what it's about. Music and art can be damaged severely by too much information; I say that as somebody that has participated in that.
After coming from a major label, I realized the entire business has been decimated, and you can't look to labels to try to figure it out because they don't even use the technology, and they're oblivious to how people consume music these days.
I'm very much aware of the dangers of becoming a cliche. Mr. Anger, someone who gets meaner, angrier on record.
The band Grizzly Bear, I think they're excellent. There's a beauty and a musicality there that I wish would have been in vogue in the late '80s, when I was forming bands.
My experience with record labels throughout my career has generally fallen into wishing I could do things that they're not built to do, whether it be arguing about having a nicer package - because I do believe some people care about that - to trying to always bank on art-versus-the-easy-commerce route; there's always been headbutting involved.
Though I still have no semblance of a life outside of Nine Inch Nails at the moment, I realize my goals have gone from getting a record deal or selling another record to being a better person, more well-rounded, having friends, having a relationship with somebody.
Nine Inch Nails is like building an army to go conquer. We build it, then we play, and we have to play so much to validate building it, financially. It leads to getting burn-out because a tour that would be fun if it lasted three weeks has to last 15 weeks.
It probably wasn't until Nine Inch Nails played the first Lollapalooza that I actually went to a festival.
With a Nine Inch Nails show, I'm building on a legacy that comes with a certain set of expectations. I have to push that forward, I have to reinvent myself, I have to feel current and valid.
I lived a fairly average, anonymous small-town life till I got the idea to do Nine Inch Nails. Then I locked myself in a studio for a year, and then got off the tour bus two years after that, and I didn't know who I'd turned into.
A lot of what I've done as Nine Inch Nails has been governed by fear. I was trying to keep the songs in a framework that was tough, and I learnt a lot from Jesus and Mary Chain about how to bury nice pop songs in unlistenable noise - the idea being if you can get behind that wall, you find there's a pearl inside.
I don't even know why I'm saying this in an interview situation, but I always feel like I'm not good enough for some reason. I wish that wasn't the case, but left to my own devices, that voice starts speaking up.