Trent Reznor hasn’t lost any of his patented vile and venom as he’s aged, has he? The dude’s been speaking freely in interviews to promote his new EP Bad Witch, spouting off about politics (“You don’t hear a lot from the Taylor Swifts of the world”), the way social media has evolved for the worse (“I’m disappointed”), his efforts to combat ticket scalpers and now, in an interview with BBC Music 6, how he feels certain artists have ripped off his stage production.
There’s no doubt that Reznor was a pioneer on the live show front, with massive, immersive stage production that used giant video screens and multimedia guided by cutting-edge technology long before anyone else did. So it’s understandable he’s a bit sour that’s now become the norm, taking aim at Kanye West and The Weeknd in particular:
“I’d been obsessed with, since the beginning, attempting with whatever resources I had access to, of transforming the live venue into as much of an immersive experience as possible. And then usually relied on, when we finally had access to it, screens and experimental production techniques. I remember us watching a string of bands on Coachella from the comfort of our couch, you know, and every band has a video playing behind them, and every band is sunk up with a convenient, polite lighting package, you know?
“And I saw Kanye West blatantly rip off, and The Weeknd rip off, our tours, with production-wise, which I’ll say without any hesitation. And they know. And I thought what would be exciting to me is just to see — when I think back to The Cure, when I saw them the first time or Jesus And Mary Chain when we opened for them, all I remember of that was smoke, maybe a color, a little bit of someone’s hair and real, real loud guitars.
“That’s exciting, and I don’t see that happening much. So we went the opposite of the arms race we had been in, of immersive, technological based production and went for a ‘It’s music being played somewhat sloppily with an element of danger and uncertainty and unpredictability.’ And we mean it, and we’re sweaty, and it hurts on stage at times. It worked. So that became a template for what we’re doing now.”
On one hand, yeah, it sucks everyone ripped Reznor off. On the other… it’s pretty damn cool! He was a pioneer. It’s flattering.
Reznor will be trotting out Nine Inch Nails on the road this fall with his newly scaled back production in much smaller venues. Dates below:
09/13/2018 COMERICA THEATRE / PHOENIX, AZ
09/14/2018 COMERICA THEATRE / PHOENIX, AZ
09/18/2018 RED ROCKS / MORRISON, CO
09/19/2018 RED ROCKS / MORRISON, CO
09/22/2018 RIVER CITY ROCKFEST / SAN ANTONIO, TX
09/24/2018 ORPHEUM THEATRE / MEMPHIS, TN
09/26/2018 FOX THEATRE / ATLANTA, GA
09/27/2018 FOX THEATRE / ATLANTA, GA
09/28/2018 – 09/30/2018 LOUDER THAN LIFE FESTIVAL / LOUISVILLE, KY
09/29/2018 ASCEND AMPHITHEATER / NASHVILLE, TN
10/09/2018 THE ANTHEM / WASHINGTON, D.C.
10/10/2018 THE ANTHEM / WASHINGTON, D.C.
10/13/2018 RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL / NEW YORK, NY
10/14/2018 RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL / NEW YORK, NY
10/16/2018 KINGS THEATRE / BROOKLYN, NY
10/17/2018 KINGS THEATRE / BROOKLYN, NY
10/19/2018 BOCH CENTER / BOSTON, MA
10/20/2018 BOCH CENTER / BOSTON, MA
10/22/2018 FOX THEATRE / DETROIT, MI
10/23/2018 FOX THEATRE / DETROIT, MI
10/25/2018 ARAGON BALLROOM / CHICAGO, IL
10/26/2018 ARAGON BALLROOM / CHICAGO, IL
10/27/2018 ARAGON BALLROOM / CHICAGO, IL
11/18/2018 CORONA CAPITAL / MEXICO CITY, MX
11/23/2018 SAENGER THEATRE / NEW ORLEANS, LA
11/24/2018 SAENGER THEATRE / NEW ORLEANS, LA
11/25/2018 SAENGER THEATRE / NEW ORLEANS, LA
11/27/2018 THE PAVILION AT TOYOTA MUSIC FACTORY / IRVING, TX
11/28/2018 THE PAVILION AT TOYOTA MUSIC FACTORY / IRVING, TX
12/03/2018 BILL GRAHAM CIVIC AUDITORIUM / SAN FRANCISCO, CA
12/04/2018 BILL GRAHAM CIVIC AUDITORIUM / SAN FRANCISCO, CA
12/07/2018 PALLADIUM / LOS ANGELES, CA
12/08/2018 PALLADIUM / LOS ANGELES, CA
12/11/2018 PALLADIUM / LOS ANGELES, CA
12/12/2018 PALLADIUM / LOS ANGELES, CA
12/14/2018 PALLADIUM / LOS ANGELES, CA
12/15/2018 PALLADIUM / LOS ANGELES, CA
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