Hey Reddit, this is Trent of NIN and How to destroy angels, my new band. We have a new EP out today, it's a $5 download direct from us at http://howtodestroyangels.com

Yes, it's really me.

I'll be answering questions here for an hour beginning at 11am PST.

Verification: https://twitter.com/destroyangels/status/268426778949849089

EDIT: Thanks everyone, this has been fun. Back to work in the studio now.

Comments: 4625 • Responses: 20  • Date: 

Couto1467 karma

Someone really has to ask this, so there it goes... Can you disclosure any future plans for Nine Inch Nails?

trent-reznor2591 karma

Sure I could.

toastercookie860 karma

Could you talk a little bit about how involved you were with the lighting setups for your NIN shows?

I went to Lights in the Sky in 2008 and I have to say it was the best lighting / visual setup that I've ever seen at a concert. How does that all come together? Do you plan out the setlists and then sync up specific lighting sequences to the songs beforehand or is it a bit more of a live, fluid process? I would kill to see NIN again, what a great show.

trent-reznor1596 karma

Thank you. I spend a lot of time and energy thinking about how music is presented live. Lights in the Sky was probably my favorite live show I've worked on so far. This was a real collaboration between myself, Rob, Roy Bennett, and Moment Factory. We set out to make an experience and I really felt proud to put that on every night. Cryptic additional comment: 2013.

tehnoir851 karma

Any updates (good, bad or otherwise) on a Year Zero mini-series?

trent-reznor1329 karma

Let's start on a down note! This is currently in a holding state. We didn't find the right match with a writer, and really have been avoiding doing what we should have done from the beginning: write it ourselves. We = Rob and myself. This project means a lot to me and will see the light of day in one form or another.

link343738 karma

Hi Trent. Thanks for the years of music.

What's the status on The Fragile reissue? I know you talked about how Alan was doing a 5.1 remix a few years ago during a New York Times interview during the promotion for The Social Network.

trent-reznor1217 karma

The 5.1 mixes are done and sound amazing. Alan was the only person who could have possibly done it, and he did not disappoint. There are a couple other elements involved that we want to get right before we put this into production. These involve packaging and additional content. Patience, my friends.

JMacD263577 karma

Are you going to be releasing multi-tracks of the HTDA songs for remixing?

trent-reznor1239 karma

We're open to this. I'm a big believer in remix culture and would have loved to have had access to my favorite artists' stems when I was coming up. Of course there was the issue of primitive technology way back then... I don't know, do you want them?

ClownJamboree516 karma

I had a English teacher who said he has been a fan of yours throughout your rise to fame. If I recall correctly, he said the first show he saw was in a very small venue and it was just you (no band) performing Pretty Hate Machine material to like 20 people in attendance. Did such shows ever take place or was he lying to try and earn some cool points in the eyes of the class?

trent-reznor1339 karma

Clearly, he was bullshitting. 30 people I can believe. 20? I don't think so.

JimmyHendricks508 karma

How is the creative process different working with your wife as opposed to a NIN studio musician (Lohner, Finck, etc)?

trent-reznor1904 karma

She's a better kisser.

KeytarFox470 karma

What's your favourite piece of gear you've ever owned?

trent-reznor911 karma

My Dad got me a Wurlitzer 200a electric piano as a preteen, and it pretty much changed the trajectory of my life. That piano is long gone, but I did recently pick one up, which I love.

DrejmeisterDrej445 karma

Just to get it out of the way, Lollapalooza, the Charter One Pavilion Show, and then the Goodbye show at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago are three of my favorite shows I've ever been to: calculated, succinct, and powerful. I consider them pivotal moments in my own musical history. So, here are my questions:

  1. What do you see as the pitfall of modern live shows and what would you improve on your own?

  2. Your scoring on the Social Network is obviously beyond exemplary. What did you do differently going about it compared to putting together an album or ep?

  3. You left the record industry and then came back, with what I see as legitimate reasons on both ends. Do you think a compromise is possible with the industry where you're leaving wouldn't have been necessitated in the first place?

  4. The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust was a sort of success and failure at the same time, your own endeavor in that manner being much more successful purely from the range of your own fanbase. Now that you've learned from that experience, what would you have done differently in both cases?

The video where you have the Spinal Tap Stonehenge come down and Fink collapsing from laughing while techies dance around it is one of my favorite live moments I've found.

To close it off, thank you for the highs, the lows, and everything in-between, and reading a pig's ramblings. Your music pulled me up from the deepest depths, for that I really can't thank you enough, and it stands today as my favorite tracks to turn on any day of the week.

Hope to be looking up at ya again one day soon

trent-reznor634 karma

  1. Generally, they're lazy, sound bad, and are somewhat boring. I'm always looking to blur the line between the theatrical and the visceral. I strive to make a show that resonates on a purely emotional, raw level, and at the same time smartly evolves from one place to another quite unexpectedly.

  2. Thank you. We were working purely in service to the picture and the director's vision. Both films with Fincher were immensely creatively rewarding for us, primarily due to the respect each camp had for the other.

  3. Probably not. Both decisions were the right decisions at the time.

  4. I look at Niggy Tardust as a complete success in terms of what matters to me the most: The creative experience. My own naivete in terms of business models and who was willing to actually pay for music led to the disappointment around that project. As far as the actual music, it's still some of my favorite stuff I've done.

shainex2384 karma

Can Rob really play instruments? How did he get promoted to musical responsibilities? He seems like a cool guy.

trent-reznor1298 karma

He's sitting right next to me so I can't really talk right now.

Comicsastonish381 karma

Trent, Thanks for doing this. Love the new HTDA stuff, love the Black Ops theme (but enough fellating you – you’ll get plenty of that here!).

I’m really interested to know what your involvement may be in the rest of the “Millennium Trilogy” films.

Last I read, Fincher wasn’t sure if he was going to be “brought back” to complete the rest of the series or not. If Fincher does return, will you and Atticus be doing the score?

Thank you for all the great music you’ve created that has enriched my life over the years. You, Bowie and Tom Waits are my holy musical trinity and when I say you’ve enriched my life I genuinely mean it… good art is prone to do that, huh?

trent-reznor775 karma

Thank you. I'm not sure I belong in the same sentence as Bowie and Tom Waits, but I'll take it. Regarding the Millennium trilogy, my interest in this would be contingent upon Fincher's involvement.

rubthebudha375 karma

Will you ever work on a side project with Robert Smith from The Cure? That would be awesome. Maybe get Eric Avery to play bass and John Frusicante to play guitar. I'd love to see some more collaborations with you and other artists. Even if just a song or two and not a full CD. Thoughts?

trent-reznor536 karma

Good idea...

dlm85368 karma

What was the first computer and software you used for music?

trent-reznor838 karma

I had a Commodore 64 with, I think, the Sequential Circuits Model 64 Sequencer Cartridge. And it was the greatest thing in the world (or so I thought at the time). Moving on... The first "real" platform I used for composition was a Mac+ running Performer. Pretty Hate Machine was done with this.

xfocalinx310 karma

How did you come up with the "Halo" number catalog? Did you have the foresight to now it would take on a life of its own with collectors? Why did you chose the word "halo" Was there any deep meaning behind it? Also, can you shed some light on "Null", "Seed", and "Sigil"? What was the goal behind all of these?

trent-reznor433 karma

I remember Depeche Mode did a similar thing and I thought it was cool. Somebody please remind me what the word Depeche Mode used was, I'm too old to remember what it was.

imaac236 karma

Was there anything you didn't/couldn't do for the Year Zero arg/promotions because it would have pushed the boundaries too far?

trent-reznor668 karma

Several ideas came up, including blowing up a building, actually incarcerating fans, and staging an appearance of the Presence in real life. Can't win em all.

heartoutsteve190 karma

Hey Trent. I've really enjoyed your new EP and I had a question about 'Ice Age' (Great track btw). How did this come to be? On the surface, it sounds poppy and maybe a little bit hopeful, but the lyrics and the underlying effects suggest something a bit darker. Should we expect the full album to sound more like this or will it be something entirely different?

trent-reznor308 karma

Thank you. We were experimenting around with the juxtaposition of something familiar and almost folky sounding sitting in a very cold and sterile environment. Mariqueen had this melody that would have been happy living in a Fleetwood Mac record, and we created this plucky accompaniment that sounded acoustic but was anything but. Then we put all that in the freezer. The full record expands the boundaries of the EP a bit more.

GhostOfSparkles184 karma

You are probably one of my biggest influences and inspirations, and I hope one day to be on your level. Creepy shit aside, I saw a video a few years ago about how much you love Mainstage. Do you still use it, and will you/have you used it with How To Destroy Angels? I'm taking my band on the road early next year, would you still recommend it for live use? Thanks for doing this AMA :)

trent-reznor234 karma

Mainstage worked well on the last NIN outing. It was my keyboard, guitar, and vocal rig, and was very stable. We're getting into HTDA live shortly, and I'll re-address the situation.

AmeliaLaChida181 karma

Aside from destroy angel's new EP, what's next for you?

trent-reznor582 karma

A number of things. Tweaking some things for the HTDA full LP (coming in Spring), helping Josh out on a new QOTSA track, working with Roy, starting rehearsals for two bands.

flexedoyster159 karma

Trent, thank you for taking the time to talk to us we really appreciate it!

I have only had the opportunity to listen to An Omen once thus far and I absolutely love it. I want to say it is a very different direction (genre-wise?) from previous work both HDTA and NIN. Would you say this was a team decision or did one of you push for the newer sound the album brings?

Thanks again for the IAmA, you have made a profound impact on my life with your music and I thank you for that.

trent-reznor223 karma

We worked on this batch of songs for a long time. We didn't start with a clear direction, we wanted to experiment and see where we wound up. With the luxury of time, we were able to get away from things and return with a fresh perspective. We all feel good about where we've wound up.

nicktuckerrr117 karma

What drew you to Ilan Rubin as a drummer, for the last NIN tour? Considering he's so young, were you worried he wouldn't be able to fill the shoes of Freese?

trent-reznor230 karma

Ilan is a star.