Biffy Clyro on Trent Reznor: 'He Basically Spat His Dummy Out'

Singer Simon Neil reacts to Trent Reznor's recent online outburst.

Ultimate Guitar

Following Trent Reznor's latest online outburst at Reading Festival, Biffy Clyro vocalist Simon Neil hit back, saying that Nine Inch Nails mainman was simply angry over not getting the headline spot.

As previously reported, Reznor posted a ranting tweet on his account just before the August 25 performance, saying, "Should be an unusual show tonight at Reading... the lying promoter and the band following us (whoever the f--k they are) f--ked us on our production."

Neil now admitted to Faster Louder magazine that the initial urge to instantly bite back was clearly present, adding the band decided to take the bashing in their stride.

"I think he basically spat his dummy out," he kicked off. "Nine Inch Nails are a huge band and they've been headlining loads of festivals everywhere and I think their manager or someone told him they weren't headlining Reading and Leeds, god forbid, and he basically spat his dummy out and decided to take it out on us.

"He played with us on the Friday night and there was no problem. He didn't care about the Leeds bands obviously and he knew damn fine who we were, so I think he was just being obnoxious."

Neil then specifically focused on the rant. "I was dying to tweet back to him all day," he said. "But we just wanted to focus on our show. We thought, 'Well you might not know who we are now, but I guarantee by the end of today you'll know exactly who we are,' that was our plan."

The singer continued, "We're not naive, Trent Reznor operates in a different world to the rest of them. He lives in Beverly Hills, he's won Oscars and all that. And he's just brought the band back together. So maybe for a split second [we were offended], but to be honest we've kind of had enough of that happening through the years that it didn't bother us so much."

Festival organizer Melvin Benn briefly denied Reznor's allegations, saying, "The truth is, there's no truth in the statement. The contract hasn't changed since they signed up to it."

100 comments sorted by best / new / date

    "I was dying to tweet back to him all day," he said. I'm just gonna let that quote sink in..
    I think it's more than the NIN production is one of the largest / most expensive / extravagant tours out there. It's not merely a band walking onstage and playing instruments. on top of that, there is a crew of people pulling paychecks to operate that machine. so, if wires were crossed or people were mislead, and the NIN production was screwed, I can understand where the rant came from. I don't believe it would have to do with set time.
    That could be the case, poor communication is the main reason stuff like this happens, but everyone seems to be on about different things, Trent is on about the production, Simon is on about the actual bill, so who knows.
    how could he be confused?! it was on the reading and leeds website for like half a year. is he really so busy he can't be ****ed to check out the lineup of a fest he's playing?
    Fact is, at the end of the day, to today's general public in the UK, Biffy are a bigger band, and dare I say it more relevant, than NIN. Fair play to Trent for being upset but to take it out on Biffy wasn't cool, in my opinion.
    Biffy are a cool band but they're never gonna have the impact NIN did. Reznor was a game changer and he's light years away..which was why his ranting was so, so bad, I expected way more from him.
    I was there at Reading and NIN were unbelievably boring. Everybody around us in the crowd were ranting about this and the crowd shrunk hugely whilst they were on stage. I am a big fan of a wide range of music and I could not tell when one song ended and another began. He did no crowd interaction and seemed miserable for the whole set. Not a Biffy band but at least they were present whilst on stage. If Trent Reznor could have Skyped the performance in I think he would have. I also hate it when people make a bigger deal over NIN than needs to be made. His personality and image has given him that accolade far more than his music. (Cue the downvotes...)
    I'd hardly say it's just his image. Albums like The Downward Spiral and The Fragile and sonic and production monsters that gained Reznor quite a bit of reputation in the studio. For the most part though I can't argue against you because I've heard from a lot of people, even big NIN fans, that the Reading performance was weak. It seems like Reznor planned his performance as if he were headlining when he wasn't then got angry when issues came up as a result.
    My point wasn't that they were good pieces of music in themselves, its just because its cult I think people often put it on a much higher musical pedestal than what it may deserve. Honestly at Reading it got to the point where the only way you could tell the song changed was because the lighting changed colour. I expected something that would make me realise why people make such a big deal about it and they let me down.
    That's a shame. Sounds like his stage production got wrecked and that would be precisely why he got mad. Too bad, when he gets to run the show the way he wants it's unreal.
    Sorry, Carl...just saw your question. Yeah, that's how I feel about NIN. Trent can play nearly every instrument under the sun at a top-tier level and has created some of the greatest albums ever. So...would I go on a date with him? Yes.
    I was there too. The lighting effects were fantastic but they just didn't seem at all happy to be there. Regardless of what they thought, there were a lot of people getting pumped to see them and they didn't really perform.
    Not gonna downvote you for your opinion. But if you think his image is what made him famous then I really question your ability to appreciate musical genius. The man is a maestro, a virtuoso, and a visionary.
    Carl Hungus
    @MitchHarpring Are you making a rational statement or trying to get a date with the man?
    Name one Johnny Cash song. If your pick was not Ring of Fire, it was a NIN cover.
    NIN were on Lowlands put somewhere in 1 of the smaller tents... the only reason why Biffy wont have the same impact is because you can't compare today's music industry to the one back in the day NIN we're one of the greats. That music genre will probably never be big again, and it it does, it wont be for the next 10-20 years. now we have one direction....
    Keep in mind that NIN's 'The Fragile' was released while The Spice Girls were ruling the UK and Backstreet Boys were amongst the biggest groups in the US. What is popular in the industry is no reflection of what great artists can achieve. If anything, the industry was holding many artists back in the 90s, specifically because they wanted to capitalise on what was popular, and give most of the money to very few artists. The industry is dead / dying because it was bad for consumers and bad for artists, not because people like One Direction.
    Uhm, just no. Lowlands put NIN in the biggest tent they had, the Alpha. I don't know what you're on about.
    I respect your opinion and everything, but I'd disagree. If you've ever seen Biffy, you would know that they're a great band, and anybody that can bring a drop C 5-piece(I think 5?) into the mainstream (hate to use the word) in the UK, an industry ruled by One direction and Beiber, has done a pretty damn good job to me.
    The lineup is a reflection on popularity within the UK. Clearly, Biffy Clyro are more popular. I think NIN are shit anyway
    NIN is a Global sized brand. Biffy is not. That's the distinguishing feature.
    yeah but if you could read what craaig said "general public in the UK" which is true most people off the street will have probably heard biffy clyro. but nin nin in the UK are a bit more obscured no one's saying biffy defined things like nin but right here right now in this country. biffy are huge and are probably better known and exactly as craaig said more relevant. yes NIN changed the game. but they're not right now. they're a nostalgia act
    Global sized brand? So is every pop artist in the world. The very problem with music is that every one succeeds because they are a "global-sized brand", regardless of talent or not. Not saying anything bad of Reznor, but I would definitely choose Biffy over NIN for a live show... and I'm from the US.
    I agree, to be honest, I would say Biffy Clyro is a lot bigger here in the UK, NIN have a cult following at best, and I am actually hugely surprised that Trent Reznor lives in Beverly Hills and has won awards, I honestly thought he was just a guy in a band that was moderately famous for about a year, as that's what it seemed like in the UK.
    Hmm, and I had never heard of Biffy Clyro before this whole incident... funny how different things still are on opposite sides of the pond, huh?
    I like both bands, but NIN has only jsut got back together, and we're also talking a UK festival here, Biffy might not have the same lasting impact as NIN, but they're definitely the bigger in the UK at this moment in time. I expected so much better from Trent, I really don't want to see him turn into another Corgan or Courtney.
    C'mon... Billy isn't that bad. People just can handle the truth. He is beautifully honest. Society views that as a vice but it is definitely a virtue.
    He seems like a nice guy from video interviews, and he does have some really good points, but the way he goes on about some topics just makes him look like an *****. Then again people could say the same for Steve Albini.
    Those topics that make people sound like a "dick" need to be addressed and thrown in the face of the general public... we are becoming a weak and uninformed species
    I don't even know what that means.
    Dummy means pacifier, the things babies have to calm them. It's a British term.
    this does make trent look like a bit of a dick tbh, i dont see anything wrong with biffy headlining, but i guess nine inch nails aren't really anyhwhere near as relevant as biffy are in the UK so if it were at a US festival maybe it would be more understandable
    Thrice Capades
    I'll give Biffy Clyro credit for handling this well, although I really do not have any clue who they are. But I can also honestly say that I don't think Reznor was out of line in the least bit. Anybody who has seen NIN live knows that a large, large portion of their show is their stage production. So for the promoter to say, "hey we want you to play but you're not going to headline so you need to trim down your show" is absurd. Personally, I didn't take Reznor's message as an attack on Biffy Clyro, just as an attack on the idiotic situation.
    It was their choice to accept. The promoters knew that the majority of the crowd was not their to see NIN and they have to appeal to the ticket buyers
    I don't even think you two are talking about the same argument.
    Thrice Capades
    Yeah, he missed the point. Or just wanted to make his own. Either way, he's right.
    Thrice's point was that Reznor was not out of line for complaining that the promoters told him to trim down his show because he was not headliner. When they signed up they would have been given a contract with a budget and timeframe. They would have also had to submit things to production so they could tell them if it was logistical. He didnt do this, then started slagging off a band that had nothing to do with it. My point was how was he in the right.
    Thrice Capades
    I can see what you're saying, but you're still missing my point. I'm sorry you feel like your favorite band got insulted, but for as long as I've followed NIN I've known Reznor to be both a professional and a perfectionist. The more realistic possibility here is that Reznor was told he would have "this and this and this and this and this" but some time shortly before the show he was told he'd have "that and that and that without that or that." It would explain...well...pretty much everything.
    Given that it's a festival that operates on two locations on the same weekend, with bands expected to play both venues, it's unlikely that the organisers are going to make assurances for a massive stage production. Especially not for someone who's not headlining.
    Just to throw this out there I'm sure one of the biggest reasons Trent was mad is because he wasn't able to use the screens that are behind them while they preform which looked amazing at all the other festivals and he had to pay to bring them to Leeds and not get to use them.
    Bingo. Sounds like he was anticipating being able to do his full show and he got lied to. I'd be pissed, too.
    Thrice Capades
    I'm gonna sort out this whole mess for all of you. Because this is just incredibly stupid. This is what we're hearing: 1. Trent is pissed 2. Biffy held his tongue 3. The NIN set sucked 4. NIN sets almost never suck 5. Trent claims he was lied to 6. Trent is honest to a fault 7. Promoters are liars for hire 8. Trent never specifically ripped Biffy Here's what happened. Trent got booked for a gig. He was told some lies about how NIN would be accommodated for their stage production. Sometime after Trent arrived overseas he found out that he'd get less production than he wanted, and that his setup would be different from what he'd been told. He got mad and made a Tweeter ripping on the promoter and the fact that the headliner (who IS unknown in America) was stepping the toes of his show. This wasn't a rip on Biffy Clyro. It could have been Bono sucking off Paul McCartney and Trent still would have been upset that his show got pissed on. Sure enough, Trent goes out and puts on a lackluster show, not because he was upset or taking a dive, but because NIN's stage show is unworldly when it's done right. When it's done wrong, or rushed, or limited, it is not what people would describe as stellar. And trust me on this one, when Trent is upset he plays better. He puts more into it. Unfortunately that is lost on a festival crowd because only the fans close enough to see his face can see how much he's putting into it. The show ended, people weren't happy, Biffy Clyro finally opened up on his feelings, UG crapped its pants. You're welcome.
    More like: 1. Reznor signed up for Leeds. 2. He wasn't told he couldn't use his full production on the stage (and most likely didn't ask either). 3. He goes on stage with a stripped down show and it sucks. 4. Biffy Clyro come on and smash it. 5. Inevitable comparisons between how good BC were and how mediocre NiN was. 6. Trent loses it and blames the concert promoters, and makes the unfounded accusation that BC '****ed his production', probably out of frustration with the situation. 7. BC let it be. 8. BC comment on why they let it be.
    He did kind of belittle them, he said "...the lying promoter and the band following us (whoever the **** they are) ****ed us on our production."
    Never seen NIN, but I saw Biffy Clyro open for Muse and they weren't very good. Maybe it was the production but all I could hear was bass drum and random power chords.
    Oh dear. No. If you like Muse, you'll like Biffy Clyro better. One of the few big popular rock bands still producing genuinely great, creative music left today - evem if lately they've gone a bit radio-pandering.
    first two are from the latest album, last one is an old one.
    This guy gives himself a lot of credit with saying Reznor surely knows who they are... no one I've ever met in America has ever mentioned their existence, presumably because we really don't know they exist. I certainly have never heard of them before.
    Douche move by Trent. Let some other guys headline for once, not a big deal, check your ego man.
    Ste Ramakers
    I don't know Biffy Clyro. At all. So I'm not sure that we can argue that they're more relevant than NIN? At least not internationally... or at least not in southern hemisphere.. or at least not where i am haha
    Spat his dummy out?
    A dummy is a pacifier for any Americans confused by this
    Hmmm... So when people in the UK have a little baby girl, she is technically "sucking on a dummy"? I always loved the British, but now I'm thinking you guys might be crazy
    Dummy is so much more child friendly than fact pacifier is just straight cold.
    Everybody in America has a different name for it. A common one is "binky." Nobody calls it a "pacifier" to their baby.
    Biffy took it like a champ, and played a kick ass show! I can't wait to see them in Toronto
    I honestly have no idea who Biffy Clyro are, but they handled this whole thing well... I think the issue here was that Trent was asked to cut back on his famous stage show, which is a huge part of the NIN experience... I don't think it had anything to do with the other band. Trent could've handled it a little better, but I can understand where he's coming from.
    NIN is really not that great of a band in my opinion, especially nowadays, they're irrelevant and really only had a couple of good songs out of their discography, its always the lesser talents that are this brash and cocky.... watching the performance i was so ****ing bored with their set....
    Was Trent's rant dickish? Yes. Having said that, I'm sorry UK, but this band a.) doesn't rock more than, and b.) should never headline over NIN...
    This sounds like Kings of Leon, without any of the fake southern soul & even smaller testicles.
    Good job choosing 2 of their more recent radio friendly singles...
    This story aside, why the hell does Biffy not have a bigger following in the States? Such a great, creative modern rock band that puts on an excellent live show. Can't wait to see them in October. Mon the Biff!
    I have seen BC at festivals a couple of times, and they're boring... Sorry BC fans but for me they are about as relevant as dog shit. NIN all the way
    Both of these bands suck... GO RADIOHEAD!!!
    Controversial maybe but I actually enjoyed the NIN gig I went to more than Radiohead's. Just by a little. Maybe that's just cause I didn't like the King of Limbs songs very much.
    Bummer man... I found The King of Limbs to be pleasantly groovy... But it's purely subjective
    Never actually gave NIN a listen, besides The Hand That Feeds. Anyone have any recommendations?
    I recommend putting their discography on shuffle because really all of their songs are good.
    I recommend you listen The Fragile (1999 - Rock Indus - Altern) & Year Zero (2007 - Rock Indus - Electro ) or With Teeth. I think The Downward Spiral is a little bit too crazy for a start ! But in any case don't judge after only 30 seconds because there are a lot of things: piano, ambiant, metal, synth pop ...
    The Downward Spiral is definitely a good starting point. I'd recommend hearing the whole album as it's very conceptual. If you want individual tracks I'd say maybe check out Somewhat Damaged (from The Fragile) or Ruiner (from The Downward Spiral).
    I can kind of understand where Trent is coming from, especially because NIN has been a headlining act for years, but showing that much outrage is a little childish, but to each their own. Take the back seat for a show or two and let someone else have their moment.
    Just when I started thinkin Reznor was one of the decent artist still walking around today.
    I know who nine inch nails is but I have no clue who this guy is or whatever band he's in. but if your music is good it shouldn't matter if you play first or last.
    At Leeds Festival, I had only ever listened to one NIN song and I'd heard of Trent's activities, so being a Biffy fan it made sense to hang out and watch both. NIN were as boring as it gets. I think Trent said no more than 2 sentences to the crowd the whole show, and lets be clear; the crowd was absolutely tiny. I even left the crowd for water at one point, and got further forward than before when I came back. From where I'm sitting, Trent seems ignorant of the fact NIN have been away for 4 years; maybe Download would have suited them better than Reading + Leeds for a UK festival return?