Trent Reznor on Band Image: 'I Think It Frames the Music'

"If you're paying to come see a show I think you should be taken into a different place," says Nine Inch Nails mainman.

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Nine Inch Nail mainman Trent Reznor recently discussed the importance of creative music presentation, focusing on several aspects of the overall band image, primarily live performance and the entire concert experience.

During a chat with KROQ radio, Reznor said he finds it interesting to deal with such details, also reaching the topic of the band's upcoming studio record "Hesitation Marks."

"I've always enjoyed the idea of presenting the band in an interesting way and paying attention to the production and the stage design because I think it frames the music," the singer said (via Noisecreep). "And if you're paying to come see a show I think you should be taken into a different place and it should be an experience that's not just for your ears, but it envelops you."

As far as "The Slip" follow-up is considered, the frontman described the record as more of an electronic effort, pointing out that he took the direction he though was best at the moment.

"I think with this record, I didn't go into it with an agenda of 'it's going to be this or that,'" Reznor said. "I sat down and from a very pure place went with what feels right and songs started coming out. Generally I would say the album is more electronic in nature. It's more exciting to me than loud banging drums. 'The Slip,' the last record, was very much made to sound like it was in a garage with loud banging drums and what not."

During a separate interview on the "Kevin & Bean Show," Reznor reached the subject of online streaming services which he thinks are taking advantage of musicians.

"I think that if a new platform emerged that could be the next big channel of the way people consume music - and at the same time it carves out some rights for the actual people that are making the music, and provides them with some tools and a way to curate their own material in a way that presents it hey way they'd like it to be presented - that feels like something worth fighting for," the singer said (via

As an eighth release in the NIN opus, "Hesitation Marks" is set for a September 3 release via Columbia Records. The group's previous effort, "The Slip," dropped back in 2008, debuting at No. 13 on the Billboard 200 chart with 98,000 copies sold in the US within the first week.

16 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I agree 100%. Making music is not only about the music. It's about the way you give it to the people. That's one of the reasons I enjoy so much Pink Floyd, David Bowie, etc. I think it is really important to create a persona in order to become a legend. My opinion.
    take tool for example. ive seen them 3 times. they provide you not only with the incredible music but with amazing lights and video as well. it really does take you to another place in your head.
    The best concert experience I've had so far was Roger Waters's "The Wall Live" show, because not only was it fantastic musically for me, but also because the HD visuals and the built wall and the pyrotechnics were all amazing.
    I think Trent Reznor is an innovator as well as a good musician and songwriter. he is worth the money...
    Band Image?? misleading title... he's referring more to the production values of his live shows (which are mind blowing)
    Agreed. I saw NIN perform with David Bowie in the mid 90s. Talk about the most interesting, flamboyant, amazing looking show. My eyes were bleeding glitter and awesomeness for a week.
    I definitely agree, both on plain image and stage production. It's a tad shallow, but I have a lot harder of a time enjoying someone's music when they present themselves like an abomination of fashion.
    Radiohead , Roger Waters' The Wall & Dark Side of the moon Tour, NIN , Tool, was probably the best live shows I've been too, huge scale production, but it you leave feeling a great experience
    i saw NIN in 08 and it was the most intense live show i have ever seen! will be seeing them again in Nov.!
    I would like a follow-up to Year Zero. I think there is a lot musically and thematically that Trent should revisit. Especially with the knowledge gained from composing film scores.